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Pastimes : Discussion Thread

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From: TimF1/5/2011 4:05:14 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3816
Dispatches from TJICistan | TJIC | The Lie Guy

Being part of a university as a professor was very different from being a student, even a grad student. Suddenly you have power. In business — especially in retail — the customer has all the power.

Explains a hell of a lot about how universities are run vs. how businesses are run!

I've only seen things from the grad student end, but it seems to me that professors have power, but of a certain, limited type. Something like a courtier, perhaps. Powerful, privileged, but in constant need to keep the prince (funding agency) and peers (tenure committee) flattered and happy.

Clancy Martin's observation is far from trivial though. I think it's one reason academics are so skeptical of markets: they work in an environment that has actively rejected the notion that the worth of your work is judged by how well other people think it fulfills their desires. Journalists are similarly insulated from the money-making (i.e. other-pleasing) side of their businesses, but professors have explicitly rejected the idea that they work to fulfill other people's wants
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