Asks Daniel Lattier in "Academics Write Rubbish Nobody Reads." I believe him that few academic articles are read and that they are written for the sake of the writer's resume. But that doesn't make them "rubbish." The process of writing develops the mind, and any given academic with his mind duly developed has a shot at benefiting colleagues and students who never read a word of it. And more importantly, there's something else, something that's the flip side of a negative point Lattier makes.
Ideally, the great academic minds of a society should be put to work for the sake of building up that society and addressing its problems. Instead, most Western academics today are using their intellectual capital to answer questions that nobody’s asking on pages that nobody’s reading.Oh, I don't think we really want to put academics to work building up society and addressing its problems. It might be a very good thing to contain these academic types in a place where they won't do too much damage. It may be that we have marginalized these very intelligent people who live deeply in their own minds and conjure up new ideas because it's best to keep them separated and deactivated.
What a waste.
No one forces anyone to go into academics, and the people who go there may know — on some level — that they don't belong in the world of business and politics, that they shouldn't have their hands directly on any levers of power. The academy is a structural safeguard. We don't lock these people up. We give them a place they can choose to go, where they will be comfortable. Don't worry too much about the waste in not using them more... not until you've calculated the waste they would cause if set free to solve our problems.