[Taxacom] A good year indeed!

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Thu Nov 13 15:35:42 CST 2014


As long as we don't forget about genetic drift, then there is a kernel of
truth to what Mike says.  And, unfortunately, there are often instances in
which those who survive (get hired, "earn" tenure), do so by virtue of
politics and personalities.  I have seen several such cases and colleagues
have told me about others.  It's the nature of the beast, and all any of us
can do is try our best to ensure that those selected and retained
have succeeded by virtue of the quality of their work.

Cheers,

Dick J

On Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
wrote:

> Who has the right to decide what is or isn't "good enough" or "best
> enough"? If those who end up with the jobs are by definition the "best
> enough", then it is meaningless circularity ...
>
>
> --------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 14/11/14, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:
>
>  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] A good year indeed!
>  To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>  Received: Friday, 14 November, 2014, 8:32 AM
>
>  Jason,
>
>  On further reflection, I may
>  see where you misunderstood.  Social
>  Darwinism is the idea of the survival of the
>  fittest.  It is absolute,
>  and the social
>  losers lose because of a fault of their own.
>
>  This has nothing to do with my
>  comments. It is more the "survival of the
>  fit enough."  Do not look at it from the
>  individual side, where the
>  underemployed in
>  our science cannot be said to be deficient, but from
>  the health of the science, where those who
>  "win" a job are as an
>  aggregate,
>  a highly selected pool of excellence.  This makes things
>  grim
>  for any individual, as the
>  "best" might never get a job, but the "best
>
>  enough" does.  However, I am talking
>  about the future of insect
>  systematics, and
>  it is looking solid.  Many jobs this year, and a large
>  pool of excellence.
>
>  Mike
>
>  On
>  11/13/2014 1:00 PM, JF Mate wrote:
>  >>
>  As in all human enterprises, the laws of Malthus apply to
>  our science.Our "reproductive capacity" is far
>  higher than the carrying capacity of our institutions. There
>  will always be a larger supply of propagules than can
>  survive (i.e. be provided academic jobs), and selection will
>  take the best and discard the others, often a majority. Some
>  cohorts will have very strong selection, so that a tiny
>  percentage make it through, and at other times selection
>  will be relaxed, and a larger percentage will make it. Of
>  course, this means that sometimes very excellent propagules
>  will be discarded in lean times, and less excellent ones
>  will make it through in fat times. However, the academic
>  reproductive rate will always provide a diverse pool with
>  different attributes and abilities, so that the overall
>  resulting set will be maximally beneficial to the future.
>  > Mike, you are flogging a dead horse with a
>  new stick. Do you think it
>  > wise to
>  appeal to social darwinism to support your own personal
>  > opinion?
>  >
>  > Best
>  >
>  > Jason
>  >
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>  >
>  > Celebrating 27 years
>  of Taxacom in 2014.
>
>  --
>  __________________________________________________
>
>  Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D.,
>  F.R.E.S.
>
>  Montana Entomology
>  Collection
>  Marsh Labs, Room 50
>  1911 West Lincoln Street
>  NW
>  corner of Lincoln and S.19th
>  Montana State
>  University
>  Bozeman, MT 59717
>  USA
>
>  (406)
>  994-4610 (voice)
>  (406) 994-6029 (FAX)
>  mivie at montana.edu
>
>  _______________________________________________
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>  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be
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>
>  Celebrating 27 years of
>  Taxacom in 2014.
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
> Celebrating 27 years of Taxacom in 2014.
>



-- 
Richard Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556



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