[ExI] big rip in education

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 15:28:48 UTC 2019

On Wed, Mar 6, 2019 at 7:13 PM Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I’m wondering why no one here has discussion Bryan Caplan’s on education:
> https://press.princeton.edu/titles/11225.html
> Or have I missed it? The TL;DR rundown of his book is this: education is
> mostly signaling. Degree inflation is mainly not increasing worker skills
> or even detecting talent, but merely an expansive (and, therefore, mostly
> wasteful) signal. Think of the analogy with buying an expansive engagement
> ring. According to Caplan, this best explain degree — why the BA and BS
> degrees have become the new high school diploma.

Yep. And higher education is big money.

He also responds to other theories and even other purposes to education,
> such as having an informed citizenry. On all these, he shows that the data
> doesn’t much fit. For instance, with regard to an informed citizenry, the
> data seems to show few students recall much of their civics and history
> lessons. They seem to memorize enough to pass the test and then promptly
> forget this stuff. Which is kind of signaling works: the goal is to signal
> — not to retain or use what’s learned.)

I think it's also about indoctrination and keeping the masses easily
controlled. Education *should* be about more than just acquiring the skills
needed to perform a job...such as the skills needed to perform living a
good life.

And, yes, he does discuss how people can basically pursue knowledge and
> skills online and outside of schooling or degrees. (Of course, a problem
> for employers is a signal tends to be cheaper for them than, say,
> extensively confirming someone has independently mastered some skill or
> domain.)

I think independent skills testing/certification is the future.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20190307/a6c01278/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list