Poison Ivy Halls

I’m going to review Bryan Caplan’s new book, The Case Against Education. Will discuss it, and general educational issues, with James Miller [in an upcoming podcast]. This will eventually include a definitive prescription for fixing American education, not that anyone will pay any attention.

The GoFundMe linke is here. You can also send money via Paypal ( Use the donate button) , or bitcoins to 1Jv4cu1wETM5Xs9unjKbDbCrRF2mrjWXr5. In-kind donations, such as copies of Claudius’ Etruscan dictionary, or Pytheas of Massalia’s “On the Ocean”, or James’s Schmitz’s “Karres Venture”, would be appreciated as well.

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92 Responses to Poison Ivy Halls

  1. Kay G. Ray says:

    It so happens that I’m reading “The Case against Education” right now, and I recently read Charles Murray’s “Real Education,” very short and very interesting, so maybe you should read or skim it also to prepare for your review. Also, the Education Realist blog makes for good supplementary reading.

    My concern about Caplan’s and even Murray’s prescriptions is that they ignore race. My feeling is that so much about how our primary, secondary, and college education superstructure works is there for the purpose of making it into a big babysitting/pacifying/esteem-enhancing/fake-credential-issuing system for black Americans.If you scratch the surface of any of the seemingly crazy or ineffective aspects of education, you quickly find that there is a race angle, that it’s there to further the fiction that groups are cognitively equal.

    In effect, education is a stealth reparations system, meant to funnel black Americans who aren’t funneled into prison into jobs they can’t do that well. This is effectively a tax on white and Asian Americans, increasing the cost of government services and decreasing the efficiency of private industry, but it is intended to more or less keep social peace.

    • teageegeepea says:

      Don’t hispanics outnumber blacks in schools by now? I know they’re less politically active and have less of a gap, but I would think that affects how the education system functions.

      • crew says:

        It just hit me recently after hearing two things in parts of Silicon Valley:

        Schools are closing and amalgamating, possibly because high IQ parents are not having enough children any more, and
        Principals are very concerned to ensure that illegals are looked after and not reported

        that the education sector wants the gravy train to continue any way they can achieve it.

        • mtkennedy21 says:

          Yes. I put my kids in private school d I was nowhere near the typical Silicon Valley type. My children can’t afford private schools which have gone up in tuition in a near vertical curve. Fortunately they have found charter schools.

    • j says:

      Social peace is worth it. Civil unrest is expensive.

    • Smithie says:

      Curiously, South Korea, despite being pretty ethnically homogeneous, seems to have what might be argued to be a pathological level of higher education.

      Don’t get me wrong: the diversity racket is almost nowhere more evident than in education and I think it is an obvious and massive source of bloat. I just think part of the inflation comes from other sources. Namely, many people seem to believe the fallacy that more education is always better. It is easy to see this phenomenon in local tax votes (prop 2 1/2 overrides in MA). Even when they come out “no”, they are usually close.

  2. Rodep says:

    “and perhaps a graphic novel”
    Need an illustrator? I’m an art school dropout, appropriately enough.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I have to think about this. Mind if I email you?

      • Frau Katze says:

        Is this book strictly for an American audience? We in Canada have nothing like the Ivy League and almost all universities are government operated.

        We don’t have many blacks (yet) but large numbers of Chinese who seem to think that university is a great idea (or their parents do). There is no affirmative action penalty for them.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Not just Americans. Caplan’s core argument is that education is mostly signalling: most of the subjects people are exposed to are useless or never used, while people don’t much remember them either. People get hired for having finished college, not because of what they learned in college ( if anything). Most of that should apply in Canada too, but at slightly lower prices.

          • Cantman says:

            Opportunity cost – lost income – in fact being one of the largest costs of education, regardless of the direct cost of education.

          • mtkennedy21 says:

            Harvard would do well to grant degrees to applicants and just collect the tuition. Seniors at Harvard score less well on knowledge tests than freshmen. Cut out the middle man.

            • gcochran9 says:

              “Seniors at Harvard score less well on knowledge tests than freshmen.” I could believe that, if I saw some evidence. Especially on some topics, where Harvard systematically teaches falsehoods. But at this moment I don’t.
              Show me.

      • Rodep says:

        Sure thing. You can send an email to differentlyscrupled(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. MawBTS says:

    Just gave. Can I make a request: that you address Stuart J Ritchie and Elliot Tucker-Drob’s new meta-analysis of educational effects on IQ? It is a surprising result and I haven’t seen many serious attempts to pick it apart.

    Jayman briefly alluded (on Twitter) that it was probably cherry picking studies, but he didn’t provide any details beyond that.

  4. jb says:

    Caplan had an article in The Atlantic that was adapted from his book. I’ll be interested in what you have to say about his argument.

    I’ve certainly forgotten most of the specifics of what I learned in college, and Caplan definitely has a point about credentialing. Yet I’m not willing to write off college as a waste of time, at least not for me. Caplan acknowledges and argues against the “you learn how to learn” rational for college, but he didn’t convince me. A facility in acquiring new information and applying it in some way is a skill that many jobs demand, and you certainly get a lot of practice doing exactly that taking classes at a (decent) college. You walk into a new subject cold, read unfamiliar material, think about it as hard as you can, then take a test, or spew out a term paper, and your output has to be good enough to convince your professor to give you a passing grade. Do this enough times over the course of four years, and at least some people are going to be better at it coming out than they were going in. I certainly feel that I was.

    • moscanarius says:

      Also, you may forget most of what you were taught, but having learned it once makes it easier to learn it again when you need it.

    • Frau Katze says:

      He says,

      Why do advanced-math classes bother with proofs almost no student can follow?

      They should not be in the class if they can’t follow the proof. These classes allow the students to determine what their skills are. Can’t follow proofs? Guide point to keep in mind.

      I found Math proofs just fine. No problem. How else would I have known I had this ability?.

      But I was pretty disinterested in literature. Another guide point.

    • Frau Katze says:

      My comment was more about high school than university. That’s where I learned that Math is interesting but literature is a bore.

      So, I guess I’m not really refuting him. But why don’t the students know from high school what they have an aptitude for?

      • Gringo says:

        Caplan:
        Why do advanced-math classes bother with proofs almost no student can follow?
        From the beginning, my high school math (UICSM) involved a lot of proofs. Before 9th grade, I found math doable but boring. As a result of proofs, math became my favorite subject. While I liked the proofs, most of my fellow math students did not like them. Perhaps the top 10%-20% liked them. I consider myself fortunate to have had high school math courses that used a lot of proofs and made students write proofs.

        From high school I learned I liked math and had an aptitude for it, and that I hated writing papers. The Junior Literary Critic model used to teach writing in high school did not sit well with me. High school also extinguished my previous love of history.
        While I my time in high school had its good and bad points, perhaps the best that I got out of high school was an assessment of what I liked and didn’t like, and what I was good at and what I wasn’t good at. My self-assessment at the end of high school was quite different from what it was at the beginning of high school.

        • Frau Katze says:

          Much like my experience. But what did you go on do? I went on to major in Math & Physics. (B.Sc.)

          Then I had about a 4 year break to have two children. Then I looked for work (my circumstances made it necessary).

          The easiest work to find was computer programming. I was able to do it without any further training (and that’s typical, it’s same sort of thinking).

          So I didn’t actually use much of what I was taught but I still don’t regret it. It gives you enough background to be able to read science news, at some level.

          Perhaps the single most important thing was understandings Statistics. You must have noticed how dreadful political policies are implemented because the politicians don’t understand statistics.

          But maybe I would have understood the basics of statistics without actually taking a course in it.

          Some of it is just common sense. How hard is to understand the concept of bell curves and that correlation is not causation?

          So I still haven’t refuted Caplan. But there is one other thing: I met my future husband there, also majoring in the same area.

          Assortive mating — is that the term?

          • Jim says:

            Hume thought that correlation was causation. DeMoivre’s discovery of the normal distribution was one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.

            • Frau Katze says:

              Granted that coming up with the mathematical formula for the normal distribution was a great achievement, it’s still true that common sense observation tells you that items like adult height do vary in a way that looks somewhat like a normal distribution.

              The extremes are less common, with a lot of bunching up around the average. And female height looks similar with a lower average.

              I’m being the devil’s advocate here. Caplan isn’t saying no one should go to university nor is he disparaging past accomplishments. He’s saying we don’t need nearly as many people in university than we currently have (based on his Atlantic article).

              Correlation implying causation is simpler to refute. There are many easily understood counter examples. For example: Attempts to suggest that smoking does not necessarily cause lung cancer. After all, many others things are correlated with the increase in lung cancer. Nylon stockings sales are also correlated with increased lung cancer. (I read that as a young adult, when the cigarette companies were trying to keep people smoking). I understood the argument. (But never smoked because I found it unpleasant.)

              • Jim says:

                Yes, as Hume’s critics quickly pointed out, correlation is a symmetric relation hence can’t be identified with causation which is asymmetric. But Hume did have an important insight. Correlation is the only empirical aspect of causation. Causation is correlation plus metaphysics.

              • Jim says:

                What is common sense today about probability or about how the world works was not always common sense. At one time it was common sense that the world was run by gods and spirits.

              • GAY_WEED_DAD_69 says:

                Causation is correlation plus metaphysics.

                correlation is not a necessary condition for causation.

              • Jim says:

                So I guess causation is just metaphysics.

    • crew says:

      Yet I’m not willing to write off college as a waste of time, at least not for me.

      I guess I got two things out of college:

      A wife who has lasted for around 30 years.
      My first job in a software organization.

  5. Spencer says:

    Reading Caplan now. As an evo anthro guy, his signaling thesis has long held appeal for me. Look forward to your review. As of midpoint in book I’m pretty much buying what he’s selling.

  6. Smithie says:

    I used to think that the Etruscan volumes that Claudius was credited with were some sort of elaborate political smear. He’s the last attested person in surviving history to have spoken Etruscan, so, through that lens, being an expert on them seems like the height of impracticality. But I suppose that is really more a function of the surviving history being so patchy. Anyway, strategically, it was probably the best place to bury himself.

  7. Oh my Lord! Now I AM depressed.

    I am a longtime fan of Schmitz’s, particularly his “Witches of Karres” having been introduced to it by a friend in the late 1970s. I had no idea there was a “lost sequel” that was “lost in a house move”. I would have loved to follow Pausert and Goth and her sisters on their journeys. (I wonder if Claudius’ Estruscan dictionary was lost in a house move.)

    I would love movie or comic book (graphic novel) based on “Witches” but no doubt given the subject matter the SJWs would shriek.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Tip: Whenever Schmitz was describing the Venture, he was thinking of his old B-24.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Are SJWs pro-Moander?

      • Thanks for the tip. I’m going to reread Witches and will think B-24 when he writes about the Venture’s Nova guns.

        It doesn’t take much to provoke SJWs to shriek, but I’m afraid the feminist wing would be triggered by an adult man traveling with juvenile and pubescent girls, even in a paternal-protector relationship, particularly when one of them intends to ultimately marry him. Cue the shrieking.

        Regarding Moander, I hadn’t meant to say that the left would prefer to have everyone’s actions directed by an insane computer bent on destroying and digesting the world outside of itself, but now that you mention it…

    • benespen says:

      I had a priori suspected a much larger effect size between school/no-school than just about anything else in the world of education.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Did you read the whole article?

    • dearieme says:

      “a panel with three heads of state …”: no, I count only one. People who can’t count to one accurately shouldn’t lecture the rest of us about education.

      • ziel says:

        haha…so maybe education isn’t so bad…I believe it was in the 9th grade I learned the difference between “head of state” and “head of government”. I guess now you can get a PhD in Econ and never learn that.

  8. Krastos says:

    Honestly I’m not sure I’ll pay much attention to your review either, sorry. Caplan’s work is trite and wrong, though. Guess I’ll jump the gun on writing some insights for the right crowd.

    Ignoring anything about opposing childhood education, since that requires smuggling in tons of moral assumptions and other issues, the signalling thesis of university education presented is irrelevant and overlooks lots of things. The vague model just doesn’t explain anything, certainly not why many people really go to college, elite or otherwise, nor really what much of the labor market does either, since by pure credentialism wlog Google could in fact have 25% black female employees and executives.

    It’s true there are far too many students in US colleges who get little out of it academically, but all of the relevant categories are barely discussed (sports, racial affirmative action, etc) and have nothing to do with the obtuse signalling/credentialism topic. There’s no need for US colleges to have their fake-semi-pro sports leagues at all, but if anything an extremely strong case can be made that direct development of human capital is in fact exactly what happens there, not labor market signalling and hoodwinks and whatnot. (Exogenous sociopolitical influences account for why women’s sports are also promoted even if not profitable and similar occurences)

    For the rest of the population besides the laundry lists of special cases, the most important thing overlooked is mate selection, which is vastly underrated in sociology/economics and is understudied in the literature and creates huge value-added for your typical female college student. Not that it hasn’t ever been mentioned in the media and elsewhere, but might as well be completely ignored by Caplan, his claims explain none of it as it’s all tangential to labor market signalling and bureaucratic credentialism. So this accounts for more people being in college than would seem by academic merit but the only ‘solutions’ to that, eg “Ban women from university and marry them off with dowries or something” would involve huge outside cultural shifts. Of course almost nobody says (political correctness) that many women go to university to marry a good husband, but a correct model of the world shows that what is actually happening, in a social/human capital sense, and it has and will continue to happen without the labor market/credentialism/etc having any impact at all.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Caplan doesn’t mention mate selection in the Atlantic article.

      But you’re going off on a tangent to assume women go to university to meet good husbands. That certainly wasn’t my motivation. Nor was it my daughter’s motive.

      And it’s irrelevant to Caplan’s theories.

      Motivation doesn’t really matter: all that matters is that both men and women meet each other at university. My parents met there too.

      How do you measure that? Is it good or bad? Maybe it’s bad. Charles Murray points out in his book “Coming Apart” that it has some serious downsides.

    • gagcat says:

      I’m 1/2 way through the book. Caplan looks at the return to mate choice for both men and women.

      In one chapter he works out the private returns to education – including mate selection – and University is worth it for good students. For private return whether education increases knowledge or it’s just signaling doesn’t matter, only whether going is worth it for the individual.

      In a later chapter, he then works out the public returns to education – there signaling matters, as then increased schooling is a credentialing arms race.

      For better mate choice – it’s a zero sum game (someone else would have married them), so it has private return, but not public.

      • Frau Katze says:

        Does he consider assortive mating as a cost to society as a whole? I don’t have time to read the book right now, but it’s on my to-do list.

        • davmlaw says:

          I’m just starting the social justice section, but I’ve read elsewhere that assortive mating is behind a large percentage of household inequality.

          Genetically assortive mating is very interesting and you’d expected there to be people born in the next generation who are the product of +4sd IQ couples due to women entering the workforce.

          He does mention educations depressed fertility but leaves it out of the equation as a judgement call whether people think we’re over populated etc. I know he’s pro natalist from his older book Selfish reasons to have more kids so he’s biting his tongue here.

          He wisely steers clear of explicitly stating the dysgenic effect of having the brightest women spend their time in a credentialing arms race to end up with lower fertility than dumber cohorts, but he hinted towards it.

    • Bob says:

      Isn’t female higher education associated with lower fertility?

  9. dearieme says:

    Universities teach young men engineering and so on so that the country will prosper enough that it can send its daughters to university to study the humanities and marry the young men. Is that the proposition?

  10. dave chamberlin says:

    Even if Caplan’s book is trite and wrong Cochran’s review could be worth reading if he points out why. Matter of fact your explanation sounded trite as well. Your hopefully tongue in cheek explanation that women go to college to meet a good husband is both wrong and insulting. We need every bright person be it man, woman, or tweener to get his or her ass to college and skill up for the working world. After that as IQ goes down the investment In a college education diminishes.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      I meant this as a reply to Krastos.

      • Krastos says:

        That’s not the correct autistic retort to my point at all though. Also, that would make Caplan’s thesis equally “insulting,” but I’m not sure if you have read the work or related work. What would be expected is claiming that someone finding a spouse among other things “still counts as signalling.”

        Of course that’s shifting the goalposts, from labor-market signalling to something else, and the appropriate related understanding follows since playing with definitions of far too broad and poorly defined concepts (much like “rational self-interest”) is the MO critiqued here.

  11. dux.ie says:

    What are the cost effectiveness of the university systems in various countries? The under-employment rate might show how much the populations are over-educated but such data are not readily available. For USA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_unemployment#College_major_by_underemployment_rate

    Rank %UnderEmp Major
    1 74.4 Criminal justice
    2 66.5 Performing arts
    3 63.1 Public policy / Pre-law
    4 62.6 Leisure/Hospitality
    5 62.3 Fine arts
    6 62.0 Miscellaneous technologies
    7 61.4 Business management
    8 59.6 Medical technicians
    9 59.1 Anthropology
    10 58.9 Art history

    So it might be justified that Caplan said that only about 5 percent of Americans should go to a four-year college. For USA with 5% university qualified the estimated graduate IQ could be 122.7, much higher than the nominal value of 115 and many of the estimated values in other developed countries, e.g. Italy 118.04, Austria 117.6, Korea 114.84, Japan 114.51, Germany 114.49, France 112.01. A better USA target of 13% graduate would be more inline with the international practices, rather than the reported 40% for 2014. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/percentage-americans-college-degrees-rises-paying-degrees-tops-financial-challenges

    • Jim says:

      If one takes the average IQ of the US to be 100 with a standard deviation of 15 then the average IQ of the top 5% would be about 131.2.

      The figures for South Korea and Japan are strange. The IQ of south Korea is about 108. Assuming a normal distribution and a standard deviation of 15 if the average IQ of a college graduate in South Korea is only about 115 then that’s about the average IQ of the top 70% of the South Korean population.

      • arch1 says:

        This whole discussion is probably IQ overkill but if your last 2 sentences are true, then the implied % of S Koreans who graduate college would be less than 70%. That is because in reality, there’s no IQ above which one’s probability of graduating is 100% and below which it is 0%, as implied by your “top 70%”; a more reasonable expectation is that one’s likelihood of graduating from college decreases with decreasing IQ.

        For a given overall graduation rate (and all else equal), the “gradual falloff” model yields a lower average graduate IQ than your “sudden cutoff” model (this is ez to see with a diagram). Which implies that, in order to yield a given average graduate IQ (in this case 115), the “gradual falloff” model requires a lower (more selective) overall graduation rate than the “sudden cutoff” model.

    • dux.ie says:

      The average graduate IQ ENIQMA is estimated from the mean country IQ IQLynn and the OECD reported %graduate UniA, Frac115 is the calculated fraction of population for the nominal %Grad which many developed countries seem to more or less adhere to except for GBR, USA and MEX. The %graduate as determined by the states/universities with respect to the country’s mean IQ affects the average IQ of the graduates for that country, e.g. India with low mean national IQ but also with low %graduate can produce reasonable good quality graduates with ENIQMA 105.8 (seems to be fine tuning for the USA market with about the same value).

      Rank ENIQMA IQLynn UniA Frac115 Country
      2 118.04 102 0.142 0.193 ITA
      3 117.6 100 0.12 0.159 AUT
      4 114.84 106 0.278 0.274 KOR
      5 114.51 105 0.263 0.252 JPN
      6 114.49 99 0.151 0.143 DEU
      10 112.01 98 0.175 0.129 FRA
      24 108.47 100 0.286 0.159 GBR
      33 105.54 98 0.308 0.129 USA
      38 102.78 88 0.162 0.036 MEX

  12. crew says:

    OT, but it will confuse people who will then claim that the effect can be passed on to offspring:
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20287-3

    It is unknown if adult human skeletal muscle has an epigenetic memory of earlier encounters with growth. We report, for the first time in humans, genome-wide DNA methylation (850,000 CpGs) and gene expression analysis after muscle hypertrophy (loading), return of muscle mass to baseline (unloading), followed by later hypertrophy (reloading). We discovered increased frequency of hypomethylation across the genome after reloading (18,816 CpGs) versus earlier loading (9,153 CpG sites). We also identified AXIN1, GRIK2, CAMK4, TRAF1 as hypomethylated genes with enhanced expression after loading that maintained their hypomethylated status even during unloading where muscle mass returned to control levels, indicating a memory of these genes methylation signatures following earlier hypertrophy.

  13. Bob says:

    Dr. Cochran, do you think there is any validity to this story?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5447151/human-chimp-hybrid-born-florida-lab-killed-humanzee/

    A HUMAN-chimpanzee hybrid was born in a Florida lab 100 years ago before being killed by panicked doctors, claims a renowned scientist.

    Evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup coined the term “humanzee” which refers to a human-chimp crossbreed – a scientifically possible hybridisation which was attempted throughout the 20th century.

    Gallup, who developed the famous mirror “self-recognition” test which proved primates could acknowledge their own reflection, claims his former university professor told him that a humanzee baby was born at a research facility where he used to work.

    Speaking to The Sun Online, he said: “One of the most interesting cases involved an attempt which was made back in the 1920s in what was the first primate research centre established in the US in Orange Park, Florida.

    “They inseminated a female chimpanzee with human semen from an undisclosed donor and claimed not only that pregnancy occurred but the pregnancy went full term and resulted in a live birth.

    “But in the matter of days, or a few weeks, they began to consider the moral and ethical considerations and the infant was euthanised.”

    Gallup said the professor worked at Yerkes before the research centre moved to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1930.

    He added: “He told me the rumour was true. And he was a credible scientist in his own right.”

  14. RCB says:

    Is James gonna let you talk about race? I don’t recall the topic coming up much in your past discussions. Perhaps because that could hurt his career. But… it seems like that will be hard to avoid this time.

  15. dickschofield8291986 says:

    If you can’t read the original (and you can’t), the Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek
    by Barry Cunliffe was pretty damn entertaining.

  16. crew says:

    Some in New Mexico have a brave new education plan:

    http://www.kob.com/politics-news/new-mexico-legislature-politics-post-high-school-plan-bill/4766980/

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s high school juniors would be required to apply to at least one college or show they have committed to other post-high school plans as part of a new high school graduation requirement being pushed by two state lawmakers.

  17. Toddy Cat says:

    I really look forward to what GC gas to say about this. Caplan is wrong on almost every public policy issue, so I guess I just assumed that he was wrong on this as well. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, as they say. We’ll see.

  18. RCB says:

    Smart kids go to college because they know it will likely help them get a better job. That is, unless they go to a low-prestige school and get an impractical degree. But, apart from that, most high paying jobs tend to be filled by people with college degrees. For most smart kids, not being the one applicant without a college degree isn’t worth the risk.

    So the question is: why do companies prefer to hire college grads? I see two non-mutually-exclusive possibilities:
    (1) They actually learned something valuable in college. Probably so for practical majors (engineering-focused, I’d think), probably not for the rest.
    (2) Having gone to and graduated from a prestigious college means you are smart and hard-working. Even if you learned nothing at Famous University, the fact that you got in and got through it is an indicator of your value.

    Insofar as (1) is true, then college is a FINE institution. If college could be pared down to serve this function primarily (with smaller allocations to less practical majors – though not elimination of them), then I think we’d all be happier.

    Insofar as (2) is true, the college is a costly drag on society. Companies could hire just as efficiently by administering an IQ test and perhaps a challenging work-like assignment. Young professionals wouldn’t be tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

    But just as natural selection doesn’t necessarily produce outcomes that maximize population fitness, I’d imagine that social/economic incentives don’t always maximize societal wellbeing. Peacocks as a species probably are not better off from the males having enormous, costly tails (in the sense that a population biologist might measure population success, e.g. population density). But males who don’t have big tails aren’t attractive to females, and females who don’t mate with big-tailed males will have unattractive and unsuccessful sons. The result is an evolutionarily stable burden on the population that makes them easier to kill. (This is the Fisherian hypothesis for exaggerated sexual characteristics; it’s not the only one, but it’s cogent and likely plays some role in many species.)

    Similarly, it would seem that any credential you can buy at a reasonable price to “show off” to employers is going to be good for you. In the long run this will produce a system where everyone spends increasing amounts of money to show off but not necessarily get much smarter. Companies will be no better at hiring, and therefore no better at getting productive workers. Net, more money wasted with no increase in economic productivity.

    (I don’t think this is ENTIRELY true; colleges do teach some useful things.)

    • Smithie says:

      China seems to have an interesting system. The important test seems to be the one given at the end of high school. After that, there is a cultural expectation that you can buy your credentials. Skip class, fail the exam but still pass.

      Becoming a medical doctor only takes four years, and, due to public demand, it would be politically impossible for current doctors to put up roadblocks for those entering the profession.

  19. Gerbil says:

    Good for you re: the podcast. Just a note of encouragement.

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