Thursday, February 14, 2008


Wow, actually I wanted to write about something entirely different, but since I've recently decided to write less of the usual self-absorbed crap (although this is still my blog) you will now read the following:

I have always had this very naive view on academia (am I still naive if I know that I'm naive?), and this article (wonderfully criticized here and here and here and of course here and here and other places) ... speechless. It's about clothes.

Short summary in my words: Professors have to wear suits, otherwise they're not respected, blah, blah, students don't take them seriously, blah, blah...

My first thought went along Dave Bacon's post: Should I dress down now?!? (As I said, I wear skirts, heels AND mascara)

But seriously: Academia is supposed to be a place of knowledge, freedom of speech, and sans dresscode. The article in question also somehow implies that students pay for a serious lecturer seriously lecturing seriously interesting stuff. Do I need a professor to wear a tie when he explains how a cube slides down an inclined plane to believe him? And would I believe a professor with a tie telling me that it's a yellow god named Gigi that makes string theory work because he sometimes picks on them?
Of course we're taught facts mostly, but even in an undergraduate course you can easily reach the point where things aren't sorted out yet and a professor might state his personal opinion on the matter.
In less mathematical sciences this might always be the case.
So really, I thought studying means being taught the models that work, getting equipped with the tools to verify them myself and enough "knowledge" to decide in what I can believe. And if someone's really really good at all this and his peers think: Oh, that person's really smart and says mostly correct stuff, then that's how you become a professor.
I can't imagine someone saying: Uh, I love that guy's jacket, does anyone know how many papers he's published?

(yours, the nine year old idealistic me)

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