What do we live for?
Academia was, [Graeber] muses, once a haven for oddballs – it was one of the reasons he went into it. “It was a place of refuge. Not any more. Now, if you can’t act a little like a professional executive, you can kiss goodbye to the idea of an academic career.”
Why is that so terrible?
“It means we’re taking a very large percentage of the greatest creative talent in our society and telling them to go to hell … The eccentrics have been drummed out of all institutions.”
A man, a plan, a canal - Panama
What an excellent palindrome.
A scholar, even for the sake of his scholarship, as well as for that of his life, must have other interests. Scholarship which is confined to one rut becomes antiquarianism: it needs a context, and the possibility of comparison, and the invigorating infusion of reality, and life. But then, of course, there is the opposite danger of dilettantism, the occupational hazard of the journalist. I think that one needs to be a disciplined specialist in one area in order to have a corrective standard outside that area—and meanwhile to have interests outside that area in order to preserve one’s balance and keep intellectually alive. — Hugh Trevor-Roper