[racket] Mark Tarver is the man!

From: Racket Noob (racketnoob at hotmail.com)
Date: Sun Jan 1 18:14:48 EST 2012

For all you dear academic Racket scribomans, here's a lesson from Mark Tarver, the ingenious inventor of a new lisp-like language, Shen (more on that beautiful language can be found here: http://http://shenlanguage.org). In his article "Why I am Not a Professor", this clever man says the following: "... The mandarins in charge of education decreed that research was to be assessed, and that meant counting things. Quite what things and how wasn't too clear, but the general answer was that the more you wrote, the better you were. So lecturers began scribbling with the frenetic intensity of battery hens on overtime, producing paper after paper, challenging increasingly harassed librarians to find the space for them.  New journals and conferences blossomed and conference hopping became a means to self-promotion. Little matter if your effort was read only by you and your mates. It was there and it counted.   Today this ideology is totally dominant all over the world, including North America.  You can routinely find lecturers with more than a hundred published papers and you marvel at these paradigms of human creativity.  These are people, you think, who are fit to challenge Mozart who wrote a hundred pieces or more of music.  And then you get puzzled that, in this modern world, there should be so many Mozarts - almost one for every department.   The more prosaic truth emerges when you scan the titles of these epics. First, the author rarely appears alone, sharing space with two or three others.  Often the collaborators are Ph.D. students who are routinely doing most of the spade work on some low grant in the hope of climbing the greasy pole. Dividing the number of titles by the author's actual contribution probably reduces those hundred papers to twenty-five. Then looking at the titles themselves, you'll see that many of the titles bear a striking resemblance to each other.  "Adaptive Mesh Analysis" reads one and "An Adaptive Algorithm for Mesh Analysis" reads another. Dividing the total remaining by the average number of repetitions halves the list again. Mozart disappears before your very eyes.  But the last criterion is often the hardest.  Is the paper important?  Is it something people will look back on and say 'That was a landmark'.  Applying this last test requires historical hindsight - not an easy thing.  But when it is applied, very often the list of one hundred papers disappears altogether. Placed under the heat of forensic investigation the list finally evaporates and what you are left with is the empty set." (text above is quoted from this link: http://www.lambdassociates.org/blog/decline.htm)
Reading the above lines, I was very much reminded of the hundreds of PLT academic papers which correspond quite closely with the above Tarver's description. :) What do you say to this, Neil? And the rest of PLT? Please comment (and yes, do not accept Shriram's instruction to ignore me for allegedly trolling)!  
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