Protected: Disappointing Discussion

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Meeting Woes

I now had to sit through yet another endless meeting where people were wailing and moaning how they shouldn’t be evaluated on research because COVID prevents them from getting published. In the meantime, I have a huge deadline on an article tomorrow, and I’m thinking that the 4 hours we have wasted so far complaining about how hard it is to write could have been used to produce 500 words for an actual article. If you have time and energy for a stupid meeting, why don’t you have any for writing?

Oh, and they shouldn’t be evaluated on teaching and service either because COVID something something. And in any case, they can’t publish and the students write them bad evaluations because of “structural inequities,” so nobody should ever be evaluated again at all. Hours of this, and I’m ready to strangle somebody.

If students give you poor evaluations, it’s because you are a bad teacher. If you can’t publish, it’s because you are a bad scholar. Can someone tell these whiny babies to grow up already?


Andrei Sakharov was a genius nuclear physicist and probably the most famous Soviet dissident of the Brezhnev era. Brezhnev persecuted him in every possible way (without ever causing Sakharov any physical harm, obviously) but he couldn’t get the Soviet Academy of Sciences to expel Sakharov. The voting was secret, and the academics who denounced the dissident publicly knew it was all crap and voted against an expulsion.

Brezhnev demanded that the rules be changed and the voting become open. But academics had to vote to change the rules in a secret ballot. And once again, they voted against.

And here, today, the nuclear physicists, the surgeons, the professors of literature, everybody, they would cast a secret ballot to expel a dissident. Because they actually believe all the garbage that Brezhnev couldn’t make Sakharov believe.

Looking into the stupid, earnest faces of the believers is soul-crushing.