Learning from our mistakes…

… some people don’t learn from their mistakes…

I know of some philosophy departments that hire the “same” person over and over again.  He’s ABD (all but dissertation) or recently defended.  He has a top-notch pedigree.  He has an interesting research agenda.  He’s from some more exciting place than where he’s applying.  The cycle is predictable.  He’ll move to nowheres-ville, teach and write and go on the market in about 3 or 4 years.  He’s been told that he’s a hot-shot and he should be someplace cooler than where he is now.  If that’s true, he’ll get a job there before he gets tenure in nowheres-ville and go without looking back.  The department does another search and repeats the cycle — as long as the funding for that position holds out.

I also know some men and women who make the same mistake over and over again in love.  Like the philosophy department example they date the same person over and over again.  They eventually have the same results — and repeat the cycle.  They wonder what’s wrong with their partners, when perhaps the question is why they keep dating the same person with a different name?

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