The workshop was all right yet grueling for the presenter. I cannot imagine myself to stand in that position and cannoned by a series of challenging questions from those formidable scholars; oftentimes not in a friendly but a seemingly adversarial atmosphere. Ofer had tackled it fairly good but there were still quite a number of defects to be corrected in this paper.
The old soldiers of the midway do not reserve their critical minds and harsh critiques especially towards younger professionals. But thats the way the academic life goes; sometimes the good papers not just come out of the authors' brains but from sharp critiques, useful suggestions or even a sheer derision (?). Make no mistake that Ofer just received the Ph.D in Economics from Harvard which is one of the finest schools in the world (probably the best known). I am sure he will be treated like a demi-god if he were a Thai scholar returning to Thai academic or even more glorified in the non-academic circle. However, that can hardly be true in the midway.
One problem in Thai academic is that we dont measure quality of people by their *true * academic achievements but rather by where they got their degrees from. I dont mean that degree credential is not a good signal of the quality; indeed it is; but it may not be the end of the story. In the short-run when productivity of individual is not revealed (yet) such attitude quite rings true, but in the long run..I doubt it.
(University in snow..copy from somewhere)