This piece about metrics for writers bugged. It bugged me on a visceral level. Maybe it’s because the author writes for Forbes. But what about art? The metrics described seem less about true craft and more about commercialism and well… I respect a certain amount of commercialism, isn’t writing good, worthwhile pieces the goal? Do these sorts of metrics contribute all that much to that goal? I’m not so sure.
The decline of public intellectuals coming from academia and contributing as broadly to the national conversation is not driven by some sort of failure of the academics themselves, but rather by dangerous changes to higher education, where poorly paid and precarious contingent faculty make up the majority of professors. Contingent faculty, let me assure you, are both too busy trying to make ends meet to spend much time contributing to all those wonderful things higher ed used to contribute, as well as suffering from a scarlet letter ‘A’ (for ‘Adjunct’) that biases journals against seriously considering their contributions.