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06/08/2012

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Jack Gladney

Thank you for this useful reminder, Marcus. Let me add a few comments that are probably all just echoing what you've said.

I've met lots of intelligent people who have trouble with this: just because something is true doesn't mean it's worth dwelling on and talking about over and over. (Yes, I know some people who've been depressed, but I've also read some blogs.)

Sure, the job market destroys souls. Sure, grad school can be hellish. Sure, PFOs are irritating. Etc. Etc. Etc. But the more we reflect on this sort of stuff, the more likely we are to feel awful or powerless or self-hating.

The truth is: it is often unproductive to think about what is true.

If we've chosen to try to break into the academic marketplace, we need to realize that complaining about it -- right now anyway, when we're still struggling to find a place -- is entirely unproductive at best and possibly self-sabotaging, as Marcus notes.

For some of us, negativity becomes this weird comfort -- a consolation for facing a bad situation. This is a mistake. But growing up and putting childish things away, as Americans usually don't get to until their 30s, means dropping this wet blanket. We need to deal with negativity, or it will eat us.

Enter self-help books, long walks on the beach with someone you love, great literature, or religion. Whatever it takes, we all need to keep in the front of our minds truths that will redirect our anxiety and fear and dissatisfaction, so that we can flourish through adversity. Otherwise, we may be wasting our efforts: if success ever comes, we'll be unable to enjoy it because we won't be the sort of people we want to be.

In my view, the Philosophy Smoker discussions are a festering pool of negativity, and I believe that young philosophers should stay away.

Not unrelated to these issues, I suggest taking a read of this fine and brutally honest article:

http://chronicle.com/article/Not-Quite-Bulletproof/132055/?sid=oh&utm_source=oh&utm_medium=en

That is all for now. I probably won't be able to chime in around here much from now on, but I wish everyone the very best!

Kyle Whyte

I agree with the sentiments here. If one has made the choice to enter this job market and line of work, it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a negative, counter-productive attitude. Though, I also feel somewhat uncomfortable saying this because I feel the job market has gotten significantly harder.

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