Academics shouldn't blog? (Though I try to avoid blogosphere auto-wanking...)

I know, I know, who reads this blog for meta-comments about blogging? No one, yet I can't help it...

There's an article on Ars which includes this little quote:
Ultimately, I think the answer to this dilemma is pretty clear: graduate students simply should not blog, and if they do blog they should never do so under their real names.

and, while it may be sound advice from a "you want to get hired and eventually get tenure" school of academic idealism, I think I have to raise an objection.

If Academia has become so hidebound that people exploring ideas and/or emotions disqualifies them from practicing in Academia, then Academia has become a hollow shell and we may as well crush its corpse and use it to make something useful. Sure, it's a risky proposition to put something of yourself out in the world, but the fact that you take a risk doesn't make you a fool, it makes you a person who takes personal risks in the hopes of discovering something.

Exploring ideas (and emotions, in certain disciplines) is what Academia is supposed to allow, not something Academia is supposed to guard against. Anyway, far too late for me. Suppose there go any dreams of teaching some day.


  1. x

    x on 07/13/2005 12:49 a.m. #

    Recall Chomsky quoted in <a href="">Stupidity</a> (and probably other places, and other people) about many university professors being stupider than many working class people he's met (yeah, i know, trite and convenient, but probably true also). Reminds me of Jared Diamond (a Professor, himself) in "<a href="">Guns, Germss and Steel</a>" asserting his opinion (somewhat for effect, I think, but not without some sincerity as well) that the tribes people of New Guinea he spent time with are in general smarter than North Americans (more creative and quicker to figure out problems). Reminds me of a thing in <a href=""> Birth of the Modern Mind</a> (a series of lectures by yet another professor) that at European universities in the 17th century they explicit told entrants that they should consider Aristotle truth, and if they have a zero tolerance policy towards anyone holding any other "novel" ideas... Aristotle already figured everything out. <br />
    <br />
    I don't things have changed that much (even if modernity has a bit more diversity)... people are people... academic or not... and people have been saying academia is getting hidebound, narrow minded, etc etc... for a long time (centuries and centuries). And it's probably perpetually and cyclically true... always been true. Likely always will be... or at least will be for a long, long, long time... I do hope those ideals you espouse will some millennium become the norm.<br />
    <br />
    But don't give you your dream (or let the hidebound bastards hold them against you)... if ever things are to change... we need good people in there. Just maybe ease off on the idealising of academic culture a bit... <br />
    <br />
    Also, don't listen to me... I'm pretty stupid.

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