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Academia is a rotten, tottering institution.

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posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 01:51 AM
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Academia is rotten to the core. I can state this as a grad of one of the supposed "top universities" -- and I say this not to brag, but just to show I know what I'm talking about and this is not just "sour grapes."

At the top of the heap are the tenured profs, who really don't have to do any work or try very hard at anything because they have perfect job security. So they just recycle the same material over and over, year after year...or more likely sit in their office twiddling their thumbs while they have desperate, indebted grad student assistants do all the "real work." Below the tenured profs are the assistant profs hungering for tenure. To get the holy grail of tenure, they must ally themselves with one of the tenured profs, and parrot whatever theory this or that expert is known for. The "search for truth" goes right out the window...instead we have a clique of apple-polishers trying to flatter and wheedle their way onto the gravy train. Sex is a frequent technique...there is even an official name for it ("erotic mentoring") and a group of academics who not only think this is fine and dandy...they actually espouse it as a valid part of learning.

Below this scruffy, desperate crowd are the even scruffier legions of grad students, who do most of the grunt work: teaching classes, running the nuts and bolts of research projects, etc. Their goal is to gain assistant professorship. Very few actually do. Most end up bitter and indebted, with increasingly useless degrees.I'm not even going to get into the ideological bias of academia, either...that's a whole other kettle of rotting, stinking fish. If you don't sign on to their distorted world-view, forget it...you will be assigned to the category of "crankdom" and quickly dropped like a soiled hankie.

Not only are the liberal arts useless these days...with the economy the way it is, even the hard sciences are no guarantee of a job anymore. And then we have the fact that the Internet makes available most of the information that you could only get at a university a mere decade or two ago. MIT, for example, has most of its course material online. You can listen to endless streams of MP3s and video clips of lectures by profs. Why pay 50K or more a year when most of the actual information you'd be learning is available FREE at the click of a mouse?

At the bottom of the heap are the undergrads, most of which seem more intent on partying than learning anything at all. And when they graduate, given the dire state of the economy, most can look forward to endless debt and perhaps a job stacking shirts or serving coffee if they are lucky.

The whole system STINKS. It has UTTERLY FAILED at its fundamental mission (the search for truth) and it is being rendered more and more irrelevant each day. How long before it finally crashes and burns?




posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 02:08 AM
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I had a professor who wrote just about this.
Dr. Steven Best.
Interesting stuff he writes about. Academia has become a corporation, it no longer serves the purpose to enable the students to express, advance, and encounter the several aspects of the world. The system is, get them in, get their money, and get them out. Just like a manufacturer. As for the professor aspect, most do not even get tenure anymore because the professors are looked upon now as commodities that can be replaced as quickly as a worker at Wal-Mart. Tenured professors comes once a blue moon, as for their styles of teaching, I suppose some keep the same ideals, that does not mean they do not change. There definitely needs to be a re-evaluation of the Academic system and how it is handled.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 02:14 AM
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As someone with some experience of Academialalaland I can validate your post.

The way I see it modern academics is a facet (faucet?) of the NWO control structure and as such is just a bunch of (psuedo)intelectual parasites leeching off society. Sure, there are some brilliant people mixed in with the mediocrity but, if anything, these just make the problem worse by enabling the psychopathocracy to do even more contrived evil. At least the capstone of intelectual mediocrity in most cases just prevents good ideas reaching the public sphere, the brilliant people in the system give us great things like H1N1 (ex swineflu) and fractional reserve banking.

Anyone studying science and technology quickly realises that the bulk of the inventive, creative, work was done by the brilliant free thinkers and the garage engineers. Then the establishment falls on it, either steals it or buys it and absorbs it into the system. Academia for the most part just catalogues science, when it dosen't simply suppress it.

And all of the above before we even get into the minority of psychopathic liars that we commonly find at the top of academia.

The internet has the potential for an open ended, modular, free education system. People should take it, because those high and mighty profs up in academialalaland? They just slow us down. Like much of the NWO structure they are parasitic in nature and many of them are so underperforming intelectualy that they don't even know they are part of said structure.

S&F.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:55 AM
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So Silent thunder, at what point did you get rejected at? I've been in the academic machine for awhile, and will hopefully return to get my doctorate, and it always makes me chuckle when I see posts like this on here.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by FSBlueApocalypse
So Silent thunder, at what point did you get rejected at? I've been in the academic machine for awhile, and will hopefully return to get my doctorate, and it always makes me chuckle when I see posts like this on here.


Heh, yes to be perfectly honest I must admit there is a tang of bitterness to the post, you are perceptive, kind sir. And yet I stand by what I wrote.

In my case, I turned my back on the whole enterprise after my undergrad degree and went into the "real world" to make money. I disdained academia in a sense, so I'd like to think I rejected it rather than visa-versa. I made excellent grades and probably could have tried my hand at the hampster wheel, but I chose the "business world" instead.

The decades since have seen ups and downs...years of angst and poverty, some success, and finally actual comfort. So in the end I'm not completely bitter. But part of me does miss those days as a student and the idea of a life spent surrounded by books and those who love them. The atmosphere of a good university and university town is quite wonderful too...Yes, to be honest some part of me would love that and love to be a tenured professor with little risk. Instead I live in a world of risk, where I put food on the table for my own family with the sweat of my brow and worry in the night about how things will be next year. For now I am fortunate than many and greatful for it, however.

Despite what my personal inner emotions may or may not be, however, what I posted still stands.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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We're not so different. I'm in the business world as well after getting my Masters. Still, after studying with some very brilliant minds, I must say your post is still disingenuous. While some tenured professors are as you described, most are still hard working researchers in their fields of study. Maybe I went in a different enviornment, but the head of my department taught the freshmen intro courses himself.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 10:52 AM
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Academia is a place of untold arrogance and in fact ignorance as to the real world. Almost all have no actual real world experience in anything, yet are viewed by media and DC as 'experts"........

Having been and environmental and energy researcher for many years, most academics have a theory and "sift" the facts to support a predetermined conculsion.

The opposite of real scientific method. The predetermined conclusion is formed in order to get funding and seek grants.........



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I realized early on that the academy and the literary world alike -- and I don't think there really is a distinction between the two -- are always dominated by fools, knaves, charlatans and bureaucrats. And that being the case, any human being, male or female, of whatever status, who has a voice of her or his own, is not going to be liked.
- Harold Bloom




posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 02:24 AM
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I apologize, but I fail to see why this information is new... I believe that Academia is rotten to the core, and the worst part is that people are so desensitized to it because their high school education is just as bad. The No Child Left Behind Act merely encourage schools to push forward an agenda that was already on its way up the ladder. What agenda, you ask me? That agenda is the test children at how well they are at regurgitating information spoon-fed to them.

Institutions of true learning seem to be passing away, I'm just sad to hear the absolute corruptness of Academia.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 04:41 AM
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My mother works in a graduate school and yup, you hit the nail right on the head.

Let me add some fuel to your fire with this link End of the University. Alot of professors are pompous and want their work to seem important when it ain't.

The best college teachers are ones working in the community college system imo. At least they "get it".



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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May I suggest that if you are one of the people who feels as though academia is still vital and productive, you are one of the "arrogant" ones. They don't even teach you the things, that would make it otherwise. Not even the names of the subjects.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 05:59 PM
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I totally agree.

But what is the alternative?



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by VitalOverdose
I totally agree.

But what is the alternative?


We need some kind of system that allows people to A) learn; B) socialize with other humans in non-virtual space, i.e., mingle physically with actual other humans of the same age; and C) provide meaningful skills that allow one to make a living somehow after graduation, preferably in proportion to the efforts/results of a given student's time.

All of this can be accomplished with the current academic infrastructure. But the nature of what it means to be a professor will have to change radically, as will most other academic jobs/careers. Personally I think abolishing tenure is a good first step, but in so doing another mechanism has to be set up that allows professors to somehow retain a good deal of autonomy and detachment. There are no easy answers, but strong freedom of speech safeguards would go a long way.

Whatever the answer, it will only get worse if we continue along current lines. Profs are currently protected by tenure...but many abuse this rather than use it as a tool of objective study. Instead they get lazy, push their own little pet agendas and theories, or try to develop a "cult following " or "make a buzz" somehow so they can advance up the career ladder. And its not like they don't whore themselves out to the highest bidder of their own free will anyway, in a myriad ways.

Another thing is that they shouldn't create any more grad students than can reasonably be expected to go on and find jobs in academia. If they can't hack it as teachers/researchers, this should be decided BEFORE they enter grad programs, and they can then get on with their lives and go into another line of work.

Also, don't forget, big academia can be big business. Harvard had an endowment of about $20 billion a few years ago, and though its taken a substantial hit, its not like they are hurting. and they are juiced into "the system" which means corruption just like with any other big-money operation. Other big schools are in similar situations, although more widespread pain exists...some schools are seriously hurting, in debt from stupid big projects begun in the bubble years and meanwhile their endowment funds have evaporated with the financial crises. So radical answers are called for, in some form at least.

I think profs should be held more accountable in some way, some of the pork should be squeezed out of the system, and so on. Also, the payoff relative to the investment in time and money that students put in has to me more equitable. I think things like pure philosophy, etc. should always be studied at the highest level, but the majority needs a system that can get them a real job..

It would also help if the economy de-financialized itself and we actually went back to making real stuff like we did when we were an industrial powerhouse...then people could study disciplines that would bear real fruit for both the individuals involved and all of society, as well. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.



[edit on 7/11/09 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 07:37 PM
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Alternative?

You have your body, and a brain. We should stop waiting for people to do things for us, and make use of what we already have. Anything we can learn at any university is most probably already on the internet, for example. It's just a matter of motivation. I've even done physics problems off the internet for practice. Then there's libraries, people, and all sorts of other resources.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 08:26 PM
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I favour just letting the academic system die and rot away, it's little more than a putrid carcass from yesteryear anyway.

I favour starting anew. This would have the advantage of correcting a lot of the disinformation memes these vile psuedoeducational establishments have spewn on the people. We have the internet and this could support a modular educational system, organised by a sequential set of disciplines on branches, which feed into the basic knowledge trunks, like mathmatics, language and basic technical skills. This would allow people to set their educational goals and then tailor their education to the path needed to get there, while avoiding wasting time with garbage that is just intended to overload and break young brains so they don't become free thinking. This system should grow organically, be open source knowledge, not a top down imposition of imperial authority, which is the problem, not the solution.

I favour rotten vegetables at anyone who uses a PHD (or whatever) as authority in an otherwise intelectual debate.

I favour just doing it, not being caught up in IP, validation from state, money grants or any other sort of mechanism which in reality just takes control of people's lives from them and gives it to the elites, via the state.

I favour freedom of the mind and using what we have how it should be used, not slavery of the mind and using only what a few other people say we can use.

As long as one person's freedom does not limit the freedom of others we'll be fine...

[edit on 11-7-2009 by Mindmelding]



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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I will agree that much is true about what you say. It's made worse by all the leftist nuts who spend their classroom time spouting tales of leftist glory.

I would however counter that a liberal arts education is not worthless. It's just not job training like some degrees.

A good liberal arts education is a foundation for whatever life you choose to lead. It will allow you to understand and appreciate the myriad complexities of the world around you. In that sense, it is priceless.

In order for the liberal arts education to be of its greatest value, its requirements must be pursued with passion, not just merely met, as in accumulating credits. Furthermore, it must be pursued for one's entire lifetime. Graduation ceremonies are not called commencements for nothing, you know.

Regardless of all its faults, academia represents one of the greatest opportunities anyone will ever get and is far greater than many will ever get.

All education is self-education. Formal education is just guided and presided over. Make the most of it.



[edit on 2009/7/12 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
Alternative?

You have your body, and a brain. We should stop waiting for people to do things for us, and make use of what we already have. Anything we can learn at any university is most probably already on the internet, for example. It's just a matter of motivation. I've even done physics problems off the internet for practice. Then there's libraries, people, and all sorts of other resources.


In terms of pure learning, I agree with you for the most part, although it should be noted that when humans come together, the interaction among them brings deeper thought than simply reading by oneself or interacting over the internet.

Also, academia serves several other purposes. Firstly, its part of a socialization process. People need to come together and socialize to form a viable society...again, in real space as opposed to merely online. College facilitates this process. Perhaps not in the best/healthiest way right now, but totally elimnating the university system is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Thirdly, employers often need to weed through thousands of resumes when selecting people for jobs...rightly or wrongly, the university system is a "filter" that allows employers to slim down that pile a bit. Its unfortunate that there will usually be more people capable of doing a given job than jobs available, but unless we change the macroeconomy radically, "that's just the way it is." Faced with this reality, employers need to create various "filters" in the selection process, and one's university/college education is a part of this process. Having a degree also shows an employer that an employee has the will and ability to stick it through a sustained, multi-year project (i.e., earning a degree) and is not necessarily a fly-by-night flakeout. Again, this is imperfect but I can't see how utterly abolishing the university system would be possible given these social and economic needs.



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I should probably mention that I am not just for the abolition of the entire education system, but the abolition of all forms of government and control completely.

Would this create chaos? Yes, and no.

As far as I am concerned the society we live in is already chaotic just because of the massive amount of ignorance within it, leading to almost unfathomable suffering. When all control is removed, like go to like more rapidly, that will be the only difference. And eventually some controlling group would emerge and start chaining everyone to itself again.



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 


Well, our government is going to borrow and print its way into fiscal oblivion very soon so you may get your wish sooner than you think. I expect we will see major state university closings very soon. They are already closing parks, libraries, and zoos.



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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That's a facet of what I'm talking about. I don't like causing trouble so much, as I just realize a lot of trouble is going to happen whether anyone really wants it or not, and it happens on purpose, naturally, and is supposed to happen. So distancing ourselves for the moment from "the system" may turn out to be pretty healthy in the long run.



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