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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Sunday August 04, 2002
04:50 PM

Ejumucation

[ #6894 ]
Dear Log,

«It is not immediately clear that distributing more graduation diplomas will make us rich, any more than telling the Royal Mint to print more £10 notes would. According to Hesa (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) 57% of Greek 20-year-olds are at university and only 10% of Danish. Which is the wealthier country? You don't need a Greek degree in economics to answer that.»

--"University challenged"

Richness aside, does sending people to college make them smarter? Does it make them more educated and informed instead of merely more schooled?

In my times of moderate cynicism, I sometimes think that most of the problems in US schools are because of US society's strange non-educational current expectations of them -- things like "everyone who's not actually retarded should be able to get a high-school diploma", "if you didn't go to college, you clearly aren't that bright", and "vocational education is for dumb people", to say nothing of the weird ideas about how high-school's highest mission is preparing people for college (which these days means cramming them with as many of those fetid AP classes as possible) -- instead of, say, making them well-rounded and capable people.

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  • The problem of education-related productivity (and I'm sticking to that -- almost against my will -- to avoid having to try to quantify education-related intelligence) is that it depends on more factors than schooling alone. If you were out to find out what truly makes a difference you'd have to create a decision tree by taking into account all factors you consider potentially influencial and one by one focus on the ones that eliminate most entropy.

    For instance, long studies -- however "useless" -- ha

    --

    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • For instance, long studies -- however "useless" -- have one clear bonus on an economic indicator level: they reduce unemployment by that much.

      But, unemployment in and of itself, isn't a problem. It's lack the lack of productivity and the fact that those who are not gainfully employed have to be supported which causes the problems. Or, if they aren't supported, that causes other problems, but you see what I'm getting at.

      Perhaps we should instead encourage one parent to stay home and raise children

      • I'm not sure I completely follow you. If supporting unemployed people is a (cost) problem, and not supporting them is also a problem, then unemployment itself is a problem, however indirectly you may wish to put it.

        I doubt that encouraging one parent to stay at home will help in any way. For one, it'll almost certainly lead to a social setback in that however which way the encouragement is made the majority of parents that stay home will be women. So we'd lose a few decades of painful social progress.

        --

        -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

          • I'm not sure I completely follow you. If supporting unemployed people is a (cost) problem, and not supporting them is also a problem, then unemployment itself is a problem, however indirectly you may wish to put it.

          Supporting unemployed people is the same cost as supporting people in extended schooling, no?

          • For one, it'll almost certainly lead to a social setback in that however which way the encouragement is made the majority of parents that stay home will be women. So we'd lose a few decades of pai
  • Diplomas are not a mark of actual education.

    Actual education is not a mark of ability to be a productive member of society, let alone a happy or fulfilled one.

    The goal of education should be to help each individual become whatever it is he wants to and can be, in large part by teaching them about the world around them, and how to learn more on their own. College -- even high school -- should be options available to the growing human, not cookie cutter molds adolescents need to pass through in order to ge