Thursday, March 15, 2007

blogging problem

It’s not that surprising that academics like tenure, even economist academics; I’d like tenure. Here's Tyler Cowen arguing in favor of tenure:
Most of the research value comes from a small percentage of creators in the first place, and many of those people have done their important work by age 45 in any case. To put it bluntly, the tenure system works because for many people their "output" doesn't matter in the first place; tenure is however wonderful for the stars. The goods produced in academia are often symbolic goods anyway, such as prestige.
This is the problem with blogs I guess. The reason he's blogging about tenure is because people are suspicious of it. This of response is short and incomprehensible, he writes quite a few posts like this. He should make his post longer, but that breaks the sacred blogging rule.

I am perfectly willing to be generous in my reading because Cowen is an omniscient super genius but what the hell does this mean?? To me it reads:
If you didn't have tenure only the stars would get jobs leaving lots of empty offices which would be bad.
Stars are not the ones needing job security. Only the stupid do.Bryan Caplan calls him on it:
Bizarre Dadaism:

To put it bluntly, the tenure system works because for many people their "output" doesn't matter in the first place; tenure is however wonderful for the stars.

Right... Tenure is "wonderful" because it infinitesimally raises the job security of the stars, and sharply raises the job security of people who don't produce anything of value anyway.
This makes me feel slightly less stupid.

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