Risk Attitudes

Which one is you?

I’m totally A. My sister is totally B. Not surprisingly, she’s an entrepreneur and I’m a tenured academic. I’m risk-averse to an insane degree, which makes me useless for business.

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10 thoughts on “Risk Attitudes”

  1. I’m A as well (and also a tenured academic, funny coincidence…). To the extent that I take “risks”, it’s mostly in my work. I find it exciting to jump into a totally new research area I know nothing about and eventually learn how to swim after some initial flailing.

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  2. B. The reason I don’t like tenured academics is that they are so risk averse. The point of tenure is not your job security, it’s so you can take risks and not just in research field. Read about the history of it and you will see.

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    1. I hope the “you” here is not directed at me because I’m the last person anybody can suspect of supporting the idea of tenure as job security. I think that is evil and I’d destroying higher education.

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      1. You, a general and collective you. I find most faculty do NOT take advantage of the protections of tenure, do NOT act as though academic freedom were real, etc.

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        1. That is very true. Way too many faculty do the bare minimum to squeeze by the tenure requirements and then do nothing else for the rest of their lives. Which undermines the very concept of tenure.

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  3. I’m on the A side of things, but I’ve gotten a little more relaxed about it than I used to be. I’m sure I’ve gone stretches of many years in which I never went below a half a tank of gas. Now I don’t get concerned until it’s around a quarter.

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  4. I tend toward A, especially in terms of travel (where I like to do things like download local bus schedules ahead of going anywhere… even if there’s no real chance of me using the buses….).

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  5. A, and one of the reasons I don’t plan on going into academia is “idk, seems like a risky prospect, not many jobs, all this social justice madness.” Not the only reason, but still: too risk averse for academia.

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