From Our Correspondent…

One of my far flung correspondents – someone I am actually trying to convince to guest blog here – has a question and a comment. Does anyone have answers, responses, or repartee for these?

QUESTION

Do you know why procrastination is so prevalent in academia, as compared with other professions?

COMMENT

The university has become a gray area: what is knowledge worth? how should that knowledge be transmitted? to what end? I read an interesting article relating to the “democratization of data” to familiarize myself with some marketing vocabulary I need. It was about making statistics accessible for manipulation by different fields. I couldn’t help thinking of interdisciplinary and cultural studies. These marketing web pages are interesting in the university context – eerie almost.

Axé.

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2 Comments

Filed under What Is A Scholar?

2 responses to “From Our Correspondent…

  1. I think procrastination is prevalent because the campaign to demonize academia has been vastly successful. Thus, the pay off, including and most importantly for the typical academic, personal pay off, has been lowered, if non-existence.

    “You ain’t no body because you can read and write five dollar words.” Real motivator there, I would say…….not!

    The hook is what gets paid, and often that hook is hovering around a six grade level entrenched in sensationalizing if not in downright falsehoods and blatant propaganda geared toward an agenda, more than likely one drowning in the corporate.

  2. Interesting, yes. Payoff lowered, eliminated, or doubtful – or as Slaves of Academe puts it, “no good deed goes unpunished.” So – de-motivation.

    I’m also thinking of institutional procrastination – glacial and passive agressive bureaucracies – creating a culture of block.

    The other thing – something I have been meaning to write about more formally – is how academia can turn what you liked originally into something painful for you. I find now, with some of the things I am working on, that I must first sit through the nostalgia which overwhelms me. It is nostalgia for the time when working on those projects was *fun*. So I have to sit through that and then pain, and only *then* can I get objective enough to work.

    For a while I didn’t sit through the nostalgia / pain – couldn’t get through it, had to run away, in-field books were as good as hot stoves.

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