Why Academics Make Normal Conmen Look Good

Before I say anything further on this topic, let be clear about one thing.

Not all academics, especially the older ones, are like that.

Having said that one has to acknowledge that the majority of functional academics today, in fields as diverse as medieval English literature to STEM disciplines, behave in ways which your average conman look good. So how did we reach this sorry state of affairs? What went wrong?

In previous posts, I have talked about perverse incentives in most areas of life and the normalization of behavior that was once considered dysfunctional. However there is an extra layer of reasons that make academia more dysfunctional than average scams. These arise from the incestuous networks formed by semi-autistic, feminized morons with elaborate rationalizations for bad behavior.

I see the majority of academics as similar to Adolf Eichmann, though it is possible that he had a conscience unlike most academics. You can see where I am going..

The single biggest problem with academics lies in their inability to perform any of their expected roles. Academics today are uninnovative, dogmatic, intolerant of heresy and generally not interested in finding out the truth about anything. While academia always had a significant population of priestly pompous scumbags, organizational changes within the last 30-odd years have essentially made them the dominant type. I can go into considerable details about how changes in academic funding patterns and pressure to publish crap or made up bullshit has fucked up academia.. but I will leave that issue for another post.

What you should understand is that these changes have selected for and concentrated the best self-promoters, liars, delusionals, hypocritical and corrupt scumbags that a meager tenured position can attract. These are therefore simultaneously amongst the most fucked up and pathetic humans alive. It is ,however, their hypocrisy and behavior that makes garden-variety conmen look good.

Normal conmen, whether they sell products on late-night infomercials, used cars or manage companies, do not wrap themselves in the flag of self-righteousness. Academics portray themselves as objective truth-seekers while simultaneously performing research of questionable quality. They promise to solve problems which they cannot even begin to understand. They protest the poor treatment of labor by Walmart and other “corporations” while treating their students and postdocs even worse.

The guy on the late-night infomercial promises a better set of knives, a better grill or a better vitamin pill for an average hit of two hundred bucks per mark. Academics promises a cure for cancer or the ability to predict climate for millions to billions of dollars while simultaneously destroying the lives of their students, employees and ensuring that the next generation has far more disdain for science and people like them.

In my opinion, any successful move towards a less dysfunctional system requires the abrupt mass disappearance of such people. I will leave it to the reader to think of various ways to achieve that end. The existence of priests, traditional or secular, is not compatible with human progress and happiness.

Comments?

  1. August 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    FYI:

    BWAHAHA!! Paul Campos, Law Professor and Asshat Blogger at Lawyers, Guns and Money, Outed as ‘ScamProf’

    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/bwahaha-paul-campos-law-professor-and.html

    ScamProf is the failed academic who has done almost no scholarly work in the last decade, teaches the same courses and seminars year in and year out, and spends his time trying to attract public attention, sometimes under his own name, this time anonymously. These are important facts about ScamProf, since he is indeed scamming his students and his state, and his initial posts were tantamount to a confession that he’s not doing his job. His colleagues, in any case, now know who he is, and are quite understandably angry, since the reckless generalizations are naturally read as commentary on them. After we called him out Monday, ScamProf pulled back a bit, and switched gears and stopped projecting his own failures on to all his professional colleagues and started actually writing about the economics of legal education…

    Hey, a bad academic is a good one.

  2. August 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    AD,
    You’re underestimating the influence of Derrida in all this. He one of the major sources of all this shit.

  3. joker
    August 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I have some resistance to recognize that scientists have gotten more irrelevant in the last decades in part because that plays right into the CONservative argument that science have stopped being truth the moment it started contradicting them. That said, I have to admit myself as graduate from a STEM career that I find myself feeling that most modern scientific issues are more about sustaining an ill-conceived position than finding a proper goal, and in other cases a lot of branches are nothing but self-cointained logical systems with no relevance at all.

    I tend to blame the uprising of the services industry for a part of this problem. As Scott Adams put it, a dollar is better invested in brainwashing the customer / citizen than in improving the quality of the product or informing the client. Marketing strategies grow at the expense of the research departments and now that companies know how to sell their products, the quality has gotten worse. In other words, inventing and discovering new stuff hasn’t ever been good business, but the effect is felt worse this times because all companies have acquired zero-sum behaviour in a systematic manner.

    My gut tells me that scientific knowledge is too good as a domination tool to be abandoned so sooner or later a group is going to segregate and start using science on its own and outside the market. Otherwise, we are doomed to an state of bigger ignorance.

  4. Anon
    August 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Science has always had tons of dogmatic types; they are bigwigs in their time, but they leave very little legacy. One scientist whose works I’ve read was Blaise Pascal. He came under terrific fire from the scientific community of his time for suggesting that certain experiments produced a vacuum, something which had been declared impossible by Aristotle and whose impossibility the community clung to fiercely. Nowadays, Pascal is epic, there are countless things named after him. The scientists who opposed him? Let’s just say, their legacy died out along with the theory of the Aether…

  5. Ted
    August 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Rent “Inside Job” on DVD. While the documentary focuses on the market meltdown in 2008, it rips the lid off economics departments in universities. Most of these professors make their real money by consulting with banks, which just happen to pay them to publish reports showing that de-regulation does wonders for the economy.

  6. August 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    hahahaha,

    you should’ve majored in gender studies or whatever it’s called, then you could bonk your students just like Hugo Schwyzer……

    so is tenure part of the problem or part of the solution?

  7. DoesItMatter?
    September 5, 2011 at 1:42 am

    hmmmm! so your professor ass-fucked you. You did not have the guts to punch him in the nose. You now feel ashamed of it. But being Indian you still do not have the guts to go after him now. So to teach your professor a lesson, you enjoy having girls eaten by bears. That will teach your advisor a lesson.

  1. August 28, 2011 at 1:28 am

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