The Other One Per Cent

Over the past year, there's been a minor rage storm on the internet (and oh yeah, in print, I guess) about the widening gulf between academic haves and have-nots. One theme that's come up over and over again is the unexamined privilege of the tenured few who run academia (see for example this post, and more importantly this follow-up).

I'm on the side of the ragers, but I think many of them don't realize that they're part of a different "one per cent" when it comes to information. I no longer have an academic position, so I can't (legally) access a lot of the research literature on cancer, dementia, heart disease, or less important topics like how to teach programming. What I can get costs me more: more time searching, more sweat cross-referencing things because I'm shut out of systems that could do it with a single click, and so on. It's a less important axis of inequality than income and power, but it directly affects many more people, and if the first is unjust, then so is the second.

comments powered by Disqus