Thursday, April 17, 2014

The strange life of the modern "scholar"

I just spent a couple of days assembling a grant application. Ugh, what a bore. And how little it had to do with being a scholar! There would almost seem to be a negative correlation between people who are good at grant applications, and people who are good scholars: A good scholar must almost necessarily consider the hours spent on the application a waste of time that could've been used for scholarship.

I bet Aquinas never had to deal with grant applications.

2 comments:

  1. Isn't that like saying:

    - I could build much better widgets if I didn't have to spend time convincing retailers and customers of the superiority of my widgets, since time spent convincing is not time spent refining my process.

    - Workers could be in better worker/job-position matches if they didn't have to waste time convincing employers of the optimality of that match.

    - Defense contractors could build much better weapons platforms if they didn't have to lobby for the funding, since time spent lobbying Congress is not time spent doing wind-tunnel tests.

    What system are you comparing to? What would be within-the-system improvement?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting point, Silas. Overall, I think the "get a wealthy patron once and for all" system was somewhat better. But you are right: somehow, scholars need funding.

      Delete

Zeno for the computer age

If you wish to better understand Zeno's worry about the continuum, you could do worse than to consider loops in software. Case 1: You...