Imagine that you are a guy living in a hut in Africa or in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan or in a jungle in some part of South America. Your contact with the outside world is minimal, but you are not dead to the lessons you can glean from the world that is available to you for observation. By chance, you happen upon an American on tour in your country. You engage this American in conversation about his occupation and he explains to you that he works for a major state university conducting scientific research. Impressed, you ask the American to explain the nature of his research. How would you react then, when you come to understand that this guy gets paid to investigate earthshattering discoveries like this? Might you not wonder what this American bozo knows about the world that you had not been able to discover by living a life of relative isolation in a hut? You discover that the American has learned how to pull a good scam; that’s what he knows that you don’t. You’re likely to conclude that his ability to scam is the reason that the American is on holiday traipsing about your country and you’re in a hut.
So at what point do bleeding taxpayers and parents forking over exorbitant tuition begin to ask the same questions? If that first story is not enough to inspire the questioning, then take a gander at the other two items from that newsletter: if you’re out of work it’s a good idea to ask your friends if they know about jobs and if you want to change jobs, you should have a plan. This kind of exhaustive research and draining of the mental energies demands a sabbatical, I think--a permanent one.