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10904839 No.10904839 [Reply] [Original] [archived.moe]

Universities are broken. The number of administrators keeps rising, while the number of professors and professor compensation stagnates. But what is happening inside universities? Those overpaid administrators, to evaluate the highly educated professors, pay attention to only one number: # of publications.

What does this mean? That your shitty study with fake numbers that you managed to squeeze inside a "high impact" journal is worth as much as a theory-building breakthrough that will change the world forever. I will challenge any of you to look at any set of even decades-old papers and see how many of them actually had any impact or are even from lines of research that are continued to this day!

What does this mean? That universities select for mediocrity. Who can crank out as many garbage papers as possible, not who can make the breakthrough. And the researcher must keep doing this unless they want to lose their job. A famous example is how Andrew Wiles would dedicate only the latest hours in the night to Fermat's last theorem because if he actually spent a decade not publishing anything, he would be out in no time. Even if he was closing in one of the most important results in algebraic number theory ever.

Consider now a new class of researcher. The "academic-practitioner". This is a highly educated individual who actually practices a profession that compensates him proportionally to the measure of his education (finance, management), but who (like Wiles) dedicates some time every night to actually important problems. Imagine yourself! By day you are a prestigious, important person, making decisions that will steer huge corporations and millions, even billions of dollars. By night you enjoy the privilege of wealth by sitting down and contemplating, like the lawyer Leibnitz who'd practice the beauty of mathematics in his spare time and then, just like that, discovered Calculus. Who do you want to be?

>> No.10904840

tl;dr

>> No.10904850

>>10904840
If you need a tl;dr this thread is clearly beyond your level. This is a post for PhD's and future PhD's.

>> No.10904901

>>10904839
At the beginning of my phd I used to stress about impact a lot. A few months in we had orientation and I don't go to a big university so of course it was a fucking joke. They just told everyone to show up at least 8 hours a day and try to maintain a good relationship with our PI. I left thinking that's the fucking bar we're setting?

I've unironically resigned to the only point to keep going is to carry the torch through until a better generation is able to take control of this shitty system we've established. I gave up bitching about impact factor inflation and the kind of shit publishers will let big names get away with because they're big names. It sucks but I am unable to propose anything better. The only other thing I have to add is the only place worth being is a place where people haven't found a way to make money yet, and I think being in that place, that's what has stagnated. Bloated organizations are the only things that can support researchers because all the low hanging fruit has been picked off by a previous generation and we're left to try and get people to give us money for lasers, spectroscopes, restriction enzymes and shitty contaminated reagents, but the people dishing the money out hardly care what any of that shit is

>> No.10904915

this problem is due to foreigners who will publish anything they can, because they're cheats.

>> No.10904930

>>10904839
>I will challenge any of you to look at any set of even decades-old papers and see how many of them actually had any impact or are even from lines of research that are continued to this day!

this does not matter to someone who's just trying to get a greencard

>> No.10904933

>>10904839
>What does this mean? That universities select for mediocrity.

it means that they select for shameless self promoters, mediocre or otherwise

>> No.10904940

>>10904840
Chads go for business degrees. Nerds go for STEM degrees. The world hasn't changed much since elementary school.

>> No.10904941
File: 43 KB, 481x720, d802b2ea19942090b5ccb55bc29c9ff1.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
10904941

>>10904901
>They just told everyone to show up at least 8 hours a day and try to maintain a good relationship with our PI
this sounds so nice and comfy

>> No.10904969

>>10904901
>I've unironically resigned to the only point to keep going is to carry the torch through until a better generation is able to take control of this shitty system we've established
I think you're pretty naive to think that a generational shift is going to change anything. Overzealous administrators have infiltrated the university and are actively trying to convert it into the research arm of the federal government. They legitimately think top down control is an effective way to manage scientists that can run intellectual circles around them. We need to figure out how to eliminate them from universities, and fast. Though I am curious. If we could have some sort of collective action across our generation once we are in control what would you think we should do?

>>10904839
The other anon is right, all the low hanging fruit has been picked. You're not going to make historic progress working alone at night for a few hours. If you want to give up on your science and be a manager that's fine. Just go manage other scientists and encourage them to do something other than pump out papers. Honestly, its a sacrifice more of us should make.

>> No.10904974

>>10904969
>all the low hanging fruit has been picked
Everyone, witness the mind of the virgin academic. For him, the idea of doing research immediately conjures in his brain an image of picking the low hanging fruit. This is despite quoting two examples of the exact opposite (Wiles, Leibnitz).

It's sad that universities are mass-producing people with the same mental disability of this anon. It's almost by design. But if you need clarification. The entire point of doing this is so that you DON'T need to pick low hanging fruit. You can support yourself economically in an important position while simultaneously spending years, maybe decades, working on that problem that truly motivates you. And then let the results speak for themselves. If you succeed, you'll write your name in history. If you fail, instead of leaving a trail of mediocre publications and student who hate you, at least you left the legacy of wealth and prosperity, which is more than most will ever get. But no, I guess some people are more inspired by picking the low hanging fruit. Go pick the cotton, I say.

>> No.10905001

>>10904974
way to completely misconstrue the relevance of low hanging fruit. Science is diminishing returns. The fact that wiles and leibnitz could do what they did is low hanging fruit, you think the world gave a shit who leibnitz was, that he was inherently special? The phenomena exist before they are observed, and people will look in the obvious places first. How does the scientific community move forward? It's persisted on the kind of elitism you use in your post, that science is honorable and that if you just do your thesis hard enough you'll strike gold. A breakthrough is now bigger than a phd thesis, have you seen how many authors are on a science paper? How many fucking post docs does john rogers have now? Anyone with 90th percentile h index run a lab with less than 40 people? I'd be interested to see.

>> No.10905029

>>10904974
>he didn't figure out calculus on his own
yeah I would qualify most of what Leibniz (there's no "t" in his name btw) discovered as low hanging fruit considering I figured it out in middle school

>> No.10905038

>>10905029
you knew how to calculate the area under a curve when you where 12?

>> No.10905039

>>10904839

>business
>high skill

Business is what black people with drug dealer fathers study.

>> No.10905041

I'm fortunate enough to be in a lab with PI that focuses on direct economic impact of our research. Last year we had a meeting and tour with a commercial partner, we listened to their need, made a solution and low and behold the universe research foundation just filed a patent and will push for commercialization. Whether it gets commercialized and any of us make any money of it, who fucking knows.

>mathfags, physishits, and biofags who study faggot flies on suicide watch

>> No.10905043
File: 126 KB, 1131x622, 1560578891066.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
10905043

>>10905038
>He never learned the horseshoe method

>> No.10905045

>>10905038

approximating the area with boxes is fairly obvious, as is the fact that smaller boxes will yield a more fine-grained approximation

>> No.10905051

>>10905041
What field do you work in? Computer science? Do you have any advice about steering your career towards routes like this?

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