I’ve received a letter from a uni’ lecturer mate about a staff meeting during the lockdown. The discussion centred on working at home. One of the group asked whether they thought the university would compensate her for, “having to use her own teabags, milk and toilet paper.” She was deadly serious.

There was a time (half a century ago) when university lecturers were held in high regard.  They certainly no longer are, and that incident is typical of why. To describe them as academics, particularly given the number of bullshit subjects, is simply an abuse of language.


Withheld-see comments July 21, 2020 at 11:57 am

My (PHD) wife left her NZ university job as a lecturer when she realised the Uni’s had stopped being about quality and had become a cash cow for asian students (who cheat as a matter of routine.) She had some exceptional students from industry vetc, but on the whole was very disappointed with NZ university.

haha true Sir Bob. Unfortunately along with the dumbing down of the lecturers has come the dumbing down of the students. Or maybe that happened first. Hang on – that is a very good thesis subject right there ! has to be worth $100k in funding as well surely ?

haha true Sir Bob. Along with the dumbing down of the lecturers has come the dumbing down of the students. Or did that come first ? .. Hang on – that would be a very good thesis subject – surely worth $100k in funding as well ?

It’s a valid question though not one that many would ask when colleagues are being made redundant and pay rates are being cut. Employers can pay WFH expenses if they wish. It certainly could be negotiated if companies require you to work from home so they can release offices space. https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/121583489/no-inland-revenue-wont-pay-15-a-week-for-workfromhome-expenses

What universities are, more than ever, is a business model. Their job is to run barrier-to-entry regimes, which service to restrict supply and therefore increase the price of certain professions. Do you really think it takes 10 years for a dentist to pull a tooth out, for example? Of course it doesn’t. But the 10 year educational prerequisite allows your dentist to charge a million dollars for a job that a careful butcher could do.

90% of tertiary education is a rort. We should only give it 10% regard. And we should bring back the School-C system, so kids don’t have to get a vanity degree to prove they’re on the right-hand side of the bell curve.

On the other hand, the study of bullshit itself is seeing a resurgence. My own research on anti-money laundering (a modern policy experiment gloriously taking a blatant disregard for reality to the highest levels) drew from a Princeton professor’s excellent 2005 book, “On bullshit”. A new book out 4 August (“Calling bullshit”) looks like it may become a bestseller. With bullshit abundant in political discourse, accepted uncritically by the media and public, often on political or other ‘opinion counts as fact’ tribal grounds, and fomented likewise on social media (with Covid responses in many countries the great example of our times), effective policy outcomes may become an endangered species, if not mythical. Perhaps bullshit subjects, Sir Bob, were merely a precursor to the modern resurgence of bullshit as the prevailing currency of political and media discourse.

You have to play the game as a university lecturer. As an example, if you want funding for climate change studies, you have to agree that climate change is man-made and you are going to help man to reduce the footprint- even if you don’t believe man is responsible.

    Totally agree. Climate change b/s pays the mortgages and secures the futures of thousands of otherwise completely useless scientists and academics throughout the world.

    Global warming can be measured yet it is almost impossible to find accurate ‘neutral’ data. Instead, computer modelling is used, which inevitably always gives the result the modeller wanted to tell us in the first place.

    Actually, water levels in European harbours have been measured accurately for over 210 years and guess what? No noticeable rise in sea levels. Yet I thought we were all about to hideously drown in about 10 years time?

Yes in these troubled times. A$$ wipe paper is hot property. Absolutely, the need for compensation, is justifiable.
Surely, the university was the supplier of essential services? She should have been allowed the human right to go and collect her essentials, and be paid to do it!

Before the university system can attract halfway decent staff they need to undergo a transmogrification of intent and mission by returning to their original purpose namely as a place for the storage ,examination ,expansion and reflection on the acquired knowledge base of our civilisation .This involves teaching students to THINK ABOUT and EVALUATE currently accepted knowledge followed by the guided expansion of this knowledge by the proving of various hypotheses in relation to this by the students in their endeavours to springboard from their mentors knowledge and experience with the obvious beneficial outcome due to the continued challenging of accepted norms.
This does not involve the childish PC or Gender Bullshit currently sadly promoted by our mainstream woke academia masquerading as academics.
Obviously the academic in question must be a high producer of the above if they are worrying about the escalation of these costs at home and patently their small minded pettiness suggests they are in the wrong occupation..

The very fact that almost all of these academic ‘intellectuals’ are economically illiterate, i.e. left-wing, denies them the right to be called ‘intellectual’ in the first place.

“Left-wing intellectual” is the ultimate definition of an oxymoron.

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