Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Industry re Academia

Back at home with the Barenboim Bruckner's 4th playing away (a Christmas present) while I boil up the remnants of everything for the traditional bean soup that will feed us for the next two days.

I have gone back to Colin Campbell's book "The Coming Oil Crisis" since it is a bit disappointing to find that most of the recent texts gloss over much of the technical detail that will help pinpoint when Peak Oil actually arrives. I was struck by the passage

"Objectivity is however now the difficulty. In corporate bureaucracies they no longer consult specialists, but hold committees, often of people having no particlular insight on the subject. The quest is for consensus, the hallmark of a committee, giving a politically acceptable answer."
This seems to describe a very common academic practice, where quite often it is considered better that an opinion or a choice be made by creating a broad-based committee, rather than, even where the campus has recognized experts in the area in question, bothering to go and ask their opinion. This has been, from my experience, most true with engineering and building decisions, but I suspect is very general.

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