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Why I Quit Academia (aardvark-lily-k2lz.squarespace.com)
41 points by luu 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments



“ None of us in this seminar were able to mount any plausible arguments against Nozick, not because he’s correct, but because we had so little experience arguing against anything that far right.“

Author discovered a PhD thesis topic worth writing, perhaps without knowing it.

Overall, the article gives the impression the author correctly realized academia grinds up cogs in the wheel; but didn’t have the desire/ability to tilt against the system (eg not be a cog), and so quit. Fair enough, but not really worth reading about.


It is worth reading for people that are in the same situation feeling there's something wrong with them just for not fitting in a certain academic environment. There's bullshit everywhere, but when you're not experienced enough to have seen that by yourself you are likely to think you're the problem, so it's good somebody points that out, even if the actual cogs say it's not worth the read.


I don't think the author's account is complete here, not because he is lying, but because he cannot face the truth, which is that in order to make his case against a viewpoint academia considers to be beyond the pale, he would be obliged to understand and make a fair representation of the viewpoint he is attempting to refute.

Attempting such a project, even from a stance of strong opposition, would be enough to provoke anger and enmity from people who find such opposing views so intolerable they simply wish to 'disappear' them.


I regret not taking pieces like this more seriously before attending grad school.


Why? Do you see any actions he could have taken? How could he have tilted the system?


In my opinion, it's worth reading because it's entertaining.


Interesting to see how some sections of academia is dumbing down the future generations: "Anyway, the low point of this guy’s endless, beginningless, argument-free impromptu lectures came when he baldly asserted that the poetry of Milton had a direct influence on the workings of ISIS. Yes, this would be John Milton, the 17th century English poet, and ISIS, the contemporary Syrian terrorist organization. And what evidence did the professor adduce in support of this outrageous claim? None whatso-fucking-ever. And the other grad students in the room just sat there nodding knowingly, taking notes like a bunch of sycophants. No one raised their hand, no one said, “Excuse me professor, but what in Jesus’ name are you fucking talking about?” I didn’t even say anything. I had no spine!"


For context: this should be named "Why I quit academia", it is the transcript of a by now un-published YouTube video by YouTuber Contrapoints https://www.contrapoints.com/transcripts

who now does (very insightful) video essays on YouTube.


Uber driver? Well, the pay, benefits, and power there must be more or less comparable to what an adjunct gets...


And I suppose cleaning the occasional strawberry dachary puke is less onerous than cleaning up a whole swath of term papers.


Boy am I happy I figured this out in my first undergraduate year of studying philosophy.


I like ContraPoints, but...

    > You have to go to YouTube for the 
    > real entertainment, and also, frankly, for the 
    > real debate.
My take is that academics came to consensus on some debates, and moved on. If it's a far left consensus, well, they're the experts. History shows us we should be wary about pressuring academia to conform to popular opinion (astronomy and Catholicism, academia and Nazism, academia and the USSR)

We could as easily apply her complaint to Science; the "real entertainment" and "real debate" about whether Earth is flat also happens on Youtube.


I don't think that ContraPoints of all people meant hard right reactionaries when she wrote about real debates on YouTube.

Now where can I find this far left consensus? The closest I've been able to find is a soft left toothless socialism, the tepid centrism of FDR cheerleaders, and the soft right wing stance of the modern liberal, seeking a more inclusive-looking, more profitable status quo. I'd love to find like-minded leftists!


    > where can I find this far left consensus?
Most academics today are opposed to racism, classism and fascism. Those positions, which were up for debate not a century ago, are essentially first principles now (outside of social media).


The copywriting example is amazing indeed.




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