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>On that note, my experience has been that academic environment often does more damage than good to its students.

How bad are we talking? My small bubble doesn't constitute mountains of data, but I have friends across the US from top-tier and not-so-top-tier schools that aren't damaged goods from academia.

Better yet, are you sure it's academia that screwed up or stubborn individuals who worship the ground their professors walk on? Those are the types of people that see academia as the end all, be all of what's right.

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