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Why Universities, In Their Current Form, Are Doomed

December 25, 2010 12 comments

I believe that universities, in their current form, are doomed due to a combination of internal problems and externalities. Here is a short list of these issues:

1. In most western countries- universities are now used to ‘house’ youth in the same way that prisons are used to ‘house’ black men in the USA.

2. In countries like the USA and other Anglo-Saxon countries, the students are expected to pay for the privilege of being ‘housed’ in these places. I have previously talked about the extremely deleterious effects of high student debt on the economy.

3. There are simply not enough jobs, even if every body took a “useful” education. It seems that CONservatives don’t want to understand this problem.

4. Even a high paying job out of university is no guarantee of having that job, let alone the possibility of that job existing a decade from now.

5. Universities are creating tons of useless and counterproductive admin jobs, while cutting back or not paying their non-admin staff.

6. The CONservative meme of getting into professions like medicine, law etc are very disingenous for two reasons.

a. Getting into those fields has more to do with who your parents know, rather than competence.
b. If everybody got into such professions, they would be less valuable.
c. Even worse, if such professions were the only way to have a decent income- the west will look more like brazil.. on second thought- bangladesh is a better example.

Now let us talk about externalities:

7. Universities, both public and private, are dependent on a growing economy for their continued existence. How that will be achieved with a shrinking working age population who have jobs that pay less than the previous generation remains to be seen.

8. The expectations that most people will go on to get well-paying jobs, get married, have kids and consume more is fatally flawed for a number of convergent reasons from feminism, globalization and an economy run on sociopathic principles. These old-fashioned expectations shape many aspects of university policy- from recruitment, program design to attitude towards students and the external world in general.

9. The research departments of universities are becoming less productive with each new day. It started in the 1980s due to CONservative ideologies, competitions and other manager-lawyer sociopathic memes gaining traction. Today the only new things most universities discover are scams, spins and speculative bullshit with a helping of rewarmed old research.

10. Technology had made information free and easily accessible. There is no real need to teach kids anything except performing experiments and other hands-on learning. Universities have largely lost one of the two main reasons for their existence- they just don’t know it yet.

Comments?

PS: I support the idea of all people being able to learn about anything they want to learn about. It is just that universities are no longer equipped, competent or capable of fulfilling that role.

It is going to end in forced massive redesign or annihilation. Either way, it does not matter..

NSFW Links: Dec 25, 2010

December 25, 2010 Leave a comment

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Categories: Uncategorized

Malcompetence, Not Corruption, Is The Problem

December 25, 2010 3 comments

Clever morons believe that corruption in government, or society, is the biggest reason certain less-developed countries are malfunctional. Even most clever morons from those countries believe in that theory.

In my opinion-

Malcompetence is a far bigger problem than corruption or simple incompetence.

Corruption, while unsavory, is merely an addition to the cost of doing business. For example- a government official who requires bribes to do his job is not an impediment to progress or efficiency, as long as the bribe amount is constant and the job is done properly.

Even incompetence, in combination with constant rates of bribery, poses no obstacle to progress. Most incompetent people are smart enough to know that they are incompetent and keep away, after getting their bribes. Once again, it is the cost of doing business.

Malcompetent and corrupt people, or even those who are plainly malcompetent, pose some very specific problems to the cost (and ability) of doing business.

1. They make accept a bribe, but are not able, incompetent or too greedy to follow through on their end of the deal.

2. They will keep on meddling in the project, even after accepting the bribe. It is about ego.

3. They will try to influence the project which they have taken a bribe to stay out off, to game it for more rentier style profit. Similar to 2, but with a different motivation.

4. They will often take bribes for the same project from multiple sources, thus making it hard to do business.

In case you were wondering- I am talking about Indians (especially the older ones). However similar pathologies exist in many other countries.

Comments?