I like this, by Paul Graham, and I especially like, towards the end of this, this:
On the other hand, perhaps the decline in the spirit of free inquiry within universities is as much the symptom of the departure of the independent-minded as the cause. People who would have become professors 50 years ago have other options now. Now they can become quants or start startups. You have to be independent-minded to succeed at either of those. If these people had been professors, they’d have put up a stiffer resistance on behalf of academic freedom. So perhaps the picture of the independent-minded fleeing declining universities is too gloomy. Perhaps the universities are declining because so many have already left.
Got to this via this tweet. Would probably have found my way there anyway, soon enough, because I like Paul Graham’s stuff whenever I have read it. But, thank you to Claire Lehmann anyway.
In countries arriving at modernity, being a teacher is a very desirable job compared to the alternatives. In countries that have arrived at modernity, being a teacher is not so desirable. I believe this is not mentioned enough in modern arguments about education. The thing is, this change, from teaching being very high status, to teaching becoming not so high status, is nobody’s fault, which makes it an unappealing subject for political polemicists. Also, politicians are terrified of saying that teachers are rubbish.
So, as is so often the case, this is a problem that will be quietly solved, not by politicians changing anything, but by mere people, quietly making alternative arrangements.