It's Time To Rethink Education – Part 3 (The Future Of College)

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Over the next ten years, I suspect the concept of a college education will be questioned to such an extent, and by so many people, that all assumptions we currently hold dear will be discarded. The spark for this momentous shift will start, as is so often the case, with simple economics.

Too many young people have taken on too much debt to get jobs that didn’t require this education they were told they needed. We quite literally have an entire generation that understands this intimately, and this understanding will shape the way they see college, and education in general, as they raise kids of their own.

As I write this, I’m excited to say we live in one of the most extraordinary times in human history. The old way of doing things in virtually every aspect of human civilization has either broken down, or is breaking down as I write this. Communications, media, finance, money itself, etc. The list is seemingly endless, and education is no exception. In fact, I think education is an example of extremely low-hanging fruit and will be disrupted and decentralized in unimaginable ways in the years ahead.

If it was just a function of student debt, the changes in how human education functions going forward wouldn’t be as extreme as I expect. As I mentioned earlier, the problem of widespread debt serfdom is merely a catalyst for the paradigm level change I foresee. As younger generations who grew up with the internet start to question how schooling works, from kindergarten to grad school, it’ll become very apparent how archaic and stifling our current methods really are. I already highlighted many examples of this in Parts 1 and 2, so I’m not going to repeat myself. Today’s post will center around the concept of college, and whether or not people will perceive it as a useful experience in the decades to come. I suspect not.

As it stands today, there are two main reasons everyone thinks you need to go to college.

First, many employers (ridiculously) require a college degree to get a job.

 

Second, it’s become a societal norm and rite of passage.

There’s tremendous peer pressure to go to college so you’re not the person who gets condescending looks at the party when you sheepishly confess that you didn’t. In other words, we’ve created an irrational expectation for a college degree driven by the desire to attain specific employment and social opportunities. As such, all it will really take to end this ritual of going to college is a society wide mindset shift. These sorts of things can happen, and I fully expect this one will.

One contemporary example of how this sort of thing can take root can be seen in the burgeoning Bitcoin and crypto asset economy. This has been the most lucrative and dynamic spaces to work in over the past couple of years, and no one in it really cares what college you went to, or if you went at all. What matters at the end of the day is talent, and if you’re a talented programer you’ll find your spot. After all, we don’t even know who Satoshi Nakamoto is and it doesn’t matter. What matters is the code and it’s ability to fundamentally change the world. I think this the mindset of the future, where dominator hierarchies are replaced by merit based hierarchies (holarchies).

As Ken Wilber described (this will sound like gibberish unless you’ve read my work around Spiral Dynamics):

That lessening of green’s pervasive hostility and vindictiveness toward all previous stages of development is what we identied as “step one” in the requisite self-healing of green. There is at least a decent likelihood that this will—and to some degree already has—begun to happen. On the other hand, “step two”—the realization that growth holarchies provide the actual basis of the value judgments that green is already making, and that these growth holarchies also are the only truly effective means to displace the dominator hierarchies that green correctly ranks on the bottom of the list of social desirables—is a bit less likely to occur at the green level itself, but will most likely depend upon the transformation to integral 2nd tier. My strong suspicion, therefore, is that green will perform a good deal of step one on its own, and that this will have a very positive effect on culture at large. (And conversely, to the extent that at least this first step is not taken, then the self-corrective drive of evolution will continue to push, and push, and push into existing affairs, driving more Trump-like “disasters” as evolution redoubles its efforts to force its way through these recalcitrant obstructions.)

Many people reading this will say that what’s happening with Bitcoin and crypto assets is just an exception. Others will proclaim that it’s all just a tulip bubble anyway, and things will go back to the way they were after it pops. I completely disagree. Whether Bitcoin conquers the world or not time will tell, but the ethos it represents about the world (decentralization) isn’t going anywhere.

Moreover, as I explained in yesterday’s post, my wife and I are seriously considering unschooling. I’m not just blowing smoke on this, I’m looking at potentially putting my money where my mouth is.

Not only that, but it’s increasingly clear to me that the college experience is in many ways making people dumber. To prove this point, I highly recommend everyone read an extremely important article written by two former professors at Evergreen college, Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying, titled: Bonfire of the Academies: Two Professors on How Leftist Intolerance is Killing Higher Education.

Here are few excerpts:

At colleges and universities all over the country, students are protesting in increasingly virulent and sometimes violent ways. They demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, shouting down those with whom they disagree. It has become rote for outsiders to claim that the inmates are running the asylum; that this is analogous to Mao’s Red Guard, Germany’s brown shirts, the French Revolution’s Jacobins; and, when those being attacked are politically “left” themselves, that the Left is eating its own. These stories seem to validate every fantasy the Right ever had about the Left.

 

As two professors who recently resigned from positions at a college we loved, and who have always been on the progressive-left end of the political spectrum, we can say that, while none of those characterizations is exactly right, there is truth in each of them…

 

In 2015, Evergreen hired a new president. Trained as a sociologist, George Bridges did two things upon arrival. First, he hired an old friend to talk one-on-one to members of our community — faculty, staff, and students. We talked about our values and our visions for the college. But the benefit of hindsight suggests that he was looking for something else. He was mapping us, assessing our differences, our blind spots, and the social tensions that ran beneath the surface. Second, Bridges fired the provost, Michael Zimmerman. The provost, usually synonymous with the vice president for academics, is the chief academic officer at an institution of higher education. Zimmerman would have disapproved of what Bridges had in mind and would have had some power to stop it. But he was replaced by a timid (though well-liked) insider who became a pawn due to his compromised interim status and his desire not to make waves.

 

Having mapped the faculty and fired the provost, Bridges began reworking the college in earnest. Surprise announcements became the norm as opportunities for discussion dwindled.

 

The president took aim at what made Evergreen unique, such as full-time programs. He fattened the administration, creating expensive vice president positions at an unprecedented rate, while budgets tightened elsewhere due to drops in student enrollment and disappearing state dollars. He went after Evergreen’s unparalleled faculty autonomy, which was essential to the unique teaching done by the best professors.

 

All of this should have been alarming to a faculty in which professors have traditionally viewed administrative interference in academic matters with great suspicion. But Bridges was strategic and forged an alliance with factions known to be obsessed with race. He draped the “equity” banner around everything he did. Advocating that Evergreen embrace itself as a “College of Social Justice,” he argued that faculty autonomy unjustly puts the focus on teachers rather than students, and that the new VP for Equity and Inclusion would help us serve our underserved populations. But no discussion was allowed of students who did not meet the narrow criteria of being “underserved.” Because of the wrapping, concerns about policy changes were dismissed as “anti-equity.” What was in the nicely wrapped box turned out to be something else entirely.

Imagine being a parent who spent years of savings to send their child to Evergreen. Irate wouldn’t even begin to describe it.

In the decades to come, the people who will increasingly shape our world probably won’t have a college degree at all — and that’s probably a good thing.

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Comments

J S Bach dirtyfiles Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:49 Permalink

Repost -60 years ago, something like 5% of the US population attended college or was considered "college material".  That is, they had a higher IQ or showed a potential for higher learning.  At that time, most people understood that everyone was not molded of the same clay.  In other words, egalitarianism hadn't taken its poison root yet.  And there was a much higher number of people who took on work as apprentices in the skilled trades.  This was not considered "beneath" them as it is our dumbed-down "intellectuals" of today.  And back then, when one graduated from high school, they were indeed capable enough in the 3 Rs to wend their ways through society with assurance.  Today, kids can't parse a sentence, do long division, nor find most countries on a map let alone excel in the higher sciences.Let's face it... our ancestors were intrinsically right.  Not everyone is college material and we need to put an end to what Revilo Oliver called the "diploma mills" whose only purpose is to herd as many debt-slaves - er, students - through their illustrious halls of ivy, as possible.

In reply to by dirtyfiles

BidnessMan J S Bach Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:28 Permalink

Actually college was a rite of passage for the then top 5%, until the GI Bill after WW2.  The " Gentlemen C " was well known as perfectly acceptable before joining Daddy's company, law firm, accounting firm, bank or Wall Street firm.  Academic talent had little to do with being " college material ". It was a moderately sized club, and you weren't in it if Dad wasn't.  

In reply to by J S Bach

khnum Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:38 Permalink

yep the fabian socialists won but the world molded in their image will slip from their fingers like a hot greasy hot dog- critical morass

vulcanraven Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:42 Permalink

I used to work for a large tech company... a service that just about everyone uses, and it was littered with overeducated middle and upper management tryhards who would just sit in meetings jerking each other off by shitting out a bunch of corporate buzzwords that they learned in some marketing course. I never passed up the chance to let these people know that I never went to college, had minimal trade school education, and learned just about everything else I needed to know over the internet. Needless to say I wasn't very popular and never got invited to any company parties. Lasted about two years there and they didn't end up renewing my contract, couldn't wait to get the fuck out and away from their douchey corporate "culture".

Solosides vulcanraven Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:23 Permalink

I have zero hours of college education. The one semester of running start I did take, I was extremely unimpressed after day 2 and decided to hotbox my car in the parking lot instead of going to class.Several years after, I worked as an engineer for an elevator company for about 2 years. I started there by just doing the extra CAD work, but I quickly ran circles around the company engineer who had a full mechanical engineering degree from UW. He eventually quit and I took over everything including tooling design and marketing materials. I walked out at the 2 year mark because the owner refused to pay more than $18/hr, and his bipolar attitude was driving me insane. One minute he would have an absolute panic attack and start cussing everyone out in the office, and 10 minutes later when you ran into him he would smile and say "hey buddy" likes he's your best friend. Putting up with that everyday was not worth anywhere near $18/hr

In reply to by vulcanraven

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Solosides Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:52 Permalink

Sounds like you received a first-class education in real life. Good for you for walking. I hope you are self employed now!

My first business was residential housecleaning. Got a business license, business insurance, a busines checking account, and a bond and I was fully booked in 60 days. One thing I learned was to screen potential clients while doing a walkthrough. They thought they were screening me but I was absolutely screening them, as well. No money is worth it when you have to deal with a crazy person.

I don't clean houses anymore but that experience was invaluable.

In reply to by Solosides

My Days Are Ge… Solosides Sat, 12/16/2017 - 07:55 Permalink

You did the right thing.  You bypassed college and went straight on to Screw U.  You got a terrific education.  But, you probably did not have any training in negotiation.  You delivered the work product to your boss.   But could not put the money in the bank for yourself.  The next time you are in a position of power, work out a plan and backup plan before you act. 

In reply to by Solosides

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:44 Permalink

"As Ken Wilber described (this will sound like gibberish unless you’ve read my work around Spiral Dynamics)." It is gibberish and hippy-dippie pablum. Always some idiot willing to buy slop and call it food.

As far as Evergreen, that guy sounds like a the perfect psychopath. Get all of your staff and employees to tell their secrets to an old friend (mapping? whatever it sounds psychopathic to me) because of course all of these lefties are honest and won't lie. And then take over to push one agenda and one agenda only: neo-Marxism.

If universities die it will be because of this nonsense. I think people realize that going to a university means that you are good at jumping through hoops. With the Internet, you don't need to go anywhere to learn. You can learn at your own pace at home. Much of it for free.

www.khanacademy.org

People are realizing that universities are nothing more than finishing schools. A place for insiders to meet a mate and a place for certain groups to be moved forward while some are excluded. White and Christian? Forget about a government job in the USSA. Neo-Marxists only.

Stud Duck HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 07:11 Permalink

I push the Kahn Academy to all that will listen,, not many do.   I did have a young gal working in a convience store that did check it out, expressed that she was going to try it, but I doubt she will. These youngun's now seem to not even have a dream about what they want to do.My son, 20 years ago now, refused to go, instead went to work in a machine shop, gained a skill and got damn good at it.. The machine shop shut down in 2008,,he got laid off, but had already bought a small farm and started a small cow herd..He now owns 75 head and  is in pardnership on 100 head cow heard that he manages for 50% of the gross. He also is crop farming about 250 acres of leased ground.He now has more assets than I do after a lifetime working in the corp world at the age 40.. He has three young sons and raising them on the farm. the 9 year old has his own egg business and well as 10 head of cows, he can ride a horse, shoot a gun, drive a combine or tractor,, The grandson has a super thrust for knowledge and using Kahn Academy as well as public school system.. Needless to say, he intimidates his 3 grade teacher.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Stud Duck Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:05 Permalink

Congratulations! Sounds like you raised an intelligent, responsible, smart young man! 75 head of cattle @ $1000 per is $75K. Throw in another 100 head and that's a cool $100K. Most younglings don't own squat so that is awesome that he has done well raising livestock and farming.

Hard work. I think the only place to raise a family is on a farm. Smart move!

As for public school, why is your son wasting any time with those fools? Seriously? Plenty of home schools and there is one online, K-12, certified, whole deal. Sending a kid to a public school is child abuse IMHO. Tough conversation to have so I understand if you have avoided it. I am watching the Tragedy and Hope Utube channel and a guy there that worked in education talks about why it isn't a good idea. Another ZHer posted the link a few days ago, sorry, forgot the name or I would give them credit.

You made me smile talking about riding a horse and shooting! I grew up learning to shoot first, and ride when I was older. Like saving money, riding horses and skiing are skills best learned when young.

I'm jealous. You have one fine family there! That is the real lotto!

In reply to by Stud Duck

CRM114 Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

Most schools now fail to prepare teenagers for the rough and tumble of adult life, as do quite a few parents. Thus University students act like spoilt children simply because they still are. It is not, in fact, their fault. This is the example those around them have set. And I say that having taught in schools that still did prepare kids for independent life, visited many that did not, and having seen both the prepared and unprepared as a University lecturer.You can't fix the problem just through schools, though they are a major part of the problem, because the entire structure of both the law and central government attacks any form of instruction which either encourages independent thinking and action, or involves significant criticism and a pass/fail standard. The whole of the attitude of the higher structures of society throughout the western world is that of a mediocre kindergarten teacher.

Reaper Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

Just as in nursery school, they give a 'one of the best" certificates to all paying customers.  As indictive of ability = 0  As unique = 0 

VideoEng_NC Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:27 Permalink

Generational UC product, parents went to Berkeley late 50's, me UCSD.  Simply slack jawed witnessing the current system in CA from afar, our kids were homeschooled & are following the Mike Rowe method of education after high school.  University professors & admin better figure it out quick, storms a brewin'.

BidnessMan VideoEng_NC Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:41 Permalink

Many mediocre third-rate colleges like Evergreen will collapse and die in the next ten years, as they should.  Good riddance to the hordes of "professors" and administrators wallowing in a cesspit of political correctness. Even if they wanted to, parents still paying off their own five and six figure college loans are not going to be able to put up $200K to have Junior major in beer pong and gender studies at a private college no one has ever heard of.  The math does not work.If anyone has any ideas about how to short 2nd and 3rd rate private colleges, would like to hear it.  Dead men walking.Burlington College run by Bernie Sander's wife is the future.

In reply to by VideoEng_NC

milo_hoffman Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:00 Permalink

It's time to stop the stupid college requirment for many jobs.   We need to go back to the apprentace model for many many things in the world. Be it lawyers, engineers, IT, etc.  College education is almost worthless compared to real world experience and working with someone who knows what they are doing.Colleges should not be the gatekeepers of these jobs, people should learn and earn those positions by working, learning and demonstrating.

RAT005 milo_hoffman Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:19 Permalink

The college degree is partly enforced by HR which are often college educated morons and they are not going to admit to people being qualified without their similar piece of paper.There is no way I could have ever achieved an engineering aptitude without the tremendous pressure of college.  I doubt you know what a real University Engineering Education is.  I'm sure there are many colleges that are faking it today, but for the real thing, you can't do that on your own.  Consider that in the real programs, the sophomore class that survived freshmen year are the top ~15% of their high school class and only some 60% will finish the engineering program.  Of those that finish, often ~30% don't get employed in their degree because they don't measure up to recruiter standards.Not to be confused with brilliant people that get halfway through and realize they know what they want to focus on and remaining in the STEM program won't benefit them.  The two ideas are not mutually exclusive.  I have the skills I have now because I finished compared to not being close to having the skills when I was only half finished.

In reply to by milo_hoffman

wally_12 BidnessMan Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:50 Permalink

When I was a Engineering student, I was required to learn Fortran. IBM punch cards were loaded with Fortran language. Access to the IBM computer was limited to gradute students and professors. A "Run" would take hours or days and results would be laughable compared to todays smart phones. Just saying, hard to judge what future technologies are important to learn today.

In reply to by BidnessMan

warpig1 wally_12 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:48 Permalink

WTF, Can't you guys understand that college is trying to teach you the logic of programming not the specific language?  Languages will come and go but how to construct a For Then loop is forever (simple example).  Thats what you learn with Fortran, the thought process. Universities teach critical thinking.  Yes many people bong out of college.  So what. If you dont have the language skills and thinking skills gained from their, you are toast in most of the world. But, hey if you are happy working on a farm - fine.

In reply to by wally_12

Manipuflation Sat, 12/16/2017 - 04:52 Permalink

How did corporate America figure out who I am?  Why would they hire me?  I don't do social media other than here if you can even call ZH social media.  I need to know.  The WLR hired an external hitman built to exacting standards perfectly designed to question everyone.  How did they know that I was their man?  I could have only come from ZH.  I have posted my email addy and my real name here and they must have picked it up.  That can be the only explanation. There can be no other explanation.  I might posit that posting on ZH might actually get you somewhere.  Not likely, but I am at a loss right now.  I don't want to be a patsy.  Why is other management afraid me?  Maybe they confused me for someone else?  Maybe they called the wrong number and I answered?  No, it was much more than that.  The only one of 17 that corporate hired out of a tri-state area.  I don't know.  People pester me to run for office all of the time.  No.  I am not a special snowflake.  I am not better than you.  I can lead however.  I just do want to be part of the system.  It's very spooky but I'll compromise to take care of my immediate family.  I really don't NEED any more than what I have. I'm not as motivated as much as one one think regarding money.  I don't really need more than what I have now.  If money is your deal then that is fine.  How much shit do you really need?          

xear Sat, 12/16/2017 - 05:21 Permalink

It may be time to stop the college requirement for jobs but the reality is without a college degree neither the government nor any big business will hire you.It sucks but so do a lot of other things.

TuPhat xear Sat, 12/16/2017 - 09:05 Permalink

I was part of the hiring process for a while in my career and I can tell you that we switched from a High School degree to an associate degree because young people out of high school don't know basic math and can barely read and write.  We hoped that an associate degree requirement would act as a sort of filter to give us slightly better applicants.  I know it is contrary to most posts on this thread but a bachelor's degree may be in the future where I worked (retired now).  That isn't what employers really want but what can they do to find capable people.

In reply to by xear

CRM114 TuPhat Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

Yes, but HR filters exclude people over 40 without degrees who CAN do basic math. And the same applies to people who have Bachelor's degrees from back when they were worth something, who get filtered out of jobs that now insist on a Master's. Or is it that HR just don't want older guys with a Bachelor's embarrassing the younger people with PhDs?

In reply to by TuPhat

Internet-is-Beast Sat, 12/16/2017 - 06:24 Permalink

College isn't necessary for a "commodity" education. However, going to a great university, interacting with first-rate professors, and working your butt off is worth it. It helps, of course, to have ability as well. Whether you want to be a classics major who knows five languages, including Latin and Greek, or a physics major who has the opportunity to run a particle accelerator like the one at Cornell, these can be the most formative and beneficial years of your life. They can really prepare you for graduate school and propel you into a rewarding career. People who can take full advantage of that are the lucky ones in life. They get the trips to Antartica and all the other great stuff in life. You can come out of Harvard Law School and make $750,000 your first year at a New York firm, if that's your gig.

So be careful who you listen to.

warpig1 ZeroPoint Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:52 Permalink

The work force?  You mean a trade.  If you want a trade, go to a trade school. If you want to work with anything other than your hands, go to a univerity .  I am sick of this anti-education mindset. A university education has amazing value. If you dont believe its for you, go get a job working with your hands. You are better suited for it. 

In reply to by ZeroPoint

CRM114 warpig1 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:05 Permalink

No, he means the work force.A university education, for the most part, includes very little that is useful compared to one from 30 years ago, even on elements that claim to. I know, having had such an education, been in the workplace, then become a University lecturer.In particular, the course elements that involve leadership, decision-making and innovation have been so bowdlerized they are worse than useless, and the proportion of people teaching them who actually have workplace experience is low and decreasing. And the Ethics elements are beyond a joke.In summary, a university education has way less workplace applicability than it used to. What's ironic is that the proportion of companies insisting on a degree has skyrocketed. HR is your enemy.

In reply to by warpig1

Clearcutt warpig1 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 13:24 Permalink

Wouldn't you like to find a study on how long it takes a grad to pay off student loans? If you're an engineer you get a shot at working for a large defense contractor. English major, well, maybe the Amazonington Post has an opening for janitor. Upon which you will owe for the rest of your life.

In reply to by warpig1