[Air-l] Dear Dr. Aristotle

Heidelberg, Chris Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov
Wed Sep 13 14:17:42 PDT 2006

Hey I'm not here to defend the what you regard as indefensible, I have
the same interests as most of us: information sharing and networking.
Reid is a big boy, and he can take care of himself. Having said that I
think you should look at some of his serious work. It is truly
compelling and it speaks to the information society in terms of how we
are educating students based on a manufacturing and agrarian based model
that is designed to educate the average student. He advocates utilizing
technology as do others (McCombs, 1997) to modify curricula and classes
so that they are more tailored with individuals. If we are truly
interested in leaving no person behind (its coming to higher ed unless
there are political changes), we must be mindful of the influence of
private industry on the Academy. I am very concerned with credentialism,
commidification and academic stubborness as well. Most of us probably
know this already but higher education in the United States, especially,
is three-fold alliance between the US civilian and military government,
corporate america and its non-profit satellites (NGO's, foundations
etc.) and the research universities. These three entities became united
at the hip once Einstein wrote his letter to Franklin Roosevelt after
conferring with European colleagues of the dangers of the Germans
obtaining the power of the atom (Carroll, 2006). After Fermi and his
research group at the University of Chicago produced the first atomic
chain reaction, the research was funded by the government and moved to
New Mexico and the Manhatten project was born with a military head and
an academic head. Private industry (GM, Ford etc) began building and
distributing the war machine that eventually developed into the military
industrial complex (Carroll, 2006). The Cold War, the Space Race, Star
Wars and the smart weapons all resulted from this trinity and the
technology was simply transferred for civilian use later. This same
mindset is the root cause of commidification and credentialism because
corporate america and government agencies need smart people with the
right credentials and pedigree to run their organizations and create
innovate processees and products. The challenge that academia faces is
this: should they create their own products and patents and share them
with the world at reasonable prices or should they bow to corporate
america and the government. My view is that academia should be shaping
the minds and setting the agenda, so that they are a reasonable
counter-balance to corporate greed and government encroachment on civil
liberties. We have to develop thinkers and doers who are not married to
the status quo.

Getting back to  

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Darren Purcell
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 4:48 PM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-l] Dear Dr. Aristotle

I wish to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The posting is a
humorous contribution to a thread that Jeremy brought up.

I also find it relevant as I am thinking about the information society,
credentialism and the whole of the commodification of degree programs
and their output. I think most disciplines are slow to respond to shifts
in markets for doctorate, in and out of academia, and much of this
reflects shifts in university roles vis-a-vis an information society.


Jennifer Stromer-Galley wrote:

>I just wish to point out that this new thread is entirely off the topic

>of discussion concerning the Internet, which is the global topic of 
>this email list (at least the last time I checked).
>Dr. Cornwell, I understand your hostility towards academia. My father 
>shares it, and we haven't spoken since I got a job as an Assistant 
>Professor. But, that's beside the point. This is an email list about 
>internet research, and I hope we can keep the conversation there.
>Best wishes,
>~Jenny Stromer-Galley
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org 
>>[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Dr. W.
>>Reid Cornwell
>>Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 3:05 PM
>>To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
>>Subject: [Air-l] Dear Dr. Aristotle
>>Dr. Socrates P. Aristotle
>>Stellar University
>>Dear Dr. Aristotle,
>>I am applying for a position at your University. I believe that over 
>>the years I have acquired some knowledge that could be useful to your 
>>students. I would like the opportunity to teach and share this with 
>>Let me tell you about myself.
>>I dropped out of formal education at 13. I took an apprenticeship in a

>>local book bindery where I took the opportunity to read most of the 
>>books in our shop.
>>After 7 years I applied for a position as a lab technician for a 
>>notable scientist. I was rejected. I attended one of his lectures and 
>>took notes. I then sent those to him and was hired.
>>I served this scientist for many years and on occasion acted as his 
>>valet. Although he was condescending and haughty, I learned from him. 
>>I might add that during my association with him I was able to do some 
>>of my own investigations and was lucky enough to discover some basic 
>>principles in electro-magnetism.
>>My work has been received well, but I have not had the opportunity to 
>>formally teach.
>>Which brings me to the original purpose of this communication, you 
>>have advertised a position teaching in the Physics department. I 
>>believe I can do this with distinction.
>>May I have an interview?
>>Michael Faraday
>>PS I have several publications. Please feel free to review them.
>>Could this person get hired in any University in the United States?
>>Dr. W. Reid Cornwell
>>The Center For Internet Research
>>P.O. Box 6369
>>Breckenridge, CO
>>720.212.0719 (phone)
>>970.485.5109 (mobile)
>>wrc at tcfir.org
>>The air-l at listserv.aoir.org mailing list is provided by the 
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