It was at University that I learned about Asian culture. It was the first time I used chopsticks. It was the first time I drank tea without sugar. It was the first time I ate Chinese food that wasn’t deep fried. It was the first time I had dim sum. I learned to understand people with heavy accents (it was the first time I’d ever met someone for whom English was a second language). It was where I learned the diffence between Chinese (north and south), Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese people.
It was also the first time I ever met someone who was home schooled, someone who a lesbian or pretty much anyone who wasn’t straight, other than the one openly gay kid in high school.
It was the first time I learned that making racist and homophobic jokes was not ok.
It was the first time I learned the girls can write code.
Without college I would probably be a racist and not believe that social programs are necessary.
I don't mean to be too dismissive, but I spent enough time in a university town after my own graduation to see this trajectory play out a number of times. Kids come in, and adopt a new set of ideas that suit their new environment just as blindly as they adopted ideas compatible with their previous environment.
Before I make it sound too much like I'm painting with a broad brush, I expect people's political positions to change around this time. There is a difference between a position someone can articulate from their first principles, and someone that sounds like they're repeating the media they picked those positions up from. I'd rather have a productive disagreement than talk to someone I agree with that can't show their thought process.
Eventually they might have their mind broadened. But it's not guaranteed. And if they discover pot when they got to the university and/or internalize their change of heart as a 2nd rebellion against their parents, it'll take a few extra years.
As someone who has also spent a lot of time in a college environment I disagree that students blindly accept new positions to suit what’s around them. In fact, I would say a change in opinion shows they were not only able to take in new information, but also make the personal decision to change firmly held values that no longer make sense.
>hard left swing
jedberg didn't spill out the terrible recent-convert gobbledygook I'm used to hearing. Maybe he's did it right, or maybe he's adult-ed up his standing in the meantime, but it fits the mold and was as good a place as any to talk about the archetype.
Edit: Deep-fried chicken feet vs pork rinds is a toss-up, I admit. But there are items about which I've never gotten a clear explanation ;)
Before university, all I knew of rich folks was that they poached the good teachers from my high school (we were a magnet school in the poorer inner city, back when cities were poor). Lets just say that I found that there was more nuance to all those kids from suburbia.
I went into university steadfastly believing the roster sheet of progressive policies. Then there was economics class, and the in-depth conversations around that, and I came to realize that a lot of policies are double-edged swords, either difficult to implement correctly, or just outright too good to be true. For example, you can't really elide the fact that prices provide important signaling to the markets, that in turn influence supply and demand.
That having been said, I don't think the libertarian wing nuts I'd met came to the same sort reckoning,... they still seemed to think the free markets are magic pills... so I figure that I learned more from the experience than they did.
University was a confusing time. There were a lot of folks who were a lot more privileged than me, who were smarter than me, but not very motivated. It would take many years after college before it became clear how things even out. (They are still on good footing thanks to their privilege, and they're not bad people. I have sometimes enjoyed seeing them again – when I do – like it was old days. I don't envy them anymore. And I wouldn't switch places either.)
Life is complicated. University forces a kind of mixing – and a certain kind of critical thinking – that forces you to look at how complicated it is. Sometimes, things just are.
I've been to the other end of the spectrum, been around lots of people who never went to school or who dropped out. Or who had it easy in university. I interact with folks who never had to pick up that kind of critical thinking. It eventually becomes plain and clear the kind of subtle difference it makes in people's lives over time, and across generations.
It is in life as it is in board games. Randomness and complexity obscure the "winning" strategies.
My university was not about broadening anything either and peer group was way more homogenous then high school or extracurricular clubs.
Most of the real wealth I see being created has ultimately come from the exploitation of natural resources. Far from being 'nothing', most of these limited resources (which in another theory belong to all life on Earth) require underpaid 'human resources' to turn them into the highly-profitable 'nothing' of which you speak.
Much of which winds up in the garbage. (E.g., here in the U.S. we build housing to last for maybe two generations.) If anything, much real wealth comes from turning valuable resources into nothing.
On average, the things you or I use consist of 6% exploitation of natural resources and 94% of labor after that. Natural resources are important, but now (as opposed to 19th century) they are a tiny part of what we make and use, they are not the main part of wealth.
I cant imagine how to estimate those numbers, but I do imagine they'd be significant.
My beliefs on sharing the pie are summed up by the following quote "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" the issue is, we've systematically deprived those of lower ability of paths to opportunity, and deprived those who do succeed of their fair share of the pie.
That said, polluting the air and water is still not a good idea. Burning coal is still stupid.
Humanity had more than enough food to feed everyone but we are too greedy at the top to actually do so. We dump food in stupid ways for stupid reasons.
But, it has to come from somewhere.
Yeah, and that theory is nonsense
I've met far more smart people on the internet than I could ever meet in real life. In fact most people I meet in real life are stupid.
I've also felt like this for a long time before I grew up.
That said, a certain subset of the population doesn't have the wherewithal, drive or ability to do it - and for an even smaller, the best in life they can hope for is to
perform some sort of manual labor.
We mustn't forget about the self selection bias of being smart - we tend to only socialize and know other smart people - meaning, don't fall into the fallacy of assuming you're the median.
No, but it is much, much harder. Assuming all human beings are equal, how can you justify working a lot harder for the same outcome?
As an example, we generally want to help the disabled, it is generally a good policy to remove barriers, install lifts etc. not for them to 'just learn to walk properly' or whatever.
I can't, that's my point we need to provide good opportunities for people of all abilities, not just for the smartest, we're failing at this goal.
I want a more just and equitable society not necessarily just an equal one.
I agree, I was talking about affordability. You can be super smart, but if you're 2/3 as smart and also rich, you're still likely to do better in life than the smart, poor kid would.
As of Modern China, the North tends to be politically powerful as it is dominated by Beijing while the South tends to be economically powerful, dominated by Shanghai, Guangdong/Canton, Shenzhen, etc.
For more info, click here:
To some degree, similar to the North-South Indian cultural divide if you want to look that up too.
Sichuan food is “麻”, which is a way to say it makes your tongue numb. Not “spicy” (though to me it’s very spicy).
North China food is normal, not spicy ( like dumplings, baozi, and such).
South China food is “清淡” , or something that is light. Typically this applies to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taiwan, etc.
But east China (shanghai, jiangsu, ) is sweet food
This I agree with, just like the US has varied cuisine depending on locale.
> The north is a lot more spicy stuff. The south is more about sauces and freshness.
Citation needed, please.
> Citation needed, please.
Not really true; here is an anti-citation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan_cuisine
Still, your comments about Chinese cuisine are strange.
> The north is a lot more spicy stuff. The south is more about sauces and freshness.-
This is wrong, where did you get this information from?
> Using a place which is intentionally pan-regional...
How is Sichuan cuisine "pan-regional"? Can you elaborate, please?
To your comment about Sichuan, I'm not sure I would be in the same camp as the people you've spoken with. Ultimately everyone shares culinary attributes to some degree, but it seems to be unique enough to have warranted being considered its own cuisine.
Quite a statement. If you don't mind me asking, do you see people who don't go to college as probably racist?
You shouldn't make racist jokes because you shouldn't needlessly hurt or offend the people around you.
That isn't quite the same as being racist (although depending on the intention it could be). Racist means hating someone based on their ethnicity or skin color. It isn't quite the same.
>I suspect that had I not been exposed to other races, I would have turned those jokes into actual beliefs.
This is such a strange and cynical view. Are you sure you want to make the argument that you would have been a racist in America in 2018 had you continued to live in your neighborhood??
To get from tourist to traveller, just add 8000km to any flight taken.
I'm very glad that OP included "at least a year".
You have to be willing to unmoor yourself, which I think deep down a lot of people aren't seeking to do.
I got an education and then I got a real education from travel myself.
A colleague of mine (french) did his exchange at Stanford. He really enjoyed it. Enjoyed it even more once he found out what Stanford students were paying ($$$$) compared to what he was paying, PARIS-IX is practically free.
It’s amazing how much push back I get about computer science degrees should teach marketable skills and people say they weren’t meant to be ”vocational degrees” and you shouldn’t go to college for “job training”.
Just the idea that people are suggesting in some of the comments that everyone should be “required to live a year abroad” as part of college is more evidence of the bubble that many HN posters are in. How many middle class families can afford to send their children overseas for a week let alone a year?
 By middle class I mean the real middle class income of about $60K a year not the Silicon Valley/west coast definition of middle class.
While I was in classes it wasn't job focused, or at least not directly. I often hear people complain, for example about how they never use anything they learned in college for their programming jobs. I find this impossible to believe. The process of building a binary search tree or proving the pumping lemma are all exercises. Just like anything else being good at things takes practice, college is (or should be) as good of an environment for this as we can create.
If you're looking for a solution to the feeling that college doesn't do a good enough job preparing you for the working world, I'd like to at least mention how much of a fan of coop programs I am, and how they can be integrated into the higher education process.
People telling you directly that college shouldn't be about job training are feeling a bit nostalgic and idealistic, while holding on to a hint of truth.
So I say again, what's stopping the underprivileged student, paying for college with loans and scholarships, from broadening their mind, while getting the skills to pay the bills?
Your examples are at least related to software. What good is Art History? The 6 courses of calculus, differential equations, and three or four other classes math classes I took over 20 years ago.
Another retort people say is that any specific language you learn in school will be obsolete soon as you graduate. That’s only true if you are teaching the latest $cool_kids_front_end_framework. Even that could be alleviated if you had courses your senior year focused on what’s in demand right now.
But, from my vantage point, the five go to industry languages haven’t changed in the past 10-15 years. By 2004, the web was already a big deal as was Jsvascript. Java and C# were big in the enterprise and while scripting languages that start with P (Python, Perl, Php) go in and out of style knowing one of them would help you move to another one and of course C/C++ will never die.
While I was in classes it wasn't job focused, or at least not directly....People telling you directly that college shouldn't be about job training are feeling a bit nostalgic and idealistic
Again, you had the privilege of not “being job focused.” So did I to an extent, I already knew how to program before going to college - I was hobbyist Basic and assembly language programmer for six years prior. The only thing four years of college did for me was expose me to two useful classes - C and data structures. But by then, I already had a C compiler for my Mac and was playing around with it.
But my parents growing up in the segregated south didn’t have that privilege. They knew their only way out was college. There only reason for going to college was to get a job. Middle class families aren’t sending thier 2.5 kids to college to be “better citizens of the world”.
So I say again, what's stopping the underprivileged student, paying for college with debt and loans, from broadening their mind, while getting the skills to pay the bills?
How much less debt could they have if society didn’t look down on “vocational training”? Schools/degrees that just focus on learning just what you need to get a job.
In my CS studies we never learned any programming, it was kind of assumed that you already know how to do it. Instead we focused on all the other things like computational complexity theory, computer graphics, programming language theory, design of computational systems, theory of computation, human–computer interaction, artificial intelligence and all the other much more interesting stuff.
After I left university I in practice haven't written any code yet (in 5 years), I've been only working with designing big systems which are later populated with components which are programmed by programmers.
But even though, the mantra at university was always, we don't teach you any specific language, we teach you the building blocks behind those languages with the goal so that you can take a new language and learn it within two weeks because you already know most of the paradigms behind it and you only need to learn the syntax, the libs you can look up in the documentation.
I came in as a dev lead with “database developers” who were just learning C#. They wrote C# just like they wrote SQL - one long program in the main method.
Learning a language is not difficult. Learning that you don’t have to write your JSON yourself and you should use a library, learning the difference between structured logging and non structured logging and the libraries that are out there for each. Learning any framework is going to take longer than “two weeks”. Just because you know the syntax doesn’t mean you can write maintainable software. Get in front of C compiler and just “learn the syntax” and see how that works out.
Anyone who comes out of computer science thinking they can hit the ground running as a developer for any company, says a lot about the current state of “computer science” degrees and why so many “developers” can’t do FizzBuzz.
Even if you are on the opposite end of complexity and writing drivers (few people will), embedded software, operating systems etc., you’re more than likely not going to be using a lot of the theory. Yes I have a CS degree, I was a hobbyist assembly language programmer before going to college, and I spent well over a decade as a low level C bit twiddler.
I’ll take someone any day that can hit the ground running and knows how to develop over someone who knows “theory” and can’t write FizzBuzz in the language that we are using.
P.S: Also Waterloo grad here. Co-op FTW.
And as racist ad bad it sounds, now a couple of years later, in the real world, that is exactly what happens. We, the ones in Sweden, we do the research and design of the system, and then our customers more often than not find teams in India who with our mentoring implement it.
Of course that’s not meant to be a knock against them. I agree with them.
Yes in theory, I’m a “developer”, but I don’t compete in the market by studying leetCode and algorithms. I compete by being able to discuss architecture.
I’m actually in the weird position that half my learning agenda for 2019 is getting caught up on the cool kids front end frameworks of the week. I’ve been focused so much on higher level “architectural theory” and the back end for the last few years, I haven’t been keeping up on the front end. It’s weird because yeah, I make more than most “full stack developers” in my market, but if I had to get a job tomorrow, I don’t have the table stakes to outcompete a developer with four years of experience when a company wants someone that can hit the ground running now. Especially if they are looking for contractors.
Sure, I am qualified for an over paid “digital transformation consultant”, “cloud consultant” type of role, but those aren’t as plentiful.
they need not be able to afford it, if society would recognize the benefit and find ways to finance it.
the moment something becomes a requirement, then it's the responsibility of those who defined the requirement to make sure that everyone has access to it. it is no longer an obligation of the student but a right.
also, whether you pay for the dormroom in a US college or in another countries is not going to make that big of a difference. and if the school requires you to go abroad, they also better make sure that the cost is covered in the tuition that you already pay.
universities in different countries can make deals with each other and agree to exchanges that make sure that students are not burdened with additional costs.
All the uni students who came for their OEs definitely worked jobs, some out of their comfort zones. Most were in hospo, some doing construction, and the rest fruit picking as you said.
If they weren't doing that, they had joined those programmes where you work on a farm in exchange for free board and food. Some were on couch-surfing programmes which weren't too dissimilar.
I definitely feel where you're coming from. When I was in university I marvelled at the kids studying liberal arts. I thought it was a crazy extravagance to spend 4+ years and tens of thousands of dollars on something that had no evident financial return. At least I was getting an engineering degree that would pay the bills someday and I thought of the arts kids as subsisting on handouts from their affluent parents, freed by wealth from having to worry about ever making a living.
But it's also a product of our user-pay educational model in North America. In many developed countries, tuition is free and students even receive a stipend to pay their living expenses. So if we assume for a moment that it is indeed possible to 'broaden the mind' in university, it is not the exclusive preserve of the privileged since in these more egalitarian societies everyone has access to it. And now I think that may not be such a bad thing.
Why do people accept it? My answer is in two parts.
First, in developed countries very little of the overall tax burden is shouldered by struggling families. Whether we're talking about the USA or Finland, the highest income earners pay most of the income tax and the poor hardly anything at all. So unless we're talking about people who are just 'San Francisco poor' (i.e. have high incomes but feel poor because they earn less than their neighbours or friends), these are the people who will be subsidized not the ones subsidizing. Struggling families, rather than being the ones put upon by universal social programs, are the ones who benefit most. For instance, in the USA the top 1% of income earners pay a greater share of total income taxes than the bottom 90% (39% to 29.4% respectively).
Second, one constant among countries with either zero tuition or very low tuition is post-secondary education sector is almost entirely public. There are no overpriced schools, universities regardless of their quality do not profit from their operations so there is no distinction between the state college you attended and the $50k/year private schools. And because universities can't increase their revenue by simply ratcheting up tuition, it's much harder for administrators to wake up one day and decide they should all get a raise paid by for the students which is a form of cost disease that is endemic in North American universities.
and with what little they do contribute, their own kids too get the opportunity to go to university.
That's because you probably choose to misinterpret what is meant. If you genuinely don't know, I find this quite astonishing, but let me explain; As someone with "free" healthcare as a citizen of an EU country, I never think it is free as in literally costs nothing and nor do my left-wing American friends advocating for "free". It's "free" at the point of use, paid via our tax dollars, to which I contribute.
The U.S. spends more on its current healthcare than the "free" one would cost them.
You can think of "free" healthcare as giving you freedom from being sick, rather than in terms of cost.
Would you rather spend money on "free" healthcare or tanks? Because it's going to be one of these.
In every system, be it the justice system, a social system, or the free market, you're going to have a percentage of people taking advantage of it. That is no argument for not having it in the first place. That's an argument for reasonable laws and regulations. As for the people who do not temporarily have a job due to say family circumstances, or even permanently due to illness or disability, I have no problems whatsoever with it being "free" for them.
> because they pay but a tiny portion of their actual cost
You do the exact same thing. Your taxes do not solely pay for the roads and bridges you cross on your way to work, nor the police or firefighters that are on call to help you out, not for the regulators that ensure the food you buy is safe...
In some way or another, we're mutually subsidizing each other somewhat via taxes. And taxes will be collected. So the only question is where they should go? Be it private military contractors, or helping someone with their cancer treatment? I'd opt for the second option every time.
> I am more of a pay-my-own-way kind of person, which I do.
No, you just like to tell yourself that to feel better. As part of a nation state, there's a whole bunch of not "pay you own way" that you rely on every single day.
I realize why you'd need to convince yourself that you're entirely "your own man", but that doesn't change the fact that is it false.
There are plenty of places in the world where you can pretty much opt out of the system and go at it all yourself. I suspect you wouldn't like it that much, but it exists.
There is a whole other discussion as to whether taxes are the right way to do it and what debt are we really paying for, which is interesting in itself, but my argument is that assuming taxes will be collected anyway, at least I'd prefer to spend them on things like healthcare, education etc., than say excessive military spending.
P.S. Even posting your comment here on HN required resources that you did not pay for, (servers, programmers, electricity, free software).
Hospitals are required to treat anyone who comes in to stabilize them - you pay for that through some combination of higher insurance if you are insured - the hospital jacks up prices - or some cities fund the hospitals.
Consider encouraging the privileged to have narrow minds and experiences
Privilege used to be understood as a positive thing and something to be held with responsibility.
Cost of living in Asia is vastly lower than that on European countries.
One can easily live in Urban India safely and somewhat lavishly, with ~300-400/month.
A summer of travel in India would cost $2000-3000 including international flight tickets. The one caveat being that they would need a local Host to help make sense of things.
If they were a part of NGO programs teaching under privledged students or part of structured camp/trek/exchange program then they don't even need a local contact and part of the trip may actually get funded by the org.
I can easily see a $60,000/yr. Salary being sufficient for such an experience once in a decade.
I believe that universities should not teach marketable skills only because these are what some employers like - instead they should teach skills that are not trivial to learn by yourself (some of which might be marketable). If you have already learned Python in uni for example there is no reason why they should also teach you C or Java just because employers like these languages as once you learn one of them learning the others will be trivial. Teaching type theory, formal proofs, and other stuff about theoretical CS however sounds like a good idea as learning these alone will probably be difficult for students that do not have a good background in functional programming.
As for "widening" your mind, I don't think that I would be interested in "widening" my mind on anything not relevant to CS. I would avoid any degree that claimed that it tried to do that.
for example teaching multiple programming languages has the benefit of learning how the languages are related to each other. a student that learned several languages over the course of their studies will be much better at picking up yet another language when they start working.
in my university each different programming concept was taught with a different language. object orientation with modula, functional programming with scheme, etc. we pretty much learned a new language every term.
and the point was not to learn those languages. that just happened as an aside. but that aside produced the benefit of making the students comfortable working with whatever language the job might require.
On one hand, you have computer science majors who know theory but can’t code their way out of a wet paper bag.
On the other hand, you have the computer science majors who can do leetCode in their sleep but don’t have the stamina to see a project to 100% completion and easily get distracted by the oooh shiny.
And let’s not forget the computer science majors who can code and know theory but don’t know anything about business or how to communicate and deal with large organizations.
Out of those three - I speak from experience in two. I always knew how to “program” as a professional developer. I was a hobbyist before going to college.
If their plan in life is to do research on theoretical CS, does it matter? That being said, I doubt that these are that many of them considering that most CS degrees focus on programming.
> And let’s not forget the computer science majors who can code and know theory but don’t know anything about business or how to communicate and deal with large organizations.
They have a CS degree, not a business or management one.
Have you never been on discussion boards where brand new CS majors ask for advice on how they can convince their boss to move from their $x million dollar oracle implementation and Java stack to some open source NoSQL database and Node?
I don’t see too many people posting on HN - a site sponsored by VC company that funds for profit businesses - talk about their “research”.
Quite small, but does it matter?
> and not working for for profit businesses?
It's not as if for profit businesses do not have research departments, consider Microsoft Research for example.
> a site sponsored by VC company that funds for profit businesses
I fail to see how this is relevant.
Why the use of the term "ivory tower" and the quotes around the word research? Are you implying that CS research is not real research or something?
Yes it matters because there are 55,000 people graduating in computer science every year (https://danwang.co/why-so-few-computer-science-majors/). How many of those do you think will be doing research versus getting a non research job?
And they employ a grand total of around 1000 people. How many of those do you think were hired with just an undergrad degree in CS coming straight out of college?
I fail to see how this is relevant.
Why the use of the term "ivory tower" and the quotes around the word research? Are you implying that CS research is not real research or something?
No, it is real research but the vast majority of opportunities for CS grads are outside of research and most businesses are looking for people who can contribute to profit making projects.
Ivory Tower research is the type of research that MS does. Very little of it has ended up in shipping products. Compare that to Google, Apple, or Amazon (AWS). MS is littered with failed research. The best thing that Jobs did was kill the research department at Apple and focus research on shipping products.
I was born and raised in Northern Canada. I'm ethnically India. University is where I first met a gay person and realized they are regular people just like me. Where I made my first Asian, Black, and Jewish friends. Where I first started reading philosophy and classic literature. Where I first realized that I could start a business myself.
I have a degree in computer science but took many liberal arts classes.
Maybe university isn't useful to the upper-middle class other than for signalling? ️¯\_(ツ)_/¯
After that you have a choice between two different kinds of universities. One is more traditional, but you pick the subject before hand and maybe you have some classes that you can choose for yourself but usually they have to have something to do with your main subject, e.g. some electrical engineering classes if you study mechanical engineering.
Then there is the university of applied sciences, which is a mix between an apprenticeship and university, with a more hands on approach. It's where you would study software engineering instead of computer science.
That's the reason our universities are more focused, we cover lots of ground in different topics at school.
don't know about other european countries though.
At first glance, it seems like the Economist article is drawing broader and more politically charged conclusions than the original authors. On an initial skimming of the whole article in "Psychological Science," I can find no similar sweeping statements about college education anywhere. In fact, the word "broaden" does not appear in the text of the published article at all.
Compare the Economist title with the actual article abstract below:
School or Work? The Choice May Change Your Personality
According to the social-investment principle, entering new environments is associated with new social roles that influence people’s behaviors. In this study, we examined whether young adults’ personality development is differentially related to their choice of either an academic or a vocational pathway (i.e., entering an academic-track school or beginning vocational training). The personality constructs of interest were Big Five personality traits and vocational-interest orientations. We used a longitudinal study design and propensity-score matching to create comparable groups before they entered one of the pathways and then tested the differences between these groups 6 years later. We expected the vocational pathway to reinforce more mature behavior and curtail investigative interest. Results indicated that choosing the vocational compared with the academic pathway was associated with higher conscientiousness and less interest in investigative, social, and enterprising activities.
Generally anti-college in terms of 13th grade, but I agree this depends entirely on the student.
I was bored to tears with the entry computer science, but really liked anthropology and geolgogy. Seems like they were mind-broadening.
Not going to lie, that sounds incredibly counter-intuitive. However, as long as the people have the right skills or mindset I don’t see the issue. There may be a lacking in deeper underlying systems knowledge, though.
That is exactly what they’re looking for, regardless of degree type. Without digging up all the numbers, soft skills in the hiring process are important to a great deal——as long as that person is able to understand the on-the-job training you’re going to give them.
You can have person A and B interviewing for a PM position.
Person A graduated from CS dept, 3.9cGPA, introvert, no experience.
Person B graduated from Literature dept, 3.8cGPA, study abroad, sociable, 5 years work experience with deadlines.
In my opinion, I would take person B over A. I’ll tell you why, though.
Person A has (1) shown they are able to understand different cultures and environments—as the company may be Fortune 500 or non-profit, the workforce can be diverse. (2) they have shown they can take responsibility and (3) be willing to engage with others, coworkers in particular and (4) is willing to get out of their comfort zone by wandering into CS.
Person B will bring me (1) experience but they may not be able to communicate effectively with coworkers, managers, customers, etc. due to their personality. They may know how to fix a problem but (2) they’re personality makes them get confrontational when you say there’s a better way than their way. In the end, the amount of worry I’d have with how they’d work with my other employees is much greater than the time it’ll take me to take an apprentice and teach them how and what I want and need them to learn.
And most available evidence suggests she did not get there through high intelligence, in lieu of a university education, but rather, complete and utter greed.
Edit: you keep editing your comments, but I was replying to the self-quote, which, at the time was your entire comment.
My first entry level job required C# knowledge. So I went to the nearest Barnes and Nobles and read the Microsoft guide cover to cover. I was not a C# major in uni but being able to study, abstract, and internalize concepts was something I did learn.
The usual retort is why not bring someone in as a junior, train them, and give them a raise to market rates? But then you’ve invested x amount of dollars on someone and y amount of time to bring them up to speed when you can find someone who already has the skill you need and they can hit the ground running.
Even worse, some junior developers do “negative work”. Work that is so bad, you have to take more time to undo the damage than just doing it yourself.
Whether it’s right or not, the only way for a potential employee to break that cycle is via side projects that they can show as experience.
The purpose of this period of working class rule is to eradicate the capitalist class and its ideology (not necessarily through violence, although in practice what ruling class yields to another without compulsion?), and develop the productive forces of the society in order to enable communism.
This last point is one of the big things that distinguishes Lenin's theories from Marx's, because Marx thought that revolution would naturally arise in the most advanced technological societies once the industrial base necessary for a transition to communism was already pretty much in place. As we know, the revolutions occurred in places with a lower level of development, thus requiring this theoretical modification and extending the period of rule by the working class beyond the brief duration that Marx envisaged.
The USSR, while it existed, always said they were "building socialism" and never said they had arrived at the destination, which is a classless society. The PRC says that it is "building socialism" and that the process might take a hundred generations. The purpose of their rule, according to their own theoretical framework, is to eventually give it up.
So no, Marxists are not "even more in favour of a ruling class above all."
The peasants did not go willingly.
We can see it, for example, in the GDR, the former East of Germany where social sciences basically died. At the very same time, West-Germany developed a hugely influential discourse (...with a lot of Marxists, despite all the tensions).
One could say that specific individuals from academia might profit from having symbolic capital to convert into political power, but that's hardly an idea that could be universally applied.
How is it controversial that it is easier for someone who is directly employed by the state to be a socialist?
You mention Marxist discourse in West Germany. It was easy for Adorno to be a socialist, because all he could do was talk in a convoluted, content-free manner.
Celibidache (who actually did something), called him the biggest windbag of the 20th century.
I wonder how they're distributed among the various disciplines.
I gotta think they are more idealists than bona fide marxists though; I mean, if they read enough, they must know the drill (they wouldn’t have influence and any countertevolutionary ideas and they are sent off).
Here's some discussion from a review of Disciplined Minds by Brian Martin:
> Jeff Schmidt provides an answer in his book Disciplined Minds: professionals, including teachers, are selected and molded to have politically and intellectually subordinate attitudes, thereby making their creative energies available to the system. In short, "professional education and employment push people to accept a role in which they do not make a significant difference, a politically subordinate role." (p. 2).
> The first step in Schmidt’s argument is the claim that professionals - including police, doctors, lawyers, teachers and many others - think less independently than nonprofessionals. He cites opinion polls taken during the Vietnam war showing that support for the war was greater among those with more higher education.
> Schmidt argues that what really makes an individual a professional is not technical knowledge, but rather "ideological discipline."
> A key to creating docile professionals is professional training. Through their training, budding professionals learn to orient their intellectual effort to tasks assigned to them. Schmidt has a wonderful expression for this: "assignable curiosity." Children are naturally curious about all sorts of things. Along the road to becoming a professional, they learn how to orient this curiosity to tasks assigned by others.
The journalist Lyn Gerry read and recorded most of the chapters in the book, they can be listened to here: https://www.unwelcomeguests.net/Disciplined_Minds
The rationale for American intervention in Vietnam, rightly or wrongly, was based on sophisticated geopolitical concerns. Things that are harder to understand tend to be better understood by more educated people for fairly obvious reasons. US intervention in World War II, to name one counterexample, was justified by a sneak attack on American sailors in Hawaii. Almost any idiot understood why we were fighting then.
Another difference was media influence, with the media firmly in favor of America going to war against Japan and Germany, and firmly opposed to America going to war against North Vietnam. If something is harder to understand, and the overwhelming message from the mass media is one of opposition to the government's position, then most uneducated people will oppose it. It's not that complicated.
ie, people whose peers and children were less likely to be drafted.
Of course they did. It wasn’t them or their kids getting drafted....
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
That said - just like in Science - the consensus among thoughtfully educated people is probably 'more correct'.
Where things can go wrong ... is when the systematic class is wrong, or where there is a value shift.
Populism is a super example of this: educated business type see the world through economic lenses, and can't for a second understand how 'Brexit' could happen. Most people have an affinity for their culture and a few extra cents on off their pint (and massively more surpluses in the pockets of bankers) is not going to change their mind over it.
Doctors are a funny bunch in this regard: all of them seem to me to be the most intelligent, boring folks! They have to be in a way extremely small-c conservative, very orthodox, there's no experimentation or zaniness with human bodies. The system, and frankly the work (years of total work, oversight, convention) keeps them in the mould. And frankly, they have no reason to try to go outside it either, once inside the mould, it's just too lucrative to leave.
The same thing comes up whenever we talk about splitting states or cities/towns in the US. Some people are like "why would you want that, it's not in your economic interest" and the people who want whatever the split is to happen reply "we'd rather be poor and in control of ourselves"
Germany in the EU with open migration may possibly present an existential challenge to the nature of what Germany is in the long term. Some people don't care, some people want that, some are against it.
Whereas making SF Bay area '1 city' would be a matter of pragmatism, not much more.
Also - there's actually scant evidence that federalization is better for everyone in the long run, it depends a lot on many things. I actually believe the EEC with slightly better rules for movement would be fundamentally better than the EU - even in raw economic terms. But that Bay Area - with the right leadership - would be better off.
If support for the war was lower among the less education, does this mean the less educated do not think as independently?
What they seem to lack (what most people I meet seem to lack) is questions and a questioning mind.
(Added later...) I don’t know what you’re studying. And I know philosophy and fine arts programs get shat on sometimes, but one thing those subjects allow (when taught properly) is a very, very deep questioning and thoughtfulness towards many things. In my experience, anyway.
I don't do well in university style math classes. It takes me a long time working through something to understand what is happening (and why - the why of a thing is one of the first questions I ask when I'm learning something new).
It takes me about twice as long to learn a math concept as my peers (or so it seems). But I'm typically the first to speak up during a lecture.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. If you're anything like me, you hold yourself to a higher standard when it comes to understanding a concept. A lot of people I know (I'm in second year math) do way better than me on exams but can't even explain some of the basic concepts in the courses, like:
* what is a basis?
* what does it really mean to diagonalize a matrix?
They've mastered the on-paper calculations but haven't put any thought into the deeper meaning of these concepts. When I try to explain they give me an odd look, as if to ask why anyone would care about these things. Are we raising an entire generation of Clever Hanses? 
I think the problem with university is that it's become too closely correlated with economic and social status. Or perhaps it's always been that way, though in the past it was not so much a cause of status but an effect.
This was brought home to me when I had to calculate the moment of inertia of some gears in a gearbox. I started with the concept of MoI, and worked it out with a bit of calculus. Another engineer was looking over my work, and asked "what book did you get the formula for MoI out of?" (The shape of the gear was unusual and the book formulae didn't match.)
Anecdotally, I live in the shadow of a Big Ten university, so I know a lot of academics, and I don't think any of them have expressed a "follow the rules" approach that I was able to discern. Likewise for the people I know who are K-12 teachers, private music teachers, and so forth.
Edit: There were some exceptions, such as my double bass lessons.
So the MoI was not simply a stackup of some stock shapes.
It's not that the calculation was particularly difficult, it's just that calculus was needed, and one couldn't just copy the formula for a stock shape.
It was just clear to me that some engineers were formula-pluggers and others learned it at a deeper level.
Stock shapes were certainly handy to check the math with, however. Fit the gear into a stock shape envelope, and have the gear envelope a stock shape. Your calculation should fall in between the results of those shapes.
The purpose of calculating the MoI was to determine if the stops at the end of the screw were strong enough to stop the gearbox without shattering.
That explains it.
Airplane parts are a whole 'nother world. I imagine that rocket parts take that to the nth level, which is one reason that working on rockets is the ultimate for an engineer. A real engineer would pay to work on an F1 engine design <g>.
Maybe take a good literature or philosophy class if your university offers. They won’t help you understand CS (most likely — although some weird parallels can crop up), but they’ll expand your mind. If you let them!
This is actually an excellent habit, and you should nurture it as much as you can. It looks like you have done a careful SWOT analysis, and thats the way to go.
Being a Marxist in business school would be, as would being a libertarian in art school.
From some, I never hear any questions. The others, I hear domain specific questions (how do I do X?), or disambiguation (when you say this, do you mean ...?), or what's on the test, etc.
There are few forward looking questions (what can I use this for? where is it used? what is the state of the art?).
Mine opened me to a variety of specialties, opinions, skills, cultural movements that I had never seen before.
This was my first contact with unions, entrepreneurs, metalheads, gay community, ultra-christians, drug users, researchers.
There are a lot of bad framings, and "all conservatives think slavery is ok" is a terrible one
Slavery is completely anti-ethical to libertarianism.
Taking everything, including choice, (in essence slavery) could be called a 'tax' using the above definition.
To compare taxes (as they are presently levied against any first world population) to slavery is quite a stretch, though.
But not the sole mechanism by which you could have gained that experience.
Prior to uni I spent time drifting around youth hostels in western Europe. That was affordable even for someone from a Belfast council estate. I bunked with people from literally all around the World and learned more about humanity than I had done in 18/years prior.
Within weeks of starting a job I was sent to Illinois for three months and again had an eye-opening in blue-collar American culture. The Simpsons suddenly made sense.
In contrast for me uni was boring, partisan and segregated. It even had an International Students' Centre where they could congregate away from the locals, because their parents were paying huge fees whilst we were there on meagre Giro grant cheques. I suppose I learned about capitalism there.
I'm keener for my kids to do six years in the military before even thinking of uni.
Would it be wrong to say it sounds like a lot of people doing vocational training end up just wanting to do a good job and get on with enjoying their lives? Is that a title more in-line with the article, and not even surprising?
As for broadening the mind, I believe there is an absolute derth in teaching/testing for those kinds of critical thinking skills (willingness or ability to question ones own assumptions or biases).
This is alternately discouraged or demanded in today's educational institutions, depending on whether your current assumptions and biases are the correct ones.
I was a really young 18. Going straight into work would have been a baptism of fire.
I'm not sure my degree has helped a whole bunch, but I don't regret the time I was there.
> However, it was not the case that university broadened minds. Rather, work seemed to narrow them.
Basically, going to university doesn't make your mind broader, but not going to university does result in a narrower mind.
Am I incorrect to think that this is narrowing of the vocational route?
The most mind broadening experience I had was taking one course in Buddhism. I did this outside of my degree, the course doesn't show up on any of my diploma's. That truly was a mind broadening experience. That experience was also unique unfortunately.
It was a mixed bag, but ultimately worth it.
Not sure how much stock should be put in these results.
The title comes across as controversial subjectivism for the sake of attracting attention.
No worries! Your midlife crisis awaits. :-)