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*Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:14 AM   #1
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*Sigh* Fred has a good point again

"Perhaps once universities had something to do with the mind, the arts, with reflection, with grasping or grasping at man’s place in a curious universe. No longer. Now they are a complex scam of interlocking directorates. They employ professors, usually mediocre, to sell diplomas, usually meaningless, needed to get jobs nobody should want, for the benefit of corporations who want the equivalent of docile assembly-line workers.

See, first you learn that you have to finish twelve years of grade school and high school. The point is not to teach you anything; if it were, they would give you a diploma when you passed a comprehensive test, which you might do in the fifth grade. The point is to accustom you to doing things you detest. Then they tell you that you need four more years in college or you won’t be quite human and anyway starve from not getting a job. For those of this downtrodden bunch who are utterly lacking in independence, there is graduate school.

The result is twenty years wasted when you should have been out in the world, having a life worth talking about in bars—riding motorcycles, sacking cities, lolling on Pacific beaches or hiking in the Northwest. You learn that structure trumps performance, that existence is supposed to be dull. It prepares you to spend years on lawsuits over somebody else’s trademarks or simply going buzzbuzzbuzz in a wretched federal office. Only two weeks a year do you get to do what you want to do. This we pay for?

What if you sent your beloved daughter to a university and they sent you back an advertising executive?"

Hard not to see a considerable amount of truth in the above.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Then they tell you that you need four more years in college or you won’t be quite human and anyway starve from not getting a job. For those of this downtrodden bunch who are utterly lacking in independence, there is graduate school.
Hm, is this Fred person on Kiyosaki's payroll, by chance?
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:29 AM   #3
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

"The result is twenty years wasted when you should have been out in the world, having a life worth talking about in bars—riding motorcycles, sacking cities, lolling on Pacific beaches or hiking in the Northwest. You learn that structure trumps performance, that existence is supposed to be dull. It prepares you to spend years on lawsuits over somebody else’s trademarks or simply going buzzbuzzbuzz in a wretched federal office. Only two weeks a year do you get to do what you want to do. This we pay for?"

Pretty cynical. *Unfortunately, a good deal of truth in it. *I would have gone to college no matter what back in the day because I really liked school. *However, had I not been so single mindedly job focused in what courses I took, I might have received an education instead of a ticket punch. *On the other hand, today's "degree programs" *have invented a lot of politically correct, nonsense majors that sound cool but bear even less relationship to what the real world requires. *There has to be a middle ground somewhere. *I was a journalism/English major. *Today that would be global mass communications with an ethno centric Western European, male dominated bias and studies in primative technologies. *However, punctuation and proper capitalization of the major would be optional, and maybe even a graduate level course.

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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Who is this Fred?
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:48 AM   #5
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Brewer,

I don't know who the Fred is that you are quoting but I have to disagree. Of course, I started college 40 years ago so things have changed, but not that much. I attended four different colleges and universities as an undergrad and grad student. One was a small liberal arts college, one was a very large urban university, one was a mid size university and one was a rural large university. At age 18 I was totally unprepared for the adult world and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. College was intellectually and culturally stimulating. I took an undergraduate degree in Psychology; not because it would get me a job (it didn't) but because I wanted a better way to understand human behavior. Some of my professors were excellent and some were not. How is that different from the quality of people in ANY organization? As to producing "docile assembly-line workers", I think the history of campus activism in the late 60's speaks for itself and my peers have been anything but docile in later life.

As to "the point is to accustom you to doing things you detest"; those who detest the things you do in college should probably not go to college. While I didn't love studying for finals or writing research papers, I did get a great sense of satisfaction from mastering new things.

Grad school was something I chose to do. I went part-time, in the evenings. I found that the interchange with other students who were working in the same field as me was at least as valuable as the classroom material. At that time I was married and had a small child so "lolling on Pacific beaches" and "riding motorcycles" was not a priority. My education, and the advancements at work that it helped me achieve contirbuted to my being able to retire at age 55. Now I have the time, the money and the maturity to be "out in the world and have a life worth talking about" (although not in bars).

I guess it comes down to this. Some people are suited to higher education and some are not. It would make more sense for those who are not to pursue an apprenticeship or other non-academic training.

Grumpy
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:54 AM   #6
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
Who is this Fred?
www.fredoneverything.net
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
Brewer,

I don't know who the Fred is that you are quoting but I have to disagree. ... As to producing "docile assembly-line workers", I think the history of campus activism in the late 60's speaks for itself and my peers have been anything but docile in later life.
Right on Grumpy!!! I also found college stimulating and fun as does my daughter today. I have to admit though that, back in the day, many of us described grammer and high schools as factories structured to produce docile drones (e.g. Pink Floyd, "The Wall"; Alice Cooper, "School's Out"). Of course those factory techniques only worked on other people, not us. We had psychedelics to open our minds and see things as they were (see the magic mushroom thread)

Speaking of Fred's concerns, Grumpy you will probably remember "The Primal Scream" from your Psych days. It preached that we all had to confront (and scream out) the inner rage caused by our evil parents who beat down our innate curiousity in the process of turning us into college bound drones.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Hmmm, I disagree as well, but I think there are a lot of marginal universities popping up that are moving towards that. Too many undergrad students figuring out which major has the highest salary without thinking about if the subject interests them. If you go to a good small liberal arts college or a top 50 university you are still going to find the great institute of higher learning he opines about. My little brother is going to UC Berkeley and I have friends going to various good institutions like Carnegie Mellon, UCSD (where my wife went) etc.

College isn't for everyone, but some would have you think it is. Better those who aren't fit go to a trade school as Grumpy said, rather than the Sonny and Cher polybusiness U. at Tuscon.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 12:06 PM   #9
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
Of course, I started college 40 years ago
Dude! When the heck are you going to finally graduate!?!

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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Well, Fred's right: you don't need a college degree to lie on the beach. Unless you're simply taking a break from studying beach erosion, water pollution, medical uses of jellyfish venom, changing populations of fish and crustaceans, global warming, tsunami warning, sea turtle habitat, health of the kelp forest/coral reef/spartina/periwinkles...
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 01:31 PM   #11
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
Well, Fred's right: you don't need a college degree to lie on the beach. Unless you're simply taking a break from studying beach erosion, water pollution, medical uses of jellyfish venom, changing populations of fish and crustaceans, global warming, tsunami warning, sea turtle habitat, health of the kelp forest/coral reef/spartina/periwinkles...
Hey, hey, hey, I resemble that remark... and hope to spend the next 40 years at it!
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

hang ten, dude!
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Fred says,
Quote:
See, first you learn that you have to finish twelve years of grade school and high school. The point is not to teach you anything; if it were, they would give you a diploma when you passed a comprehensive test, which you might do in the fifth grade.
Of course one can test out of high school if one wants, with the G.E.D. Probably not a good idea if one does want to go to college, though.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 07:48 PM   #14
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

To paraphrase the movie, "Degrees!? We ain't got no degrees. We don't need no degrees! I don't have to show you any stinking degrees!!"

Went to a community college for one year, got no degree.
Went to a music conservatory for two years, got no degree.

I think I did financially alright without a degree and with a financial IQ of 10. I don't think a college degree/master/doctorate would have necessarily improved my financial IQ.

MJ
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 08:55 PM   #15
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Brewer (an MBA, if I recall correctly) you may have gone through the "worst of the worst" experience as far as far as a degree program designed to "train" students for the purposes of corporate america.

I though that undergrad engineering was a bit of a pain in that a lot of it was jumping through hoops just to show that you could.

But grad school (Ph.D. Berkeley) was different in most respects. At least for me there was opportunity to be creative, define what it was that you wanted to do with certain bounds and only a modest amount of required courses.

Unlike some schools, the faculty generally seemed to assume that grad students were "innocent until proven guilty" and treated them accordingly.

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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 09:15 PM   #16
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
I though that undergrad engineering was a bit of a pain in that a lot of it was jumping through hoops just to show that you could.
Pretty much...I think as some have pointed out...it is an accomplishment....I dont think it made me into a drone
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-24-2006, 11:04 PM   #17
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
The result is twenty years wasted when you should have been out in the world, having a life worth talking about in bars—riding motorcycles, sacking cities, lolling on Pacific beaches or hiking in the Northwest.
i must be confused. i thought that was college.

it might have taken me a few extra years to finish but boy did i have a good time. high school was a blast too. what i remember from grade school and sleep away camp. yup, fun, fun, fun, fun and more fun. even most of my working life was fun, well, until i got sick of all that fun (and all the death in my life kind of sucked), but it took 48 years to get me down.

i just spent a year doing pretty much nothing, got some strength back and now i intend to spend another 48 years doing, um, yup, you guessed it, having some more fun. i assure you, nothing in any of my experience ever turned me into a docile assembly line worker, not even working on a docile assembly line.

regardless of what you learned or didn't learn in high school, in college or on the job, learn this:

regardless of experience, you and only you decide how you experience life.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-25-2006, 07:40 AM   #18
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Interesting to see the replies here. I guess my experience of school has been different than some others'. Yeah, I had an interesting, mind broadening and well rounded educational experience in HS and college. However, it doesn't cjange the fact that much of our educational system is set up to churn out worker bees who will toil away in cubes for far more of their natural lives than seems reasonable.

As for the MBA: I made it interesting by choosing to concenrate on stuff I found interesting, but at its base, my pursuit of the degree was chiefly motivated by the risk-adjusted rate of return offered on my time, effort, and money.
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-25-2006, 08:09 AM   #19
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

.... got an awesome low hour (by american standards), high pay, low stress job due to having earned a Masters degree.* *Oh well, so much for his theory!

(my wife, same story, masters, low hr, high pay job, low stress)

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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again
Old 07-25-2006, 08:30 AM   #20
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Re: *Sigh* Fred has a good point again

Not all of us can/wish to suckle at the federal/state/local teat. Someone has to be productive to make the economy work.
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