Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Professors (Score 3, Insightful) 370

Speaking as a professor in the humanities, you have no idea how awful the job market is. In my discipline (history), you can expect 6-10 decent jobs per year to come open in each subfield. There will be 100-350 applicants for each of these. Getting to the point where life as a professor is "easy" requires either very low standards (you don't care how much you're paid) or going through a few decades of grueling, underpaid, 60+ hour work weeks. It's a great job, but anyone who declares that, as a profession, being a professor is "easy" and not stressful has zero understanding of academia.

Comment Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 370

Good luck getting a decent job in academia with that attitude. If you want to qualify "being a professor" as "being a lazy professor with a low salary at a crappy school that doesn't care about teaching or research," then sure, it's easy. But couldn't that be said for any career? "Being a lazy programmer at some low level company that doesn't realize how shitty you is really not stressful at all. Therefore, being a Programmer is one of the least stressful jobs possible."

Comment Re:As a college professor... (Score 1) 370

There's a difference between knowing about a topic and delivering 30-45 detailed lectures on it, tailoring it to the learning needs of students, etc. It IS easy to be a bad professor, but it's easy being bad at anything. "Programming is easy. You just learn a few programming languages and then it's all just retyping stuff you already know. Pretty easy way to make good money."

Further, "good money" is a questionable statement. Putting aside the 70% of faculty who are contingent (making $2k-$3k per course), you'll find that most faculty are making in the $40s-$50s. Doesn't sound so bad for a starting job, but then you have to remember that they've been earning nothing for most of their 20s. Keep in mind, they're also working most evenings and weekends (endless grading for some fields), not to mention required service on university committees, being a reviewer for journals, etc.

I love being a professor, but it is not easy money and it's usually extremely stressful until your 40s (at which point it begins to be more like a "normal" job). So yes, a lazy, tenured professor at the "peak" of his or her career may have it really good. But that's not representative of the field and, even then, it usually requires immense sacrifice and stress to get to that point. One might as well say that CEO of start-ups have jobs that aren't stressful because "they're rich and get to order employees around and set their own schedule." Sure ... but that doesn't describe most CEOs and it doesn't give any sense of what it takes to get to the "easy" stage.

Comment Re:Choice (Score 4, Informative) 370

Ridiculous. Around 70% of all college courses are now taught by contingent faculty. These faculty have no offices, no long term contracts, and no support. The average pay for these courses is $2k to $2.5k. Speaking from a humanities viewpoint, a majority of the phds we produce will never land a job as a professor. In my particular discipline, it is common for there to be 6-10 jobs per year in any given subfield with 100-300 applicants per job. "Chances are you will succeed" is not the phrase that should describe the situation. Chances are very grim indeed. I advise all of my undergraduates not to go into academia and I give dire warnings to those that do.

Once an academic has a job, they can then expect to work 60-80 hours per week for the first five to six years. This will decrease over their career if they get tenure and take their foot of the gas, but with budget cuts and cut-throat competition for funding, that's not a wise idea. Quite simply, you have no idea what an academic job entails.

Comment Re:Get a refill.. (Score 5, Insightful) 1141

Who is the government?

We the people. We the people, as a community, have identified a behavior in the community that is unhealthy and expensive due to healthcare costs. Since, in this case, the community is not a small community in which members can exert direct pressure on each other through personal relationships, the community is exerting pressure in another way. If you think this is new or somehow restricted to governments, then you're not paying attention to all of human history. If you want to be free from the pressures of your community and have no responsibility to other people, you're free to live in the wilderness. This has nothing to do with government. It's fine to disagree with this, but framing it as a "nanny state" issue is misleading. Ever since humans evolved culture (and probably before that), we've developed ways to curb the detrimental behaviors of our fellow community members. People are idiots and they're addicted to sugar. It places a cost on the rest of us. I see no reason why your right to be a lardass trumps the community's need to keep healthcare costs down.

People CAN buy two drinks, but I think quite a few people won't. Humans eat/drink what is set before them without noticing. They won't be trained to desire so much soda if they aren't handed so much to begin with.

Comment Re:Male companion (Score 1) 255

This makes me suspicious. A friend of mine supposedly has a friend whose friend dated Matt Smith and revealed that he shouted this during sex. I'm now wondering if this has entered internet myth territory. Do we have any first-hand sources for this? Or is it always a friend?

Comment Re:WTF (Score 2) 253

"The Free Market" is a bit like "Communism" - you never actually find either of them in practice. They only exist in theory. The market is and never will be "free." And yes, iIt so happens that those who bleat the loudest about "free markets" tend to be those who IN PRACTICE support the private power of corporations.

The AC above actually put the words free market in quotation marks, signaling that his comment was more about discourse than actual economic theory. The idea that this is an issue of "government interference" is laughable. This is corporations using the government as a weapon against individuals. I bet you support gun rights, too, yeah? Guns don't kill people, people kill people? Amirite? In this instance, the government is the gun and the corporation is the one pulling the trigger while shouting "free markets!" It's sad that you identify the government as THE problem. Though yes, its susceptibility to corporate influence is A problem.

Comment Re:Obama SIGNED ACTA... WTF? (Score 4, Insightful) 186

Because those two certainly won't uphold corporate interests? If you hold your nose and vote for either of them, it won't be taken as a sign that the American people oppose ACTA. It will be taken as a sign that people want more government intrusion in their bedrooms and more rights for corporations. If you want to give more power to the women-are-sluts-and-corporations-are-heroic-people party, don't come crying when the obvious results.

Comment Re:Ummm (Score 2) 608

Oh look, you spouted a trite cliché. Try thinking for yourself. (Maybe a better college education would help you on that front).

In the humanities, there is no alternative to academia. Take a professional historian of modern France who writes books and teaches. What exactly would they be doing if they had more "intellectual horsepower?" That's the peak of the field. There's nowhere up from there. Of course, I'm sure you think the humanities are useless, so most likely my point will fly right by you.

Comment Re:Professors, not high school teachers (Score 2) 608

Actually, that's not true that they haven't spoken up. Professors regularly speak out on these issues. It's one of the reasons why the right-wing loathes and hates professors so much and demonizes them at every opportunity.

There are plenty of cases of lousy researchers who are excellent teachers and excellent researchers who are lousy teachers. However, if you think dividing research and teaching will result in long term benefit, you don't understand academia.

What we're actually seeing here is an "education bubble." Poor people have been told that if spend lots of money and get a degree, they will have access to good jobs. It isn't true.

Slashdot Top Deals

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer