Ego wrote:Was it power or freedom that you bought? Did you buy it with money or with redundancy (multiple options)? Did you buy anything at all, did you earn it, did you learn it or did you just become it?
Rather than "money is power" could you say "having redundancy makes me free", with money as a footnote?
I slept on this question because it's such a good one. And I think I stick by my original word choice--money bought me power.
When I say "power" I specifically mean the ability to not be under the power of other people. Thus I now can combat the power others try to have over me with my own power, which I only have now because I have money to leave any work situation I don't like and I don't have to pursue a career to insure I have a place to sleep and food to eat.
So, yes, I also got freedom as well, but I think that freedom was only possible because of the power I have to resist the power of other people (universities, hiring committees, department heads, journal editorial boards).
At least from this perspective, it paints society in a depressing light: social institutions give individuals power to assert control and restrict the freedom of other individuals. This describes colleges to a T (and also reminds me of the "I will downgrade you if you play with your phone in class. I will downgrade you if you miss two days. I will downgrade you if your political opinions differ from my own." warnings that you hear on the first day of class, let alone the nonsense that goes on in research).
@Dragline: The last time I adjuncted was in the late 90s when I was trying to start an academic career. Boy, is it a different feeling now! I imagine I can do this for several years for fun; I'm very curious how the students are going to react to my shockingly honest and anti-academia but pro-knowledge lectures.