Ali’s blog

Mostly quant stuff with occasional digressions

A man after my own heart

Posted by alifinmath on February 5, 2008

Dr. Joseph Chen-Yu, whose wikipedia site is here, and whose blog, “twofish,” is here. Narrowly-focused, pettifogging, pedantic academic types  (all too common, alas, in American higher education) turn me off completely. There’s scant intellectual or cultural life in American universities and what little there has been is being squeezed out as the university falls into an ever-closer orbit around corporate America. So intellectual mavericks and renegades outside the academy appeal to me — Renaissance people, with a variety of interests, strong opinions, and interesting conversation; people who are inherently rebels, renegades and mavericks: people like Nassim Taleb. The tenure system in US universities drives all these people out (indeed, is designed to do so); what’s left are timid, cautious, bureaucrats afraid of their own shadows and who dare not speak truth to power. The prime drivers in US universities are fear and anxiety (primarily in students), and not open, critical discourse or any love of learning. Sod it.

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