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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
Higher academia is becoming more and more "playing the game" and not about true knowledge and learning anymore. It's pretty much a waste nowadays to get a PhD with the intent to get a tenured teaching position at a university unless you are willing to uphold all the games these institutions play in conjunction with political and business interests rather than seeking out the real truth in matters... You will just grow frustrated with the whole process and become a shadow of your real self. I would only get a higher degree above a masters for professional credibility as a consultant or needing it to increase my exposure in a certain field related to a self-owned business or something.
http://www.utne.com/Wild-Green/Cows-Eat ... ments.aspx
â€˜Cows Eat Grassâ€™ and Other Inflammatory Statements
8/9/2010 3:19:20 PM
by Keith Goetzman
Tags: Keith Goetzman, agriculture, food, sustainable farming, environmentalisim, Aldo Leopold, higher education, Iowa State University
Cows eat grass. You wouldnâ€™t think itâ€™s a big deal to state this, but at Iowa State University a highly qualified job applicant who had the temerity to voice this simple biological fact was ejected from consideration for a post leading a sustainable agriculture program, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
Among those who study sustainability, saying cows should eat grass is not a controversial statement. But saying so in Iowaâ€”which grows more corn than any other stateâ€”is likely to attract attention.
Well, it sure did. Ricardo Salvador is a well-respected sustainable agriculture expert and a former professor at Iowa Stateâ€”and a natural, many observers thought, to lead the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture as its new director. A finalist for the position, however, he didnâ€™t get the post even when the top candidate turned it down. Apparently, his cow comment came back to haunt him:
The remark that may have sunk Mr. Salvadorâ€™s candidacy came 37 minutes into his on-campus presentation. While discussing a research project in New York State, he mentioned meat being â€œproduced in the natural way that meat should be produced, which is on land suitable for grasses and perennial crops.â€�
If this were a TV game show, a loud buzzer would have gone off and Mr. Salvador would have been escorted from the stage that very moment. Because apparently he was supposed to say that cows should eat corn. Even if thatâ€™s not natural or sustainable, itâ€™s simply how things are done in Iowa, a state built on big agriculture:
Corn allows cows to get fatter faster and be ready for slaughter sooner. But there are downsides, including the fact that cows have trouble digesting corn and must be fed antibiotics to prevent them from becoming ill. Whatâ€™s more, the beef from corn-fed cows tends to have more fat.
The danger of the truth is so great that the Chronicle couldnâ€™t even get Wendy Wintersteen, the dean of Iowa Stateâ€™s agriculture school, to go anywhere near it. When asked whether cows evolved to eat grass, she replied, â€œI donâ€™t have an opinion on that statement.â€�
Sheesh. Consider, for a moment, the man that the Leopold Center is named for, famed conservationist Aldo Leopold. In 1939, in the essay â€œA Biotic View of Land,â€� he wrote:
Each species, including ourselves, is a link in many chains. The deer eats a hundred plants other than oak, and the cow a hundred plants other than corn. Both, then, are links in a hundred chains.
Sorry, Mr. Leopold, but Iâ€™m going to cut you off right there before you say anything more inflammatory. Some university officials are not going to be happy about this.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required to read full article)
Read more: http://www.utne.com/Wild-Green/Cows-Eat ... z1BDJbBY55
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Oh, good Lord yes, stay away from academia. When I started a PhD program I had idyllic notions of a communal search for truth, living the life of the mind in exhilarating exchange with like-minded people. What I found, rather, is a collection of small-minded careerists whose business is obscuring with impenetrable jargon the fact that they have little to say, and whose interpersonal relationships are of the most (covertly) hostile sort. It's a completely toxic environment -- the revenge of the nerds, ugly women and homosexuals. Stay far away. I've also been a lawyer, and I can say without qualification that lawyers are much better people to deal with than academics. If you can believe that.
Then three's the type of students you have to deal with in American universities -- people who have been raised to fear and loathe truth, who simply could not be less interested in learning, or less well equipped by their education to pursue it.
This has been my experience as well. It is safe to say that universities are extremely political. Going to university for reasons of self improvement is laughable. The information and insight I gain from this forum is of much greater importance than any course I took in college.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school - Albert Einstein
I was going to become a professor, but gave it up when I saw the political environment. When you start out, it's publish or perish, which means you have to spend a lot of time getting on committees, to know colleagues so that you can get your own papers published. In addition, you have a class load and then have to find time left over to do real research. There is alot of nonsense being produced because of the political structure. Look at the field of economics where all of the published papers use advanced mathematics to create various economic models. The only problem is that the models are always too simplistic and don't describe the real world. A professor who tries to do real research in economics wont' get published and thus won't get tenure. Successful traders know more about how the economic system works, then the academics. In engineering, there is valuable research being done in places like MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Standford, but it is heavily funded by the military and tailored to their needs. I do not know much about the liberal arts, but if you are not a liberal Marxist you are going to have a hard time. I think its time for young people to seriously think about starting their own business, and not creating a huge debt by spending four years learning something of little value.
You can study actual economics on the ground in the discipline known as economic geography, a British import that can be found in a handful of American universities, in the geography departments. Mainstream academic economics is pure fantasyland. The economic geographers are about as close as you'll get to Marxism these days in the universities. Marxism is far too focused on the world outside the self. Most academics these days are engaged in the solipsistic contemplation of the self -- feminist study, queer studies and such. They are postmodernists and apologists for consumerism. Class politics in academia has been completely routed by identity politics. Cultural Marxism would be closer to the mark.