Yesterday, I ran across this cartoon [Link]
and it gave rise to some cogitation. The cartoon can be taken in two ways. One of them is a temporal analogy of the old “best of all possible worlds” argument. I fear that one flops as badly as the original argument. In fact, it is depressing because it implies that we can’t realize any of our desires and hence should just become hedonists or end things.
And we wonder why things like Sandy Hook occur?
The other taking seems more likely, that graduate shule is a good as it gets. That before you were unpaid and ignorant and now you are paid a bit and less ignorant but lacking all the joys of age (maturity?) and responsibility. I fear this one flops as well. First of all, a bit of responsibility is a good thing. It gives one a sense of satisfaction that is about all one can expect in a society where building things is discouraged, if not forbidden.
But the primary flop is that when I reflect on my life I find that my undergraduate days were much more fun than my graduate days. I was learning a lot and about lots of things. Once in graduate shule I was locked into a trajectory. And while I didn’t get paid anything, excepting scholarship, I wasn’t worried about it. Life was simpler and I could just be a knowledge sponge.
Of course once I started the transition from graduate shule to real work life things got a lot worse. The rate of learning decreased and was polluted by things I didn’t care about but had to learn, life work rules and the like. And I had to get along with people who lacked any redeeming value other than being speed bumps. Of course on the positive side there were folks who were accelerators and even though they were in lower density they made up for the negatives. But the entropy was increased, and the temperature went down.