Paradoxes of grunge

May 26, 2000

As a philosopher, Harry Lewis (Letters, THES, May 19) will surely be aware of other Paradoxes of Grunge besides the ones he mentions, such as:

* Schemes that set out to prove that things are getting better will always, in practice, make them worse

* The more you seek to understand grunge, the more you will find that your ability to resist it is being mysteriously undermined

* No one ever admits to being an originator of grunge. It can be born only of necessity and instantly becomes a part of the natural order of things.

There is clearly a need for a massive research programme to enable these paradoxes to be properly investigated. Every academic should participate, with the help of a sizeable grant and a generous amount of sabbatical time. The programme would, of course, have to be suitably constituted, monitored, audited, reviewed and quality controlled.

Andrew Hawker Department of accounting and finance, University of Birmingham

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