[ExI] Natasha's brand new doctorate

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jul 14 00:24:20 UTC 2012



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Stefano Vaj


>>.Natasha flew to England to defend her dissertation last week. 


>.I love such anglo-saxon archaisms, in Italy we merely *present* them, but
this sounds much more, well, doctoral. :-) -- Stefano Vaj



I disagree so much Stefano.  The more active verb "defend" is the right
word, for it is much more wonderfully descriptive of the exhausting and
rigorous process of getting the highly esteemed doctoral degree.  There is
nothing passive about that course of study.  Over the years, requirement
inflation has caused students to take longer and longer to achieve that


Stanford for one of many such examples, has created a de facto coalition
with the defense industry for voluntary slave labor reseachers from among
the talented graduate students, in an arrangement that is clearly beneficial
to Stanford and the biz, and arguably the student.  Arrangements are made
for a pittance of a stipend, sufficient for survival but not for living in
luxury.  Plenty of graduate students find they rather enjoy the intellectual
stimulation and (ahem) *scenery* of campus life, and cheerfully accept the
lifestyle restrictions, sometimes taking nearly a decade to finish the
doctoral degree, displaying no great urgency to graduate.


Still, when that time eventually arrives to defend that dissertation, the
battle can be understandably fierce.  The number of PhDs awarded is
necessarily kept low, and only the good ones will do.



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