A most interesting post from Moria. On strategy

“It led to a forgetting. Of self, of work, of relationship to self and work and others.” Read the whole post.

Actually it is quite common to be told to do as one is told, because if one does not follow instructions precisely, one will fall off a cliff. Of course it is only sometimes that one falls off the cliff. Usually not following instructions only means one’s key does not turn in the lock, and sometimes it means one makes a discovery. Yet usually one is told that one will fall off a cliff.

The reason I do not like most academic advice is that it assumes one is holding tightly to a cliff while dangling mule-clad feet. It is about tactics, said a friend, and not about strategies. This distinction between strategies and tactics seems to be something people in business think about consciously but in academia it often seems to be considered unseemly to think in terms of strategies.

If you are not completely flexible and at the same time completely singleminded, you are “not serious,” I was told. To want to have a strategy was “arrogant,” I was taught. Yet one could not simply pursue a goal, either, or answer any question in a forthright manner; one must always be thinking about the quedirán and about tactics. Hearing so much about the importance of short term tactics and the arrogance of longer term strategies is wearing.

Axé.

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2 Comments

Filed under Theories, What Is A Scholar?

2 responses to “A most interesting post from Moria. On strategy

  1. Thanks for the link!

    I’m lucky not to have been trained in the cliff-danger mentality – in fact, regarding the new project I wrote about in that post, I said to my advisor that I felt like I was jumping off a cliff. She waved my concern aside. ‘Never mind if you are. That’s my job,’ she said, ‘ – to pull you back up, if need be.’

    I’m getting to a point, honestly, where I find that virtually all academic advice assumes that there is something wrong with who I am and that I must be changed. Also that it defines the work we do in a way that’s radically different from any work I do or want to do. I’ve started ignoring it – not least because it usually backs me into the kind of paralyzing paradox described in your final paragraph.

    … Reading this blog again is one of the great pleasures of my recent return to the blogosphere. Keep at it, Zed.

  2. Z

    Hi Moria!!! Thank you for this comment and especially this part of it –

    “I’m getting to a point, honestly, where I find that virtually all academic advice assumes that there is something wrong with who I am and that I must be changed.”

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