[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Wed Feb 13 07:57:21 UTC 2008

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com :
>I am not sure to which post you refer but if you mean my comment on
>"ewige Studenten" in response to your analysis of the disciplining
>influence of PhD deadlines, I agree that it was not a straightforward

No it wasn't, and it didn't help that you threw in as many sneers and
barbs as you could muster for that diatribe against German
government-funded PhDs. And you didn't address either of my two points:
reputation and time.

For a libertarian, I don't know how you could ignore the importance of
one's reputation. In the sciences, reputation is king. If a PhD advisor
chooses a slacker PhD student, then he/she must answer to that choice to
his own department and superiors, and in the process his/her reputation
is mud. Science research is not usually well-funded, anywhere, and that
advisor just wasted precious money and time.  On the student's side,
he/she has two years to finish that PhD, or three, if he/she applies
formally for an extension. Not only is student's reputation on the line
(because he/she must have a postdoc job lined up when that PhD is
finished), their money is gone on the day after the two or three years.
If he or she is in Germany on a student visa, that means that they must
leave the country, the day that PhD contract no longer applies, too. I
suggest you ask the people you know who have Physics PhDs if three years
is enough time for the research, writing, defense of a good Physics
PhD project and  for finding a postdoc position. No 50,000 dollar debt
is needed  to 'focus' these people.


P.S. The Physics PhD Universitaet Heidelberg students wouldn't relax on
the Haupstrasse, provided that they could find a free-time lunch period,
because there are too many tourists, such as yourself there. They would
be eating their lunch on the Neckarwiese, instead.


Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

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