QOTD: “the professional conservatism of professors” …

I bought the much-noticed The marketplace of ideas: reform and resistance in the American university by Louis Menand in our very congenial local Border’s this morning. I will have to stop going in there to buy the paper 😉 Thanks to Google Book Search, here is a quote from page 15. What can he mean?
Incidentally, I noticed that Border’s were promoting the Sony Reader. I wonder are they making way for the Kobo Reader, soon to appear (see this NYT piece from the end of last year on Border’s and Kobo).

2 thoughts on “QOTD: “the professional conservatism of professors” …”

  1. This prompted me to go find the Microcosmographia Academica at Internet Archive. There’s a lot there might be applied to idealistic institutions of our day: e.g. “…has it occurred to you that nothing is ever done until everyone is convinced that it ought to be done, and has been convinced for so long that it is now time to do something else?”

  2. This reminds me of the anecdote about Luis de Leon (though it’s probably one of those ‘migratory’ anecdotes about an incident that never occurred in the life of various famous people):
    He’s arrested while giving a lecture (at the University of Salamanca) by officers of the Inquisition, and is kept in jail for about five years. He starts his first post-imprisonment lecture by saying: “Dicebamus hesterna die …” or “As I was saying …”
    Joking apart (and no reflection on Luis de Leon who no doubt did a lot more thinking than I’ll ever do), you’d like to think that a professor would do so much thinking during his incarceration that he would revise what he had been going to say five years before.

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