Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Poo On Higher Education?

I don't know that I'd go that far. But I have said here before I think higher education, at least as far as four year or longer universities are concerned, is one of the most bloated, bogus institutions in this country today: The centerpiece of the Education- Industrial Complex.

Not that universities don't have their place, I just think their usefulness to the average person is vastly overblown. I'm actually quite friendly toward the smaller community colleges, like our very own College of the Redwoods, and think more people should take advantage of them, assuming they don't have something else already going on in their life.

This commentary in the Dallas Morning News echoes a lot of what I think about higher education. I wish I'd see more such commentary going around rather than complaints that not everyone can attend a university.

46 Comments:

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred have you ever heard of research? Or the connection between education and wealth - individual, national, corporate? Or specialized expertise? There are many people who come out of college dumber than shit but I don't think you can paint the entire 'industry' that way.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Fred said...

So, I suspect you're a supporter of the Educational- Industrial Complex?

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Fred said...

5:19 wrote, "There are many people who come out of college dumber than shit but I don't think you can paint the entire 'industry' that way.".

Sure I can. Those same people that "came out of college dumber than shit might well have spared themselves, and everyone else that expense.

Heck, they might actually have made something of themselves in the time they'd spent in college.

I don't have a problem with people pursuing higher education. Problem is, it's become a goal in itself, rather than any meaningful way to reach some other goal.

Even if they use it as a way to reach some goal, often, that goal could have been met without college.

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, c'mon, I don't understand what you're getting at. I do think higher education has immense value. I just pointed out three of the most valued products of higher education. What are you trying to say? Higher education has no value? Get rid of it?

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, let me correct myself. I think people who actually graduate college do come out of it better than when they went in. College is not a piece of cake. There are many people who can't even get in, and many who never graduate. But it's not about where you start out, it's where you end up. You can just look at the statistics and see a clear difference. People generally don't take you seriously unless you're 25 and have a job, so why not spend that time in college so when you're 40+ you will have a significantly higher salary, and maybe even a job you love to do.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"so why not spend that time in college so when you're 40+ you will have a significantly higher salary, and maybe even a job you love to do.".

I've never seen any indication, personally, that someone who graduated from college, is in a job they love simply because they got a diploma.

Certainly there might be some college graduates that have nice jobs (that they might love), but my own observations have been those same people might well have done the same thing without college.

They wouldn't have the student loans to pay off, either.

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:19 PM: "There are many people who come out of college dumber than shit..."

Well and truly said comrade! The products of the local "institutions" make excellent tree sitters.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article really says that people who are not suited to college shouldn't be lured into going there by colleges that "water down" their curriculum to let them graduate. It DOES NOT say that going to college harms anyone, but asserts that not everyone is qualified to achieve a rigorous college education.

The problem is that operationally, it is impossible to determine in advance who is not qualified to be in college. Only by attempting and failing can someone know with certainty they are not qualified. Personally I wouldn't want to tell anyone they aren't suitable for college, to become president, or anything else they deeply aspire to achieve.

The European system of education tracks children at an early age into rigid categories to minimize the cost inefficiencies associated with drop outs. IMHO, cost efficiency isn't the highest goal for society to attain when it comes to enabling people's freedom to aspire. There are many, many cases of "low potential" children achieving great academic success. Arbitrarily limiting a child's future isn't consistent with the values and traditions of America.

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"It DOES NOT say that going to college harms anyone, but asserts that not everyone is qualified to achieve a rigorous college education.".

Well, I read it a bit differently, but point well made. Regardless; I also read it as saying it's a waste of time for many, which happens to line up with my own personal opinion.

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Fred has generalized his personal experience of being a dropout and now has sour grapes about the respect of accomplishment that completing higher education confers.

Sorry Fred, failing at academics isn't a virtue. You failed due to your lack of ability and initiative. You chose to smoke pot and get drunk while working menial jobs, rather than appling yourself to acquiring knowledge. That was your personal decision, not an inevitability. Don't blame the educational instiutions for your life choice.

Honest libertarians make a big point of taking personal responsibility for their lives, but you attribute your sorry lot to the "Educational-Industrial Complex" and "the powers that be". Shame on you.

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:45 makes a number of points that sound plausible.

How about telling us some of the details of your college career, Fred? (Just so we can be sure your attitudes toward higher education are not a case of sour grapes.)

 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I started at College of the Redwoods back in 1973 and dropped out every quarter (back then they were on the quarter system) for maybe a year and a half.

Started going back again, off and on, in the early 80s. Eventually, I settled on an Administration of Justice major. Got tired of that after a while a gave up again.

I believe had the units to graduate but I hadn't taken a couple required classes. If memory serves me correct my GPA was 3.9 when I lot interest in college and quit. I might have the GPA wrong, but that's what I remember it being last time I noticed.

 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Unfortunately, Fred is correct. "The University of Deleware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism."
This is not an isolated case, required Freshman "orientation" classes are replete with cultural Marxism (political correctness) brainwashing programs.

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just more evidence of what a waste of time this blog is.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

10:52, are you referring to your own comment and your own time?

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Ah, er, this UCB dropout created the coming communitarian solution to expensive colleges about 23 years ago: The Mateel Video College proposal.

Here it reposted:


The Mateel Video College Proposal
(1984)



As someone who has had a fairly long on and off again involvement in various alternative projects, many of which were focused on or around some sort of alternative college of New Age ecological education and lifestyles, I believe this new VideoCollege approach may be just the thing needed to bring these alternative community college plans into reality without going into enormous expenses and complex organization.

This "Mateel VideoCollege" proposes a new type of educational service that could provide a source of inexpensive yet highly professional and accredited learning and skills training for as many students (of all ages) as our educational organization could handle. In other words, thus far this new service has NO serious competition anywhere in America.
Yes, there are some organizations that produce and market videocassette instruction tapes in their own particular areas of expertise (mostly in the personal growth and self-help therapy fields), but at present there is no single college of videocassette instruction offering a wide range of education and skills training that could eventually match the broad curriculums of major colleges and universities. We could be the first to do so and only our development funding would limit how extensive and successful this Mateel VideoCollege could become.

This Mateel VideoCollege doesn't require a campus. It only needs a large cassette library, a computerized indexing, record-keeping, mailing, and bookkeeping system and office space, video and sound recording equipment and trained crews to run them, videocassette duplicating equipment, a minimum staff of workers and business/educational managers, and a large national advertising budget offering our courses in all major magazines, newspapers, and other ad display outlets.

Videocassettes are "in" these days and all the necessary electronic hardware exists throughout the nation. Instant local video "classrooms" could be set up wherever a VCR unit can be used. The student viewer doesn't need to live near any college or university to receive top instruction. Homes, libraries, schools, and private video-rooms anywhere in America would be the "campus" of the Mateel VideoCollege.

Our Mateel VideoCollege would send out trained video-recording crews to tape the nation's top teachers and artisans at work doing what they expertly do and are known for. Video-recording means the student not only receives verbal instruction but also visual demonstrations to reinforce each part of a particular learning series.

Editing the final tape programs insures the student gets only concise instruction, free of unrelated discourse or distraction. The video instructor doesn't have to worry about "off days" and can put her or his very best teaching style forward which will not only help keep students from becoming bored but will also compress lecture times down to fewer, but more quality-filled hours of instruction.

VideoCollege cassette courses would offer teachers and professionals an added, if not primary, source of income by receiving royalties from the sales and rentals of their taped programs.

Courses offered would be geared to meet student interests and professional degree requirements in addition to the Mateel's emphasis on ecological alternative social, political, economic, technological, cultural, and personal instruction specialization. With the whole sense dimensional advantage of audio-visual presentation over verbal instruction alone, the Mateel VideoCollege could provide perhaps a superior overall learning experience for most students.
Videocassette learning will allow each student to learn at their own individual pace. There would be no "class" to keep up with or held back by.

And, of course, the main advantage to the Mateel VideoCollege system would be its low, low cost to students compared with the staggering costs of attending college, universities, and even trade schools these days.
Well, this is the proposal. We have the credentialed staff to make it "official" and trained video-recording technicians living right here to begin operation if we can fund it. Our community also has more than its share of experts in many different skill areas that this organization could provide a channel to make a living off their professional talents.
* * *

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Fred,

Not all people should attend college. A goal of making it accessible to all citizens is misguided. The University system is a valuable asset. Decrying the 'bloating' is justified. Lamenting the existence of a "industrial education complex" is short sighted.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw Fred, it is impossible to be a 'dropout' and have a 3.9. So I call bullshit on that. Even if you took incompletes they eventually convert to F's, so yet again your ignorance really shines through. It's also just hard to believe any college professor would take you seriously, even at CR, since your writings are based off of personal feelings almost exclusively, or you reference television episodes you can barely remember... In other words Fred you have no discipline. You are the kind of person who they don't want graduating through the system because your head is so full of shit.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I challenge you to prove me wrong, asshole.

I will admit, though, I didn't understand how I could have a 3.9 after all the Fs and incompletes I got the first couple years. Only thing I can figure is they don't calculate GPAs from the entire time one attends a school. Maybe just the last few years or so? I don't know.

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you go get your transcripts and post them online Fred? And yes, the GPA that matters is the one that calculates all your grades. Just because you got an A- during the semester you only took gym class doesn't mean anything Fred. Also the JC's are not exactly known for their rigor which is why many students have problems transferring to 4 year institutions after getting their GE at places like CR. I find it funny that you would post a topic like this, making yourself into even more of a fool than you were before.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Hey, anon, why don't you put a sock in it, huh? Who gives a flying farook about your opinions of Fred's education. Fred's being honest while you're just being a two-bit critic of petty stuff nobody cares about.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred is being the two-bit critic.

 
At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Actually, this has piqued my curiosity. I'm wondering now just how many classes I actually finished in my first year? I might have a copy of my transcripts somewhere around here. I'll look around.

If I can't find them, I might have to order a copy of them (again).

Hey, doesn't our very own Jeff K. work at C/R? Maybe he knows someone in admissions that would let you take a peak at my records. Tell them I gave you permission, Jeff.

I know, they probably aren't that easy over there.

And asshole might well be right; maybe I was just looking at one of my last quarters (or was it semesters then?). Not sure. Got me curious now.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

1:37

Fred is being a "two-bit" critic of substantive issues. You on the other hand are attacking Fred. I assumed you learned about ad-hominem in your education. Perhaps you could refrain from fallacious argument?

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Fred, maybe you should take those few classes that you need to graduate. It is never to late and you may enjoy going back to college. There are some re-entry scholarships available in the community.

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Nah, don't listen to them. All you learn in college is how to be a clone of someone else's ideas, the teacher's who couldn't make a living any other way, or the teacher's sources' people very likely never bothered to get any degrees but produced the stuff you'll learn about in college.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I have met far too many "college educated" people who have either forgotten or never learned some real basic liberal education knowledge to be real impressed with the college education system. It seems more to do with playing the employment salary game than anything else. More education= more money. Is that what education is for? Funny, I thought it was to learn about life and our place in it.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Now where's my salmon..

 
At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, I like it when you call other posters "asshole."

It makes the time you called me an asshole less hurtful.

Why not call every poster an asshole? I'm sure we would all feel a lot better then.

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:30 LOL

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be impossible to get any F's and have a 3.9 GPA. That is, afterall, only .1 less than 4.0 which is all A's.

It is incredible that anyone who attended college for even one semester wouldn't know that.

 
At 5:43 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"It would be impossible to get any F's and have a 3.9 GPA. That is, afterall, only .1 less than 4.0 which is all A's.".

That's what I would have thought, believe it or not.

Carol wrote, "Fred, maybe you should take those few classes that you need to graduate.".

I've thought about that, on occasion. Bottom line though is, why bother? Nothing to be gained by it.

And I'll have to say that I never enjoyed college, aside from a few classes that might have been interesting, like Meteorology.

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Anon, why do you creeps want to pick on Fred? Don't you have anything better to do with your time than try to find petty faults with a guy that really doesn't do anyone any harm at all with his opinions.

Get a life, anons and stop wasting comment space.

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Fred wants to mouth off with idiotic ramblings, its not "picking on" him to challenge and call attention to the implications and meanings of his writing.

Stevie, why do YOU feel a compulsion to stop discussion or debate? Is it because you really believe that Fred is helpless or too dumb to defend himself? Its you who disrespects Fred by declaring him in need of a "protector", not the folks who make an effort and challenge his writing.

Stevie, save your totalitarian ideas for your blog, where no one cares to comment. I think you don't like democracy or understand the world of ideas, just restricted within your personal point of view with no desire (and likely no ability)to listen, understand, and engage others.

 
At 5:13 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

It's just that these blogs are filled with anonymous assholes who do nothing but say garbage things about other people. They don't contribute to any rational dialog. It's just spewing forth venom and it's disgusting to wade through the shit thrown at people better than these anonymous creepoids.

I can understand why people attack me because I constantly post controversial opinions but Fred here doesn't do anything like I do yet he too receives all kinds of crappy put-downs. Doesn't make sense except to point the finger of blame at anonymous posters who feel this need to piss their bile all over the rest of us.

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger Fred said...

It's actually a lot of fun- ok, some fun- deleting the troll comments. Something's missing, though.

 
At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Posting to this blog doesn't have anything to do with civil liberties, at least in the government sense.

It's my blog, and I'll do with it as I please. I'm tired of constantly hearing from the riff- raff, so I delete them, as to not be reminded of them anymore than I need be.

Don't get too upset. You can start your own blog. You could call it the "We Hate Fred" blog. I'll even help you start it up, if you can't figure out how blogspot works.

Hey...no thanks necessary. I'm here to help.

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a censoring fool, Fred. Your deletions of posts you don't like, especially without any notice that you have done so, is dishonest and makes your blog a joke.

 
At 3:14 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

I delete every comment on my blog that contains slander and libel of me without adding anything relevant to the discussion. Why should any blog suffer bad air, the continuous farts of anonymous jerk-offs unnecessarily?

 
At 5:44 AM, Blogger Fred said...

9:57 wrote, "and makes your blog a joke.".

Yet you and a couple others can't seem to help yourselves but to stop by here a number of times each day.

No one's forcing you to come here. If you don't like it, find a blogger that won't delete your comments.

Kind of dumb to keep coming by a blog where you can't comment, isn't it?

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Fred, has someone threatened to harm you? Now you're a "libertaarian" who advocates and implments censorship even in cyberspace where there's no possible physical interactions. Exactly what kind of libertarian is that?

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Fred said...

The issue has nothing to do with libertarianism, 9:26. It's and issue of running my blog as I see fit. There's nothing wrong, to paraphrase the Carson Park Ranger, with going out and cleaning up all the dog droppings on one's lawn, which is what I'm doing when I remove some comments, including your own, from this blog.

If I were you, I'd stop taking crap from me. If you were any kind of man you'd boycott this blog. You shouldn't have to take the crap I dish out, should you? I'd say a boycott is in order.

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Fred, no can do. I am no kind of man at all. LOL

I'll keep you busy deleting posts you disagree with, knowing that they will be read by your few devotees before you get them deleted just to demonstrate what an intellectual coward you are.

 

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