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September 17, 2012

Comments

Dear HalfSigma !
What is your opinion about a degree from Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology of Cornell University ?

Your F.r.

[HS: It's Ivy League. Better than the same degree from a directional state university.]

Although it’s not clear to me that the kind of person who can only get into a tier B state school in the first place is smart enough to do engineering or computer programming.

Being smart, even really freakishly smart, is not remotely enough to get into a "good" school if you are white male. Especially if like many white males you find it difficult or impossible to apply your intelligence to the female-oriented high school curriculum.

[HS: They can get a high SAT score, which is independent of the high school curriculum.]

So now that I've already f'ed up and got a useless degree from a Tier B school because my parents are middle class (with working class roots) and told me "as long as you get a degree you're good to go--and the cheaper the better 'cause you have to pay for it" what do I do to turn this ship around? I have managed to make my English degree more technical by working in a technical field (tech writing, while learning some programming and web design) but it still feels like an uphill battle and I can barely avoid prole neighborhoods and the prole masses with my income.

Are the Chicago teachers middle class? That pay with those benefits seems like a pretty good deal to me but my standards are probably lower then yours. No opinion on the working conditions, just referring to the compensation. In my neck of the woods, I would probably need 1.5 to 2 million dollars in my retirement account to have a similar retirement to most police officers.

Florida resident:

If you are interested in chemistry I would suggest studying chemical engineering instead. You will be able to get a good job with just a bachelor's degree. With chemistry, you would have to get a doctoral degree to really be able to get a job. Even so, there is a glut of chemistry PhDs, and many are unemployed.

More important is debt load. If your parents are middle class, you will probably have to take out a lot of debt to go to Cornell. The future is uncertain -- who knows what the economy will be like in four years? Will you be able to pay back the debt?

If you can get a substantial scholarship from Florida State or Florida, go there. Study hard, get good grades, and you'll be fine. If you are really top-notch, check out Cooper Union. It's an engineering school in Manhattan's East Village. They provide full-tuition scholarships to each student.

Well, we all know that most degrees from "tier-B state schools" including STEM are worthless. Just look at James Holmes; he went to a crappy school.

Munodi: "So now that I've already f'ed up and got a useless degree from a Tier B school"

Just get a masters from an elite school.

Also, have to disagree with HS.

Tier B PRIVATE schools are the worst thing you can do. They signal that you're not smart enough to get into an elite school despite having enough money and you're network is a lot smaller.

On the other hand, people go to the big state schools for a number of reasons including being caught in the middle class squeeze -- too rich for aid, too poor to blow $250,000 on a 4-year degree.

To top it off, most high-earning professions require an advanced degree and that's where college grades and GRE scores are what matter.

I went to the top-tier B-school above the UWS in Manhattan and at least half the class did not come from elite undergrad schools.

-Mercy

[HS: I agree that a top-ranked graduate degree will trump a lesser undergraduate degree. And that if you can't get into an Ivy-caliber private school, then you're better off saving money and going to a state school and then trying for an Ivy-caliber graduate degree. BUT, be careful, it's very easy to go to a state school and wind up hanging with a bunch of slackers who are no good for your career.]

The new debt forgiveness program will ensure that the elite have enough middle class people to keep the system working. If you work for a 503c you can get your loan payments greatly reduced and the term reduced to 10 years. I think that there will also be a small independent middle class made up of the smarter homeschoolers. Here is my class prediction for the 21st century:

Elite upper class: rich people with ivy-league educations. 1%

Elite middle class: people of modest-means with ivy-league educations. These people are descended from the people who currently work at non-profits. They do the jobs that you would expect them to do. 5%

Non-elite middle class: poor people with homeschooling. These people are descended from the people who are currently scientists and engineers. They are highly educated and sell consulting services and craft goods. 1%

Working class: poor people with college degrees. These people are descended from people who are currently scientists and engineers and from upper proles. They eke out a living doing the essential work that keeps society functioning. 10%

Underclass: The people are descended from today's working class, proles, underclass, etc... plus new immigrants. They are kept busy with fake jobs, fake schools, and prison sentences. The smartest of them have "advanced degrees" that are worthless, since they can barely read. Violence is endemic. 83%

Actually, of the top ten USN engineering schools, half are public schools, some of them arguably tier B; it's probably important to note that we're talking about top engineering schools. You don't go to Harvard or Yale to get an engineering degree.

"it’s not clear to me that the kind of person who can only get into a tier B state school in the first place is smart enough to do engineering or computer programming"

The trouble here is the same as your assumption that all of the top tier in our society will be Ivy League grads. All Ivy Grads (at least from STEM majors) will probably be at the top, but all those at the top won't all be IL grads because those schools simply aren't large enough to supply an entire "ruling class". Caltech (notwithstanding it's USN ranking, most of the engineers I know consider it the top engineering school)has less than 1000 students total.

On the other hand, I'm with you all the way on non-stem majors; eventually even an IL liberal arts degree may not help you (much - you'll still be better off than the english major from Directional State).

"I would probably need 1.5 to 2 million dollars in my retirement account to have a similar retirement to most police officers"

Trouble is the entity paying you that requirement can say "sorry, we can't pay you", and you're SOL. Learned this one the hard way, so you don't have to. Accepting a defined benefit retirement vs defined contribution is insane. Until you have that money in your hand, there's no guarantee you'll ever see it. Something that can't go on forever won't.

'Although it’s not clear to me that the kind of person who can only get into a tier B state school in the first place is smart enough to do engineering or computer programming.'

It doesn't take much brainpower. You only need an IQ of ~115. Anyone who can crack 160 on the LSAT is more than capable of being a computer programmer or engineer.

'it's very easy to go to a state school and wind up hanging with a bunch of slackers who are no good for your career'

This. College at a state school, if you're out there developing your social skills, will rot your mind if you aren't careful.

HS, what are your views on the top academic institutions, outside of the U.S., but within their respective country or region? (For example, Ecole Polytec, LSE and Oxbridge, McGill, ETH Zurich,U Berlin, U Tokyo, etc.) Do they stand a chance with American Ivys?

I'd be interested to see some statistics comparing B State business grads* to people who could have gotten in but didn't go to college. Or, heck, compare a nigh-open enrollment school's grads (say, Boise State) to people from the area who didn't go to school. I am willing to bet that their financial prospects are better on the basis of the credentialism.

Does this suggest a bubble? Perhaps, but perhaps not. As long as employers think a degree from Boise State is better than a high school diploma and hire on that basis, then they're not the ones paying for their criteria. They have no reason to "wise up." We, on the other hand, lack incentive to protest the game if they're going to keep playing it.

Ultimately, I'm going to guess that tuition rates are going to hit a wall at some point. Eventually people will start to take the amount of student loans into account and from there the non-elite schools will have to pull back on their ambitions to have all of the amenities of the big schools.

* - We like to rag on liberal arts majors, but as I learned on Half Sigma, business is a more common major than many we rag on.

I don't understand where this "if you didn't go to an Ivy, or didn't study STEM in college", you're pretty much fucked mentality come from.

There are plenty of Liberal Arts grads from the Ivies who are underemployed, mainly because they weren't the upper crust elites with connections, and there are those who studied STEM at an Ivy, who are not seeing a ROI in their education. Taking on Ivy grad school with a high debt load, and then landing a job that pays under 200K isn't a great investment.

Going to a tier b for STEM is further useless because companies perceive their students as inferior. This wasn't the case before, but now with the shoddy labor market, they are raising the bar for Ivy STEM grads. I would rather have fun and study liberal arts at a state school just for the sake of it.

I work in an enjoyable, but not particularly remunerative, field -- environmental engineering. I specialize in permitting for wastewater and stormwater runoff. Fortunately, it can't really get outsourced or become less relevant (I mean, how the hell could it?). But I will never be rich, or even really upper middle class. I think the partners in my firm (120 or so people) make around $140k a year. So, pretty comfortable, but that beautiful Victorian in downtown will be forever just out of my reach...

I am 26, and use Facebook/texts (nobody talks on the phone, that's for Baby Boomers) to keep in touch with a fairly wide circle of friends from high school (very well regarded suburban public school that regularly sent its top students to the Ivy Leagues/Stanford/MIT) and college (large state school known for engineering and agriculture).

As of right now, there is one guy who is on track to become very wealthy. He went to Brown, majored in math, now works in Silicon Valley for a hot start up.

Then, below that level of success, there are a few dentists, doctors, one or two BIGLAWYERS, a guy working at a small investment bank...good number of engineers, accountants, IT/programmers, military officers...plenty of people, too, who are working $14.00 an hour jobs doing data entry or perma-internships.

If you have a degree in a non-technical field, you better have gone to an Ivy or be a very attractive woman (although the best looking guy, by far, from my high school class now works in medical device sales, so equal opportunity...)

My dad works in IT, my mom a dental assistant, however, despite their stodgy professions, they are soi-distant hipster hippies (lovers of organic food, Unitarian Universalist, Volvo drivers...they were into artisanal cheeses before it was cool), and both encouraged me to study whatever I liked, but I was more cynical, and chose something useful, if a bit boring.

Also, since Marc Andreessen is the subject of the article, remember that he studied CS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sergey Brin (University of Maryland at College Park) and Larry Page (University of Michigan at Ann Harbor) are other examples.

I agree with advice made by other commenters: it is easier to fall in with a slacker crowd at state schools.

Wall Street (and other mostly parasitic fields like big law) are really in their final phases of desperation as evidenced by last-ditch efforts like open-ended quantitative expansion. Do not count on being in those fields for a career at this point, even if you are at Harvard or Yale.

I don't mean to say that these fields will disappear - we will always need them. They will just be much, much smaller and less profitable industries.

Most important piece of advice: avoid, or at least minimize, your student loan debt!

"There's no such thing as median income; there's a curve, and it really matters what side of the curve you're on," he says. "There's no such thing as the middle class. It's absolutely vanishing"

Uh. If there is a curve, then there is a median. Duh.

"We're in a bubble for people with a non-Ivy League, non-technical education," says Andreessen, who studied computer science at the University of Illinois. "If you have a degree in English from a tier B state school, you're not prepared."

Not prepared for what? Not everyone wants to be rich nor can be rich. It is not hard to imagine that many students go to college for personal enrichment.

Secondly, Andreesen wrongly assumes college is only a means to make money. He is wrong because as we know many people go to college for personal enrichment.

Thirdly, college graduates make more money on average than a non-college graduate, no matter the major. If the nation's most highly educated and most financial well-off on average has no money, then how will any of Andreesen's business' stay alive? With no middle class, there is no way to keep the business world going. No business = no America, period.

In conclusion, Andreesen does not know what he is talking about; perhaps if he studied logical argument he could come to more sound conclusions.

"It doesn't take much brainpower. You only need an IQ of ~115. Anyone who can crack 160 on the LSAT is more than capable of being a computer programmer or engineer."

160 on the LSAT means you scored 1 SD above the average lawyer wannabe (80%ile) Assuming people who take the LSAT are typical of college graduates (mean IQ 107 SD 13)(and many LSAT takers flunk out of college and take the test for nothing) then an LSAT of 160 equates to a verbal IQ of 107 + 13 = 120.

And of course most people with verbal IQ's of 120 have math IQ's significantly lower than 120 (otherwise their OVERALL IQ would be higher than 120), so my guess is scoring 160 on the LSAT is no guarantee that you can handle computer programming.

I majored econ and can't find work. I was thinking of going back to do a masters in accounting. Does this sound like a good plan?

Also, what would be the minimum iq required to become a Chartered Accountant in Canada? Apparently it's harder than becoming a CPA.

For any job needs marketing skill (or verbal skill), such law practice, sale, govement, you need good ivy league title behind you since school reputation is part of sale strategy.

For true technical skill related jobs such as engineer, good school only help you get the job and can not help you to keep the job. If you are good at math, solving pure logical engineering job, you would never get laid off once you are hired. A good friend of mine with engineer degree from pretty shabby univ. But he is star at intel becasue he is truely good and fast at his job.

"Not prepared for what? Not everyone wants to be rich nor can be rich"

EVERYONE wants to be rich, though not everyone wants it badly enough to jump through all the hoops to get the goal.

"It is not hard to imagine that many students go to college for personal enrichment."

What personal enrichment? Sitting in a lecture hall for hours listening to politically correct BS? Spending a Sunday night writing some long irrelevant essays that only your professor will read, and then wasting another 2 hours making sure all the references and footnotes are properly formatted? Spending a saturday afternoon reading some $500 textbook, when you could have found something more educational in the public library for free?

Sorry I'm not seeing the personal enrichment aspect of college. Social life? Any random young person can walk off the street and socialize in university bars without having to pay the tuition


People try to justify their time in university to avoid admitting they were scammed (see half sigma's loser theory of human behavior)

"And of course most people with verbal IQ's of 120 have math IQ's significantly lower than 120 (otherwise their OVERALL IQ would be higher than 120)" -- L Linda

Perhaps many of their IQ's are higher than 120? It's just as likely that someone with a verbal of 120 would have a math that is significantly higher as lower. It's seems likely, however, that most people would have a math and verbal that are at least somewhat close.

Dear Booster !
Thank you for your reaction.

Personally I am past all my degrees, and my interests are closer to Physics, than to Chemistry.

Thank you, dear HalfSigma, for your reaction.

Thank you, dear friends.

Your F.r.

In additional response to Booster".
I do know a young gentleman, who went to University of Florida, with "Bright Florida Future Scholarship" for 4-year tuition (rejecting an offer from Vanderbilt U. without scholarship), got BS degree from UF, and after that got a Ph.D. in Optics from University of Arizona, Tucson. Now he is gainfully employed. Quite smart and nice guy.

YOur F.r.

"We like to rag on liberal arts majors, but as I learned on Half Sigma, business is a more common major than many we rag on"

Business has become the most common major, and has taken over as the dumping ground for people dropping out of other majors.

"remember that he studied CS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"

By USN ranking, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the #5 ranked Comp Sci school in the US. In that field (and in engineering) it is a top tier school.

"college graduates make more money on average than a non-college graduate, no matter the major"

True on the "on average" part; deranged on the "no matter the major" part. Major matters a lot, and more so every day.

Computer programming isn't so terribly hard, but the math required to get to the BS is daunting if a high-IQ student has been avoiding math since the ninth grade. I know people like this, who got high LSAT scores and went on to successful law careers. But they "hated" math and thought little of science.

(I've yet to talk to a programmer who thought the math was in any way relevant. It seemed to be more of a filter than anything else.)

[HS: Algebra (the stuff they taught me in the 8th grade and tested heavily on the SAT) is absolutely crucial for computer programming. Anything higher level is irrelevant unless you are doing really fancy stuff like writing programs that solve math problems. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't know how to do basic algebra. Also, a computer SCIENCE degree WILL require higher level math, even though it's not relevant to what 95% of programmers do.]

"EVERYONE wants to be rich, though not everyone wants it badly enough to jump through all the hoops to get the goal."

Clearly this is not true. People who become monks or something of a religious nature actively deny wanting to be rich.

"What personal enrichment? Sitting in a lecture hall for hours listening to politically correct BS? Spending a Sunday night writing some long irrelevant essays that only your professor will read, and then wasting another 2 hours making sure all the references and footnotes are properly formatted? Spending a saturday afternoon reading some $500 textbook, when you could have found something more educational in the public library for free?"

I am not sure what personal enrichment is but I'm sure it's not asking loaded questions, Glenn Beck style.

"People try to justify their time in university to avoid admitting they were scammed (see half sigma's loser theory of human behavior)"

From Half Sigma's theory of loser behavior:

"A great deal of human behavior can be explained by people trying to convince themselves that they are not losers."

So, when I go to the bathroom am I trying to convince myself I am not a loser? Or when I go to sleep? Surely, these things are "behavior". Sounds like a flaky theory if you ask me.


[HS: I have 100 times more respect for the monks than I do for SWPLs who say money isn't important but don't act that way.]

[HS: They can get a high SAT score, which is independent of the high school curriculum.]

As I said, not enough for a white male.

"Wall Street (and other mostly parasitic fields like big law) are really in their final phases of desperation as evidenced by last-ditch efforts like open-ended quantitative expansion. Do not count on being in those fields for a career at this point, even if you are at Harvard or Yale".

How about a career in politics? It's a parasitic, requires an Ivy degree to make inroads and pays well without a set salary. I'm suprised no one has mentioned this.

"Thirdly, college graduates make more money on average than a non-college graduate, no matter the major."

And real estate always goes up!!

"True on the "on average" part; deranged on the "no matter the major" part. Major matters a lot, and more so every day."

A 50 year old communications major makes more than a 18 year old high school graduate guaranteed. A 23 year old college grad with a liberal arts degree probably now makes as much as a high school student but has much more potential in the future than a high school student on average.

"Perhaps many of their IQ's are higher than 120? It's just as likely that someone with a verbal of 120 would have a math that is significantly higher as lower."

No it's far more likely it would be lower. It's called regression to the mean.



"Clearly this is not true. People who become monks or something of a religious nature actively deny wanting to be rich."

They WANT to be rich, but their religious ideology compells them to sacrafice their basic wants to prove their spiritual commitment. If they did not want money, giving it up would not be a sacrifice, and thus would defeat the purpose.

"So, when I go to the bathroom am I trying to convince myself I am not a loser? Or when I go to sleep? Surely, these things are "behavior". Sounds like a flaky theory if you ask me."

Status is a major motivator of human action, but it competes with other universal motivators, like sex (which can be sought for its own sake just as much as for status or reproduction), entertainment, the desire to avoid death (or discomfort with the inevitability of death), chemical addictions, and basic biological functions.

Here's a brief education/career profile of a close male family member. Middle class upbringing in a Boston suburb. 1987 - BS Biology from a smaller private New England college on full 4-year academic scholarship. 1991 - D.O. from the University of New England. Total med school debt was $40K and was paid off by his first employer. 1991-2001, ten years as a salaried general practice doc in NH at about $120K per year. Then, out of the blue, got a job lead to be an Associate Medical Director for a large international health insurance company, and got the job starting at $135K + full corporate benefits. Now ten years later, at age 47, is still w/ the same company at $300K base + $100K annual bonus. His peers in private general medical practice are still making about $120K and constantly looking to get out of private medical practice.

Oh please, most of the innovators and richest people come from state flagship universities, not some pumped up Ivies.

Should We Abolish Liberal Arts Degrees? Quite Possibly, Yes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/01/should-we-abolish-liberal-arts-degrees-quite-possibly-yes/

What actually is the point these days of corralling students into universities so that they can be taught the liberal arts? Wouldn’t it be better to simply remove that whole swathe of subjects from the college curriculum and concentrate instead on those things that must be taught directly? I think the answer may well be yes, it probably would be a good idea.

snip

This lives on in our current universities in the lecture: almost wholly a waste of time as far as I can see. Reading the set text is faster for each of the individual 500 students entrapped and the Master (now the Professor) probably wrote the text and she really doesn’t need to read it out loud again. Even a video of a decent lecturer would work better than insisting that everyone turn up at the same time in the same place.

Further, with books now at $2.99 each, heck, almost all of the canon of literature is available in e-book format for nothing, we really have got past that scarcity problem that led to this form of instruction in the first place.

snip

The second is that some subjects require a much more hands on approach. No one’s going to learn much chemistry without a lab, astronomy requires a rather better telescope than WalMart sells and so on. So there’s still a point to collective endeavour on one site for some subjects.

But which? It’s difficult to see anything in English Literature that cannot be learned from books. Given that they are the point of the subject after all. Drama studies might be rather better studied by going and working as an actor: Mom and Pop subsidising a child for four years doing off off Broadway would certainly be cheaper than college these days and would almost certainly result in a better dramatic education.

snip

We would though suggest that perhaps the rest of us, in our guise as taxpayers, should not be paying for what is clearly an entirely outmoded, into’d the dustbin of history, method of doing these things. So no federally or state funded student loans for those doing the arts, languages and so on. No state subventions to the academy itself. That would very soon sort out those who wanted an efficient education in such subjects: and given the fearfully rising cost of college efficiency is indeed what we are looking for.

snip

There is one final thing. That college is great social time, a time to grow up, to network, to take those first steps into the adult world. These are all euphemisms for having sex with different people and getting drunk a lot. Indeed, a most pleasurable and vital part of that transition from youth to adulthood. But $200,000 to provide four years of this does seem just a little steep as a price tag. Let them use bars as their forefathers did* in begetting them.

Marc Andreesen has a history of making questionable predictions. For example his claim that web apps will dominate over mobile apps for smart phones.

Still this isn't an original idea. Its all ideas I've heard before.

Personally I think if we really do lose the middle class we will end up with a socialist government in 20 years. Who are all these 20 somethings with college degrees that can't find jobs going to support in 10-20 years when there careers have gone nowhere? A lot of them are reasonably intelligent.

"Andreessen seems to agree with me that in the future, the people at the top will have Ivy League degrees"

The Ivy Leagues have been losing influence at the top because affirmative action and Asian students (who rarely become elite because they hit a "bamboo ceiling") have pushed talented whites who go on to become elites (like Sergei Brin, a U-Maryland alum) into state schools.

The percentage of Fortune 500 CEOs who went to Harvard has been declining for a few decades.

Of course, going to HYPS is still the easiest way to become elite, but a talented white student can still rise to the top.

“We're in a bubble for people with a non-Ivy League, non-technical education."

Marc's statement should be qualified. ONLY Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are elite enough that non-technical undergrads there can expect to make it into a high paying job. Stanford undergrads can also get away with majoring in a fluff major and be highly paid, but Stanford is not Ivy League even though Stanford is more elite than all of the other non-HYP Ivyies.

Non-STEM or non-business majors from Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, etc, are at a high level of risk of leaving college having to service $200,000 in non dischargeable debt as a starbucks barrista or an unpaid permanent intern for a non-profit in DC.

Now, it's possible that a non-HYP liberal arts major can get an elite position, but it is MUCH harder for them than it is for HYP Ivy League students.

However, a technical or business degree from a non-HYP will normally result in a very nice paying career, although the debt burden for these Ivy League students is much, much heavier than technically oriented state school grads who will have lighter debt loads and pay comparable to technically educated non-HYP Ivy Leaguers.

Remember, the following schools aren't elite enough to risk majoring in a non-STEM or businss major.

Columbia is not elite. UPenn is not elite. Dartmouth is not elite. Brown is not elit. Cornell is not elite.

ONLY Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are elite.

The liberal arts world's equivalent of third tier law school scam schools are the non-Ivy League private liberal arts schools such as Skidmore, and Tufts which don't have the elite status of HYP (or even the inferior Ivys like Cornell and Colombia) but charge as much tuition as HYP.

Their liberal arts grads won't make it into the elite and they will have more of a debt load than HYP undergrads who can normally count on HYP's enormous endowments to defray tuition costs.

On a side note, I've noticed non-elite private liberal arts school undergrads are much more unfriendly than HYP undergrads. HYP undergrads tend to be friendlier because they have achieved the highest level of academic social positioning possible and they can now afford to ease up a bit on the social climbing.

In any event, every college department that is not STEM or business needs to go because everything outside STEM and business serves as nothing more than indoctrination camps for the left and as incubators of screwball leftist ideas.

In addition, it's increasingly becoming clear that the non-STEM and business majors are financial ripoffs that transfer wealth from white students to NAM students and moron sports players.

We need to pull the financial plug on the university system:

http://htpolitics.com/2011/10/10/rick-scott-wants-to-shift-university-funding-away-from-some-majors/

Future anthropology majors be warned, Gov. Rick Scott does not believe such programs contribute much to Florida’s economy and wants them on the losing end of university funding decisions.

Reforming Florida’s college and university system will be one of Scott’s top priorities when the state Legislature convenes in January, the governor said in an interview Monday with the Herald-Tribune.

Leading Scott’s list of changes: Shifting funding to degrees that have the best job prospects, weeding out unproductive professors and rethinking the system that offers faculty job security.

The governor has been discussing the ideas in interviews across the state as he previews a soon-to be released 2012 legislative agenda. Scott also is paving the way for the changes by making them central to his appointment process for new university board members.

Scott said Monday that he hopes to shift more funding to science, technology, engineering and math departments, the so-called “STEM” disciplines. The big losers: Programs like psychology and anthropology and potentially schools like New College in Sarasota that emphasize a liberal arts curriculum.

“If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Scott said. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state.”

“Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”

snip

But the proposals are being met with skepticism from college and university leaders who worry that the reputation of Florida schools will suffer and that the state will have a hard time attracting top faculty and students if certain programs are being slashed and professors feel under attack.

“It’s sheer and utter nonsense,” said former University of Florida President Charles E. Young. “They have a total lack of understanding about what a university is and what universities do.”

snip

While much of Scott’s higher education agenda is borrowed from Texas, his proposal to emphasize science and technology over liberal arts has been kicked around in Florida for years with limited success.

In 2010, lawmakers used federal stimulus money to increase STEM funding by $12 million. Sarasota’s New College used the money for a science program studying local watersheds.

Earlier this year, a proposal by the state Board of Governors — which sets higher education policy — to substantially boost STEM funding was ignored by lawmakers who wanted the money to come from reductions to other programs like psychology.

Led by Gaetz, lawmakers began questioning the number of psychology graduates, the most popular degree program at some state universities.

A group of psychology professors countered with a white paper noting that Florida is hardly unique.

Scott wants universities to provide students with information on average salaries for each degree program.

The median income nationwide for someone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology was $30,000 in 2006, according to the white paper.

The governor also said he hopes to come up with other ways to incentivize STEM programs and discourage liberal arts majors. But increasing overall college and university funding seems unlikely with economists predicting another budget deficit of up to $2 billion this year.

Any increased STEM funding would likely have to come from other programs, something university leaders oppose. “We do not want to, and don’t intend to, rob Peter to pay Paul,” Board of Governors spokeswoman Kelly Layman said Monday.

I see the word "elite" being through around as though it means upperclass/rich. I don't think that it is accurate.

I think that elite refers not only to the upper class, but to the half of the middle class that works in SWPL careers.

So urban teacher (Teach for America) = elite, suburban teacher = non-elite. Both are middle class, but one is part of the leftist elite while the other is part of the value creation society. Teaching suburban kids is a value creation job (because you make the kids more useful to society) while urban teaching is not (the kids just get bigger and more dangerous). Urban teaching is a step in the career ladder, you can then go on to run a non-profit or something. You'll probably never be upperclass, but you will always using your verbal skills and SWPL shibboleths to be transferring value to yourself, while you create nothing.

In mainstream Republican writing this is called "ruling class vs country class". The ruling class is what I call the elite, and includes people who are middle class and will never be rich.

"However, a technical or business degree from a non-HYP will normally result in a very nice paying career, although the debt burden for these Ivy League students is much, much heavier than technically oriented state school grads who will have lighter debt loads and pay comparable to technically educated non-HYP Ivy Leaguers".

A technical education from a no frill vocational school will do the job. But anyone who only has this accreditation is a prole.

Public colleges would be a step up, but the students are still within the prole territory.

Only tier 1 schools will educate students to become polished individuals. It doesn't have to be HYP.

Are you going to advocate proles as builders of civilizations? Anyone without a liberal education is a prole.

'so my guess is scoring 160 on the LSAT is no guarantee that you can handle computer programming.'

Okay, well unless these people on average split their IQ's by >10 points (anything greater indicates a possible learning disability), I don't think it matters. It's not like programming requires particularly high level math---or engineering for that matter.

Maybe it isn't a 'guarantee,' but it seems like a strong enough indication.

'But they "hated" math and thought little of science.'

A math curriculum takes more mental effort than a liberal arts curriculum. However, higher effort and laziness do not translate into a lack of aptitude.

'"So, when I go to the bathroom am I trying to convince myself I am not a loser? Or when I go to sleep? Surely, these things are "behavior". Sounds like a flaky theory if you ask me."'

Why do you go to a room with closed doors when you go to the bathroom?

Why do you make sure you sleep on a bed, or some elevated soft surface, in a home?

It's not flaky. You just need to add context to your questions.

"They WANT to be rich, but their religious ideology compells them to sacrafice their basic wants to prove their spiritual commitment. If they did not want money, giving it up would not be a sacrifice, and thus would defeat the purpose."

They want money but join religions, under their own volition, that are anti-money?

That's like being a black man and wanting to join the KKK.

In another case, why would a person, say, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein from one of the richest families in Vienna at his time, give away all his money to philosophize if money were the basic drive of humans? He was ALREADY rich and give it all away. On a side note, the man was an atheist too.

"The Ivy Leagues have been losing influence at the top because affirmative action and Asian students (who rarely become elite because they hit a "bamboo ceiling") have pushed talented whites who go on to become elites (like Sergei Brin, a U-Maryland alum) into state schools".

No, Asians don't become the elite because they are not talented enough to create a form of absolute status. Sergie Brin founded Google. This is an absolute status. Asians for the most part are not as capable as Whites when it comes to forging trends and are only looking for relative status. This would go in hand with your argument that Whites are more suited for the progress of Western civilization.

"In another case, why would a person, say, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein from one of the richest families in Vienna at his time, give away all his money to philosophize if money were the basic drive of humans?"

That's like asking why do people go on hunger strikes if food is a basic drive or why do people live a life of voluntary celibacy if sex is a basic drive; such extreme anecdotes prove little.

And typically "giving" money away is just a glorified way of using money to buy something intangible like status or reputation (that's largely what philanthropy is all about).


To not want money is irrational because virtually everything a human could want (status, luxury, sex, food, beauty, health, love, knowledge, power, intellectual stimulation, children, convenience, happiness, time) is for sale if you have enough money and you know where to shop. To not want money implies either that one don't want anything or that one is not intelligent enough to figure out how money would get them what they want.

Most likely people say they don't want money because they don't have any, and so to admit that they want something they were unable to get makes them look like a loser. People would rather create entire subcultures eschewing material success than admit they are losers (as predicted by Half Sigma's Loser theory)

The poster who believed that America would become a communist state in a decade or two was largely right. Marc better save his money now.

Andreesen's advice really is none. STEM has value because the supply does not exceed the demand. If an engineering school graduates 100 students for every 100 engineering jobs then, sure, you will have full employment in engineering at relatively high salaries.

What kind of solution is this if you have 500 graduates for 100 jobs?

I guess being successful in the future will depend even more on your parents then it does now.

@Undiscovered Jew. Good points on the FL Governor's ideas and plans to increase funding for university STEM funding and decrease non-STEM funding. It sounds like a good plan as long as STEM studies aren't watered down so NAMs can get through them and so females remain interested.

But I don't think much will change, too many NAMs and females would be affected. If university slots for fluff majors are greatly reduced, where would NAMs go for higher education? Where would females get their psychology & sociology BA degrees?

The Legendary Linda,

There are a class of dedicated relgious/philisophical people that see money as being "in the way" of thier enlightenment. You might think that sounds silly, but they have taken stock of their own weaknesses and determined if they have money they will let it get in the way of what they want.

Take the example of a dieter. If the person keeps chips in the house they will be more likely to break their diet then if they don't. You might say that the person should be able to keep their diet even with chips in the house, but it just doesn't work that way for some. They want to be in an environment that makes staying on the diet easier.

"Why do you go to a room with closed doors when you go to the bathroom?

Why do you make sure you sleep on a bed, or some elevated soft surface, in a home"

1. Because I don't want anyone to see me in the bathroom?

2. Because it is comfortable.

Nothing to do with trying to convince myself I am not a loser.

"To not want money is irrational because virtually everything a human could want (status, luxury, sex, food, beauty, health, love, knowledge, power, intellectual stimulation, children, convenience, happiness, time) is for sale if you have enough money and you know where to shop. To not want money implies either that one don't want anything or that one is not intelligent enough to figure out how money would get them what they want."

The Bush family has all the money in the world and their kids and grand kids all slipped down the social ladder. No one would say George Bush is a genius and his wife is ugly.

All those things mentioned above need money but you don't need to be rich, which is the point I am trying to establish. But it's okay, you can live your life trying to become the .1%.

"People would rather create entire subcultures eschewing material success than admit they are losers (as predicted by Half Sigma's Loser theory)"

You could really be talking about HBDers here. They would rather create a subculture that WANTS to be rich but unfortunately their high IQs weren't enough to be rich so they try to convince themselves they are not losers by endlessly striving for something that will never allow them to become elite.

STEM really means TE. There is also a huge bubble in natural science and mathematics degrees.

The only exception is geology.

'1. Because I don't want anyone to see me in the bathroom?

2. Because it is comfortable.'

1. Why don't you want anyone to see you? What's wrong with other people seeing you defecate or urinate? Explain to me how this isn't a social construction that has a lot to do with status.

2. Okay, why don't you pitch a tent with a nice mattress beneath a bridge, then? That'd probably be pretty comfortable.

Just finished watching a family-friendly debate about university degrees. A couple of HBD bombshells were dropped.

http://www.iq2oz.com/events/event-details/special-events/2012-university-degree.php

HS you are fighting the last war I fear.

In the next 4 to 8 years ( or sooner ) the SWHTF; bet on it.

All bets are off as a true PARADIGM shift is in the offing as the USA will most likely break up. The Asians will be at each others throats as their economies tank. Europe will descend into probable autarky as the european union implodes and peoples are evicted. As to the Middle East: better pray one is not there as the Caliphate is resurrected by the true crazies.

Little importance will be placed on where one got the degree as actual real world competence to survive will trump all pretensions.

Dan Kurt

"@Undiscovered Jew. Good points on the FL Governor's ideas and plans to increase funding for university STEM funding and decrease non-STEM funding. It sounds like a good plan as long as STEM studies aren't watered down so NAMs can get through them and so females remain interested.

But I don't think much will change, too many NAMs and females would be affected. If university slots for fluff majors are greatly reduced, where would NAMs go for higher education? Where would females get their psychology & sociology BA degrees?

Posted by: E. Rekshun | September 18, 2012 at 05:48 AM"

Female opposition might not be that great as long as they can still their diploma to go do HR or educational work, which is what most women go to do. White women aren't that liberal anyway. In 2004, Bush won 56% of the white female vote compared to 61% of the white male vote. Female opposition to cutting of the liberal arts doesn't appear to be an insurmountable problem.

I do agree that an overt attempt by Republicans to defund the liberal arts would appear to be too obvious a partisan attack against college departments that are stuffed from stem to stern with crazy liberals.

That's why I prefer to use a "stealth" method of attack against the liberal arts by disguising anti-liberal arts reforms as ways that will cut the cost of college tuition.

Scott Walker in Wisconsin, who is the most effective conservative in America because he's the only conservative making aggressive moves to cripple the liberal bureaucracy rather than simply knocking out Democrat polls, has a good idea.

His education reform plan would let anyone test out of classes in any subject to earn their degree faster. On the surface, this only appears to be an attempt to save undergraduates tuition debt by letting them skip classes they have already mastered.

However, his plan is actually a stealth attack on the liberal arts because liberal arts classes are the easiest classes to test out of because there's no math or science involved in the tests. However, because Walker doesn't overtly say he wants to defund the humanties, Walker is able to gain public support for his plan because ordinary voters like the fact Walker's flexible degree program will cut tuition costs.

This is the way to defund the liberal arts - by getting fewer students to take lib arts classes. This will defund the liberal arts because department funding is to a large extent based on how many students are taking x amount of credit hours in the department. The fewer students taking lib arts credit hours, the more starved of funding the liberal arts becomes.

I want to weld Walker's flexible degree program with giving undergrads the option of skipping their gened requirements completely to focus only on their major, as is done in Britain and Australia.

Since 80% of undergrads aren't lib arts majors, most of the funding for the liberal arts comes by forcing undergrads to take lib arts heavy gen ed requirements.

Giving undergrads an opt out option for the entire gen ed (which is often 60 or so credits of the 120 credits needed to graduate) would be popular with the public because students would be able to graduate two to three years earlier than they otherwise would.

It would also cripple the liberal arts because they would lose all of the funds they get from gened credit hours.

Walker's plan would allow students to test out of required classes for their majors. It would be feasible, that if my plan were wedded to Scott Walker's, that non-lib arts students would flock to the option of skipping their gened classes and lib arts majors would take Walker's option and test out of many of their major required courses.

"No, Asians don't become the elite because they are not talented enough to create a form of absolute status."

I didn't suggest otherwise. The reason there is a bamboo ceiling is because Asians are too introverted and bland to stand out for promotion.

"Sergie Brin founded Google. This is an absolute status. Asians for the most part are not as capable as Whites when it comes to forging trends and are only looking for relative status. This would go in hand with your argument that Whites are more suited for the progress of Western civilization.""

I was hinting at that when I said Asians hit a bamboo ceiling.

And yes, whites have characteristics that make them more suited for a Western social environment than Asians and that any further immigration should be whites only because whites make the best type of immigrant due to them being best adapted for Western environments where to thrive individuals need to be both creative and individualistic while also being good working groups.

Asians are good at working at groups, but aren't cognitively adapted for individualism and going against the grain.

A small number of Asians is not a problem, but any further immigration should be whites only and we should provide financial incentives for nonwhite immigrants and their descendents to voluntarily leave as Eduardo Saverin and Denise Rich have.

Or dedicate your life to destroying an evil world.

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