Slothrop

Tight but Polite
I did a pure maths PhD, then lectured part time at a local ex-poly for about a semester.

To be honest, I realized fairly early on in my PhD that I wasn't going to be a cutting-edge research superstar, and it didn't seem worth all the effort and stress of trying to get on the postdoc ladder just to do second division research. Sticking around lecturing at a low level would probably have been doable (since there are quite a lot of maths courses out there) and not too stressful, but wasn't really more attractive than getting a job in the real world.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Problem with jobs in the real world is they're often so devoid of the opportunity for any (critical) thought....

but the academia treadmill sounds soul-destroying, especially in Britain (?)
 

Leo

Well-known member
my wife transitioned from the business world (IT consulting) to an alt-ac (alternate academic career) position at a university a few years ago and was struck by how self-centered most of the faculty were. in business, she was accustomed to working on project teams where everyone works together and does whatever necessary to please the client. in academia, professors (particularly those with tenure) are the kings of their classes and have no sense of, or interest in, working as part of a team on her grant projects for the betterment of everyone. it's always all about them, not the school. even when they are given course release time in exchange for working on a grant program, they often still try to do as little as possible and go their own way instead of following the group plan.

some are also (understandably) bitter about having to work for years as a lowly paid adjunct. it's as if they feel no one helped them on the way up, so why should they bother helping anyone else. obviously that's not everyone, and most professors care about their students, but it is surprisingly common.

they also HATE it if you happen to refer to the business world as "the real world".
 

Leo

Well-known member
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/us/sister-margaret-farley-denounced-by-vatican.html?hp

Vatican Denounces Nun Over Book on Sexuality
The Vatican’s doctrinal office on Monday denounced an American nun who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School for a book that attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce.

as someone in the comments says:

The Catholic Church is more outraged about the publication of Sister Farley's book than it was over priests sexually abusing children for 50 years .. ... THAT is an act of "grave depravity”. The Vatican is like Penn State with infallibility.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Met a girl at a party the other night who has a swastika tattoo. (I didn't see it myself but several of my friends did.) Apparently this is OK because she's Jewish, "so it's allowed".

Uh, not sure it works like that, sweetheart.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Would it have been okay if she was Hindu? How did you know she was Jewish anyway?

Cos she said so. Though I guess she could have been lying, which would have been even weirder.

And the Hindu swastika looks different from the Nazi one, it's got serifs on the arms and has dots in it.
 
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yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
Cos she said so. Though I guess she could have been lying, which would have been even weirder.

And the Hindu swastika looks different from the Nazi one, it's got serifs on the arms and has dots in it.

Oh, I kinda assumed it would be an Hindu related swastika. It's weird that your mates spot a swastika on her and she tells you she is Jewish while she wasn't aware you knew she had a swastika tattoo. This truly does my head in yes.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Oh, I kinda assumed it would be an Hindu related swastika. It's weird that your mates spot a swastika on her and she tells you she is Jewish while she wasn't aware you knew she had a swastika tattoo. This truly does my head in yes.

Huh? She never said anything to me, I didn't exchange a word with her all night. Several of my friends saw the tattoo and when they - quite reasonably, I think - asked her why the fuck she had a swastika tattoo, she told them she was Jewish as if this somehow justified it.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Huh? She never said anything to me, I didn't exchange a word with her all night. Several of my friends saw the tattoo and when they - quite reasonably, I think - asked her why the fuck she had a swastika tattoo, she told them she was Jewish as if this somehow justified it.

Presumably she must called up/out on it all the time. Sounds like a bit of bizarre attention-seeking and provocation. Where was the tattoo?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Presumably she must called up/out on it all the time. Sounds like a bit of bizarre attention-seeking and provocation. Where was the tattoo?

I think it was on the side of her torso so she'd have to lift her arm for it to be visible. Something like that, anyway. I mean, it wasn't on her forehead, Manson-style, at any rate.

Just really fucking weird and yeah, a desperate attention-seeking tendency would be my guess.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Some people just really like arguments with strangers.

*belatedly notices irony in posting this on the 'thought' section on Dissensus!*
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I'd like to see her parade around Stamford Hill with it on full display, explaining to flabbergasted locals that "It's OK, I'm one of you guys!".
 

Tony Flavourmore

Well-known member
i'll just left this here


 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
my wife transitioned from the business world (IT consulting) to an alt-ac (alternate academic career) position at a university a few years ago and was struck by how self-centered most of the faculty were. in business, she was accustomed to working on project teams where everyone works together and does whatever necessary to please the client. in academia, professors (particularly those with tenure) are the kings of their classes and have no sense of, or interest in, working as part of a team on her grant projects for the betterment of everyone. it's always all about them, not the school. even when they are given course release time in exchange for working on a grant program, they often still try to do as little as possible and go their own way instead of following the group plan.
Yeah, that sounds believable. There seems to be masses of bullshit petty politics with a big gap between the 'big name' academics who make the department list sound impressive and look good on Research Assessment Thingies and help to get students in, and the less high flying academic staff who actually have to do the lecturing and marking and seminar leading and stuff that the Big Name considers to be a bit beneath them.

they also HATE it if you happen to refer to the business world as "the real world".
Weirdly in maths / science / computing that's pretty much standard terminology:
http://www.jargondb.org/glossary/real-world

Also, it's scary how many humanities academics can recite this more or less verbatim:

 

Leo

Well-known member
Weirdly in maths / science / computing that's pretty much standard terminology

funny, i think it's sometimes used that way, implying someone has sold out to a less noble cause when they move from academia to the business world.

the way i meant it was academics can feel insulted when you refer to business as the real world, as if what they are doing is not "real" or less sophisticated, or that they couldn't compete "out there".

good video, too.
 
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