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first of all, the idea of having a meaningful certificate in something like history is sort of ridiculous.

second, there are currently hundreds if not thousands of independent history departments in the US. to reduce this to one government agency would be quite a large change. or are you suggesting that we create hundreds of government history certification agencies?




>the idea of having a meaningful certificate in something like history is sort of ridiculous.

I totally agree. But tell that to the universities.

>or are you suggesting that we create hundreds of government history certification agencies?

I’m suggesting that this is what we already have, because universities are tax-exempt, so on a fundamental level all professors already do work for the government. We could just keep all the history professors employed, but in the service of a more meritocratic rubber-stamp than the current rubber-stamp game which is based on prestige and SAT scores and various other bullshit factors.


I think maybe you and I are just using "certificate" differently. to me, a certificate is very different from a degree. a certificate affirms that a person has a fairly specific set of skills that have been tested against some objective measure. I'm not exactly sure what a degree says about someone, maybe something like "has studied in this field for a while without pissing everyone off to the point where they refuse to work with or teach them".

I can be a certified building envelope inspector if I pass a test that shows I know how to perform an industry standard inspection using the standard tools. I'm not sure there's any meaningful way I could be certified as a software engineer (answering obscure c++ questions? being able to use git?). there's definitely no way I could be meaningfully certified as a historian. I'm sure no matter what I do, it would be controversial whether I was even studying history!

instead of making the study of history less of a special club, maybe we should ask whether it's appropriate for the government to support this endeavor at all?


>I think maybe you and I are just using "certificate" differently. to me, a certificate is very different from a degree.

I agree that we are using this word differently, because to me a degree is a certificate.

>there’s definitely no way I could be meaningfully certified as a historian

I agree: because of the nature of history, no meaningful certifications of this knowledge can occur. My point is that PEOPLE STILL ATTEMPT, every single day, to award meaningful certifications in this area, and since people are already attempting, it makes sense to just aid their efforts rather than throw out their efforts entirely on ideological grounds, no matter how correct those ideological grounds may be.

I agree that history is not a field that can have a meaningful certification in an abstract sense. My point is that these certifications STILL HAPPEN in a very real and practical sense; so why not optimize the process that already exists rather than wishfully hoping we could shut down the process entirely on ideological grounds.




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