Locklin on science

Academia versus industry

Posted in fun by Scott Locklin on October 26, 2011

Academia is a nice racket if you’re bent a certain way. People in academia think their lifestyle is the most desirable state of affairs; I drank the kool-aide for a while, and figured that work in industry would be a long tale of sorrows and misery, slightly mitigated by larger paychecks. Happily, I have not found it to be so. I’m happier as a professional than I was as an academic, and almost certainly a better person than I would have been sucking off the government teat with the rest of academia. If you have my particular basket of moral defects, you probably will be also.

Are you a frustrated academic, thinking of a better life in a profession, or better yet, founding your own business? Here are some hints as to whether or not you should make the switch. Note that my comments on academia are also true for working in a large business organization, though to a lesser extent.

1) In academia, eminence is everything. Eminence helps in business, but unless you’re a CEO type who will be paid millions a year to screw up a functioning organization, it doesn’t get you very far. In business, you’re expected to get stuff done. You need practical skills, like the ability to hack code, or the ability to organize or talk people into things. If you have no such skills, you’re not going to get anywhere. Eminence in academia means you get your name on the important papers, and you become more eminent. It doesn’t mean you’ve actually done or are capable of doing any of the work. That’s a great state of affairs if you’ve managed to rock the Zipf distribution a la Lotka, and have managed to achieve eminence.

2) In business, being a polymath is important and valued. In modern academia, being a monomaniac is important and valued. Very few serious academics in technical fields manage to straddle different sub-fields. Those who pull it off paid their dues by hewing to one subject for long enough to achieve tenure and some degree of eminence. The average academic today does research which is more or less exactly the same thing as what their wrote their dissertation on. The average sciencey person in business has worked on many different kinds of projects. If you find your dissertation topic endlessly fascinating, and you don’t mind rehashing it for the rest of your life, stay in academia. If you like doing lots of different kinds of things, consider business.

3) In business, results are the only thing that matters. In academia, publishing papers is the main thing that matters. What is more, results in business come quickly, and businesspeople are good at a type of project management that gets results quickly. This isn’t so true in academia. While some people in academia are good project managers, the time frame is measured in years rather than months. And in such long term projects, it is generally impossible to tell if the manager is any good until the project works, or not.

4) In business, people are generally very good at dealing with other people. In academia, people skills are not valued at all. There are very few adolescent jerks in business. People are actually nice to one another, even when they despise each other. In academia, at best, people more or less ignore one another. I’ve seen inexcusable drama queen type behavior in academia; childish vendettas between eminent scholars over trivialities which happened decades ago: I know two famous spectroscopists who have a 30 year vendetta involving a pencil sharpener. In academia, there are ridiculous prima-donnas who think their smattering of skills make them Mozarts. In academia, incredible rudeness towards underlings accepted as normal behavior. People get away with it because they can’t get fired, and they think it’s normal. You can’t do this in business, or you will get fired. Firing people who behave like twits is salubrious for making daily life more pleasant, and encouraging you and the people around you to be better people. Do you have zero people skills and think that you are a unique genius worthy of royal treatment? Do you not mind such behavior in others? Stay in academia. Or grow up and join the human race in the world of business. I had always thought that it was the academics who were the nice guys, and the businessmen who were cruel power hungry bastards; I was mistaken. I grew up a lot, quitting academia. If you’re a grown up in academia, however, you can do very well managing academics, as there are precious few adults to babysit the doofs who warm academic chairs.  I wrote this before I learned of the Dawkins/Skepchick affair, but it is a fair object lesson in two unpleasant, egotistical blockheads who have never been forced to play nice with others. How often does this happen in business? Pretty much, never. You can learn a lot about academic life by watching Jerry Springer: the underclass and the academic class have similar moral character -that of superannuated adolescents.

5) Academia encourages conformity. Business encourages individualism. It’s extremely rare for a modern academic to voice politically incorrect opinions; almost unheard of. There are good reasons for this: it’s about the only way to get fired as an academic. In business, nobody cares what your opinions are; you’re free to voice any opinion you like, short of violating sexual and racial harassment laws. Unconventional opinions are not universally rewarded, but they sometimes are, and they rarely hurt you. I’m doing well, despite regularly voicing opinions that would get me fired in academia. Ask Lubos Motl, one of the most brilliant string theorists of his generation how that’s working out for him.

6) Business is short term goal oriented, academia can be long term goal oriented. It’s rare to be involved in a business venture with multi-year long deploy times. Such ideas are generally called “early stage start ups,” and are done with the personal capital of the founders. Long term projects are routine in academia. Personally, I prefer short term projects; they tend to work in the end. If you prefer grand visions and things which get done on multi-year timescales (or, never), stick to academia.

7) Business pays better. Also: more better chicks dig business than science. Women have more common sense than men: this has been proved by science.

Oh, and a small fact for those who haven’t gone to college yet: my landlord is a high school drop out.

51 Responses

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  1. […] nice post about the difference between modern academia and industry: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. Rogier said, on October 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

    If you were European, you would have included a few points on “civil service” — a subject on which we both are blissfully ignorant.

    • Scott Locklin said, on October 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

      I briefly considered a career in the American equivalent in 2002, mostly because I was too old to join the Marines. My dad (who made a career of national security related “civil service”) talked me out of it.

  3. Geewillegers said, on October 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    • Scott Locklin said, on October 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm


  4. […] Academia vs. Industry:  you make the call.  (Scott Locklin) […]

  5. William O. B'Livon said, on November 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    “There are very few adolescent jerks in business.”

    You obviously haven’t had to play with marketing and sales departments very much.

    And yes, civil/government service is about like academia without the need to publish OR get results.

  6. Phaedon said, on November 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    You’ve described precisely why I checked out of academia. I had many of the impressions about how the transition would be that you wrote here, and gladly none of them were true.

    I still think the university system is worth having around if only to keep the crazies occupied by running frantically on their hamster wheels and not making trouble in some more concrete way.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      Don’t we have some kind of desert island we can maroon them on? I mean, since they know how to run everything for everyone else, they should be able to construct a veritable utopia there!
      Though honestly, I think being ensconced in academia is what makes ’em crazy. Picking potatoes for a few years would do them some good.

      • Xinxi said, on November 13, 2011 at 3:55 am

        Re-education by means of manly farm work? Mao and Pol Pot tried that already. Didn’t work out so well for their nations. I mean, honestly, academics need to be fanatics and filled to the brim with arrogance or illusions of grandeur. Otherwise they wouldn’t stay in their – at least in Europe – underpaid and unstable research careers.

  7. paulo said, on November 29, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Well, I think you had a very good job in industry. They are not all like that.
    Also, it seems to me that you are mostly talking about college-level educated professionals, and comparing their fates to those of the ones who stay in the schools.

    I think you largely ignore working conditions for the masses and focuses on the axis-of-plenty (USA, Europe, Japan, Australia). Most people in the world never saw the colors of a college, a lot spend lifetimes of abuse in horrible working conditions producing very tangible GDPs for multinationals or at dead-end low-service jobs across the world. There is worse, there are slaves hidden in mass production farms in 3rd world nations and in mines that mine our so important minerals.

    I wish you’d tone down a bit on the bile and at some point discuss what you believe the role of academia to be, and how do you think it should be reformed.

    I’m usually on your side, I just have a hard time reconciling the critic you have of academic arrogance and what seems to be arrogance between the lines you write.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

      I’m writing for people who are confronting the option between academia and industry: only Ph.D.’s in useful technical subjects or people who could get such a certificate have this decision to make. I’m not trying to save the world; just trying to prevent talented people from wasting their lives trying to publish in Acta Whateverica when they could be doing useful work which benefits themselves as individuals and the rest of the human race.

      Whatever the purpose of academia, it has long since bloated itself beyond all reason and will soon shrink precipitously.

      I have other ideas about what to do for America’s working classes, but this isn’t a political blog. I’m not a huge fan of Ricardo’s theorem.

      • Paulo said, on November 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

        Okay, that states goals better.

        It’s easier to follow the ideas of this particular post now.

        No surprise, I face that issue, but I’ve had a bad experience in industry prior to pursuing a phd: it’s not that clean and you never mentioned issues like how private-public contracts are done. The private sector is not pure and isolated from the taxpayer money, industry is not some sort of immaculate panacea: but this was not the point of your post. So back to where I think I agree with you.

        I’ve always seen academia as simply “school”, whose function is a repository of knowledge, whatever that knowledge is. Societies value schools, I think we’d all be reluctant to shut down history and literature departments across the nation. I have watched academic medicine from a safe distance, and apparently they have an interesting case study: in the 70s it was decided that anatomy departments were obsolete and surgeons were better apt to teach anatomy courses to medical students. It was apparently not a great idea, and both the US and Canada, which took this decision, started importing “classical anatomists” from Europe and even South America to sit in their departments. This is a tale, I have no link to reference this.

        At any rate, my beef is the bloated inflation of promises from the “insert-buzzword”-technological business in universities. There are some that shield themselves always with the promises of cures for things that affect far less people than our simple overeating and smoking habits. How do you see these cancer institutes, the new-coming neuroscience departments across the nation? All these things already existed in the form of biology, biochemistry, but names are changed, relabeled to provide us immortality or god-knows-what. I haven’t seen you talk much about biology and medicine (also bloated but much harder to challenge), I’d like to read that.

        have fun

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm

          As a member of the “academia as repository of knowledge” party, I’d happily put a torch to “history” and “literature” departments run by cultural marxists and the modern language association. Much of the humanities have become warehousing silos for half rate brains who can’t read with understanding, and who have substituted some nihilistic ideology for actual knowledge. The process started in the late 40s when the idea of democratizing what are by definition elite institutions came about. If you want to separate the sheep from the goats; historians who know Latin and English professors who know Anglo Saxon would be a starting point. After all, most high school graduates 50 years ago knew this much. I figure college professors should know at least as much as a high school student did 50 years ago if you believe in “academia as repository of knowledge.”

          Medicine has plenty of problems with bad statistics and overhyped promises. I don’t talk about it much as you have to start somewhere, but it’s pretty obviously broken. According to “medical wisdom” eating salt is bad for you. That’s a good place to start laughing.

      • Paulo said, on November 29, 2011 at 9:25 am

        Also, a curiosity I have.

        You mention “doing useful work which benefits themselves as individuals and the rest of the human race.”

        To help us who navigate your blog, could you define a little bit what “useful work” is and how one can benefit oneself and/or the rest of humanity. I am not trying to annoy you, just to understand what you are talking about. Your words are often aggressive and I think if we could see that we disagree on the very postulates of your beliefs (say, at some point you will take a leap of faith that profit maximization or making ipods is a way to improve society), that would avoid a lot misunderstanding.

        I’ll give you an example: say I work in the energy sector. I was educated by a university in electrical engineering, the new thing we’ll implement in a new powerplant is coming from research in a particular lab, that will go to one company and be sold to the government that is building the powerplant. Now, who in this process is not contributing to society or contributing to society? Do we need energy to begin with? Is it ok to damage the environment so much for this energy? Say, is my boss, an academic whose group developed a new software that will be cheaper in controlling the transformers, and sold it to a big company (JA say).

        What exactly matters for you? I like George Carlin’s quote on “Name six ways we are better than chickens”. So, if you’re not yet fed up with reading my lines (and I am really trying to reach something here), could you name 6 practices, behaviors, techniques or just “things” that are useful and benefit individuals and society?

        I’ll start with one: we all like clean water.

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm

          Useful work is, to first order, work which someone, somewhere will pay you for without having a gun pointed at them. Someone thinks it’s useful enough to give you money for it; therefore, it is useful. Whether it is useful in some grand philosophical sense is irrelevant. Someone wants the work done enough to pay for it.

          • Paulo said, on November 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm

            Thanks for the answers.

            I like the one about salt 😉 it’s brilliant.

            you’re quite a guy!!!
            Keep posting.

            • paulo said, on November 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

              Wait, on my way home I thought of one thing.

              You criticized a bunch of things: academia, nanoresearch, etc. But people are paying for these things. So, arent’s they already useful by virtue of being paid for within your reasoning?

              I mean, this finally takes the weight of the back of astrologists, homeopathic specialists, palm readers, scam artists, etc. All these people are being paid for, hence, they are doing useful work. Us, humans, are creatures that ove to categorize things, I’d say all of this, could be grouped under “entertainment”. Some people pay to watch Justin Bieber sing and dance, so his singing and dancing is useful. Same for Drexler, who sells books people are willing to buy and read. It is all useful.

              So when you claim they should stop doing what they do, and move on to something useful for society, can’t they tell you, “well, there are consumers to our products and or services, so we are already useful”?
              Or is the problem here that groups of ill intentioned people have deceived a broken unfair financing system that forces people to give money to it (government collects taxes against our will) and then gives it to these people?
              Is the way we are represented the fundamental problem then?

              All the activities you criticized are being paid for: history professors, communist specialists hanging che guevara posters on the walls of, say, Harvard, are being paid for. They are useful. So are astrologists, cosmetic surgeons, carpenters, electrical engineers, mathematicians and maybe firemen. the only useless people are those not being paid for an activity, say, I am useless now commenting here instead of trying to be paid to read someone’s palm or take a tumor out of their brain.

              • Scott Locklin said, on November 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

                You missed the “gun” and “first order” things.

                • paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 7:32 am

                  I see no gun pointed at people’s heads to pay academics.
                  And American universities are mostly private.

                  I think for your rules, the system is fine. You just dislike it, which is a completely different issue.
                  But they are doing “useful work”.

                  • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 7:40 am

                    Oh, you mean I can stop paying my taxes? Thanks man!
                    Virtually all Universities are funded by the government; directly or indirectly, and are heavily regulated by the government as a condition for this funding. If IQ testing as a condition of employment weren’t illegal, about 9/10 of the reason for them would disappear overnight and we could go back to a normal system where only the top 5% of the populace goes to college.

                    • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 8:36 am

                      I did precisely ask you in my previous post “Is the way we are represented the fundamental problem then?” and you ignored it. The answer you gave me now is “yes”.

                      Now I understand, having our money go through government to fund inefficient work structures is your concern. Are you a libertarian?

                      The private sector is not a magical government-independent institution who always bring good to society via trade. A lot of their trading is with government, military (I never understood how libertarians see the military) and have you seen the recent bail-outs? I think that was a bit more severe of the fabric of capitalism than any nanomarxist. And a lot of the private sector was born via government funded research and universities, including a lot of the technologies we use, buy. I think the only brave government-free pure capitalists I see are….well, astrologists and Justin Bieber. They never got government help.

                      Industry (and hospitals, services) have used the mass of trained labor coming from the universities.

                      You also forgot to include in the list of bad people in academia the “frustrated intellectual bully”. People who are simply bitter, only pursued a phd to feel superior to other people and all that matters to them is a feeling of superiority despite their lack of success in the field that prompts ranting and attacks on everything they choose to blame for their own failures, which is never themselves but broken systems and a world that is never good enough for them. Don’t you think these types make academia unbearable? It’s difficult, I work with a guy like that, the world is a bad place, everybody is incompetent and wrong. I hope you didn’t have to deal with these types. You know, he always complains and criticizes, never gets anything done and can’t do better himself. It’s hard, I need to get away from him.

                      No, I’m most certainly not a libertarian. I do, however, judge people by their ability to make a living without government welfare handouts. Call me crazy for thinking a horse superior to a horsefly.
                      Nobody needs those “college graduates” we’re manufacturing. Hospitals, for example, worked about as well when they made do with high school graduates. The fact that society “uses” college graduates is irrelevant -for all you know, they could all be picking potatoes: the fact that society hasn’t gotten anything for this titanic investment in “education” is relevant, as well as obvious.

                    • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

                      But you’ve got a point: universities allow too many non-top 5%ers in.

                      I think they are the source of these people who behave in a way that looks “intelligent and educated” for unaware eye, but are really just full of shit and cram illogical sequences of thought with obscure cargo that alienates people out of discussion. I see it in scientific meetings. These days, if you want to win an argument, you just pretend you are smarter than others by saying random things from a field they do not know.

                      Wait…I think it’s not such a recent phenomena, apparently Euler use math to bully away a philosopher that respected math but was arguing on the existence of god….I guess this is old behavior. But useful, the King was paying him to do it.

                    • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

                      Sorry, I wasn’t clear: Euler defended the existence of God with a mathematical proof, to intimidate a philosopher who knew no math. I think it never happened, sounds like a myth. But I think a lot of that goes on, I call it “intellectual bullying”. I hope you hadn’t to deal with much of it. People who start talking big words from other fields to alienate you. Their goal in life is to be “more intelligent than the other”. I think we’ve all seen plenty of that.

                      And I wound’t “call you crazy”. Psychotic maybe, but not crazy. But psychotic is a “useless” term, comes from useless people doing a useless profession from a useless educational background.

                      I guess you’re just a nihilist then, but nihilism is a big word made up by people who did too much schooling, so, I feel I should refrain from using it. Once Bart Simpson learned spanish and was told he had learned the wrong language, he needed in fact portuguese. He banged his head several times to forget the useless knowledge. I want to do that too.

                      I feel you should refrain from using words. You’ve registered your wounded ego enough here, don’t you think?

  8. Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Well, but you claim to hold a phd, which was directly or indirectly helped by the government. How do you judge yourself then? Would you torch your education and try your chances without it in industry?

    I suspect your immunizations were also government regulated, so all people vaccinated a kinda evil. So are firemen, which I dislike by definition: fires usually stop burning on their own, supporting these low 5%er bullies is pointless.

    This is a good idea: high school level hospitals, we should start one. I pick anesthesiology.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

      This is evidently beyond your imagination, but I am entirely self-employed in a field which has about as much to do with physics as with knitting.

      I’d love to build nuclear rockets or something instead, but they don’t teach you how to do that in college either.

      Have you never been to Singapore? Check it out. They have many hospitals of this nature. They seem to be just as good as anyplace else for most purposes.

      • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

        I have been to Singapore recently, I have a friend who got a position at NUS.
        I noticed their “western-like” hospitals with surgeons and big diplomas. These artisanal hospitals escaped my attention. But in the Congo I went to a dreaded “witch doctor” for a twisted ankle and he was more useful than a lot of orthopedists I have seen.

        Incidentally, I’ve lived in Germany, am married to a German. I saw a post in which you claim profound knowledge of their culture and nation and there is little to agree with you, besides that the other guy is almost literally “full of it”. And Germany, which you praised, is Government heavy and industry there government-dependent.

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

          Yes, I know people at NUS as well. Singapura nurses and technicians don’t go to school for 6 years the way they decided they needed to do here a few decades ago. Their doctoring certifications are rather less stringent than they are in the US as well, and they’re allowed to compete on levels of service rather than … whatever fucked up thing American insurance companies do to make things as costly as they are.

          I’d address your point about the German article if you had one beyond “neener neener, you’re a weener.”

          • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

            Well, but that is true for medical care in many coutries outside the USA. For example, the US and Canada are the only nations I’ve heard of where you need to get one degree (4 years) then another one. Most countries have a medical program (5 to 6 years) after high-school to form their physicians, which then can pursue a residency program. The drawback is: most these countries have public universities.

            Oh, the German thing hits the core of it all: it’s fun to talk about things we know nothing about. Lack of responsibility is fun and easy, we all love it, which is why ranting is so much fun. But every so often some people will see through the superficiality, get offended and speak up. This all is merely entertainment and of the useless type, for there is no monetary transaction.

      • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

        I believe Drexler is currently self-employed. Plus, he defended his thesis in the Media Lab which is sort of an art institute and self-sustained: receives most money from private industry.
        So are all astrologists and most scam-artists. Firemen on the other hand. We should have watermen too, to fight potential floods.

        We really need more self-employed people we can respect. And to bang our heads to forget that government useless brainwash we got in college. What kind of physics degree doesn’t teach us to build our own nuclear devices?

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

          Well, good for Drexler for being a successful confidence trickster. Should he ever cease attempting to sell his snake-oil to governments and private institutions, I will be happy to cease making fun of his dumb ideas. Much like the entire profession of economics.

          Firemen … I believe they were actually volunteers in a place I used to live. Seemed to work OK.

  9. Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

    nah, this is really about your ego. I’m just killing time.

    • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Obviously, you work for the government or in academia. QED.

      • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

        I told you to begin with: I am pursuing a phd after time in industry (the private type you praised).

        I think you come from a legit point of view, but you let hate and passion dominate your posts and you have a hard time being consistent. It’s unfortunate, because you quickly lose your point.

        Also, you come from academia, so please spare us the hypocrisy. As for time being killed, you keep this blog. QED = useless, you learned that in school.

        • Scott Locklin said, on November 30, 2011 at 10:44 am

          You’ll have to forgive me for not paying much attention to the details of your love letters, or for refraining from engaging you in debate about your poor life choices. All this considered: maybe you’d be better off warehoused in academia.

          As for hypocrisy, well:

          • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

            I forgive you 🙂

            You’re just a misunderstood genius: I am sure one day we’ll come to our sense and build the world around your ideas.

          • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 11:29 am


            As for hypocrisy, well:

            but you have no virtues. It doesn’t apply to you. You just whine about people you hate and slander them.

      • Paulo said, on November 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

        but in all seriousness, wise-cracking and rivalry aside:

        this is a topic that fall under the stuff you like: in the USA, to wear a white coat and tell people that salt is bad it takes 4yrs of college, plus 4yrs of medical school, plus residency….usw usw.
        Most other places manage with 6yrs post high-school. For what seems to be similar outcomes, even better in some other places.

  10. Christopher Watson said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Scott, I like your articles however, some of the recent ones are too “black and white.” For instance, you seem to have a prejudice against ALL Italians and ALL Greeks re: the euro crisis. It seems a little bit racist, truthfully. Nevertheless, may I ask how old you are?

    • Scott Locklin said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

      Um, excuse me? Are you actually telling me, “golly gee gosh darn gee whiz, you write well, but I’d like it if you wrote somewhat differently and more politically correct?” You do realize what my answer to that is going to be, right? Let’s put it another way: I like the ass-kissing part of your comment, but I’d like it a lot better if you were less of a politically correct gelding interested in policing my thoughts and words.

      • Christopher Watson said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

        Actually, I’d hope for a man of your intellect to realize as people we’re all part of this thing called humanity regardless of invisible lines that divide and separate; don’t you get that?

        • Scott Locklin said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

          You’re not getting that I do not care about your opinions about political correctness. At all. I find your attempt at condescension to be both personally insulting and spiritually revolting. It’s a common enough sentiment, and one I reject utterly and for all time. If this is important to you, go read someone else’s blog.

          Take this lesson with you, though: this mealy mouthed, weak-sauce kind of thinking is the reason I need to write about these issues in exactly the way that I do so. Nobody has any god damned sense left, because they’re too worried they might offend somebody.

          • Christopher Watson said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

            ok then, maybe you’ll understand this, faggot — you’re a pussy and i’d like to slap you like the bitch you are. plus you’re like a cancer on this here humanity thing we’re a part of. you need to be eradicated so that we me prosper. EAT SHIT!

            • Scott Locklin said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

              Ah, internet heroes. “we me prosper?” Best of luck on that, you Stalinist dipshit.

            • paulo said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

              He will pretend to actually be tough, and having done “real-world” works that grant him credentials as a “tough guy”, who would likely “kick your ass” on both intellectual and in the event of a “hands-down”.

              You’re pretty much on the spot, but meh, why waste time?

              His replies will be priceless though, watch as he contorts and plays macho with his UC degree and school-boy attitude.

              Also, understand the concept of internet flamers: he is in it for the conflict, some people derive pleasure from online fights, and vomiting polemic through the keyboard guarantees you endless discussions and a chance to fight. If you are looking for that, you found one of many….there are cooler ones than him: he’s yet to become full-blow “some-sort-of-supremacist”, but honesty takes guts he lacks.

        • paulo said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm

          Christopher, this man is not “intelligent”. He write to a far-right wing audience, and hides behind mediocre academic credentials to impress them. It does not go too far beyond that. As he loves to diss critics, he is “vacuous”. Most of that he writes are common-place demagogic diatribes you can find in more honest actual far-right literature and other form of extremists. He has no priorities except to fill his own frustrations, which are mostly related to academic ineptitude (hence the obsession with academia) and deliberate attacks on specific groups: the world is a lot simpler when we divide it up into good and bad guys, just like when we were children. Expect nothing beyond that, except for deceivingly sound moments of reason that cannot last more that two paragraphs.

          It’s hate speech, pure and simple. The “political incorrectness” is coward (not hypocrite) code for hate-mongering. Now he will call me dumb and things of the sort….yeah yeah yeah….

          • Christopher Watson said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm

            I agree; he’s unreasonable. I had to address him in the only way i feel he may understand. He is a gleaming example of what’s wrong with this world. Eat Shit, Scat Locklin

            • paulo said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm

              there you go. “Stalinist dipshit”. He has a high-school history-class level of political understanding sprinkled with good grammar and knowledge of a convoluted field that gains him respect as “smart” from whoever wants to jump into the hate-wagon and agree that the problem in the world is that “tribe A is good, honest and hardworking”, “tribes B and C are lazy, dishonest and will bring A down”. Connect the dots….

              Again: the goal is to generate polemic and flame-wars, he does not believe any of the crap he writes, he seeks “high-impact”, and a flock of retards.

            • paulo said, on December 16, 2011 at 11:20 pm

              Nah, don’t talk to him like that: it’s best to encourage it. It’s free entertainment. Don’t go down, cursing is also a bad idea.

              He might be the next Rush Limbaugh, who knows a Glenn Beck even? But with a nice funky-cross twist to it. Good times, the more the merrier 🙂

              Sit back, relax, and read it: there are others like him, a few more direct and honest, who don’t use this “I am politically incorrect” nonsense.

  11. tertu said, on August 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I dont know how it went from an industry-vs-academia debate to a racist accusation.
    Truth is that the post is brilliant and it mentions some of the main reasons why I left academia and now I am more enthusiastic about my options in industry than in academia, which already proved itself to be intoxicating and in many instances dishonest and perfidious to its workers.

    • Scott Locklin said, on August 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      “How to tell you won an argument with a certain kind of liberal: when they call you a racist.” The death threat was a nice touch too, especially since he did it under his real name.

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