"Getting off the tenure track only makes sense if you are able to switch to some other track."  And doing so might be good for your health.  Now comes 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School, after a long hiatus, with "Academics are Unhappy."  There's more to it, dear reader, than the wicked unfavorable odds new Ph.D.s, particularly in the evergreen disciplines have been facing in the recent job markets.  The article points to years of "academic novels" (put a few particularly toxic English professors in the same department for years, with some bed-hopping, and the plots follow as a matter of course) suggesting that the unhappiness is nothing new.  In the comments comes this.
One thing I noticed about academics is that most don't have a life outside of academia. They don't have hobbies and they're not members of any non-academic clubs or organizations. They also have an extremely hard time separating their work life from their personal life.
Part of that might be that it helps to be more than a little bit obsessive in order to get the good research done, but I've encountered more than a few economists who are good chess players or sailors or otherwise able to get outside the hothouses.  But economists might be better adjusted to the rhythms of ordinary life than the practitioners of other disciplines.

Oh, and the intermittent publication on Cold Spring Shops?  Working on the railroad.  That's less depressing than documenting the world going to hell.

No comments: