I don't mean to sound so altruistic; I get paid to do what I love. But I do truly believe one needs to understand the mechanisms that make up our world if we wish to improve them. I write this weblog, in part, to educate about the beauty and applications of theoretical computer science.
A comment about comments. I understand that many of you choose to post anonymously rather than register at Blogger and I'm fine with that. If you don't mind please add your name at the end of the comment. I like to know who is behind the comments and its useful to match up different comments by the same person. Of course, I'd rather get your comments anonymously than not at all.
Update 5/21: Stanley Fish, the departing Dean of the Arts and Sciences of University of Illinois at Chicago argues more for a separation of academic research and policy.
I exit with a three-part piece of wisdom for those who work in higher education: do your job; don't try to do someone else's job, as you are unlikely to be qualified; and don't let anyone else do your job. In other words, don't confuse your academic obligations with the obligation to save the world; that's not your job as an academic; and don't surrender your academic obligations to the agenda of any non-academic constituency � parents, legislators, trustees or donors. In short, don't cross the boundary between academic work and partisan advocacy, whether the advocacy is yours or someone else's. Marx famously said that our job is not to interpret the world, but to change it. In the academy, however, it is exactly the reverse: our job is not to change the world, but to interpret it.