Friday, April 21, 2017

Is Education Even a Good Idea?

There is more than one side in the ongoing debate about education in today. School vouchers, private schools, charter schools, No Child Left Behind, even private school access to government grants for safe playgrounds have aroused the defiance of secular groups. Yet these subjects are not always easily divisible into for/against arguments. The knights ask, very seriously, is education even a good idea?

This may sound like a shocking question. Pop culture has so permeated and saturated the present political and cultural landscape that most people simply consider education one of Plato's Goods which are good to possess for their own sake.

But is that really the case?


The title of this article is meant to provoke rather than entertain a negative answer. We do not mean to suggest that it might be a god idea to forswear education and raise a generation of unlettered fools. There are already third-world countries doing this and the results speak for themselves.

Obviously, it is good for children to learn how to read and write and apply mathematical knowledge to
real-life problems. The question is whether the modern education establishment is even useful for anything.

This article is particularly aimed at men who are just coming of age and at those who are now well into their manhood and considering spending time and money on education.

If you want to become a highly-skilled professional whose work will have visible and lasting effects on the real world, then the answer is most-likely affirmative. Future engineers, doctors, computer programmers and others need access to great minds and the certification apparatus which universities and associated organizations can provide.

The problem with taking that route is that you will inevitably expose yourself to an Orwellian culture managed by thought police. As long as you are choosing to study some sort of applied science, your exposure may be limited since the type of person sustaining PC culture is generally unfit to handle the intellectual requirements of these fields.

That is why you absolutely msut avoid a university if you have a desire to "study" English, history, philosophy, etc. Humanities-based fields have been compromised by PC culture. In such environments, you always find yourself "learning" things which are completely incongruent with reality and common sense.

What Is Even Being Accomplished in College?

In the interest of full disclosure, I had a classic, All-American college experience and enjoyed it immensely. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995.

I always expected to have to join the army to get my education but I was blessed with scholarship offers after scoring particularly well on the SAT. I got to to a four-year state college with help from parents for rent but my tuition and books were paid for. I stayed in a dorm my first year, lived with buddies in crappy apartments for the next three and graduated with a fairly useless degree in the Humanities but which I definitely did not regret earning.

But I have to wonder if it might not have been better for me to learn something useful. I enjoyed writing and had taken a lot of writing courses. This led to me ending up as a semi-miserable teach for more than a decade.

When I finally left teaching, I did so after googling how to make a living on the Internet. I became a content writer. I worked for pennies at first but eventually earned the equivalent of my teacher pay after a couple years. Not only that, I actually learned how to write clearly and concisely.

The experience left me wondering: what was the purpose of my college education? I had learned much more in just a few months of writing for a living than I had as a student.

Now, I certainly understand that I learned much more in college. I took a wide variety of classes in pursuing my liberal arts degree and I really enjoyed most of them. But the content of a lot of these classes was actually available to me in the real world. For example, my humanities classes showed me a lot of art which I could see in museums and learn about by reading encyclopedias. Had it really been necessary to take out four years of my life to "learn" in a college classroom?

Today, with the Internet available to everyone, this question is even more pertinent. While I am willing to debate the necessity or value of my college experience in the 90s, I cannot imagine an argument which would convince me that taking four years out of your life to learn about art and literature makes sense when you could just do it in your free time while you plied a trade.

So, I have to wonder what kids in college today are doing if they are not studying the hard sciences. Philosophy can be learned and discussed on the Internet (though one wonders if that is actually happening anywhere). The same goes for Art, English and many other fields of study.

Take foreign languages for an example. I learned Spanish in middle school, high school and for two years in college. I still couldn't speak it. I ended up in Juarez, Mexico after college and was speaking fluently within a matter of weeks.

Sure, my college learning did provide some foundation for my fluency. It was clear to me, though, that some things in life are best learned by simply doing them rather than "studying" them,

What Should a Man Do? 

Whatever your station in life, you should carefully consider your next step if you are contemplating higher education.

  • If you are going to work in medicine, science, nursing or some technological field, you need to go to school. 
  • If you are planning on studying the liberal arts, you would be ultimately happier if you learned a trade and studied these things on the side. By the time your peers are graduating with their worthless philosophy or communication degrees, you will be earning plenty of money and able to set aside plenty of time for reading and trips to the museum. And you will not be less educated than a bunch of overgrown kids who have spent four years sitting in classrooms and taking multiple choice tests.
  • If you want to become a lawyer, psychologist, teacher or work in a related field, you might complain that you need the seal of approval that a college gives. I would simply counsel you to not pursue these dreams. Lawyers are scum and psychology is bullshit. As for teaching, it is not a profession that a man should expect to provide him a living nor is it respectable.
It is long past time for educators and learners to embrace technology. Most of what we need to learn, after a modicum of early instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, is available for free on the Internet. If you have a hankering to learn more about the Renaissance, Google it. Don't waste your life and resources on attending a course taught by someone who has a piece of paper declaring his worthiness to "reveal" information that is easily discovered otherwise.
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