This useless, piece of shit paper

I have only myself to blame, of course. Because my major (economics) falls under the supervision of the social sciences department at my university, rather than the business school, I made the rather stupid assumption that I had to take the (required) advanced writing class for social sciences, rather than for business.

I cannot begin to describe how utterly useless this course is to myself and my career goals.

To compound the obnoxiousness of writing about cultural rituals and 9-11 from the perspective of my major (economics, remember?) :rolleyes:, the professor insists that our 7 and 12 page papers cite a minimum of 5 “academic” sources.

Ah, here’s the rub: 9-11 is too recent. No respectable economist will have published any articles on the economic effects of September 11th, as it is too recent to know the true effects. Any articles which would have been published would not be in an “academic” source, but in more pedestrian publications.

So, here I am, forced to bullshit my way through this paper by changing the topic from a retelling of the 9-11 story, to a debunking of the theory that 9-11 is the cause of massive failures in the airline industry. It was the only thing I could think of which would involve the use of academic sources, as I could discuss oil shocks and airline deregulation.

But what a pain in the ass! I’m fucking sick of this bullshit paper. I’m especially tired of writing about the crap the professor comes up with, which can be easily adapted to the other students’ majors, but requires me to really stretch to discuss from an economic perspective.

Yep, really sick of writing this piece of shit. Too bad the rough draft is due tomorrow.

Take heart! If your prof is one of the lazy that read only the first and last pages, you’ve already written 297 words of random filler to stick in between. :smiley:

I feel your pain and you have my sympathy! I’m writing a paper too at the moment (Well, that and posting on SDMB)

You’re lucky. You should try finishing a course in literary criticism some time. Now that’s a pointless exercise.

Jesus, i knew that some economists constituted a fairly unimaginative bunch, but your self-pitying drivel really takes the cake. It really demonstrates a complete lack of initiative, as well as a lack of willingness to address the topic from a broader theoretical economic perspective.

While you might be correct that few (if any) academic articles will have appeared specifically discussing the economic effects of 9/11, surely you can analyze the post-9/11 situation in the broader context of the economic effects of natural and man-made disasters.

I’d be willing to bet that there have been plenty of academic economic analyses of the economic impact of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. And i also believe that you’ll be able to find stuff on the economic consequences of low-intensity warfare, terrorism, etc. Hell, there are probably dozens of Israeli economists, for example, who have written about the economic impact of the Israel/Palestine conflict. There have probably also been studies of the economic effects of terrorism in places like Northern Ireland and Spain’s Basque region, to name just two examples.

This will give you your academic sources. Find stuff like this, and then use it as a basis for analyzing the post-9/11 situation. And just because economists may not yet have had time to get out academic journal articles, it doesn’t mean that economists have had nothing to say on the economic impact of the attacks. Economists from the New York Times to the Cato Institute, from the Wall Street Journal to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers have all weighed in on the issue, and if you can’t find this stuff, you’re not even trying.

If you had even more imagination, you could even stretch your topic to look at global economic issues. For example, what impact, if any, has 9/11 had on global financial networks with links to Middle East countries? Have the attempts to freeze the assets of terrorist-related networks had any broader economic effects. And, given that the Bush administration used 9/11 as part of its excuse to invade Iraq, what economic consequences is this invasion likely to have for the US and the world?

There are even issues of debt maintenance here, with some economists calling for all Iraqi debt contracted under Saddam Hussein to be forgiven, on the grounds that the Iraqi people should not be responsible for the debt run up by a dictator. This leads to the broader question of debt forgiveness in the third world, and who should and should not be responsible for repayment of dictator-incurred debts to first world governments and banks.

I realize that some of these issues are rather tangential to the question of the economic impact of 9/11, but i still think that there are plenty of interesting and viable topics suggested by the project. If you think you’re going to spend your whole working life doing only the stuff that you think is interesting and relevant, i suggest you might be in for something of a surprise. I mean, how dare that professor ask you to stretch yourself a bit in order to come up with an intelligent discussion that relates your discipline to the broader world?

Personally, i think we need more economists who are willing to engage with ideas and issues that fall outside the strict boundaries of economics. There was a time, remember, when political economists–as they were then called–actually believed that they had a duty to address these broader social issues.

In short: suck it up, crybaby!