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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I spent three years in university. It did provide me with a solid ground of knowledge which has never ceased to be of help, even though I gave up (I was studying philosophy). Much of that knowledge was gained through the time it gave me to muck around and meet interesting people that had weird ideas.

    One of the reasons I wasn't afraid of mucking around and spending time thinking on my own or talking to interesting people was because a year in university (and not any university, La Sorbonne) cost only circa 1.000 francs (~$150). And that included full social security.

    If it had cost that much more -- $20k seems gigantic to me -- then I would probably have felt guilty or forced in some way to -- as stupid as it is -- get something out of that money. By now I'd be some stupid professor, giving lessons on topics I've long since stopped believing in instead of some weird guy doing all sorts of things that may not be directly beneficial but at least tend to make him happy (and hopefully others as well when they're successful).

    That feeling is part of the rant I recently made in my journal []. People need time and lack of pressure to consider what it is they want to do. People also need nice parents that don't pressurize them into "succeding" immediately. Life is too complex a thing for most to know what they want to do by age 18 (or whatever approximate age it is people enter university at in the reader's country). Low cost university is definitely a part of a better society (even if it's hard to create, and means long terms engagements from the state).

    PS. factoid that may be relevant to my beliefs: the three largest "corporations" in the world are in order 1) the russian army; 2) General Motors; 3) the french Education Nationale (France being a 60 million people country).


    -- Robin Berjon []

    • Wow. I think if college cost that little in the US I'd never leave :-) (Or at least my wife's graduate school student loan payments would be nonexistent...)
      • Hehe. Some people pretty much never leave (or take their time doing so) but they're a tiny minority. I'd be willing to bet that you might want to take advantage of it a little and stay there, say, a year more than you would have otherwise, but that you'd eventually get bored with hanging around and not "doing something of your life" (I don't know how to express this in a way that sounds positive ;).

        I could've stayed there. In fact, young as I am I could still be there, probably doing a thesis or so


        -- Robin Berjon []

    • That sounds typically French. :-) Pity more of the world can't be that way...

      There was a human interest story about a reporter this past summer. (Must have been a slow news day.) His wife was was very ill while they were visiting Paris. So they go to the hospital, and the Doctors manage to treat her condition (whatever it was).

      As they're about to leave the hospital, the husband (the reporter) askes the lead physican "How much do I owe for my wife's treatment?"

      The physician, dumbfounded, responds b