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Letters From: "Luke O'Sullivan"

Re: Compulsory Windows: for Macs, and people without PCs?

I like you. I really do. But when I read shit like: '200 hours per annum tallies up as five weeks work a year for normal people and ten for university lecturers', even when written in jest, I get very cross. Why? Because I am one of those lecturers, and the idea that I sit around on my butt only doing half the work 'normal' (and that would be you, would it, dickhead?) people manage is extremely offensive. Let me clue up those of you stuck in geekland on the facts of life for us supposed slackers in our ivory towers. I have a PhD and five years experience as an academic in the humanities. I teach up to five hours a week, unpaid, even though I am supposed to be research staff. By the time I've finished seeing students, marking their work, preparing classes, doing the admin etc. etc. that more than doubles. I then have to do the job I'm supposed to do eight hours a day, plus try and keep my own publication stream alive, in my own time I might add, and that means weekends. And I do all this for less than they pay a fucking tube driver. No disrespect to the men and women who keep London Underground moving, but it didn't take them seven years to get the qualifications necessary to send that tin tube down that tunnel, now did it? I thought The Reg was in favour of education; well let me tell you this, if you keep perpetuating such attitudes, you'll have no universities left to teach you so that you can get your little degrees (and I bet you do all have degrees, don't you?) to qualify yourselves to go off and publish crap like that on the web. After twenty years of chronic underfunding, begun by that philistine Thatcher and continued by our supposedly education loving nitwit Blair, the universities in this country are collapsing around our ears. My own college, UCL, is 8m in the red, and our position is probably rosier than a lot of other institutions. Mark my words, in the next few years you are going to see the sorry sight of universities in this country, particularly the newer ones, closing down, because they can't reconcile the contradictory imperatives of chronic underfunding and the ideological diktat to continually increase student numbers. You, however, are proof that not everyone is in a position to benefit from higher education. In fact, your casual prejudice makes me sad, not angry. Crawl back under your rock before you perpetuate any more damaging myths.

Lots of love,

Dr. Luke O'Sullivan

[All Flames of the Week are unedited.]

Coming up later today in our postbag… the definition of a "Capellas"… sotto voce advice on very quiet computers… and how Real Names screwed you. Please stay tuned. ®

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