Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Weekday Update

In no particular order, an incomplete list of books I've read in the past months:

1) The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson et. al.
2) The Image and other stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
3) The Magician of Lublin by Isaac Bashevis Singer
4) Love in the Time of Cholera by Marquez
5) Dune by Frank Herbert
6) Maps in a Mirror, by Orson Scott Card
7) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
8) Winning Low-Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones
9) The Unbearable Lightness of Being my Milan Kundera

I recommend all of these, though most are appropriate only for specific audiences.

Some random thoughts on academia, from an aspiring (cough) academic:
1) Academics really don't work hard, unless they choose to, and even the ones that choose to work hard work much less than similarly skilled professionals in the field.
2) That's what's great about academia, and there's nothing wrong with that. Society likes smart people to have a second to think, and (some) smart people care more about that free time than they do about the higher pay in industry.
3) Academic jobs in fields which pay extraordinarily well in industry (law,business, medicine, and once upon a time CS) are really sweet jobs. I may want to do this one day. You get paid a fraction of what your colleagues in industry earn, but three times what your colleagues who teach sociology earn, and you don't really work much harder. The anecdotal evidence I've heard suggests it's easier getting these jobs than other jobs in academia (at least in business). The downside is, well, the money, and grad school.


miriam said...

some people think grad school is an up side...

jacob said...

Grad School is a huge upside!!! BTW, Oren, I work one block north of you. If you want to practice being an academic and valuing free time, take an hour off of work and we can go to lunch.
Interesting irrelevant story about going to lunch with finance people for those who have nothing else to do:
So I am working for a law firm this summer and one of the "perks" of being a summer associate is the 2 (or 3) hour lunch. It may sound great, and it is the first time, but after a while you just dont want to do it anymore. Anyway, this week I went on a lunch with another assocaite and a guy who works in finance (He really isnt just a "guy" ....) and having worked in finance I know the fast paced nature of the workday but nonetheless I thought he would loosen up a little for lunch. Turns out, we had drinks, appetizers, entrees, desserts, more drinks, and alot of talking in between, all in about 45 minutes! He was ordering dessert as I was still finishing my entree. Ad Caan my story.

Anonymous said...

did you ead the little shoemakers that is by far te best book by ISSac bashivis singer