Tenure, boredom — March 21, 2018

Tenure, boredom

“Compared to most other careers, the working life of a professor does not incorporate clear progress or stages once the great hurdle of tenure has been overcome.

And that is a major contributing factor to boredom and burnout.

Once a lifetime contract is awarded – day at age thirty-five – the individual faces over thirty years of unchanging duties: to contribute new research results and to teach students.”

Henry Rosovsky, The University: An Owner’s Manual

Aim for a good general education — March 20, 2018

Aim for a good general education

General education means the whole development of an individual; maturing in understanding the nature of things according to the best knowledge of our time; developing general intellectual capacities and imparting general knowledge; also a focus on culture and on life beyond earning one’s daily bread, so not purely occupational or professional.

Thinking — March 19, 2018


Our thinking occurs in a stream of consciousness, like a waterfall, one that never dries up at its source, and at the base, the water sloshes and spalshes around into a pond, that is our conscious mind, the splashes appearing without pattern or sense, sort of random and chaotic, not in order, just a volume of water moving around and being drained into streams and rivers and water conduits that take the water away, out into the world, somehow contributing to the collective subconscious, not lost, but rarely ever attributed back to its source, and, just as the water cycle moves the same volume of water around, such that the rain you felt on one day, the individual drops, might fall on you again, because it’s the same water, and your thoughts that you put out into the world, they add to somebody else’s stock of words and phrases and thoughts, and might one day return.

Compare with your yesterday — March 18, 2018

Compare with your yesterday

“…we have become digitally connected to the entire seven billion.

Our hierarchies of accomplishment are now dizzyingly vertical.

No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent.”

Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules to Live By

…so do not compare yourself with anybody else’s today.

Instead, compare yourself with your yesterday.

Did you do some thing that elevated you towards your goal today? Or that left you better at the end of the day than at the start? If you answered positively to either question, then you are applying your effort in the right direction.

Language and the thought behind it — March 17, 2018

Language and the thought behind it

We read first by converting black dots into words and into language, and second by translating that language to the thought that lies behind it.

Language is not a pure medium for thought. Language is ambiguous and permits multiple interpretations. Though the author must strive to sharply communicate his or her message, so the reader must strive to accurately and completely receive the author’s message.

Why mix and match? — March 16, 2018

Why mix and match?

  • We need to consult and engage others and communicate our activities effectively.
  • Our performance is enhanced with new perspectives.
  • To avoid echo chambers and groupthink.
  • The problems we are dealing with have become more complex.
  • In the future, we have to be creative and curious, and that means being more questioning, and welcoming of divergent views, just like in the population.
  • But mixing and matching would come to nought, if these divergent views are discouraged, or those with non-traditional views are not valued and appreciated.
Quantity to quality — March 15, 2018