Read this today and can’t say I’m that surprised. It’s an article that’s pretty much circulated and discussed on an annual basis for the past few years.
For me, I am reminded, when reading this, of the Uncanny Valley – the concept that robots repulse us the closer they get to approximating human attributes (think Tom Hanks in Polar Express or Jeff Bridges in the new Tron). Though there is a larger argument about the capitalist underpinnings of the academy, I find it interesting how there is a building mass of individuals approaching professorship, despite the steep drop-off in terms of job opportunities. The analogy falls apart under scrutiny, but in general, it feels like becoming a professor–like being human–is the pinnacle to which grad students are reaching. However, the closer they get to finishing, the more repulsive the environment actually becomes: few jobs and underpaid temporary positions.