Thursday, May 20, 2004


Stephen Karlson has been writing a lot about the absurdities of academic life lately and Anthropology & Economics has taken up his question about why people do "useless" social science and humanities courses at universities -- and why they do Ph.D.s in particular. I actually think that most (say 95%) of the social science and humanities Ph.D. candidates have no choice. They are psychologically unfit for the real world or a real academic discipline and their "studies" are just a sort of sheltered workshop for them -- which is why they often take a long time to get the degrees concerned and which is why they rely a lot on post-doc programs after that. And it sure beats driving a cab. As I myself have done both (driven a cab and gotten a social science Ph.D.) I guess I know a little about it all. I myself did well in both academe and in business but that seems to be extremely rare. Most social science and humanities academics would not last 5 minutes in business.

And I notice that Marginal Revolution takes seriously the claim by Anthropology & Economics to the effect that anthropology and economics are just two different ways of looking at human values. I taught for 12 years in a university Department of Sociology & Anthropology and I have also taught economics so maybe I know a bit about that too. From my observations, both Sociology and Anthropology are 95% Marxist claptrap -- in no way comparable with economics. Margaret Mead, the lying Leftist propagandist, was not so much an exception in Anthropology as the rule. It has also recently come to light that modern anthropology actually started out on the basis of deliberately fraudulent work designed to prop up Leftist beliefs. Franz Boas was the fraudster concerned. See also here


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