Guest Post Week: Zdeno, Part 2

by Frost on November 16, 2011

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Isom November 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

“The University is a system where people who in the real world could accomplish next to nothing get titles like “Distinguished Professor” or “Nobel Prize winner” and can claim they are extremely important/successful with no major accomplishments (compared to someone in the private sector). Rather than tear the whole system down, as you advocate, I would say, make them produce (novel inventions, services, etc.) or go bankrupt. ”
B.S.
My opinion is very much the opposite: those at the top of their field do contribute a lot; especially Nobel Prize winning work!
I think maybe this would apply for *regular* professors, that is, the majority of them.
I myself think that I might want to be an academic, but not as an excuse to not produce. Somebody more like Daniel Kahneman, Nobel-winning psychologist, whose fundamental and novel insights into how the human mind works, namely cognitive biases and errors, have applications in practically every field, ever.

Library Desk Graffiti November 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

The Nobel prize means nothing, they’ve been exposed numerous times as a corrupt organization, therefore, suck it loser. Study your pet project on your own time without my money.

Beagle November 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Lol sounds like an ancap faggot.

NomadicNeill November 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Western societies already undervalue the Arts and Social Sciences, which is precisely why so few people question the basic assumption upon which the societies are built. To use the tired analogy again, it’s the only mainstream place where people discuss the idea that we live in a socially constructed Matrix that is particular to our time and culture.

I think education systems do need to be completely revamped for the 21st century… but there need to be public institutions that promote and encourage discussions about history, philosophy and arts. Western civilisation is built upon being able to do that. It separated the ancient Greeks from the other cultures and paved the way for science, rationalism, the rule of law etc.

Otherwise we’ll end up like China, no creativity, thinking for yourself or freedom. Only consumerism, working for material gains and thinking and doing what the state / corporation tells you.

Tom Jones November 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I gotta tell you, I’ve been tempted to write a book on this type of thing for a while now, or at least get started. I’m currently a graduate student at a large public university earning my STEM PhD. As I am currently writing up my thesis, I’ve been thinking about what I have accomplished in the past 5 years. And I don’t think it has been very much (except like you say, boozing 5+ nights a week). The projects I work on are solely to get “publications” that less than 50 people will ever read, probably ever. Did I work on a project that has the potential to create new products that will benefit the public like (name your favorite company)? No, I worked on “advancing human knowledge” with the intent of “curing Cancer” sometime in the next X number of years (which means never). The University is a system where people who in the real world could accomplish next to nothing get titles like “Distinguished Professor” or “Nobel Prize winner” and can claim they are extremely important/successful with no major accomplishments (compared to someone in the private sector). Rather than tear the whole system down, as you advocate, I would say, make them produce (novel inventions, services, etc.) or go bankrupt. Cut off all federal and state government funding, grants, loans, etc. etc to all Universities. With the amount of talent currently working on “producing” mostly worthless “publications”, and instead forced to work on solving useful problems (that people will pay for), I think you could make education free and, in the process, solve all the problems with University education in general.

Adam Isom November 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm

What I think? It’s more insane.
On the surface it seems like a great idea. Dedicated self-education via the Internet is a great idea. People reading this blog are probably more likely to pursue (practical) education whether in school or not. I think that kind of person is an awesome kind of person.
The error is the one made by everyone ensconced in little communities. They forget that the rest of the world isn’t like that.
I doubt most people would actually, in fact, for-real, pursue self-education any more than they would dedicate themselves to fitness and stop being overweight (on the average).
Plus you didn’t even mention the signalling value of education. There would have to be something to replace it, some viable signal for employers that their employee is less likely to waste their time and money.

Matthew Walker November 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

“Deschooling Society” by Ivan Ilich is supposed to be a good read. Tl;dr for me, though.

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