Take for example the author's suggestions on how school systems can be improved:
Create a set of free, online high school and college degree programs that any American could enroll in, and pursue at their own pace.
Can you really expect high school students to perform well in online classes? The most elite companies in the valley have correctly found out that remote doesn't work (in most cases)... and yet we're going to do remote with our students? I took online classes when I went back to complete college at an older age... it was the worst mistake of my life. As a human, I needed the social imposition of a disappointed teacher telling me that I performed poorly on my test, I needed the camaraderie of students with whom I could study somewhere. Online classes, especially at high school stage are very bad (perhaps with the exception of "gifted" students who probably would benefit from being in a fast-tracked line).
At age 13, give everyone a $100k education voucher.
You're giving too much credit to students, they don't know what is best for them. This $100k will be exploited in some way by profit-seeking companies before you have a second to glance back at the money.
Legalize and normalize apprenticeship contracts.
I agree with this.
My wife OTOH, requires structure. She's smart and works hard, but if she was left to work at home she would procrastinate until the 11th hour. She needed a brick and mortar college, and in that structure managed to get her 4 year degree is 2.5 years.
One thing not discussed is that quality online degree programs can significantly lower the cost bar for students. I was lucky enough to have a decent school near my parents, so I lived at home for my entire undergrad degree. We simply did not have the money to do anything different, and I refused to take out loans unless absolutely necessary (I worked instead). It would have been amazing if there had been self paced online degrees offered by big name colleges at the time I was in undergrad.
...and I'm not sure what evidence lead them to believe that "most companies" in silicon valley have discovered that remote doesn't work, but I'm willing to bet it's anecdotal.
For PSOs for example remote works perfectly well since in many cases it's mainly individual work and even when a project requires a team the workstreams are individual and often independent.
There are enough companies out there with remote employees and even remotely distributed teams to disprove the assertion that "remote doesn't work".
I met a whole bunch of people who want to be a dev because it pays well. Most of them need constant supervision.
Society has to accommodate for workers that bomb interviews and that you would never hire on your team even if your particular company has the luxury of pretending they don't exist.
Most people aren't inherently motivated by their jobs, and I'd say this applies even more in office settings. Work is work, "work / life balance" exists because work is the obligation that pays for life. If this is indicative of how America as a whole feels, then this has everything to do with remote work.
Anecdotally, if the work environment is healthy (i.e., not open office trash), I think everyone benefits. I personally think remote is a good option if collocation is not possible--but not preferred.
Have you met kids? Many (most?) of them have an innate curiousity which is not hard to channel into a passion for learning given they get to learn things they enjoy, and if you tell them how well they're doing, they can get quite competitive about doing better.
Self-motivation wasn't instilled by a system of proscribing to kids what and how they had to learn, but that doesn't mean a system can't be built around nurturing it.
I myself try to hire for devs that don't need supervision because we're all adults here and being a nanny isn't something I'm interested in. I prefer trusting others to do their work in a timely manner, and if that trust is broken, we move on.
The first few weeks will tell you if they're going to work out or not, and if not, it's better for all involved to move on quickly. They will either perform their duties as an adult, which includes working without constant oversight, or they won't. And if they can't do so, out they go before the probationary period is over, because you can't train someone to care.
One source of variability: some care about impact on coworkers, some don't. Guess who will upset you more. Intrinsic/extrinsic is orthogonal to this.
Sounds like you got intrinsic and extrinsic mixed up, at least unknowingly.
I know, I work remote with people in 4 continents across 6 timezones. It simply doesn't work.
You can't teach people, you can't train people, you can't show anything over a phone or a chat.
On top of that, as soon as you have different timezones with little to no overlap. You cannot synchronise or work with your colleagues at all.
Remote work and remote teams should be limited to people who are already senior, fully autonomous and experienced. And even there, it's a constant battle and it takes a lot of self discipline.
I can concede that remote work doesn't work for everyone. I'll even concede that remote work is probably not ideal for most software engineers and the companies that employ them, even in "high tech."
But I'm going to draw the line there. The team I work with is entirely distributed, between the east and west coasts. For most of my career across several companies I've worked remotely. It works spectacularly well for us because we are all very motivated and have the self-discipline to complete our work according to deadlines.
I have also worked remotely on a team where one person was across the Atlantic. I admit that was a bit more of a struggle because we were frequently not online at the same time, but it wasn't a deal breaker in the end either.
Remote work probably doesn't work for most teams because the teams are very large and the work process requires a lot of synchronous communication. But it's really disingenuous to use a caricature of remote work (distributed across several time zones where heavy mentoring and synchronous communication is required) to say it simply doesn't work as a concept.
When there are people in Europe, Asia, Russia, Australia, it gets a lot harder.
The criticism is more about working across time difference than just remote.
P.S. Mentoring is always required, unless you only hire the most experienced people you can find. Communication is always required, unless you work on trivial problems.
Out of curiosity, what do you work on?
For you. I work in an office where some team members are remote. If something is urgent, you have to consider what's urgent about it. Is it you feel unable to proceed without discussing a topic face to face? If so, you are the problem , not remote work. I'd argue that 99.9% of things people claim are urgent, aren't urgent and could wait 8-10 hours.
Remote work is diffeeent to office work. If you treat asynchronous programming the same as synchronous programming, you're gonna have a bad time. If you design your work and your environment around remote work, it can and does work.
I'm going to challenge that. If you need direct, synchronous, face-to-face communication in order to teach or train, I have to question the quality of your documentation. I would also question whether the people with whom you are engaging in direct face-to-face communication are being trained adequately. For many people, verbal communication isn't the most effective way of teaching. They would rather have a written document that they can refer to, over and over again, as they learn whatever it is they need to do.
Prove me that you can have a conversation with someone who's 8+ hours away and sleeping when you are awake.
Prove me that you can teach someone over the phone to use a python profiler, knowing he's never used a profiler before. (That's one of the thing I had to do last week).
There are remote-only outfits, and they do fine - at least as well "We're not getting any work done because we're in an open plan office and we can't hear ourselves think" outfits.
But hiring policy is an issue, and so is PM. It needs people with a compatible attitude, and that includes management.
It's not that remote is a panacea, but it shouldn't be a showstopper either. There are plenty of productivity killers in non-remote work styles too.
What do you professionals do? They work with other professionals and progress with each other.
What do you do with the world class experts you have? Make them work with other world class experts to make the impossible possible. Again, lots of collaboration and interactions needed!
For anything non trivial or not explained by a stack overflow answer, the "go learn X by yourself" could easily take weeks to years, whereas it could be explained in a few days with face to face interactions.
The "can't hear ourselves think in an open plan" are dysfunctional organisation. Of course, a lot of things do better than that, including other dysfunctional organisations. Let's have a better point of comparison than that ;)
I mean the world was educated through text for over a millennia. It works.
I would replace text with mentors
The original point I was trying to make is you don't have to be "in the office" to learn programming stuff.
You seem to be suggesting that "collaboration" and "interactions" are things that necessarily can only happen synchronously and via richer media than text. Even if you want to move away from OSS as an example, I'd point towards the centuries of intellectual discussion that took place via hand-written snail mail letters.
Is in-person communication faster? No question. Is it the only way to effectively communicate ideas as part of a two-sided discussion? I should hope not.
What's the context of the conversation? That's really important. Of course you can't have a conversation with someone who is sleeping.
Equally you can't expect a well thought out response from your colleague when you are sitting over their shoulder asking them questions, wheeeas you will get that if you give them time to respond.
> prove me you can teach someone over the phone to use a python profiler, ...
Again, why? In that case surely it makes sense for:
A) you to do the task (as you colleague can't use a profiler)
B) your colleague to learn to use the profiler. If your job is to teach someone to use a tool over the air, then yes you have a very valid point. If it's mot, then you tell them to earn how to use a profiler or you'll do the task and they should tackle something else instead
That sounds dysfunctional to me. What's the point in having co-workers, teams, company if I am on my own for everything? What's gonna happen when I get hit by a bus? What's gonna happen when another guy get hit by a bus and noone knew anything he was doing?
No. Every problem comes down to "there's a problem that needs to be solved".
6 hours is about the limit to still have a bit of overlap. That's London-Houston for me.
I think this really depends on the person. I learned coding on my own as a teenager off the internet, I was entirely employable at 19, so I think its totally reasonable for this setup to work... if the kid is interested in the subject. Thats really the unspoken weakness of modern education -- we feed kids into an environment that resembles a prison, stamp out their natural curiosity about what adults actually do, and then act surprised that our glorified state run day-cares have taught the children nothing.
Does it matter? At what point do we put the failure of the student on the student? Education being unaffordable is a broadly sympathetic position. Not getting an education because you couldn't be troubled to take advantage of a free education is an unsympathetic position.
This plays right into the author's point. It's exploitation to culturally coerce young people into large amounts of debt to purchase a degree in communications or international studies, only to end up tending bar or hauling trash.
Instead, under the author's plan, they could have tested the waters of secondary education at 14 or 15, decided it wasn't for them, got a job hauling trash and be a mortgage-free home owner before they're 25.
Sympathy is besides the point. Look at the bigger picture: if US citizens are unprepared for the jobs the world economy demands, the country fails economically, putting it in the position to be exploited by others.
Education is important. This weird attitude that college is worthless somehow is not illustrated in the numbers: earning potential, mate selection, general career advancement.
The success of remote workers is entirely dependent on the culture of the company and team. I may not work for some hotshot silicon valley startup or Google, but our entire development team works remotely without issue. Daily standups ensure work is getting completed, and we all have GoToMeeting licenses so we can jump on a call and talk when IM doesn't cut it.
> and yet we're going to do remote with our students?
Probably not a wise idea for every student, I'll agree with you on this part. However, I don't think the idea of self-paced curriculum is a bad idea either - and it can be offered both in-person and online with ease.
Before I dropped out in my sophomore year in high school I attended a self-paced program for a semester, and it was amazing - I could burn through the topics at which I excelled leaving me time to focus one ones that gave me difficulties without pressure of getting the assignment in on-time. All in all, had I stuck with it I could have easily graduated a by the end of my Junior year.
Now, this is my personal anecdote - so take it for what it's worth.
> You're giving too much credit to students, they don't know what is best for them. This $100k will be exploited in some way by profit-seeking companies before you have a second to glance back at the money.
One only needs to look at for-profit universities to see how this is a bad idea. It would have to require you use it on a state-run institution or one that has been properly vetted, at that point why not just offer free tuition at public universities and call it done?
I can't name a single "elite company" that doesn't rely on consultants at some point. Most of these consultants do work remote. So... if it works for some people, why can't it work for every person?
It's not correct that remote work doesn't work.
Remote work doesn't get embraced by a lot of companies because they care about things outside of the results. Managers / decision makers care about "seeing" people work (I suspect this has more to do with narcism than anything else, but probably also a bit because they don't know how to use Google Hangouts and / or can't put the same level of emotional pressure on people via a monitor), HR cares about establishing "culture" and somehow that's accomplished by having people play foosball (but not Overwatch) together.
Anyway, because of all this crap, we're forced to waste 2 hours a day commuting -- and who knows how long shaving, dropping off dry cleaning... and all that other crap we do just so we can go into an office). Then we sit in shitty big open spaces that are horrible for introverts or anyone who needs focus to get their job done and waste a ton of time trying to figure out who to go out to lunch with and what to have for lunch and how to decorate our cubes / desks...
Anyway, look... all I'm saying is that every company uses remote workers when the shit hits the fan and results are all that matter. The fact that they don't embrace it for all employees... it has more to do with management being petty and insecure, or technologically short sighted, or trying to make the drones look busy to investors than it has to do with anything else.
Like the near limitless non-dischargeable loans those same students are able to take right now? At least after it was taken by those same bad actors that are taking it right now, they wouldn't have to spend the rest of their lives "paying it back".
2) Subsidized loans are far less prone to moral hazard than handing out large vouchers to everyone.
3) Yes there are already bad actors exploiting students with federal benefits. We don't want to make it any worse.
I learned computer programming and electronics, completely on my own, except for one introductory course in each subject.
On the other hand, it would have been hard for me to learn math and physics on my own, and those subjects became my college majors.
There are a few subjects which kids have 'forced' on them which they end up 'never using', and certain others which they do end up needing later but are introduced to in a different way or context which makes it actually interesting.
It's not a bad idea to let them start with the subjects they like, give them the assurance and security of knowing that a stable life exists for them having that basis, then encourage them to pursue other subjects at their leisure if and when those things become relevant.
With math and physics, I've found that I am far motivated to learn concepts when having an immediate practical application for them, say in the context of computer graphics. Being able to apply what you're learning to create things is tremendously motivating, while if you remain in the pure theoretical domain, it can seem abstract and aimless without an external structure to direct you.
However, I wanted to say that my kid sister is in 9th grade and is doing online high school.. It's been a bit more stressful but she's been learning a lot more because she has to actually go through all of the lessons herself each day rather than zoning out in class. All of her grades have improved at least 1 letter grade versus a traditional classroom (and from what I've seen it's not because the work is any easier, it's actually harder and there's a lot more of it).
So, I think that free online high school could definitely work. But also definitely not for everyone
I wish that resources such as Khan Academy existed when I was at school. I don't know about you, but many of my high school teachers barely understood the material they were teaching.
I say this so often. And it's not that my teachers were dumb, but in a class full of people they may not have time to help those who are struggling on a topic or need a prior topic review.
I've always thought an interesting experiment would be to tell students to go watch the Khan videos before the class lecture. That way the teacher can focus on helping everyone get the deeper understanding in person rather than going over the basics. This seems like it would work particularly well with math.
Perhaps the reason why a remote work setup is difficult to execute is because students are never trained for it in the first place.
The "pursue at their own pace" is probably the part I disagree with as well. Most young people just don't have enough internal motivation to actually finish on time. You still need the structure a class and school provides. I just think it doesn't have to 100% on site.
I'm curious do you have a citation for this? Have those "elite companies" - Google, FB, etc ever actually embraced a remote work force? My impression was they were always on-site shops. But maybe someone here knows more?
You know one of those clicker games, like cookie clicker? It's hilariously dumb if you think about it--it's kind a parody of what a video game really is. You click, and then you get a reward, and you use that reward to do the click thing better, faster, and automated. Some people love it because they are really receptive to operant conditioning and self-motivated just to see that number rise (however stupid it may be), and some people feel like they need a deeper reason to play something like that. That was kind of my analogy for the whole shebang.
I had a usual on campus undergraduate degree experience, except I also took some fully and partially online courses, and I did great in them and enjoyed them even more as I didn't need to spend time physically putting myself into a classroom. I also got a master's degree which was mostly online in a math-heavy discipline, and I did fine because I do the work necessary.
I've just been working remote for weeks, and have done remote days many times for my job, and honestly I can usually get more done because I'm not distracted by everyone interrupting me and making smalltalk around the office.
So remote works well for me, and probably for many others. It doesn't work well for you, and possibly many others. Please, let's not impose our 'best way of doing things' on everyone else (I'm including myself here).
Good lord, how about just give that money to schools?
Yes, but all the rest of it is.
That said, it's clear that online education has the potential to transform millions of lives for people who have the discipline, vigor, and intention of going into a specific field.
Many people around the world are learning on their own time, be it linear algebra or Python programming, without needing to spend thousands of dollars on a formalized education.
The current explosion in peoples interest Deep Learning is in no small part because of the availability of information on the internet, such as free or inexpensive textbooks, free video and written tutorials from dozens of high quality sources, research papers on Arxiv, and tons of written information by the leading researchers of our time. If you're interested in Deep Learning, going to a local college that isn't an elite institution is unlikely to have significantly larger benefit over spending the next few years studying and learning on your own.
I can honestly say that from my college education, only a small % was truly applicable to my eventual career. Was it worth $40k+? For the social network, yes, but for the practical methods of improving my own skillset, hardly. Most of my professors were quite frankly lesser skilled than the students who eventually graduated. Clearly, I didn't go to Stanford or MIT!
On the topic of the "camaraderie of students," there's nothing that says people can't form their own groups without the need of a university environment, such as through Meetup.com or Facebook. I'm currently part of a study group that's going through an online Deep Learning course, where we meet every week to discuss the weeks work. And we sometimes bring in a PhD level practitioner to answer questions and give feedback.
I'll also just underline this: the level of teaching of particular subjects varies from college to college. You are not guaranteed to get a good professor on the topics you truly care about. A lot of people will never have the experience of going to an elite institution that has industry leaders or excellent teachers. The wonder of online education is that you can find a teacher who absolutely has a style and process that works for you and you may learn a lot more through that process than going to a class where the teacher sucks the life out of the topic. Or just simply makes you do work that isn't structured well.
For example, look at comments written on highly popular math videos on YouTube, where students lament the fact that they're taught basic things in a way that is extremely abstract, pushing them to just learn rote memorization. It takes people like 3Blue1Brown and Sal Khan to open up their minds to the intuition.
Do you know how much value a high school type person has in writing computer programs for an actual software company? Something fairly negative. Say -$10 an hour or -$50 an hour, based on how much experienced person time they take up and how much damage they do.
If you run a small profitable business, even if you could get high schoolers to work for free to write you code, you should not do it. If you need to pay them minimum wage... even MORE reason not do it.
I feel this is a situation that other industries have dealt with for 100s of years. For example the day 1 statue carver was probably a huge negative value also. I suspect they had to sign something like "I will work for enough pay to feed myself for 2 years, and then work for a industry standard wage for 2 years after that if you agree to train me". So all in agreeing to 4 years of work for training. (And some pay, but not really break the bank pay). At the end of the 4 years, the company got a decent amount of value out of the statue carver, and the statue carver learned a bunch of skills without going to college.
Not really anything like this in programming. Not even sure it would be legally enforceable. But I think that is a big reason why there is a gap in needs of programmers vs people willing to train people to do the job. It really would suck for most people to train someone how to do a job for a year (losing tons of money), and then the person job hops to someone who pays higher and bears none of the training cost. This is why so many jobs advertise 1-3 years of experience required. They want people over the initial learning hump, but not making the big bucks yet.
So perhaps I am proposing a way to bring back bonded labor apprentices? Hum, seems terrible. But also seems like it could work...
I highly doubt it is negative. My first development job came when I was still I high school, and I worked on (even sole) projects that were put into useful production for a number of years. While I don't know what kind of revenue my work helped generate, I cannot imagine they made negative amounts of money. It did what was needed, and would have been pretty easy to throw out.
Or maybe you at least need to qualify that statement? I suppose it could see it being true if the student (or anyone of any age, for that matter) has never touched a computer before. I came with programming experience even before starting that job. It is not like programming is particularly difficult to learn.
I don't know. Motivated HS kids today could be pretty good employees. My first programming job happened when I was a sophomore in college, and code I wrote was going into production products.
In Switzerland an apprentice on average costs the company more than what they bring in value for the first two years, but make that loss up in the final two.
Not only you are cheapening "slavery" as a word, but mis-framing the issue.
That is not apprenticeship, it is unpaid internship, and it is much worse then taking on debt to get an education because it creates a vast gap in opportunity based on existing wealth.
I read his article dedicated to architecture on his blog, and it was equally ill-informed. Of course buildings built in the 1880s didn't require architects with a college degree. They didn't require that you know CAD, either.
What appeals to people about this type of article? The author doesn't bring any experience with education policy or teaching. He doesn't back his assertions with research, primary sources, or even secondary sources. He doesn't bother interviewing anyone with experience with the problem or who has thought about it.
And, his reasoning is fairly shoddy. Much of what he's arguing for already exists in parallel with formal education. Nothing stopped me in the past from supplementing my learning on Coursera or hiring a programmer without a degree in computer science. A good friend of mine dropped out of high school, got his GED, and went back to college. Nothing is stopping anyone, you just limit your opportunities.
Even if formal education was abolished or fully privatized, businesses would find a similar, expensive process for screening applicants. The government is rarely requiring this. It's usually industry associations.
I read this article because I'm curious about this sort of thinking. Why do we not only have a desire for simple solutions but a need for radical ones from people with no experience in the field they're discussing? Why is this appealing?
If you're curious about radical approaches to education and the deschooling movement, read Ivan Illich or research the free schools movement. I read Illich before sending my daughters to public school. I didn't think Illich had any answers, and much of what he advocated wasn't precluded by formal education. School doesn't take that much time. My kids thrived in public school, and one of them wants to be a teacher.
Like you say, for this to get upvoted there must be a high demand for sweeping, uninformed radical change.
People in computer programming professions should extend the same courtesy to the social sciences we expect from Hollywood. There's no reason for Hollywood to care that they're making stuff up, but they have enough shame to care that their imaginary worlds pass the sniff test. Our pronouncements on education, politics, and economics should require us to do the same.
> Even fifteen years ago at an Ivy League school I did not like to say things too far outside the zeitgeist in section, because it just wasn’t worth the risk of making someone in class angry. And I hear the problem is even worse now.
and a bunch of literally made up numbers (ahem, "subjective assessment") seriously?
So yeah. That's the question. Why does nobody listen to the actual experts on the American education system? The people who've been studying this for decades? And when people aren't willing to do the hard work (that requires expertise)... how do you even talk about solutions in a serious manner?
I've seen the insecurity of some of my colleges without degrees, almost like they think college is a mystical place where deep and unique knowledge is shared. That insecurity can really cripple your career.
I struggled with it daily as a self taught developer working at a large company. I eventually dropped out of the workforce and went back to school because of it. I feel pretty awkward now as a 30 something in class with freshman, but the satisfaction and confidence of having that piece of paper seems worth it to me.
I'm not sure this is the case. A lot of employers probably just require a degree because they get so many applicants and it serves as a lazy filter.
On a practical level it also shows that a given applicant has the tenacity to power through a long term plan and come out successful.
Supposedly a degree is also signal of critical thinking, but this has not been my experience with people at all.
TRUCK DRIVERS: They don't just move big rigs around. They also need to keep detailed log books, plan out routes, pass inspections -- and know how to talk civilly and constructively to DOT inspectors. An eighth grade education will not get you there. Especially on the last part. The back-and-forth of a high-school classroom socializes teenagers to work with authority. Most high school dropouts give up because they can't conform to those norms, not because they can't do the work. Trucking companies rightfully insist on a high school degree for exactly this reason.
FINANCIAL ADVISERS: Met any lately? I work in a co-lo space with several within 50 feet. They're all college educated, and they put non-obvious skills from their education to work, every day. They need to provide their clients with highly literate, personalized updates via quarterly letters. They need a sophisticated understanding of clients' expressed and unstated needs -- and you're not going to be fully capable of doing that with just a high school education. Some college-level psychology classes, history classes or behavioral econ classes will get you in the game. And if you actually want to be a financial adviser with some understanding of how markets work, an econ/finance major is your best path in.
Some of the other analysis is quite interesting. But the classification errors in this piece are more than just a matter of tweaking a spreadsheet. They come from a deeper misunderstanding of what many jobs are all about.
He is from rural Mexico and became a naturalized citizen of the US in his early 50s a couple years ago. The extent of his formal education was through 6th grade which was the furthest offered in his area when he grew up; he has had no further contact with the educational system since then.
In the nearly three decades that he has been driving trucks he has routinely won driver of the year awards as well as other frequent commendations for excellent performance in all job aspects while not a single time receiving a reprimand for uncivil or unconstructive conduct in any situation. His previous job experience before entering trucking in the 80s was a bit of construction work followed by quite a few years of dairy work; not places where he would have frequently encountered and worked along side better educated people that would have given him the opportunity to pick up on their habits and means of operating.
I believe that his example shows that it is not necessary to go through eighth grade to learn these skills; I suspect that rather than eighth grade imparting superior skill towards functioning in society, it is instead a filter for those students that our one-size-fits-all school system fails to accommodate that then disposes those students outside of the system without any recourse or additional assistance which sets them up for a failed and miserable life in many cases.
For what it's worth I have worked jobs between high school and college where I met people that graduated high school but lacked the ability to anything as slightly complex as the activities that you described. Eighth grade and beyond did not seem to have much effect in imparting those skills to them.
> plan out routes
And then get chewed out for wasting 30min deviating from the route the GPS says even though the GPS told you to go under an over-height bridge.
CDL school deals with that.
>know how to talk civilly and constructively to DOT inspectors.
If you're talking to DOT anywhere other than a weigh station you're already screwed. If you're talking at a weigh station you need to know about three sentences of english.
You seem to think every trucker is an owner operator. Most are just "steering wheel holders" for a big dry van company. You don't need a high school degree for that. English literacy would probably be beneficial but I would say it's not a hard necessity.
Education credentials don't matter much anyway since many truckers are immigrants who speak little English (it works well for them for a variety of reasons) and who's education level doesn't map well onto the US system.
Basically, if you can pass the CDL exam you can move a dry van from A to B
Not sure about these days, but ~10 years ago, my friend's family's company did not require a high school degree. To your point, however, I know this because he specifically complained about dealing with under educated employees.
From some rudimentary googling, it seems requiring a HS degree is the norm, but there are plenty of cases of forgoing the degree/GED.
If I remember right, he found that the GED was a good way of recognizing sound minds that had been too stormy to finish high school (prison population in particular), but that the social issues that limited some high-school dropouts' opportunities did not go away with this new certificate.
In the spirit of OP's main argument, there's room for a lot of cheaper/faster alternatives to college, especially for a lot of middle-skill positions. I like that part of the argument a lot. I'd just urge that we think harder about ways of helping candidates master the social/interpersonal skills that affect long-term success and employability. For now, it feels as if a face-to-face component is needed, too, beyond the technical skills that can be conveyed online.
ASSEMBLING IKEA FURNITURE: It's not just about unpacking the pieces. First one needs to plan out the transportation and move the items to their apartment safely. This is much faster and easier with the help of other people. The back-and-forth of a high-school classroom socializes teenagers to work together with their peers and to form groups when their problems are too hard to solve individually. During the actual assembly, one needs to consult the manual, which requires considerable attention to detail. IKEA rightfully requires its customers to have at least a high-school degree for those reasons.
But I enjoyed the spoof anyway. Thanks for posting.
I don't think you need a high school or college education to learn how to talk civilly and constructively with authority; decent parents should be sufficient. Ignorance need not automatically mean petulance.
Everyone who agrees with you already nodded to themselves in agreement and scrolled on. No one who doesn't already agree with your just-so statement was persuaded to consider a different perspective. You came into a conversation about the professional merits of education and used a passing comment about financial advisors to inject your ideology.
So what'd we achieve? What's this all been for?
Consider a guy I know that we'll call Jack. He's rich and headstrong. On his own, he'd be buying jets and chasing hot tips in the stock market. A financial adviser helped Jack keep his money decisions sane enough that after the inevitable divorce, there was still enough money for Jack's kids to be able to go to college.
Focusing only on portfolio modeling (with or without index funds) misses the essence of the job. Getting the person-to-person stuff right is huge. College helps make that happen.
Shut up. You went to a 4th rate school and are a 4th rate intellect doing backend web dev because you are 4th rate. Accept your lot in life, swallow it, and move on. You are inferior, and you know it. You are a genetic failure. Good night.
The best purpose of college is to make you a reasonable citizen in a democracy. Most Americans voting in elections can't even name the Vice President, let alone articulate what plenary powers are, what the 4th and 5th amendments say (or seriously any amendment), name more than 3 executive branch departments (Defense, State and... uh...), point out where Iraq is on a map, etc. It's really no surprise we get the elected officials we get.
Sure, professional training is important and I think our education system is not particularly efficient about it. But education is more than just "here's how you work for the man". It's supposed to make you a well-rounded, well-educated citizen so you can participate effectively in a democratic government.
Which is why things like public education, state colleges and universities, a separation of religion and education, and state subsidized college tuition are so important, and why religious schools, charter schools, and for-profit colleges/universities are so antithetical to democracy: their agenda is entirely separate from "be a well-educated democratic citizen".
It was only after I graduated and lived in the real world for a few years that I felt more 'well rounded'.
The tools to become a 'well informed citizen' should be taught at the high school level since not everyone goes to college.
I think there's too much siloing between, say, STEM majors and Liberal Arts majors. You get Philosophy majors who are pretty good with concepts like confirmation bias (just for example), but super bad when it comes to things like "why is the sky blue" and "just what is the Internet, anyway". Conversely you get engineers who are pretty good programmers or EEs, but really don't understand things like "Affirmative Action isn't racist" or "taxation isn't government theft or class warfare".
I... mostly think high school is useless? I guess it's more accurate to say I think middle school (6-8th grade) should be more like high school, and high school should be a lot more practical, applied learning. If you're interested in cars, do that. If you're interested in chemistry, do that. Do them both at the same time, and do some music too, whatever.
You can't teach opinions. What you can teach is how to talk to people with a differing opinion.
Let's take this statement: "Affirmative Action isn't racist"
The disagreement probably wouldn't be about affirmative action at all, but rather about the definition of racism and whether both parties define it the same way.
I mean, you can. Basically every parent does this.
> The disagreement probably wouldn't be about affirmative action at all, but rather about the definition of racism and whether both parties define it the same way.
Yeah classes about race in the US define the difference between isolated cases of discrimination and institutional discrimination against a racial minority. They go over the history of racial discrimination in colleges and universities and other public institutions as a method to disenfranchise and disempower minorities. They illustrate that college admissions or job positions aren't zero-sum quantities, and that the state goes to great lengths to increase the capacity of universities and add jobs every day so that there are enough for everyone. Finally, they point out that failing to enact policies to level the playing field entrenches privilege: without something to break the cycle of institutionalized racism (and other institutional discrimination), minority groups remain trapped in a cycle of lower opportunity and higher risk.
This has been my experience at an engineering uni in Europe as well.
The place that tried (somewhat successfully) to make people just better, rather than better at some narrow marketable skill, was (an elite) high-school. I'd estimate the likelihood of a regular high-school being as good at about 10%.
Is college absolutely necessary to perform some jobs? Probably not. But I think I'd benefit if my hairdresser or tailor (I don't actually use services of any of those) attended some technical university during his/her career. Real shame is that not everybody has time and money to do that.
Why are you so sure that college is causative here?
I don't doubt that college is where many people grow up more intellectually, but I have yet to see proof that it is the cause of that growth.
I can agree that it's not the sole cause. But I really have trouble believing that being exercised and lectured about the stuff you knew nothing about every working day and being strongly challenged at least semiannually has no effect on people.
There's an argument to be made that people who don't spend those years having their life structured and defined by a university learn other important lessons.
There's particular irony to making the point that college is where you learn to think on HN. Many founders, like Bill Gates, dropped out of college to be hyper focused on their mission.
Rather than thinking of college as a blanket solution for everybody I wish people viewed it as a tool. Some people need it, some people flat out don't.
Additionally there's an argument to be made that people who don't spend those years having their life structured and defined by a university learn other important lessons.
There's particular irony to making the point that college is where you learn to think on HN. Many founders, like Bill gates dropped out of college to be hyper focused on their mission.
If I never went to college I'd just play more computer games and probably get a job few years earlier. Jobs are easy so I don't expect them to develop and challenge me anywhere near as much as college did.
> Bill gates dropped out of college to be hyper focused on their mission.
As I said, shame that not everybody has the time or money do go through college. Bill didn't have time.
> Some people need it, some people flat out don't.
You don't exactly need much in life. Not starving and not dying in the cold on the streets is pretty much enough. The thing is that everything is better when people are doing some things they don't really need to do.
Sometimes it is taught earlier but that just requires a great teacher and only so few of great teachers want to deal with adolescent youth for disgraceful payment.
College is a good time to start teaching people to think and to learn because it's the first time when most of the young people begin to understand that learning is just for their benefit and nobody else actually cares if they learn anything.
> If learning to think was a thing, surely the content of the course should matter?
It does matter to some degree. Learning to prove mathematical theorems teaches you to think better than analyzing poetry.
All jobs that currently require a degree, should instead require a knowledge test. The employer should not care how the knowledge was obtained, just that the applicant has the knowledge.
I would argue that the degree does provide some value beyond what can be easily tested in an interview setting. I'm not sure if it is the only way but the type of person who completes a degree is the type of person who is able to sit down and start a difficult task and complete it. Often these tasks are not directly related to what the student is passionate about, and sometimes not even necessary without taking into consideration the bigger picture of a multi-year program. In my experience dealing with the drudgery of the tedious day-to-day of most white-collar jobs, this college education degree provides a coarse litmus test for the type of person who will thrive in this environment. A person who will do things well and thorough for their own sake and deal with the bullshit.
For first generation college students, the goal is to get a return on the substantial investment they are making. Achievement in abstract notions is fine, but paying off loans and escaping the career trajectories of their parents and neighbors is paramount.
Maybe the "advancement of humanity" education needs to be more distinct from elite vocational training.
Employers want in order of preference:
* h1-b - work late or life as you know it ends
* big mortgage with family - work late or I ruin your family's life
* big university debt - work late or I ruin your life
Debt is a tool of control.
I wonder if this would be the case even for people who don't care about progress towards the green card? E.g. literally being in the US just for the job, no plans to settle down.
Hence why the reasonably high paying software industry couldn't care less about formal education, but lowly office jobs that barely pay minimum wage expect the world from their applicants.
But my point was the average case for employers. They don't want people with choices.
Essentially it is the same job but done properly, however, now everything is in order, we just need two people rather than hordes of people. Note that these two people are college educated, i.e. able to listen and learn, write good
English and show up in the morning.
We get customer service ratings and these also come in for the things that the computer does rather than just what a human agent has done. The computer always writes impeccably, my human colleagues are nearer grunt and point level. The humans are lucky to get 76% satisfaction level, the automated stuff consistently gets 91% satisfaction level.
The net result is that our remaining customer service staff are the educated ones, their work is now pretty professional albeit not to rocket surgery levels and the job pays fairly rather than it being a temp type of arrangement. As a company we no longer need the hordes and the people to manage/hire/fire them.
My point being that college education is more helpful than one might think. It does not matter what the education is in particularly, it is the skills of being able to do basic things like work without disrupting others, being able to write and being able to learn that matter.
I would guess it was more of a high level indicator of someone who has ambition, some base level of intelligence, perseverance, etc.
That still leaves you with false negatives and false positives. Just something somewhat better than hiring randomly. There are other criteria you could have used that had nothing to do with a college degree, that would likely have similar results.
The enlisted ranks of the US military, for example, use something called an ASVAB test as a bar for certain highly skilled jobs. It's also not perfect, but yields at least similar results. And the pool has very few college grads.
Which should be what a high school diploma indicates. Otherwise, what the heck are we doing with kids for 12+ years?
I've actually tried hiring people with less schooling than college -- has the author? It tends to not work out that well, especially in tech. Programmers with high school diplomas and two year degrees are usually missing all the theory and most of the practical experience you get during a 4 year degree. Not because someone who skips college can't learn these things, and not because they can't get experience or learn on the job, it just so happens that in the real world they usually don't.
One of the biggest reasons that college is a good idea is that someone with a degree in a field related to the job is more often more capable than someone with only a high school diploma. Not always, of course, but statistically more frequently. So who will the employer choose? The college grad is an easy choice. This means getting a degree is simple market competition for employment, and probably won't go away even if people make convincing sounding arguments. Why would employers choose the minimum necessary qualifications if some candidates will do more? Why would people who want good jobs expect to get hired with less experience than others who are applying for the same job? College is something many people are choosing.
Remember, anybody can stop requiring a degree for any job, today, so long as the degree isn't required by law. We could stop requiring an engineering degree for Solid Works operators. (Just to choose an example)
In fact, about half of our mechanical CAD operators have degrees. I notice a big difference between those groups when getting CAD work done. If the operator has a degree, it's much more likely that they can take a vague idea of mine, and come back with a nice design that even handles a bunch of issues that I overlooked.
If not, then I pretty much have to give them a complete specification (taking longer than just doing it in CAD myself) or sit next to them at the CAD terminal and direct them. If a design step requires math, I do the math. If a decision is needed, I make it.
K-12 teaching would become a different profession if the college degree requirement were dropped, as was proposed in my state.
> The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.
The best Programmers I've worked with were self-taught autodidacts with insatiable curiosity.
The exercise requires candidates to git clone, unit test, document, submit PR, and walk a reviewer through the solution.... basically go full lifecycle on a coding task.
In almost all white collar jobs the apprenticeship model would work just fine, but that doesn't work well when people want to change jobs every few years. It's not that most desk jobs are actually harder to learn that most skilled manual labor jobs.
That's extraordinarily presumptive. Is IBM and a handful of others gods of all things HR? Why? There's conflicting data on both sides of the table, IBM just went with one choice over another. Recently, by the way, so we don't even know it's going to work. Furthermore, there's a strong argument that the move was an easy way to achieve layoffs, which kind of nullifies the "IBM is big and smart and so they switched because remote work doesn't work" argument.
Finally, I'm not even sure some of these companies you're describing as elite (I'm assuming you mean "companies in the bay area we've all heard of that don't do remote work") are universally regarded as elite. And how do you account for the actual bay area giants that do allow for it, such as Google?
Pointing to the burning, foreclosed house is not a very accurate way to draw conclusions about the whole neighborhood.
A cleaning lady is going to be able to keep her job longer than a radiologist as the radiologist requires mostly the ability to understand visual patterns where as a cleaning lady requires general purpose AI.
It's way harder to lift the rug, get in between the books etc.
Furthermore you get it wrong.
Specialization requires knowledge yes but mostly requires less of the brain. A cleaning lady have to use all sorts of different parts to do their jobs.
So your rule is right in some way but you apply the wrong people to it. It's the cleaning lady who uses most of her brain not the specialist.
Just folding clothes is only commercially automated in very expensive and limited contexts (can fold shirts, but not blankets), and it won't put up the items for you. There are any number of restaurants that would love a kitchen-cleaning robot that guarantees that part of the restaurant inspector's rounds is always taken care of to a consistent degree. Just a robot modified from a pick and place solution to declutter by putting up out-of-place items and remembering where everything is located would find a large market. We're nowhere near good solutions for these and many other "simple" skills, much less mass market solutions.
I sometimes wonder if a giant "donut" job market will develop: many pattern-based very high-end specialties get automated, and many extremely low-end (Roomba, for example) ultra-repetitive tasks get automated, but lots of low'ish end jobs like custodial work stubbornly remain. Above the income strata of those low'ish end jobs in the middle sits a group of steadily-insecure positions as automation constantly nibbles away at their edges from the higher-end income stratas.
Why would it need to be a single package? Is there a point to making the roomba do laundry?
Initially, we will be forced by circumstance and market to adopt single-purpose robots like the Roomba if we want to avail ourselves of their benefits. But there are so many different tasks that I do not foresee a future of mass adoption of such single-purpose devices; the economics do not support such an outcome unless you imagine a near-future where most of the planet's population is compensated around the current US median household income per year.
But coming back to stock brokers, is there an epidemic of college educated stock brokers ending up unemployed due to automation? I don't think so and that's because they have other skills they gained from their education. Automated trading algorithms don't make stock brokers useless in the same what that automated garbage collection doesn't make programmers useless.
ED: yes, they're not perfect but give it about 20 years. I'm pretty sure we won't have human cleaners by then.
Have you ever had a cleaning job?
A Roomba isn't going to solve your cleaning needs, not even by a longshot.
Also what's your evidence that there's no relation between college degrees and automation? What we know for a fact is that wage growth for people without college degrees has been flat or negative for the past eight or so years, while people with college degrees have seen some wage growth. Note, this can't be explained by illegal immigration because the number of undocumented immigrants has stayed constant or declined since the beginning of the Obama-era.
The reasons why it isn't being used instead of doctors are mostly political, institutional and human. First doctors will use them as assistants then they will be doing all the work.
But when it comes to actually detecting the patterns which is exactly what a radiologist trains to learn computers are not only better at finding the problems they also find much subtler and thus more early stage signs.
Some people in collage with collage degree have wage growth, you go ask your friend who studied english literature when they last had a pay-rise.
The original claim was that collage meant more use of brain thus better job security.
Thats simply wrong on both accounts.
If it were just about reading the films, the tech who does the procedure would read the films. To be effective at a tech job you must know what you are looking at so that you can tell if you have successfully captured images for the doctor's report. If something looks off they may need to take further measurements and images.
Meanwhile, it will take longer for people to build robots for each particular manual job. Not to mention the service industry where a lot of people prefer to deal with other humans, even when it wouldn't be necessary.
Cleaning ladies are being displaced by disposable products that don't need to be cleaned.
Plumbers and electricians are being displaced by labor saving technologies. A new house contains no copper tubing or sweat fittings -- they use flexible hose and swaged connections. Wiring is no longer done with hard conduit. Framing is done with machine made components such as roof trusses.
Inspection is done by bribery. ;-)
And furthermore you need only very few people running a whole radiology business for billions of people.
"The workers own the means of production." ;-)
The point is that you don't need the amount of radiologist you are currently education if pattern recognition gets done by machines.
Why is this? Because many medical jobs consist of looking at information, making a diagnosis, and suggesting the course of action most likely to work. This is something that machines excel at. Many medical professionals never even communicate directly with the patient, leaving that to the doctor, while they assist the doctor with diagnosis behind the scenes. Take a radiologist, for example.
On the other hand, a call center employee must be able to communicate in real time with a human at conversation level. That is doable by AI, but is much more difficult, and requires something closer to AGI.
So the jobs that will be replaced first have nothing to do with education. They have to do with jobs which are reliant upon pattern recognition and information analysis. Those will go first, and some of them are very high paying and require quite a lot of education.
an investment banker typically advises on M&A transactions which is a very human business where your career path is strongly correlated with your social skills and status rather than technical knowledge.
Pretty much everything they do is non-repetitive except at the lowest level.
The biggest problem with the degree-as-a-substitute-for-judgement approach is that not all degree programs are equal to start with. There are degree programs which absolutely speak well of a candidate (on a resume) and there are programs you can graduate from which would be less of an indicator of suitability than relevant work experience. Certainly not all degrees are equal. There are some real bullshit things you can major in insofar as being an indicator for employ-ability is concerned. So for me to care about a degree on a resume, it has to be an appropriate degree and it has to be from a program that I know indicates some skill and perseverance on the part of the candidate... otherwise I dismiss it as an evaluation factor: at that point it's simply an uninformative data point.... it's just noise.
To be fair, I say this as someone that has had a good career in technology without a degree. I have do have a fair amount of college (in one of those bullshit majors I was mentioning), but no sheepskin. (Actually, one of the schools I attended seemingly attached so little to the degree in terms of success of the candidate, that they had a policy of indefinite re-admittance since many wanted to finish solely for self-enrichment after they had gone off and had their career success pre-graduation :-) ).
If we educated more people that way, we'd probably have a society that could solve the job problem.
Since men aren't winning anymore, the game clearly wasn't that important. Let's create a new game and play that instead!
I wouldn't want to live in a building made to 19th century safety and efficiency standards, and while I'm sure some people can teach themselves how to design and build modern buildings, I'm also sure that a good way to get up to speed is to go to school for architecture or civil engineering. Ditto with law and mechanical engineering.
I'm also wary of anybody claiming software engineers and computer programmers don't need a degree or other training. Software quality in general is really crappy, and I'm skeptical the solution is less education.
1) people are smarter and more mature even if they don't go to college
2) people who do go to college are already ready to do great work
If, like OP, you seriously want people to effectively graduate at age 13 you need to put a lot of work into primary education first. I admit, if like Gates, you just want more competent graduates, then it is probably going to be more nuanced.
Most high school graduates can barely string a sentence together in writing, and are more likely to have similar limitations in reading.
Considering that requiring interviewees to pass a literacy test may open you up to lawsuits, and that there is a large pool of college grads with no jobs and lots of debt, it's easier to just hire only college grads.
That should not be (and IMO is not) the primary goal of education.
The primary goal of education should be to make you a better, more informed member of society. That's the only way democracy can work.
Just for the easiest example, the given education stat for top executives (chief executives, general and operations managers, and legislators) is listed as "high school." It's not even "some college". Now if I come to you and say, "hey, my niece actually just graduated high school and she's pretty smart, has a lot of ambition and drive, really great extracurricular involvement -- can we set up a job interview where she might take over your company as CEO?" you would laugh at me! You would say, "let her get her MBA and manage real people for a few years, and then let's talk. Or I mean if she really can't wait, let's give her an entry-level position and if she's really as good as you say, she'll be managing in 5 years and might be able to get to the top in 5 more."
But if we say "minimum" as in "could you start a company with only a high-school education and find yourself as its CEO?" then of course the answer is yes. Heck, let's knock this one down a peg, that could happen even if you don't graduate high school, it's just less likely. Legislator? Sure. I mean, most legislators today are presumably former lawyers who have 7 years of post-high-school schooling in them, but all you really need to legislate is to be elected.
Or for another example, Devin has said, "Any job specific training takes less than six months. Examples: ...cook." I mean, that's partly true, some 1/4 of cooks in this country work at fast food joints, some other 1/4 of cooks work in cafeterias etc., but placing it at "high school" as if culinary school isn't a thing is just deluding yourself for the other half or so of cooks. And if you have the choice between going to culinary school for a year or going to work in a kitchen that will take you for a year, probably if you're fresh out of high school you're going to get a lot more out of the culinary school. And that's because education has a different sort of value from work experience, which makes them very hard to compare evenly. The cook who went to culinary school for a year probably knows how to cook a much broader diversity of things, but the one-year-anniversary line cook will probably have greater appreciations for, say, prepping quickly and efficiently, taking multiple orders at once, estimating the time that dishes take to cook and communicating that to others, and so forth. They're not easily comparable.
Apprenticeship systems would only exacerbate that problem.
Proposed stipend: $100,000
Budget for proposal: $424B/yr, assuming no overhead (lol)
That's 2.5% of GDP, minimum, which is almost as much as the total non-defense discretionary budget is today.
One of the biggest scams of modern times.
In an eassy on his website , he says "Men have natural abilities and disposition towards leadership. To deny this, to mandate equality of results, to push women into masculine roles, to domesticate and feminize men, only results in misery for both men and women.
Universal suffrage elections are virtually always a bad idea."
"Men have natural abilities and disposition towards leadership. To deny this, to mandate equality of results, to push women into masculine roles, to domesticate and feminize men, only results in misery for both men and women.
Universal suffrage elections are virtually always a bad idea."
Ad hominem doesn't render an argument invalid, it just speaks to the credibility of the author. So on that note, where are the merits?
If you're talking merits/credibility, I feel like his opinions on the other things just aren't relevant here. Is the standard that every time someone shares an opinion their entire history is judged?
To some degree (I won't say 'entire'), this is the very definition of "credibility."
We might have an obligation to read charitably, but we shouldn't be obsequious towards ideas (or people) that are ontologically broken or fly in the face of basic humanism. This author falls firmly into that category, and a quick survey of their work will confirm that for you.
The point, at least in this case, is that the author is counting on being treated as a serious thinker at the table of ideas. He is relying on our good faith to promote ideas that are fundamentally incompatible with the existence of exactly the kind of dialogue he's being given on this site. Do not think, should he win, that he will afford you the same charity.
Criticizing someone who uses dialogue in bad faith is an exercise in futility. It's better to recognize their actions before hand and label them as such -- a sophist, or a pseudophilosopher, or whatever. That won't stop them from speaking (nor should we want it to), but it gives us the power to redirect dialogue towards more serious participants.
Edit: I realize that I didn't make this clear: criticizing the easier thing is not sophistry. At the worst, it's poor argumentation. Sophistry involves using rhetoric to hide intellectual bankruptcy and bad faith.
I do not do this out of hand, or on a whim. I've read this person's writings before, and have made a genuine attempt to read him charitably.
> its always about silencing or shunning people, never about engaging them.
Shunning, maybe. I don't think it's inappropriate to stop a conversation that you know is going to be used as a weapon against you later by someone with truly onerous views. I don't have an obligation to engage with people whose only interest in engagement is to use it a token of their ideological legitimacy. Silencing, never.
We don't debate round-earth denialists, since we know that their only motive in debate is to maximize their audience and legitimacy. It doesn't matter whether they're actually talking about their ungrounded views in a particular instance, because all that matters is that they gain legitimacy to be spent later.
You're the one who keeps bringing up feminism and social justice, not me. Have you considered that you're trying to imply an ulterior motive that doesn't exist? Every movement has its fair share of people just like Devin Helton.
In regards to the article, I think the general direction of his ideas that we should send fewer people to college is wrong. One of many reasons for thinking that is that a lot more jobs will be eliminated by automation and the only way for people to have a chance at a great, productive life with enough money to live on and do the things he describes (live in a safe place, things to do, access to doctors, and most importantly craft beer), will be to have education that allows one to do creative work that is harder to replace with automation. People will have to study things that align with that creative work, and possibly reeducate themselves as they go along in life (like most programmers are constantly doing). Many of those fields he listed that people could do without extra education are likely to be automated away (financial adviser, executive, or a marketing manager).
But there is a historic millieu that one has to use to judge that person's views and ideas within, and that does allow me to consider the views of people from antiquity. But that notion also applies to judging the ideas of people writing in the world that I live in. Today, it's just clear that women should have civil rights and be equal partners in society with men. It's silly to state otherwise, and so when someone who is a contemporary states otherwise, it does call into question their views.
Actually I'm interested in learning more about the world and educating my self and not just being stuck on one view of what is right and wrong.
I will disagree with one thing your wrote, about ideas coming and and out of fashion over time - certainly that happens but the idea of civil rights for all individuals must be a universal thing. I think that's very different than views about religion or proper foods to eat or ideas about what are good jobs for men or women.
> Universal suffrage elections are virtually always a bad idea. The process simply polarizes the population, and causes everyone to believe in myths and propganda. There is no way that the results of an election can be channeled into the subtleties needed to make good government and good policy.
It looks like this guy discusses the matter at greater length here, if anybody is curious:
Also, the main point preceding the quote that men and women may have different natural dispositions is a reasonable one. He only oversteps by implying men are better leaders, a claim that may be defensible under some very specific definition of "good leadership" but is mostly just inflammatory in this case.
But it is a short step from "men have natural abilities and disposition toward leadership" and "people shouldn't have universal sufferage" to women shouldn't vote.
Libertarian nutjob: all of them
Racist claim - not seeing it. While I wouldn't try to equate the Black Panthers w the KKK, ignoring the Black Panther violence against innocents is dishonest. And not understanding why someone would boycott a celeb who promotes a group w a violent history isn't being honest either. That's not an unreasonable thing.
How on Earth are you divining racism and sexism out of this article???
Why is it racist? What are your counterpoints? What is your actual argument here? On the face of it, sans anything substantive to what you're saying, what you're doing right now looks like textbook character assassination.
And let me offer some context for you here for a second: I am a black man. And there are elements of the black community that deserves some critique from within the black community, but is labelled prima facie as "racist" by individuals engaging in what I've learned to call "performative wokeness" when it comes from not-black voices. Sometimes (and sometimes often) without care or regard for the factual accuracy and relevance of those critiques. Moral conviction be damned.
So yes, I'm still reading the article, but you're making the claim, I'm holding you to that claim considering your profile identifies you as someone who "push[es] back the tide of racist libertarians and startup bros"
If you're going to "push back", there should be a reasonable expectation of resistance from people who want an honest, earnest and intelligent debate. Otherwise, IMO you're just putting on performances.
I'd like to think it's more like venting than performance, but fair criticism, and thanks for the thoughtful response. Intelligent debate just doesn't sound like fun when so much of the HN crowd is like the guy from this article.
The only thing in that post that could be construed as sexist is 10th point:
> Humans were born unequal in talent and desires. The gifts of nature were not distributed equally among the sexes or various peoples. Governance systems must select for talent, and any such selection process will produce inequalities. The never-ending attempts to purge all such inequalites will eventually destroy the ability of the government to function. Men have natural abilities and disposition towards leadership. To deny this, to mandate equality of results, to push women into masculine roles, to domesticate and feminize men, only results in misery for both men and women.
One could pin the label of sexism on this if one thinks this is an indirect jab at inclusiveness and equality. Perhaps if the author had also paralleled and listed the qualities women have over men, he could've covered his bases.
It's more likely that the author holds more "traditional" views on gender roles, but without the prejudice and hate towards women commonly found in sexists.
The problem needs thinking out-of-the-box. Education is not "too expensive", remove that from your equation. Education is a great investment.
Why is your country not paying for it? Try to solve that instead.
2) People don't want to be truck drivers for their whole lives. Hell, truck driver might not even be a job.
3) The goal of education isn't to get a job, it's to get an education. The job comes after and can be unrelated to the education.
Those are the three things I can think of that make me think this guy hasn't thought his argument through very well.
I think that the largest problem is that there is no way for people who have achieved the equivalent or more of a college education to gain the same recognition. But possibly that is just because it affects me directly.
While working a technician type job for years with lots of downtime, I studied CS at home and with my work downtime. I took lots of the free courses from the elite universities and finished them. I read lots of good book, most of the No Starch Press books, and did all the exercises. Then I had the money to fund a four year degree, with high expectations for the higher level classes I persisted through the absolutely painfully trivial, tedious work. I got anxious about wasting so much time not learning, after I was not just out of high school.
I've burnt out on busywork, started neglecting schoolwork for stuff that actually improved my skill, or to drill way deeper into some interesting bit of a class than needed to get to something challenging. I ignored school for side projects that stretched my legs. It really hit when I took 300-400 level courses and realized that i really wouldn't learn anything CS at all. I've even helped nearly 10 other students learn Python which the school doesn't even teach pair programming with them on a very non-trivial project.
But now here I am, way more advanced and capable than a standard graduate, terrible GPA, not going to graduate, and no job opportunities. I don't even care how much I make, I like programming, I like making things, I like solving problems. Probably going to have to go back to what I was doing.
That said I did pick up a couple math tricks, but _wasting_ 4 years of my life for 3-4 good classes which could have been taken in 3 months, not even remotely worth it.
Been here for a while but using a throwaway for obvious reasons.
All it takes is for some litigators to decide that operating businesses anonymously is illegal, and now those "anonymous customers" could be police stings making your "system" more trouble than it's worth to use anonymously.
Truly-anonymous currency is either a fantasy or will only exist in niche markets. In reality all they really have to do is scare people at the point of sale, and the point of sale is by the nature of markets not hard-to-find or 'hear about on the street' (because it has to attain customers).
(A) someone either forgot about or doesn't grasp the scale of the derivatives market
(B) Given the choice (and that's assuming they're given a choice) between the long-standing fiat-based currency we currently have in which the skilled already have some measure of "wealth", and a system that largely favors unknown entities and a bunch of smelly basement-dwellers who had leftover pizza money back in the aughts, guess which one the people will go with lol