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August 27th, 2012, 16:29
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I have certain skills, knowledge, and training that aren't widely available that make me better suited to certain tasks than others, but simply having lambskins and trophies on the wall doesn't give me some magical elevation in stature, supposedly allowing me to dismiss the opinions of others simply because I know better.
You can get a good grasp about where people come from based on how they put forth arguments. The non-academic culture is often based on achievements, titles and heroes. So you see arguments like "scientists agree" or "professor X claims that…" The non-academic culture also projects itself on the academic culture, believing that someone who have a certain title or level of education tap themselves on the back and use this to glorify themselves. Also it all seems to boiled down to people with achievements have "opinions" and all opinions are equal and should be respected.

Academic culture is based on ideas, theories or data so you see arguments like "experiments show that…" or "the theory of electricity can be summarized as". Since people refer to objective data rather than subjective opinions there's never an argument about who's opinion matters, there's only data and interpretions. If I ever refer to something that I studied it's part of being an educator. I wish to increase general awareness and share what I learned which is why I often lecture people on what I know. But you never see me point at titles or achievements.

The irony is that it's you who use the term "ivory tower" whenever you can and following how you present yourself you are definitely presenting people rather than data.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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