Thorstein Veblen made this point a hundred years ago in The Theory of the Leisure Class. Academics show their high status by doing useless research. Useful research is low status. When, as a professor, you see this in your own department — the uselessness of what people do — you think surely other departments are different. They aren’t. As a Berkeley grad student in engineering said to me, “95% of what goes on in Cory [Hall — where her department is] will never be used.”
Thursday, October 01, 2009
In Academia, High Status = Useless?
Well that's depressing...