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.


  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?

    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.


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