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Teaching and Research

February 2nd, 2010 No comments

Three kinds of teaching and research involve
1. Theory
2. Information

3. Practice

By Theory I mean ideas and analytic methods. By Information I mean the discovery of new facts and the dissemination of known ones. By Practice I mean application of Theory and Information to particular problems.

What universities are mostly about is Theory, in teaching and research. We also do quite a bit with Information, because sorting out what information matters involves a lot of Theory. We are not good at Practice, and should not try to do much of it, because that is what goes on in the world beyond, and we are not the best at it. We do some consulting, to be sure, and we teach our students some practical skills, but only incidentally. If you want to learn Practice or do it, you ought to be out in the action, not in the Ivory Tower.

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