Dear Sirs: Fuck you

Via, this complete gorgeousness.

Second, you seem to think that we might censor a student’s thesis, which is lawful and already in the
public domain, simply because a powerful interest finds it inconvenient. This shows a deep misconception
of what universities are and how we work. Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton,
and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values. Thus even
though the decision to put the thesis online was Omar’s, we have no choice but to back him. That would
hold even if we did not agree with the material! Accordingly I have authorised the thesis to be issued as
a Computer Laboratory Technical Report. This will make it easier for people to find and to cite, and will
ensure that its presence on our web site is permanent.

Read the whole thing but this is close as you will ever come to seeing an academic, in academic language, in an academic manner, simply stating \”fuck you matey\”.

Quite the most gorgeous wondrousness and, dare I but hope, a lesson in style for academics everywhere.

When they be lyin\’, say so. When they be attemptin\’ that oppressin\’, say so.

That is what you be havin\’ that tenure for, after all.

5 thoughts on “Dear Sirs: Fuck you”

  1. Meantime, plenty of people are keen that The University of Cambridge cease being a self-governing communityof scholars, and Oxford too. They’ve probably taken heart from the way that any such self-governing tendency in the other universities has been stamped on.

    Does any of it survive in the ancient Scottish universities, say? For example Edinburgh used to be, in principle, governed by its body of graduates, with its running monitored, after a fashion, by a Rector elected by the student body. Does any of that linger on?

    So full marks to Oxford for getting rid of the recent VC who was keen to corporatise it; but the next slithery creature may be less of an ass and more effective than that fellow.

    Eternal vigilance, boys, eternal vigilance.

  2. British academics don’t have tenure.

    But Ross Anderson is a sound bloke. Bought me a beer in the Eagle in Cambridge after a top-notch crypto lecture.

  3. British academics don’t have tenure

    Not in so many words, but in practice they have something similar. Apply for a lectureship (not having had one before) and if you are offered the job, it will be for a fixed period contract. (How long will depend on various factors, including how good you are at negotiating – usually something between one and five years). At the end of the period of the contract, if you have a good research record you will either be offered another fixed term contract or a job on “continuing appointment”, which in practice means you have tenure and will have the job until retirement unless you do something really unspeakable. If you don’t do a good job, at the end of one of these fixed terms they will fail to renew your contract, which is pretty much what the Americans would refer to as denial of tenure.

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