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ZHANG’S BARBELL, OR WHY ONE SHOULD BE AN ACADEMIC LOSER

ZHANG’S BARBELL, OR WHY ONE SHOULD BE AN ACADEMIC LOSER.Yitang Zhang, more than the brilliant and profoundly no-bullshit mathematicial geniuses such as Groethendieck or Pereleman, should be a role model for researchers the exception to my via negativa that focuses solely on inverse role models. While other researchers worked on their “publications”, salary increases, and “H-ratio”, he quietly worked on his problem, getting deeper and deeper, barbelling it with lower employment such as working for a sandwich store or as a math instructor. 22 years after his doctorate, he only had 19 academic citations. He wasn’t a lone genius, rather he had the perfect profile of the academic loser.He vindicates the argument in Antifragile that the success of the country rector in British Science during the 19th Century wasn’t because academia wasn’t as developed as it is today. It is simply because academia has never been the best place for scholarship.http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/05/twin-primes/all/

via ZHANG’S BARBELL, OR WHY ONE SHOULD BE AN… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.

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