Crippling the Priesthood

Here is another, long term strategy for the Trumpenkrieg.

The right has two main enemies: the press and academia, together with the bureaucracy they form what we call the Cathedral. Academia creates liberal doctrine and indoctrinates the young into it. The press promulgates doctrine. The bureaucracy implements it. The bureaucracy, while a problem, follows the lead of the press and the academy.

The press is immolating itself. It is being outflanked by non-traditional media enabled by modern technologies and is squandering what’s left of its legitimacy rapidly. We should help it along its course, but its self-destruction is nigh inevitable. The main question is rebuilding something favourable to western civilization in its place.

On the other hand the academy is going strong and continually grows stronger. It’s primary strength is that a diploma is necessary for a “good” job. The destruction of the traditional economy is leaving many in a situation of Yale or jail. For ever-more Americans the choice is increasingly either college or destitution. So most young Americans choose to load themselves in debt for their anti-poverty paper.

I’ve stated before, we should end federal student loans, and I stand by that, but that is a minor measure that still leaves the system intact. Another measure to strike against the university is to end disparate impact. Sailer has been writing about how disparate impact prevents direct meritocratic hiring, forcing employers to rely on indirect signals, such as a degree, for years now. Ending disparate impact would alleviate some of the economic necessity of a college degree.

But, I’m going to present a strategy even more direct. One that would almost immediately cripple the academy’s stranglehold over meritocratic signalling. I will say beforehand, that this would require significant resources and extensive coordination. Ideally, this could function as a start-up if someone had enough access to VC and could get buy-in from at least one industry to start, but realistically, this would probably have to be a government project (so if any of you have a line to Bannon or someone else who might be interested, send this idea along; take credit if you want, the idea is simple and not particularly novel, its implementation would be the heavy work).

The idea is simply a Knowledge and Skills Signaling Organization or KASSO for short. Essentially, the KASSO would be a single window supplier of certifications for occupational knowledge and skills.

KASSO would work with various industrial and occupational organizations to develop a battery of certification tests, both academic and practical, for each industry/occupation, the completion of which would demonstrate a certain level of competence in the tested competency. Upon successful completion of certification tests, the testee would be given a certificate of competence, which would he could present to employers.

For an example of how this would work, let’s look at programming. Programming already has a large spread of certifications, but KASSO would centralize and standardize these certifications. It would start by consulting with major Silicon Valley firms and other firms with large programming departments, about what particular skills requirements they would require for their various programming occupations. It may also talk to other industry players, such as programming languages organizations, language developers, or conferences, but it would primarily be aimed at what the employers wanted.

Working with these groups, it would develop a series of tests that would show competence, in these. For example, you could have a C++ 1, C++ 2, and C++ 3 for basic C++ knowledge for grunt-work programmers, mid-level programmers, and expert programmers, respectively. Each test would be a rigourous, complete and supervised. The C++ 1 test could, for example, be a combination of developing a few simple programs or routines, doing some basic debugging, and answering some basic theoretical questions. While the C++ 3 certification could be developing a complex program from scratch and a difficult debugging problem based on a real-life example.

The length and involvement of these tests would depend on the requirements thereof. The C++ 1, may only be a 3-hour test, while the C++ 3, may be three 8-hour days or even a 24-hour marathon.

Upon successful completion of the C++ 1 test, the testee would then be provided with his C++ 1 certificate, which he could present to his employer who would know that this testee was qualified for C++ work and to what degree he was qualified. What competences and what level of competence each degree represented would be easily available and clearly explained on KASSO’ website.

Of course, adding more gradations of skills would also be a possibility. You could have, for example, C++ 1 – Standard, Silver and Gold, depending on the level of competency shown.

Cheating would be possibility, so the strictest anti-cheating measures would be put in place to ensure the integrity of the process. Each testing class would be kept small, say a half-dozen testees. Each test would be monitored by two KASSO testers at all times. To prevent memorization, each test would actually be one of a half-dozen similar and equally challenging, but different, tests administered in a quasi-random order. There would also be a cool-down period for unsuccessful testees; say 4 months before they could attempt the test again. Insofar as possible, the tests would be as practical as possible so that cheating required as much competence in the subject matter as successful completion.

KASSO would pay for itself, or even be a for-profit organization. If each student had to pay, say $500 per a test, they could take a half-dozen different certifications for a fraction of a years worth of tuition, yet KASSO would still be raking in cash. Or, more likely, different tests would have different costs: C++ 1 may only cost $100, while C++ 3 may cost $2000. For those taking multiple related certification, there could be a discount program. Say, $5000 for testing in C++ 3, VB 3, and Java 3.

This same thing would be done for each in-demand language. There might be a set of certifications for those showing competence in language independent parts of programming. Whatever industry expresses a desire for. There might be a broader Programmer certification for those who’ve been certified in a certain range of programming languages and theory.

For each skill domain, industry, and/or occupational group there’d a similar set of tests and certifications, drawn from the needs of the various industries and organizations hiring people with those skills.

In addition, to such specialized certificates, such as programming, KASSO would offer more generalized certifications. A small battery of tests, similar to a GED, similar to a high school certification. Another, more larger and more difficult general test, that would be generally equivalent to the knowledge gained from a generalized humanities bachelor. A series of general tests could be equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science. A series of tests could be the equivalent of a business degree. And so forth.

You could even apply tests to softer skills. Although, these tests may be harder to plan and implement, you could have certifications in salesmanship or public speaking.

These were all general examples, the details would have to be developed by experts, but the essential idea of KASSO is to create a self-funding organization providing a set of well-known, broadly-accepted, reliable certifications. Employers would know exactly what certified students had demonstrated competence in, while (future) employees would know which certifications would be needed to get the job they wanted.

There are a number of potential pitfalls. The main problem would be starting this up and getting buy-in from employers. Now, for the federal government a solution might be converting the useless education department to developing KASSO.

Another problem that would come from a government implementation of KASSO is political considerations intervening in what should be an impersonal and objective certification program. To combat this, the government should make it an independent, arms-length institution mostly outside the the ability for politicians or bureaucrats to interfere. Possibly even privatize it after it gets off the ground.

Anybody implementing KASSO may also have to be wary of disparate impact, but with enough will this could be worked around.

But beyond these pitfalls, KASSO would have numerous benefits. First, it would allow another route to competence signaling beyond college or even beyond high school. It would allow the self-taught, the self-motivated, and prodigies to receive certification without having to rely on formal schooling. It would reduce tuition debt slavery, as people could get certification relatively inexpensively through KASSO. It would reduce certification time as people taught themselves on their own schedule, so young people could enter the workforce earlier. Once heavily adopted, it would provide a standard set of certifications for human resources departments to look for and for (future) employees to pursue. It would help poor people lift themselves from poverty; they could get “better” jobs by studying on their own schedule and getting certifications. It would break the back of academia. It would prevent the waste of time and resources of dropouts, as it’s a lot easier to waste a day and $500 failing a test than a year and $10,000 failing your first year at university.

* All numbers and examples are rather arbitrary and undeveloped. They are there for illustrations sake; this is a broad outline, the experts would have to develop the real details.

11 comments

  1. Or just let employers do their own screening, as is natural. Although doing certification standards in such a manner would be preferable to the behemoth that is the public education complex, it’s still an information handout to capitalists. They could then proceed to introduce some wage rigidity by fixing certain reservation wages to particular degree tiers, which could be slow for market processes to correct because of the conformant institutional expectations created by KASSO.

    (And of course, since Trump is a bog standard American Whig, there will be no crippling of the priesthood.)

  2. It won’t address the underlying problem of misandry. The lasting way to destroy the academic hydra is for businesses to cultivate talent in-house: apprenticeships and simple On the Job Training (OJT). So long as prospective workers need to prove themselves at their own cost just to walk in the door, the potential for abuse and political testing is unavoidable.

    That gets combined with virtue-signaling. For the white knight, no man is ever good enough and no woman should have to prove herself, and this attitude seeps into the workplace. The same employer who demands five years’ experience in a three-year-old technology will enthusiastically waive all requirements for a female new hire. I’ve actually seen tech companies woo female sophomore students majoring in equine appreciation with internships and funded college clubs… two years before she MIGHT graduate. Meanwhile, men who would eagerly start work tomorrow are not even blips on their radar.

    The problem here isn’t logistical or structural. It’s sexual.

  3. One could, and someone would, pick many nits against your proposal, but broadly your idea is sound.

    I happen to hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering. Therefore, I am heavily invested in the existing academic system. Unfortunately, for all that, I strongly agree with you.

    Today’s university is a grotesque pantomime of the pre-World War I colleges of the Ivy League, where (as far as I know) the undergraduates studied Shakespeare and the Bible, plus Cicero in the original Latin. Those undergraduates were mostly the sons of the Yankee elite, so I cannot speak to their system, but it was a different world.

    Today’s overweening state colleges, where professors dress worse than the students of yore once did, are mostly (and expensively) pretending to be something they are not. Harvard is still on top, but Harvard now deconstructs rather than promotes our civilization. Shakespeare is dropping out of the curriculum; the Bible and Cicero are already gone.

    No, unfortunately, I believe that you are right. It’s too bad, really.

  4. What if we just made it illegal for an employer to ask *which school* your degree’s from? Could even steal the left’s language about privilege, disparate impact, etc etc.

  5. Not sure where this would legally fall. Employers are prohibited from testing prospective employees for competence because of disparate impact.

  6. “It will take decades of deliberate action to undo the Left’s white-knuckle grip on K-12 and higher “eduction.””

    In other words, another form propaganda forced down people’s throats. But it would the “right” information, jackboot edition.

    The Cathedral and Cultural Marxism are Fake News Stories. Tens of millions of white Americans clearly understand that these two things are merely Alt Right boogeymen.

  7. Dear FN,

    The problem with Sailer’s theory is that monoracial, monoethnic, uncucked countries of the Poland type also use education signalling for hiring. Granted, it is less important to go to a good college, often any college will do, but still there is the kind of inflation that jobs that formerly required only a high school now require college (e.g. business assistant, kinda secretary) and jobs that formerly had hardly any education requirements now require high school (e.g. selling ice cream). As far as I can tell, all these business owners simply think so many – reminder: white! monoracial countries! – people are idiots and lazy today that they have to filter them heavily for a basic sense of smarts and work ethics. Besides they cannot go meritocratic until the candidate had their first job and that goes often as late as 25. Sure you can hire a previous candidate over his track record at 30, but at 24 not, their track record is not failing exams at school, not much else.

    In these countries after having actually worked 2-3 years that takes over over education signalling.

    As far as I can tell, it is “smart and gets things done” i.e. mostly everybody tries to filter out the kind of people who have “participated in this project, participated on that project” on their resume as that sounds like deadweight, and want the kind of people whose resume says “built this, made that”, as they sound like someone who actually does stuff.

    So we don’t need no certification. We just need candidates with a track record of “gets things done” in a fairly similar field. Give me a guy who built a .NET webshop and I believe he will be able to build me a PHP webshop after 2 months of learning. Give me a guy who sold cars and I believe he will be able to sell tractors after 2 weeks of training. Give me someone who made a nice marketing leaflet for a new phone and I trust he he will be able to learn to make colorful, attention grabbing instruction materials for car mechanics.

    We need to get teens to actually do and make stuff. At school or as a way to earn money on the side. And then we need to somehow change the culture to make it the basis of hiring. For example, lessay I own a musical instrument shop. A 19 year old – no college – applies for a job. He gives me a link showing how he helped others learning guitar and flute for pocket money on Fiverr. I realize this is a kid who can give people advice about instruments, is probably an enthusiast, is motivated, will actually learn the trade and at least in the beginning is okay with a fairly low wage. So everything is ideal. This is how we need to do it.

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