I went to the boys prizegiving this week. While the Rector was pontificating (and to avoid my ex, who had travelled from Auckland to be there) I was talking with Kevin. He is, according to the sons, the best English teacher in the school. He is also a fan of C.S. Forrester and David Weber. So we were talking Science Fiction and how he managed to avoid Postmodern English Theory by the skin of his teeth. We then talked about student loans: he has just paid his off.
He has been renting and driving a crappy car. He has no mortgage. But Inland Revenue are off his back, for the loan has gone.
He is 37. So when Matt Forney says do not go to University unless you are trying to get training in a hard science or engineering, he’s correct. What he forgets to add is that if you get out of the USA you can avoid prerequisites, which mean you never need to deal with professors like this.
Imagine a black man who willingly puts himself in an environment where he’s called the n-word every day and told he’s an inferior, evil person because of the color of his skin. You’d think he was insane, right? Yet men are still choosing to attend universities where their Marxist, leftist, feminist professors preach hatred against men in general and straight white men in particular. To be a man in college is to be blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world, from poverty to colonialism to environmental degradation. If I wanted to be picked on, I’d go see an insult comic.
Not only that, but while your professors and administrators assert themselves as infallible moral authorities, they’re engaging in degeneracy on a level that would make Caligula blush. Beyond professors tearing up political signs they disagree with and helping fabricate “hate crimes,” both they and administrators are complicit in wide-scale academic fraud.
For example, most professors and administrators are well aware that many of their students are going to degree mills and passing in work that is not theirs. They do nothing because if they actually started expelling students for plagiarism (like the college syllabus says they’re supposed to), that would mean fewer tuition dollars for the school and no money to pay their bloated salaries. If you’re too much of a wuss for war, education is a pretty damn good racket.
The only reason to go to college if you have the talent and drive to major in a high-earning, math-centric degree such as computer engineering. Anything else is a waste of your time and money.
He is correct, and I say this as someone who works in a tertiary institution. The rhetoric about male violence, male predation is constant. The amount of practical things done — minimal. The main harm reduction that my university has done is buy up the local pubs and redevelop them. With continual internal assessment in First year, there is no time to drink anyway.
So what is college? Particularly American College? EW argues that it remains a selector for (moderate) intelligence and conscientiousness, particularly for women.
First, college does screen out the dumb, just less than it used to. Which one reason why employers insist on bachelor’s degrees for entry-level jobs…it is still a proxy, albeit a weak one, for intelligence and conscientiousness. Second, intelligence is heritable–about 50%, if memory serves–thus smart parents have smarter children on the whole. Yes, the IQ of smart peoples’ children will regress toward the mean, but the mean itself will rise over time. Third, intelligent people are more likely to make choices to get married and stay married, which itself confers many benefits to children born of the union, to include greater wealth, success, lower criminality (itself an indicator of higher intelligence) and a greater propensity to get and stay married.
Thus, I submit that the assortative mating theory does have validity, and that it does spawn a cognitive and social elite.
And if you want to be in that elite, to college you should go. What EW misses is that the US system is inefficient. It requires all people get a general education. The Commonwealth, which specialises at Batchelor’s level not Master’s is far more selective. This inefficiency, when combined with compulsory post modern Marxism, encourages women not to breed, or not yet, and may be causing a dysgenic trend for higher IQ women. This would fit with my observation of PhD colleagues: most of them are not that happy, and not that child orientated. Those who are happy and child orientated, interestingly, are married not to fellow PhDs, but tradesmen. (The same applies to female medics. Many of these are marrying men with trades, not fellow medics. My generation tried two medico marriages, and most of these failed, mine included).
Heartiste’s recognition of the relevance of credentialism is similarly perspicacious:
Conflating runaway credentialism with IQ misses the fact that today’s paper pushing woman with a communications degree was yesterday’s equally competent secretary with a high school degree, and perhaps even yesteryear’s farmhand mother with sharp instincts for survival.
Indeed, even many wise men fail to grasp this. Education is a far stronger predictor of female fertility than IQ is. Intelligence and educational attainment are correlated, of course, but once educational attainment is controlled for, there’s very little difference in fertility across the intelligence spectrum. This isn’t just the case at the national level; it’s descriptive power is global in scope.
So, young man, what to do?
Firstly, accept that boys are not good at being faux girls. The education system, until graduate level, rewards those who are neat, diligent, unquestioning and recite back what they are taught. At graduate level, being questioning and a geek helps (I know this for this is how I earn my money.) If you do not have the self discipline to learn despite the biases against you, then do not get tertiary education.
Secondly, college costs a lot of money, and graduate school more. So do not waste your time studying something that will not pay. Consider college as trade school for geeks. Unless you are independently wealthy, avoid hobby courses — art, music, literature — and any course that aims to make you a well-rounded individual. Shop around, including internationally: there are top 200 universities in Australia and NZ that are a lot cheaper than some state schools in the USA (and have less required courses). An alternative in the USA is to join the ROTC and get the military to pay: the military do generally treat young people with some respect (because you may have to die to fulfil your oath).
Thirdly, go to work first. There are exceptions to this: getting into medical school in NZ is best done just after leaving school. But if you don’t know what to do, go work on a farm, sling burgers, make cars. You will discover motivation. If you are young and single, go where the jobs are: the oilsands in Canada, the dairy farms in Southland…
Finally go for trades. The university degree is degraded. Plumbing however… remains. Women look for those who can provide as husband material. You will not have as much debt. Your job cannot be outsourced. Yes, it is dirty, physical, technical and hard. And the trades are the last area where the apprenticeship system — which works for men — continues.
Young man and young woman, do not go automatically into debt to be poorly educated. Do not take the default position. You do not need a mortgage before you marry, you do not need to spend your thirties paying your debt down, and you do not want to find yourself disqualified from meeting your dream because the federal bank demands payment.
A university generalist education is a luxury good. Like a supercar. Leave it to the rich, or fools.