Worth Reading - 4/17

Millennials are obsessed with entrepreneurship. A study by Young Invincibles, a national organization working to engage young adults in public policy, found that 54 percent of U.S. millennials either want to start a business or have already started one. Entrepreneurship promises autonomy, creativity, innovation, and artistic expression. These are the things that make millennials tick.

Millennial fixation with entrepreneurship may have risen out of necessity; today’s job market isn’t as strong as it was a decade ago. Economic prospects are particularly daunting for recent college graduates.

In an era of #selfies, ego matters, too. But whatever their motivations, millennials are creating charitable giving apps, extracting honey from rooftop beehives, and pickling vegetables. Millennials are no longer fighting capitalism, but transforming it. Capitalism, it seems, is redeemable.

2. The average readership for an academic paper is tiny, which means that many intelligent people in higher education are failing to influence public discussions because no one is reading what they write:

MANY of the world’s most talented thinkers may be university professors, but sadly most of them are not shaping today’s public debates or influencing policies.

Indeed, scholars often frown upon publishing in the popular media. “Running an opinion editorial to share my views with the public? Sounds like activism to me,” a professor recently noted at a conference, hosted by the University of Oxford.

The absence of professors from shaping public debates and policies seems to have exacerbated in recent years, particularly in social sciences.

In the 1930s and 1940s, 20 per cent of articles in the prestigious The American Political Science Review focused on policy recommendations. At the last count, the share was down to a meagre 0.3 per cent.

Even debates among scholars do not seem to function properly. Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within scientific communities - 82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences.

3. A conversation about faith, work, and the Christian life between a Seminary President and a Facilities Worker:

There are only two people with permanent, personally designated parking spots on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As you would expect, one is for the president, Dr. Danny Akin.

The other spot is for Mr. Eugene Smith, the 88 year-old man who works for facilities.

Mr. Eugene, as he is affectionately known, has been working at Southeastern for more than thirty-five years. He started working for the school about the age many people are thinking of early retirement, but he doesn’t really know what retirement is.

4. Be nerdy and watch this video on how aluminum cans are made: