Where Do We Place Competition?

Academic blogger Z keeps coming out with these insights that are so brilliant they scare me:

After the discussion on competition I realized that the way people get bogged down is that they place competitive projects — getting funded, getting a job, getting a book contract, receiving tenure, getting promoted, winning awards — everything where you compete and are judged or ranked, and win or lose, in their research folder. If you do that, or if you allow teaching related service to crowd your teaching folder, then you are essentially strangling the plant you want to grow. . . This leads us, then, to another of my famous dicta, along the lines of “writing is fun, and publishing is easy” — competition is not part of research, it is part of service.

I always had a vague feeling it was impossible to find any reall joy or motivation in these purely formal things, and now I know why.

The linked post contains a step-by-step plan on how to organize one’s career visually and digitally to prevent service from crowding out everything else.

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