We Have Been Too Quiet


What’s the point of having academic credentials if you can’t use them?

Sure, we make them into bludgeons inside the ivory tower, but that’s really just child’s play: the bludgeons do all the real damage of balloons. Only when there is ‘real-world’ application can they have an impact, do they really mean anything.

Inside, also, credentials only grow. “Use them or lose them” is only vaguely an academic concept at all. Universities are filled with professors who did one remarkable thing twenty years ago and, though they’ve done nothing since, are still venerated for it. Outside, if you don’t use your knowledge (or whatever it is you have), it quickly decreases in value. For the past fifty years, academics have used their “public intellectual” muscles so rarely that they have atrophied into almost nothing at all. The respect we feel we should still command has degenerated into laughter.

Even other…

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