Monday, March 28, 2011

The ridiculousness of modern scholarship

Sometimes I wonder what the point is of doing scholarly research. Because it seems to me that it's become all about trying to prove some outlandish theory in order to make a name for yourself. While it's important to consider new perspectives, scholars these days take it too far. They find the most obscure detail, and then claim that it's proof that the whole field needs to be rewritten.

I realize this is a bit of an exaggeration. There's plenty of good scholarship out there. But the academic community as a whole seems to be approaching learning all wrong. People shouldn't be seeking to learn in order to puff up their own egos. What you learn doesn't have to rewrite history to be of value. I think if more academics realized this they would find that they learn more when they aren't self-aggrandizing.

Well, that's my mini-rant for the day.


P.S. Drak, I find that it's much more effective to have her write a paper examining why she did it, why she shouldn't have done it, and how she should approach a similar situation in the future. It is fun to watch the little ones squirm :P Whether they actually learn something, or just want to avoid the discomfort, it seems to keep them in line.

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