Current Reading

This blog is primarily for me to blog my responses to books that I'm reading. Sometimes I blog about other stuff too, though.

I'm currently re-reading Systems of Survival by Jane Jacobs.

Word cloud

Word cloud

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Shove it up your pipeline

I know that I should treat this report on preparing students for non-academic careers as a good thing, because it involves academic physicists and professional societies finally recognizing that we need to get serious about the fact that most physics majors will go into industry, not the PhD pipeline/pyramid.  I should be glad that people are recognizing this, and that the Important And Serious Types get it.

The problem is that I hate the important and serious types because they are always so disconnected from reality, half of them still say all the Acceptable And Serious stuff about PhD production, and it seems like they only figured out 4 minutes ago what the physics community should have figured out 4 decades ago:  That most people don't get PhDs and don't wind up in academia.  How can I take these jokers seriously when they started revising their Party Line yesterday while I've been taking students to industry meetings and teaching computational physics and applied optics since I was a junior professor?  These jokers will no doubt get the world to pat them on the back for "Steering the Conversation to Recognize the Need for Change" while some of us have been in the trenches doing this stuff for a long time, and we figured it out without the Serious And Important People issuing reports and trying to "Change The Conversation" or whatever.

And they dress it up in all of their administrative language instead of plain English, speaking the language of administrivia and bureaucracy.  And I know, I just KNOW, that when the next grant opportunity comes along, if it's for some PhD pipeline bullshit they'll be talking up the importance of that when five minutes earlier they were talking about preparing students for industry.  Because they're a bunch of parasites.

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