Saturday, January 03, 2009

Of vicious academic debates and low stakes ...

The interesting thing ... about this particular academic feud, however, is that for all its viciousness, the stakes really aren't low at all.

Commenting on an academic debate between Nassim Nicholas Taleb and economics Nobel winner Robert Merton, Felix Salmon sneaks in this gem, a wonderful variation on one of the best known academic quotes: "Academic politics is so bitter because the stakes are so low."


  1. Anonymous said...

    My entry for the academic quote contest:

    The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds it’s spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain any more so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure.

    Daniel C. Dennett

    — Consciousness Explained, 1991

  2. Pipa said...

    as a hard-working journalist I really dislike the damning praise!