Category Archives: Education

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.

Amanda Hess, College Rape, & Good2Go

Every media source of goodthink has been hammering on about the college rape crisis over the last while. California’s Yes Means Yes law was the feminist triumph of inserting the state into college bedrooms.

But one app, and the feminist response to it, shows that feminists do not actually care about consent or preventing rape in the least. All the rage over the last few years has been nothing but expanding the power of the feminist bureaucracies.

One naive woman, Lee Ann Allman,  actually thought the college rape crisis was a real problem that needed addressing, so she developed a real, practical solution to this problem. She created  an app called Good2Go. It was fairly simple: when hooking-up, the two partners both logged onto the app, stated whether they were consenting to sex, and noted their level of intoxication. It gave each partner a moment to think about if they really wanted to have sex, initiated a conversation about consent, clearly defined consent, tracked and ensured the identity of each individual involved in the hook-up, ensured the age of the participants, and then kept a log of whether consent was established or not. The mass adoption of said app for college hook-ups would virtually eliminate date rape.

So, with a practical solution to the problem of campus rape at hand, feminists, of course, rejoiced lifting their hands in praise and showering Allman with praises. Right? Because feminists really do want a solution to the campus rape epidemic, don’t they?

Nope, instead they protested so hard that the Apple store actually removed the app for being objectionable. ‘How dare anyone try to actually solve the campus rape crisis!

Amanda Hess at Slate, one of the leaders in the attack on Good2Go, demonstrates fully the depths of depravity of the feminists on this issue. In her first attack she (self-contradictorily) argues it’s both inconvenient and doesn’t define exactly define every sex act being consented to in explicit detail and logging consent for each individual act. Also, the evil company logs the information so that it can be found by law enforcement if an accusation of rape is made. (How dare those assholes help law enforcement ascertain the truth of an accusation!)

To put the cherry on the top of her attack she writes this:

That record may help the falsely accused, but it’s unlikely to aid a real victim.

Remember, if you are falsely accused of rape you are not a real victim. You can suffer slander, have your reputation ruined, be booted out of university, have your life-plan destroyed, and  even go to jail, but that doesn’t make you a real victim. Aren’t feminists lovely?

In her article announcing the shutdown of Good2Go Hess concisely summarizes why the app is so horrible:

When Good2Go launched last month, I tested it out and concluded that it was impractical (who wants to fill out a four-minute horniness/sobriety quiz before having sex?) and insecure (the app kept a database with sexual consent records that could be accessible by law enforcement)… one college student interviewed on Today said it was “a buzzkill.”

So, according to Amanda Hess, rape is bad, but inconveniencing a horny woman is even worse. The horrors of rape can not compare to the horrors of a small quiz and being “a buzzkill”.

Also, according to Amanda Hess, law enforcement should not be allowed to investigate accusations of rape. In fact, she states that law enforcement doing so is an invasion of privacy.

It’s obvious that Amanda Hess doesn’t think college rape or accusations thereof are in any way serious.

It is possible that the app may not be the platonic ideal of a perfect consent mechanism which exists solely in the imaginary world of feminist forms but it was a serious, practical attempt to tackle the problem. But feminists rather than accepting this attempted solution and trying to help improve it so it came closer to their ideals of consent, instead jumped on it and quashed it.

What the Good2Go episode clearly demonstrates is that no one, not even feminists (other than maybe Allman), actually believes there is a campus rape epidemic occurring and that it is a serious matter that requires a real, practical solution.

Anybody paying attention can tell from this incident that the college rape epidemic is not an issue anyone thinks actually exists, nor is it an issue that actually needs to be solved. Rather it is just another talking point for feminists so they can expand feminist bureaucracy further into the university system.

In fact, feminists will attempt to destroy any real solution (and saying ‘please don’t rape’ is not a real solution) solving the issue of campus consent because that would eliminate the supposed ‘need’ for kangaroo courts, rape crisis centres, safe spaces, and other feminist bureaucracies on campus leaving otherwise unemployable feminists unemployed. Solving the issue would also rob feminists of a talking point. This is why feminists must destroy any real attempt at a practical solution and why Good2Go had to go.

Teenagers Don’t Exist

Recently the topic of teenagers, and how awful they are, came up in a Twitter conversation I involved myself in. While I’ve mentioned the topic in the past, I thought I’d write a bit more on them here.

Adolescence is a modern invention/perversion. Until about the 1800s or so, a person of about the age 13 was considered an adult. Since about that time, better nutrition has led to puberty occurring earlier (in the 1800s it occurred at about 15-16, it now occurs at about 12-13), but at the same time independence has also decreased. A teenager is a biological adult. (Mentally, a person continues maturing until sometime in their mid-20s).

The problem of rebellious or destructive teenagers is not a fault of the teenagers, but rather a fault of society. A teenager is an adult being treated as a child. A 14-year-old should be learning independence and self-sufficiency by going out into the world on his own (on an apprenticeship, to college, to his own shack on the family farm, etc.) and should be looking for a wife shortly therefore after. Instead, in our modern world teenagers live under the dominion of their parents as a child.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

Of course teenagers rebel, any adult treated as child will rebel against being infantilized. They lash out because they know at some level that their parents having dominion over them is wrong, because an adult still under their parents is against the natural order. It is not teenagers that are the problem, it is the parents and the society.

Now of course, teenagers are not always going to make the best decisions because they are new at being adults and are learning the basics of adulthood, but in our current order, instead of learning about adulthood at age 15 so they are responsible adults by their 20s, people are now making the same failings in their early-20s and sometimes even their late-20s/early-30s, so your average person is not a responsible adult until their 30s.

Despite this, most modern teenagers would probably break is left on their own. This is, again, not the fault of the teenagers, but most children nowadays are so thoroughly over-protected and over-controlled by their parents and infantilized by the school system that they have never been learning the kinds of independence a healthy adult needs.

Children nowadays are being raised to learn a horrible combination of lack of freedom and lack of discipline. A child learning both will be the most self-actualized and most successful. A child with freedom but no discipline will generally pick up some level of discipline through trial and error, and a child of of discipline but no freedom will usually be able to survive although possibly not thrive, but one with neither will drown.

Ideally, we should start training our children to become adults when they should do so, in their mid-teens.

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This is not going to happen on a society wide scale because infantalized adults are useful for the long march.

Adolescence gives the public school system an extra 4-6 years (8-12 extra if he goes to university) to condition a person to the docility and obedience necessary to get a man to be willing to work in a cubicle or factory for 3-4 decades of his life. It conditions a man to accept schooling and academics as being the primary measures of worth, so that he is willing to feed his mind, time, and money into the progressive college system. It prevents early family formation and helps keep the squeeze on the family so the state can continue to interject itself. It conditions dependence and a slave mentality in a man so he is more likely to see dependence on the state as normal. Adolescence is just another case of how its all related; the long march continues.

Sex Ed Hypocrisy

I found this both amusing and angering:

EDMONTON – An Edmonton teenager and her mother have successfully filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, alleging the Edmonton Public School District’s use of a Christian fundamentalist abstinence education program infringed upon their rights as non-Christians.

Dawson’s mother Kathy, an agnostic who supports sex education, signed the permission slip for Emily to attend CALM’s sexual education classes. She was shocked when Emily texted her to say the “sex ed” class was being taught by an anti-abortion activist, from the American-based Pregnancy Care Centre.

The leftist theocrats spent decades ramming “sexual education” into the public education system against the vocal opposition of Christians, the right, and anybody with any sanity because indoctrinating elementary-school children in the joys of sodomy and pedophilia is essential for the leftist goal of destroying the family.

One pro-life Christian group manages to infiltrate their sexual indoctrination sessions and make it vaguely pro-family and suddenly it becomes a human rights issue that must be dealt with in court.

It’s funny how suddenly teaching children about sex is wrong when it comes from a point of view of Christian morality rather than nihilistic hedonism.

Remember, its all about forcing their views and destroying traditional values, nothing more.

To add even more joy, this is how the article ends:

It’s absurd. CALM isn’t religion class. That’s not what parents sign up for. Sex education in our local public schools should be delivered in a scientific, non-judgmental way, by qualified professionals, not outsourced to an American-based pro-life lobby group.

Emily and Kathy Dawson have inspired an important public debate about the nature of our public schools. They deserve our thanks for their courage in speaking out.

This left-wing moralizing BS is a part of the news story. It’s not an editorial, it’s in the national news section. The priests of progressivism aren’t even trying to hide that the news is simply propaganda any more.

The gloves are coming off, they’re coming into the open, and they won’t stop until they’ve devoured your children’s souls and destroyed whatever is left of the family.

Drugged and Indoctrinated

I’ve written before that it’s all related. Little of what I write is a thought unto itself, which is why I try to consistently link back to my previous thoughts throughout my many blog posts.

I came across an article illustrating how its all related. Here is one Belinda Luscombe arguing why she needs to drug her kids even if ADHD doesn’t exist.

At this point, it sounds insane enough, but that is literally the title of the article: “It Doesn’t Matter if ADHD Doesn’t Exist, My Son Still Needs Drugs”

The article starts sane enough, she doesn’t want to drug her kid and Dr. Saul is arguing ADHD does not exist. Her son comes from a “bookish home” and had tutors, but is dyslexic. The son gets in trouble at school and has trouble reading and writing and the school tries to convince the parents to drug the son, but the parents resist. Not untypical.

But then you begin to see the pathological insanity of the system, but you have to look close.

One interesting wrinkle is here:

We may have stood our ground forever, except for the aforementioned “charming” part. Turns out our son was something of a pied piper. If he decided to wander off task, he took half the class with him. The nice folks at the nice school pointed out it wasn’t very fair to the other parents.

The kid is a natural born leader. The charismatic-type who people will naturally follow. Naturally, this is used against the child: He’s a natural leader, therefore it is all the more important to drug him.

But, in any case, what modern parent can approach the specter of a child who doesn’t learn with any equanimity? Even a not-very-attentive adult can see that the knowledge sector of the economy is the safest haven in downturns. The gap between those with college degrees and those without is ever widening. Not just in income, but also in life areas like successful marriages and health. The option for a kid who can’t sit and learn is not a slightly less lucrative career, it’s a much more miserable existence.

How much pathological modernism can be forced into a single paragraph? Understand the (barely) implicit script presented here:

The child must go through public schooling so he can get into college so he can get into an office job so he can survive the failing economy so he can be healthy and have a decent marriage.

First thing to note is the fear. She states “the cold hand of impending doom got us by the neck and squeezed.” The system is working quite well when it can instill actual dread in a parent when the public education system is failing him.

The second thing to note is that all these correlations she’s pointing to are probably genetic in origin. In other words, its not the education and college degree that makes someone healthy, marriageable, and successful, it is the person underneath, and given that he was such a naturally charismatic child, he probably would have done alright. So her fear is rather unfounded.

Third, look at the implicit assumption that college and an office job is the correct path. No consideration he could go into sales (which would seem an obvious path for a charismatic child), trades, or entrepreneurship. Nope college and an office job or bust.

Fourth, the implicit assumption that if a kid can’t learn in our public schools the child is wrong, not the schools.

She pretty much accepts that her child must be drilled complacency to be a good office drone or he will be a total failure at life. Pathological modernism.

Either he needs a class size of about six, with an incredibly adept and captivating teacher, or he needs a little help.

Could we get our kid through school another way? Maybe. Perhaps spend half the day in P.E. Or get him a governess instead of a classroom. Or find a teaching style that is different, somehow, more kinesthetic or less visual or uses blocks or therapy monkeys. But they’re all just maybes and he’s not our only kid and he’s not our only life challenge and his useful school years are slipping away. The meds work, are almost free of side effects and, far from being handed out willy-nilly, are a huge pain to get every month.

Notice what’s not on that list?

Home-schooling. She’d rather drug her kid than leave her job and reduce her families consumption. Either that or the thought of home-schooling enver even entered her head. I’m not sure which one would be more sad.

When I asked our now 16-year-old son if he liked taking his meds, he said “Sure. They help me concentrate.” And when I followed up with, “Would you rather be able to concentrate without them?” he gave me one of those specially-reserved-for-moronic-parents-looks and replied, nice and slow, so I’d get it. “Wouldn’t anybody?”

At least he’s happy.

She did get one thing right though: “But if we want to eradicate a chemical solution to what might be a behavioral disorder, we’ve got a whole economy and education system to reorganize.

It seems there might be something needing changing with a system that requires drugging 14% of our boys to work. I am shocked by this.

Of course, she then states “While you guys get on that, I’ve got to get my kid through school.

How cauterized does someone’s soul have to be to be to look to your kid, know the system is destroying him enough that he needs drugs to simply cope, and then say, meh, I’d rather drug him than change it or remove him from it?

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So, in one article about a dozen paragraphs long we have: public education, ADHD and medical over-prescription, the tuition bubble, white collar uber alles, the declining economy, nontraditional sex roles, failing marriage, consumerism, and the economic fracturing of our society. All are linked together to force one young boy to drug himself, and like it, so he can continue the consumerist rat race in the future. It’s all related.

Repost: Tuition Bubble

Don’t have a new post for you today, so here’s a repost from the early days.

Here’s the New York Times running only a bit behind in reporting on the tuition bubble. I thought this would be a decent time to weigh in on the issue.

the average debt in 2011 was $23,300, with 10 percent owing more than $54,000 and 3 percent more than $100,000

To be honest, this is not that bad. $23k is a lot, but livable, even 54k is not insurmountable, but for the 3%, $100k is a serious commitment. In some areas equivalent to a mortgage on a starter home.

The problem though, is that these are ok only if there is employment for those taking the loans. The NYT doesn’t cover this in this article, but the real problem is half of these people graduating are not going to have jobs or will be underemployed.

$23k in debt is doable if you make $40k a year, even $120k ($900/month according to the article) is doable if you make $60k a year coming out of university and live frugally for a few years.

But, if you are unemployed or working part-time as a barrista, there is no way to keep payments up on much more than a few thousand dollars worth of debt and still be able to advance in life.

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The NYT misses that the tuition bubble is not a bubble because tuition costs are high; an expensive degree can be an excellent investment for both the lender and borrower if it increases future earnings.

The whole article is off-base as high tuition costs are irrelevant if the economic benefits of the degree match or exceed the cost of the degree.

The tuition bubble is a bubble because a lot of these degrees are worthless.

So why are they worthless? Part of it is simply the transition to post-scarcity, even highly educated and skilled people may simply be replaced by machines. Some of it is because these degrees teach no useful skills, such as Master of Puppetry, an awesome album but a crappy degree. But there is another, even more fundamental, problem that the NYT ignores almost completely.

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The main problem is touched upon later on in the piece, but only very obliquely:

the main job of the admissions staff, after all, is to admit students

An off-hand reference in the second half of a sentence at the bottom of a paragraph is all the NYT devotes to the  crux of the tuition bubble.

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Huh? Isn’t admissions staff’s job to admit students?

No, the admissions staff’s job is to screen out students for whom university (or college) is not appropriate.

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Doesn’t admissions already do this?

No. It doesn’t. 68% of high school graduates go to college.

Thank about that for a second.

The average graduate is going to college

Remember back to your high school graduation; think about your average classmate.

The guy who wasn’t particularly bright or particularly stupid.

Do you think he would benefit from spending 4 years learning political theory or reading Rousseau?

Do you think it would benefit anyone else that he “learned” this?

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The evidence says he doesn’t.

One-third of those entering college drop-out.

They pay the expense of a couple years of college and do not even get the dubious benefits of a degree.

The college system is taking advantage of these people who shouldn’t be in college.

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One-third of college students are dropping out, at the same time, grade inflation is running rampant.

College is becoming increasingly easy, yet still a third of students still can’t hack it.

The admissions people are failing their job. One-third of people entering university are not capable of completing even the dumbed-down modern university curriculum.

Think about how many more would not be capable of completing college if standards were similar to those 50 years ago.

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Look at this post from Adacious Epigone on IQ by intended major from a few years ago.

Look at education, public admin, business, psychology, legal professions, health professionals, etc.

The average incoming student for all of these is only around average intelligence. About half of them are of below average intelligence.

This is why there is a tuition bubble.

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It used to be that a college degree meant you were a cut above the rest; that you were a competent, intelligent individual.

Now all a college degree shows is that you are able to stomach a university’s bullshit for a few years and are not a complete dullard.

That’s why your degree is worthless.

It doesn’t signal you’re a superior intellect with a strong knowledge of your specialty.

All it shows is that you’re not completely incompetent and are able to parrot BS back to the BS’ers. How much is not being completely incompetent worth to an employer?

Even a high GPA doesn’t mean much. With grade inflation everybody’s GPA is fairly high, how can an employer trust that you actually earned yours?

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As an aside, look at public admin and social services: 96.3.

Do you want to know one reason why your government doesn’t work very well? The people in public admin are being educated to run the government. Do not think that these are not going to be the front-line clerks at the DMV, or even their supervisors; these are actually the people who are going to university to learn how to create public policy. They are the ones who will be creating government policy and regulations that will control your life.

Most of them are of  below average intelligence.

Think about that for a minute. Please don’t weep.

Of course, the average business major is not much better, barely scraping by at 101. 2.

And we wonder why the US economy is stagnating?

Teachers are at 99.3. Half of all teachers are of below average intelligence. Here’s where you can start weeping for the future.

Your kid is likely being taught by someone of average or below average intelligence.

If you’re reading a post about the economics of post-secondary education on a blog for leisure (like say, this post you’re reading right now), it’s highly likely the large majority of these teachers, bureaucrats, and businessmen running things and teaching your children are much more stupid than you.

Aren’t you feeling comforted?

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Thankfully the drop-out rate is so high. I’d hate to think what the school system and government would be like if a third of these sup-par students didn’t fail to finish their degrees.

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So, after all that, you’re probably understanding why the tuition bubble exists.

It exists because too many people are getting a degree.

Everybody wants to enter the road to the professional, white-collar, middle-class, which is what university is thought of as now.

But not everybody is capable of being a white-collar professional.

Of course, modern liberal dogma can’t admit that some people are just not capable of being white-collar professionals, after all, we are all equal. The Bible (or Stephen Gould, depending on your religious beliefs) and the Constitution (or your sociology professor, depending on your political beliefs)  say so.

So those in charge, those who would read the NYT, can not and will not prevent those who shouldn’t be going to college from going to college.

Instead, they’ll encourage them to go. They’ll give these marginal students huge, government-backed loans they’ll never be able to pay back. They’ll lower academic standards as far as they can go, then lower a them a bit more, destroying any academic, economic, or signalling value of your degree in the process.

Doing otherwise would expose their ideology for the lie it is and their ideology takes precedence over the good of these marginal students, not to mention the other students whose degrees are made worthless.

So, as these marginal students flood colleges, demand for college education increases, so tuition goes up.

The academic value of the degree erodes, as grade inflation and lowered academic standards become necessary to keep these people in college, and maybe (hopefully) let them graduate.

The economic values of these degrees plummets. Your degree no longer signals competence, knowledge, and intelligence to an employer; all it signals is a lack of incompetence. Why should he pay well for that? Why should he hire the marginally competent at all?

Thus a bubble. Paying more and more for less and less.

One thing though, bubbles can’t last forever. Reality always wins in the end.

Eventually, the post-secondary education system will run into reality.

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Economists do not predict a collapse of the student loan system, which would, in essence, mean wholesale default.

NYT’s economists never fail to be amusing. I wonder if this was Krugman or Friedman, maybe both?

Those who are blinded by ideology will run full tilt into the wall of reality. They will then act surprised.

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With more than $1 trillion in student loans outstanding in this country

$1 trillion, that’s almost 7% of GDP. If a large percentage of these loans default, this will be a major economic catastrophe. It may be possible for the US government to forgive them, but that will be a significant increase in national debt.

Students are likely stuck with this debt.

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So what can we do?

Short answer: nothing.

Long answer: That’s a question for another post.

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One last note:

Leaders of the for-profit industry defended themselves

I’m usually a staunch defender of the free market, but in this case, all I can say is:

Fuck them.

The for-profit college industry is a brood of blood-sucking parasites taking advantage of students who should never set foot near a college for their own benefit, and the student loans programs in a disgusting display of parasitic corporate welfare. May their whole industry rot.

Defense of Perennial Philosophy

I found this excerpt from the Trivium interesting (p. 224):

The logic of perennial philosophy presented in this book is scorned in many universities today as outmoded, inadequate, and unfit for a scientific age. Logical positivism admits as knowable only sense experience of matter and the relations of coexistence and succession in natural phenomena; it denies spirit, intellect, and the capacity to know essence. Modern semantic regards as arbitrary and shifting not only words but ideas; it denies that words are signs of ideas that truly represent things. The new symbolic or mathematical logic, which aims to free logic from the restrictions of words and thing, becomes a mere manipulation of symbols capable of being tested for their internal consistency but having no correspondence to ideas or things (and therefore no stability or truth).

Perennial philosophy holds that symbols such as those of the syllogism, opposition, obversion, conversion represent a higher degree of abstraction and more clear relationships than words do, and therefore a more advanced knowledge; they are sound precisely because they represent words that do correspond to the ideas and things. These symbols point the way to a more complete symbolic logic which preserves the basic truths of perennial philosophy, in particular its healthy respect for intellectual knowledge derived from sense knowledge by abstraction.

(By perennial philosophy she’s referring to Thomas’ Aristotalean method of thinking rather than to the universalist form of perennial philosophy).

We can see this today in academe and throughout society; words have become unmoored from their purpose of referring to a concrete idea or object, rather they are meaningless utterances of vague emotions that do not approach the level of rational thought.

The word democracy is an excellent example of this. The word democracy, originally referring to rule of the people, has simply become cant; calling something undemocratic holds no more meaning than ungood.

We can see the bizarre meaningless from this, the first link on a google search of ‘it’s undemocratic’. According to the article, yhe person who ruled due to being elected by the majority of Egyptians is somehow ruling undemocratically. Read this quote from “State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki”:

What I mean is what we’ve been referencing about the 22 million people who have been out there voicing their views and making clear that democracy is not just about simply winning the vote at the ballot box.

It’s pure, unadulterated nonsense, but nobody bats an eye. The label undemocratic is thrown at everything that is deemed ungood, while the label democratic is thrown at everything considered good. Take this quote from Barack Obama:

President Barack Obama on Thursday praised the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage as a “victory for American democracy”…

Think on that for a second: the overturning of the laws created due to a referendum of the people in California by an unelected body is a ‘triumph of democracy’. There is no rational way the word democracy can possibly be used to refer to an unelected body overturning the majority will of the people expressed through a referendum, yet, nobody but John Lott even notices.

The word democracy does not refer to anything; it is has no more, and possibly less, meaning or rational thinking behind it than an illiterate barbarian’s simple grunt of approval.

Of course ‘democracy’ is not alone in this. We all remember Moldbug’s classic example of goodthink:

Improper political influence over government decision-making.

But I’m digressing. We have scorned the reason of perennial philosophy for the irrational thinking of arbitrary definitions. Words are used as weapons or as meaningless emotional outbursts, with no rational thinking behind them.

Not only are definitions arbitrary, and hence meaningless, composition is not unaffected. We can see this in this review of the Trivium. It basically argues for the Trivium, but not because the rules of logic and grammar are good for someone writing in English to know. Rather the restrictions of actually adhering to the rules of reason and the English language are quaint enough and outdated enough that it provides a foreign perspective in composition classrooms. In the authors own words:

For instance, a teacher can use The Trivium alongside [other]… textbooks that use contemporary examples and celebrate more rhetorical and logical flexibilities. This deliberate undercutting pushes students to understand the multiplicity of perspectives; while it simultaneously pushes teachers to embrace multiplicity and flexibility.

“Logical flexibility”, I like it. It’s such as fascinating term. How insane is it that the rules of logic and grammar are so foreign to modern English education that people advocate for teaching it simply to get a plurality of viewpoints.

Welcome to a world where there exists a plurality of viewpoints on the use of logic.

Anyway, I will end with a Chesterton quote:

Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody’s system of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody’s sense of reality; to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense. Each started with a paradox; a peculiar point of view demanding the sacrifice of what they would call a sane point of view. That is the one thing common to Hobbes and Hegel, to Kant and Bergson, to Berkeley and William James. A man had to believe something that no normal man would believe, if it were suddenly propounded to his simplicity; as that law is above right, or right is outside reason, or things are only as we think them, or everything is relative to a reality that is not there. The modern philosopher claims, like a sort of confidence man, that if we will grant him this, the rest will be easy; he will straighten out the world, if he is allowed to give this one twist to the mind…

Against all this the philosophy of St. Thomas stands founded on the universal common conviction that eggs are eggs. The Hegelian may say that an egg is really a hen, because it is a part of an endless process of Becoming; the Berkelian may hold that poached eggs only exist as a dream exists, since it is quite as easy to call the dream the cause of the eggs as the eggs the cause of the dream; the Pragmatist may believe that we get the best out of scrambled eggs by forgetting that they ever were eggs, and only remembering the scramble. But no pupil of St. Thomas needs to addle his brains in order adequately to addle his eggs; to put his head at any peculiar angle in looking at eggs, or squinting at eggs, or winking the other eye in order to see a new simplification of eggs. The Thomist stands in the broad daylight of the brotherhood of men, in their common consciousness that eggs are not hens or dreams or mere practical assumptions; but things attested by the Authority of the Senses, which is from God.