It should not come as a surprise that the issues brought up are present in all industries. It is pretty much human nature. I can sit back and pretend that in 20 years I will not act the same, but I am not really convinced that I will not act the same way. It does not make it any more annoying though so I will go ahead and get up on my soap box.
Let us start with the status quo. I have mentioned several times in previous posts how much I hate 'that's the way we've always done it' and any derivatives. Yes, if you have a winning method you should keep it up. No, that does not give you an excuse to give up. It is understandable to not rock the boat when the economy does not support quick changes in employment. The issue I have is when this attitude is then pressed onto students or coworkers just starting out. The top may be comfortable, but the bottom needs to get out on their own. As silly as it sounds, they really do need to spread their wings. They will fail, but they will learn. Using Binford as an example is right on the money. When he started...being him it was a completely different time when people could do that and still have a shot at a career. These days people are very concerned about where their next paycheck is coming from. The people at the top have significant concern because they have more invested in the field. Unfortunately I think this stifles progress. People start saying, "that's not possible", "you can't do that", "what are you trying to do here", "what do you know." I think it also traps people into saying, "Well you aren't <name>." That is true, but how will we ever know. Binford had the outlet. With the number of archaeologists in academia and CRM there is a log jam for publication access. How do we know the next great archaeologist is not out there just hanging out because they were told to maintain the status quo. Luckily social media exists. People can still break the status quo if they want. The trade off is that everything is immediately accessible.
Next I will talk about employment opportunity. It was probably really awesome back in the day when you could just get a tenured professorship. It was probably great that you could just find a CRM job. Note that I have never once had a hard time getting a CRM job. After my BA the new housing market was going crazy and I could afford to turn jobs down. I have used referral ever since, but I am an exception. A massive far right statistical outlier that should be ignored. Most people are still having a problem getting a job. Some of this is their fault for not knowing how to get one, but the market is still slim for CRM. Some companies are rebounding and hiring while others are just hanging on. The flood of degrees coming out of universities is just aggravating the situation. There is far more competition now then there was even 10 years ago. It is a mess that the top does not quite understand.
tl;dr Old people are out of touch.
Now that I think about it I cannot wait to be in the same position.
So yeah, I thought that post was one of the best for the month. Also you should check out this post from the same blog about the ethics of displaying human remains in museums. It is really interesting. For Christmas 2012 my wife and I went to England and Wales. Naturally we went to all the museums we could find and something I was fascinated by was the number of human remains that were on display. I kept whisper yelling to my wife, "How do they get away with this?!"