> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> In my experience
> many in the academy DO feel threatened by, perhaps
> with good reason.

This does not fit my experience. (And one's personal experience, in any
case, is nothing better than anecdotal and doesn't butter many
parsnips.) I knew one sociology professor who never learned to type and
refused to use a computer. I sort of liked him so I refrained from
pointing out that all his failure to learn a manual skill (typing) or
use a computer did was create more work for already over-worked
departmental secretaries.

Those who are finishing grad school now (assuming no military service
but not too fast a pace) were 10 when computers and computer games began
to proliferate. If some older faculty are frightened (and I don't
believe it) soon academics will all be persons who grew up with the new

There is one area where professors _as_ professors (but also journalists
_as_ journalists) do tend to share a serious failure. In their
professional work they can concentrate on the content and form of their
writing, because their audience / readership is a given (even if only
freshman classes and learned journals with a world circulation of 300).
Hence it is extremely difficult to get across to professors and
journalists that in the realm of mass (non-electoral) politics (such as
an anti-war movement) the main problem is not what to say or how to say
it but how to create an audience to listen to it. This knowledge, or
understanding, apparently can only be learned by doing, not by
abstractinstruction. Or at least the only people that I have ever been
able to teach it to are those who in fact already know it and only need
it to be labelled and they immediately grasp it.