[ExI] big rip in education

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 16:40:40 UTC 2019

> On Mar 6, 2019, at 4:20 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Most things are not forgotten that are learned in school, but you may have to use more sensitive tests.  For example, who was that guy who wrote about Walden pond?  If asked like that, some would not be able to come up with the answer, but if asked in a multiple choice format most would know right away.

I believe Caplan addressed that, but I can’t recall. ;)

> And anyhow, it's not just how much you know that education tries to instill in people, it's the ability to learn them that is revealed in schools.  Also, going a long way in school is a good test of one's ability to do dull work, get along with people and bosses (the teachers).  Boot camp is not about learning to dig holes and then fill them up - it's about learning to obey orders without question (but not without griping!).

Actually, that’s part of his point of how education signaling works: it relays to potential employers that the person is both smart (more or less) and basically confirming to social standards. He maintains that they (potential employers) don’t overall want someone who is really smart but one conform — or they want someone who will be creative in a limited domain (as in applying to building a better mousetrap not questioning whether mousetrapping is a good idea in the first place).

> Yes, we are shooting ourselves in the foot by hanging huge debts on our graduates and then sending them off to drive cabs.

Caplan advises against lowering the price of higher education because he believes that would only increase degree inflation.


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