The absurd assumption underlying publish-or-perish in higher education

That when a man writes a scholarly book that reaches a dozen specialists he adds immeasurably to the world’s knowledge; whereas if he imparts his thoughts and his reading to one hundred and fifty students every year, he is wasting his time and leaving the world in darkness.

One is tempted to ask what blinkered pedant ever launched the notion that students in coming to college secede from the human race and may therefore be safely left out when knowledge is being broadcast.

Jacques Barzun, Teacher in America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1945 – via Orange Crate Art.