His inability to get his papers on monetary theory, business cycles and general equilibrium published in academic journals was not just because of the faddishness
and exclusiveness of journal editors.
The academic incentive system is characterized by a publish or perish mentality, by the recognition of originality, by the tendency for research methods to triumph over substance, by the preference for fundamental over applied research, by papers filled with jargon, and by the reinforcement of all of this by academic faddishness
. The incentive system of the policy makers consists in their need to find timely solutions for concrete problems.
"Ca passera comme le cafe," ostensibly a lad, yet the flow implied in that sentence proves to be far more on target than the prediction of faddishness
. When abundant, coffee (standing in part as metonymy for the entire imperial economic system) and coal are the dark fodder that stokes the fires; when scarce or absent, coffee and coal are the marks of the failure of the system.
If they are the American avant-garde it is true, I think, in only this aspect--the unending chum of their tastes, this adult faddishness
in the adolescent style.
Technology has transcended faddishness
, but many critics continue to call it a distraction from the real business of educating children.
The cultural phenomenon of mentoring programs cannot be understood strictly in terms of faddishness
, prestige or economic value.
However, if donors reject faddishness
and if ideas are weeded out based on their merits, new and effective approaches can flourish.
The portentous piffle is at a minimum here, and Berlinski makes a couple of good points--about the faddishness
of later-twentieth-century math, for example.
Similarly, while he rejects the faddishness
of contemporary critical theory--showing the same disdain for "scholar-squirrels" that Gore Vidal, another important and frequent NYRB reviewer, does--in many essays from the 1980s on he deploys the terminology and frame of reference that have become de rigueur in deconstructive circles.
, arrogance, and intellectual cowardice are among the ailments of the American university today, and it is hard to say whether even a great president could save higher education from its now institutionalized vices.
Their failure to do so is a natural reflection of today's urban environment, with its emphasis on faddishness
, stylistic issues, and the celebration of the individual over the family or stable community.
They also see a certain faddishness
at work: "People's awareness seems driven by the topic of the year rather than what would be best for their health or the environment," argued Kristin Ryan, director of environmental health at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.