August 25, 2010

College Dropout Factories

The Washington Monthly has a long article about colleges that are "dropout factories," such as Chicago State, a four-year college which only graduates 13% of its freshmen. I'm shocked to hear that a taxpayer-funded college on the south side of Chicago just 1.1 miles east on 95th Street of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ is a boondoggle. (Chicago State is located, coincidentally enough, at 9501 S. Martin Luther King Drive. As Chris Rock would say, "Run!")

The authors conclude:
There is no reason that states can’t quickly build newer, better, more cost-effective public universities to educate people who are currently stuck in college dropout factories.  

Presumably, the buildings at Chicago State are infected with Legionnaire's Disease or evil spirits or something and therefore must be torn down. I'm sure putting up a $578,000,000 school building will get those graduations rates right up.
The school that would later become Chicago State was founded in September 1867 and called the Cook County Normal School—“Normal” referring to schools that prepare teachers for the classroom. For a century or so, it fulfilled this teacher-training role reasonably well. But in 1965 the school was acquired by the state of Illinois, soon renamed Chicago State, and converted into a standard four-year institution. In 1972, Chicago State moved to a newly built $95 million campus that could accommodate an additional 10,000 students. Most of them would be drawn from the city’s poor and working-class South Side and nearby suburbs. It was an admirable attempt to open new doors to a demographic that had been largely shut out of higher education. But it wasn’t long before signs of neglect and mismanagement were obvious. Passage rates on an elementary education teacher licensure exam, for instance, plummeted from 82 percent in 1968 to 42 percent in 1973, and the school almost lost its teacher accreditation.

One year later, in 1974, a devastating series on Chicago State appeared in the Chicago Defender, the city’s premier black newspaper. Under the heading “Why Johnny’s Teacher Can’t Read,” the articles blasted the school, calling it a “diploma mill, with little quality control or concern about the product,” and noted “oppressively low” morale among students. Chicago State is a “ripoff institution,” it said, “a place where a comfortable white administration and faculty is providing a second-rate education for black students.” 

Obviously, white control was the problem. And, apparently, still is, a generation and a half later. (White people, I've learned from reading articles like this, apparently have very long-lasting juju.)

Seriously, isn't the problem here the absurd emphasis our society puts on high school students attending a "four-year college" right out of high school? If they feel like they have to go to college, send them to junior colleges. President Obama makes a big deal about how everybody must go to college for at least year. Fine. But don't expect everybody to get a 4-year degree. And don't send them to 4-year-colleges.

Send them to JC. Let the dropouts dropout, let the mediocre students get AA degrees and then get jobs, and let the best students go on to four-year-institutions. 

Our society needs to keep in mind the need to offer attainable goals, such as two year diplomas.

Say you you were an above average student in your urban high school with a 95 IQ. There are a whole bunch of people in America with 95 IQs, but nobody who is anybody ever thinks about them.

You show up at a four-year college and struggle with the 100 level courses but find you can grit them out with a lot of work. You flip through some of the textbooks used in 300 level courses and are dismayed at how far above your head they are. You'll never be able to complete the requirements for a BA. So, why not drop out now, rather than waste a few more years?

On the other hand, if you are at a junior college, you can focus on sweating out your Associates of Art degree so that you can walk the stage in front of your family. That goal is attainable enough to keep you working. (Similarly we should have Associates high school diplomas for kids with IQs in the 60s through 80s. That would give them an attainable walk-the-stage goal so they don't drop out in 9th grade)

What should be done with Chicago State is demoting it to junior college status so it can concentrate on providing basic education to the locals. (Demotion would also be for the encouragement of the others.)

But, how likely is that to happen?

135 comments:

NTan said...

Hi Steve,

I come from a large Syrian family and attend the University of Chicago. My cousin goes to the idiot school Chicago State. We're the only two people in the family to go to college.

At family events everyone groups us together. "Oh look at those geniuses." It makes me mad because my IQ is like 140 and hers is about 95. But I can't come out and explain that to a bunch of immigrants who don't know anything and think that going to any college is a huge accomplishment worth bragging about. How do I politely communicate to my family that I am not in the same class as my stupid cousin?

Thanks

Curvaceous, etc. said...

Steve, isn't Obama's wanting "everybody" to go to a year of college just another sleight of hand to hide Black academic failure?
Since the average Black in 12th grade reads at the level of an average White 8th grader, they'll be in remedial courses in that year of college, learning what the White kids did in 9th grade. But how NYT will crow that the achievement gap is closing! YAY!

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think the hordes of sociology, social-psychology, women's studies, African-studies, art history, english (yes, I said that), history, philosophy, and education majors form a sort of two-year degree now. What most of these graduates are showing you by obtaining these degrees was that they could not do higher science or especially higher math.
If every freshman was made to pass college-level calculus, and college level trig before getting to take sophmore level classes in any subject, we'd flunk out a lot of people who dont belong in college right off the bat. Give em' 2 chances to pass the class, and then out they go.....into tech school, apprenticeship programs, or the work force.

There is a "historically black university" in our MSA that pumps out sociology majors and has done so for 30 years. They fill the ranks of government employees in our area of the state.

Eric said...

NTan,

The 30+ IQ point gap between you and them makes it impossible for them to ever understand.

Just smile pleasantly and nod (a good policy in general as nobody likes to be corrected or told they're wrong).

chris said...

Steve, you are high if you think community colleges are the answer.

At the California CC where I teach we enroll roughly 10,000 students. Each May only 3 to 4 hundred students graduate with more than 60% of those receiving Associate degrees in Liberal Arts.

Beyond the abysmal graduation rate is the rampant fraud (I can think of no other way to describe it). A student signs up for 12 units and pays $240. The State of California reimburses us for that individual student at right around $4200. The dirty secret is that we are paid whether the student drops or not.

A typical class begins the semester with 30 students and by mid semester is running at 15. The instructor couldn't care less, in fact it is in their (work-load) interest. The administration doesn't care because the State pays based on the second week census number.

The average community college student spends SEVERAL years signing up for and dropping out of courses before it occurs to all involved that Junior isn't college material.

What we need to do is resurrect the vocational training programs that the social-justice gestapo dismantled back in the 70's (due to the number of students of color going to voc ed and the number of whites going to university: Disparate Impact!)

No Steve our only hope is to convert community colleges from liberal arts institutions into (or back to) vocational training centers.

Everyone say it together: VO_CA_TION_AL TRAIN_ING! Our plumber has an accent, our electrician has an accent, my tailor has an accent, our mechanic has an accent, our last contractor had an accent...

(P.S. everyone here is obviously aware that a California Community College Liberal Arts Degree is essentially a degree in Howard Zinnisms, multicultural "awareness" and postmodern non-sense. The irony and hubris of faculty "teaching" anti-capitalist, anti-white, neo-marxist self-esteem building, without any job-performance anxiety and with ZERO accountability to or respect for the bilked tax-payer is breath taking.)

Kylie said...

Steve Sailer said...'Seriously, isn't the problem here the absurd emphasis our society puts on high school students attending a 'four-year college' right out of high school?"

No, actually I think the problem is assuming that kids who barely made it through high school have any business going to college at all.

Anonymous said...

How do I politely communicate to my family that I am not in the same class as my stupid cousin?

I'm trying to envision the hilarious consequences that are sure to follow if you attempt to explain to your non-college-educated relatives that your college-attending cousin is "stupid" and goes to an "idiot school" and is not in the "same class" as you. Sometimes when you throw mud at someone it gets on everyone, including you.

My advice: keep your mouth shut and work hard. If there's a 45-point difference in IQ between you and your cousin then a little hard work will soon create a gap in achievement that no sentient human will be able to miss. By the time that gap is unmistakable I hope you'll have grown up a little bit and won't be looking for creative ways to rub everybody's noses in it.

Kevin K said...

My father went to Miami Dade Community college for 2 years, then went to UF and managed to squeek in a 2.7 GPA in mechanical engineering in between drinking beer, attending car races and playing bridge. However, since this was 1964, he immediately got a job with Boeing working on the fuel lines for the bottom stage of the Saturn V.

I'm not sure what my point was except my dad was a cool guy and things were easier in the 60s.

Kylie said...

NTan said..."At family events everyone groups us together. 'Oh look at those geniuses.' It makes me mad because my IQ is like 140 and hers is about 95. But I can't come out and explain that to a bunch of immigrants who don't know anything and think that going to any college is a huge accomplishment worth bragging about. How do I politely communicate to my family that I am not in the same class as my stupid cousin?"

You may have an IQ of 140 but apparently you are unaware that there is no polite way to explain that you, a smart person, are not in the same class as your cousin, a stupid person. And why would you want to bother trying to explain anything to a bunch of dummies anyway?

If I were you, I'd be lot more worried about the effects of regression to the mean on my future offspring than about conveying differences in status to a bunch of clueless immigrants.

Underachiever said...

The credentialism bubble exists because employers are not allowed to hire or advanced based upon IQ or knowledge tests. This is due to the Supreme Court ruling in Griggs v Duke Power Co.. This means that employers cannot assess how much you know or how smart you are directly; therefore, they use your college transcript and diploma as a proxy. Combine this with accreditation boards, which limit the supply of colleges, and you get colleges having enormously more bargaining power than they would in a free market situation.

If we had a free market, the smartest kids would access MIT and Stanford lectures on youtube and read world class technical books online for free on any subject that is taught in college. After reading the appropriate books they would be tested nationally (similar to the SATs) to test their verbal, non-verbal, and spatial intelligence, their creativity, and their knowledge of the field that they wish to enter. Employers would have access to all of this information.

If we had a free market, the vast majority of kids would not have to go to college to signal their intelligence or conscientiousness. Some kids would go to online college and a few kids would go to a traditional college for the fun of it or because they enjoy learning and can afford it.

I happened to luck out with the current system because I am being paid to go to college; however, the world as a whole is getting screwed with this system because it prevents the smartest people from becoming engineers and scientists quickly.

OT: Steve, I would be willing to bet that a few of the trust-wrothy commentators here would be willing to moderate for you.

Truth said...

"Frankly, I think the hordes of... english (yes, I said that)...and education majors form a sort of two-year degree now"

He's talking to YOU mr. Kudzu "I was smart enough to read Finnegans Wake" Bob!

Anonymous said...

Let's build new campuses at the same time that the internet age is starting to revolutionize education by taking us to the online classroom model. The Internet could kill college as we know it, which would be a good thing. I know there is a lot of nostalgia for college days, but the whole thing is getting to be more expensive, useless, and destructive every year.

Anonymous said...

If every freshman was made to pass college-level calculus, and college level trig before getting to take sophmore level classes in any subject, we'd flunk out a lot of people who dont belong in college right off the bat.

You're an idiot if you think that everyone who goes to college has to know advanced math. Hey, here's an idea. Let's make everyone who wants to work in the hard sciences write a really good short story. After two chances, we'll toss 'em out if they can't do it.

Philistines who are heavily invested in technical subjects often feel the need to denigrate those who have different interests. The world will be a boring *and* dysfunctional place if the only subjects taught at university are "practical."

I'm not going to go into details, but in my job I've read hundreds of undergraduate transcripts and have seen many examples of people who were either forced by parents or themselves to take something considered "useful" (chemistry, engineering, whatever). They did *terribly* at it, because fundamentally they didn't like it. They then took one course in a subject in the humanities (like history) for distribution purposes, and did markedly better at it. They began to take more, and their grades would improve from D's and C's (or even F's) to A's and B's. Moral of the story: some people just don't like the hard sciences, and that's just life.

And it's solipsistic to imagine that just because you enjoy something, everybody else should. Everybody doesn't, and compelling people to do what they find fundamentally uncongenial is a guarantee for failure.

Anonymous said...

The collegiate system that Steve is describing sounds a lot like the one in Quebec. High schools end at Grade 11, and undergraduate degrees are only three years. But in order to attend a Quebec university, you must graduate with a two year pre-university DEC from a CEGEP, i.e. junior college (there are also three year career degrees). CEGEPs were, IIRC, based off the community colleges in the USA, although they are almost completely free for Quebec residents.

Incidentally, the Quebec Charter of the French Language (Bill 101), which restricts English primary and secondary schooling to children with parents with English education in Canada aiming to at assimilating immigrants, does not apply to the CEGEPs. This annoys the Quebec nationalists, who dislike how popular English CEGEPs are with students coming from the French system. Naturally, they want to extend Bill 101 to the CEGEPs; this is unlikely to happen, given the popularity with native French-speakers. For some reason, Franco-Quebeckers find it advantageous to learn La langue de George Bush.

IIRC, I've heard going into college before university is becoming more comment State-side.

Anonymous said...

"You're an idiot if you think that everyone who goes to college has to know advanced math."



Actually I dont think that. What I do think is a lot of kids in college have IQ's of 80-90 and dont belong there to begin with. Many of these eventually change their majors (after flunking a few classes) and get into politically charged majors, and accumulate a nomenclature of victimhood and academic wordiness, and thus get to present themselves as learned scholarly types (ever met some of those women's studies majors and their bogus statistics? some of those Afrocentric scholars and their huge lies about the past?).

My little idea, if implemented (and of course it never would be, but its fun to conject isn't it?), would probably weed out 80% of those with a IQ < 85, and it would engender some healthy respect in the students of the liberal arts to not be so casually dismissive of the geek-types-laboring-it-out-in-brain-heating-headache-inducing-concentration over at the science buildings.

We'd also have less sociologists, critical theorists, and various other endlessly complaining academically-marxist-critters who weary us all with their endless accusatory implications in print. I'd like to rip the vocational rug out from under these people.


BTW--I have a healthy respect for English and literature, but am aware that some lefties have colonized this discipline and use it as a siege-work against the West, deconstructing its texts with political malice-aforethought, etc. I hate these types. I had to read some avant-guard cultural marxism in a couple of my English classes (two of which were taught by some of the most white-male hating females imaginable). I still resent them to this day, and felt like a ritualistic pinata being forced to participate in his own debasement even sitting in these classes, my presence lending crescedence to the whole farce.

Anonymous said...

I did better in my humanities classes in college largely because the distribution was less harsh and my classmates were less intelligent.

Whiskey said...

The hard sciences are important, but so are the lessons of history. Of Art. Of religion. Knowing them, and knowing them well (not PC BS) can help people avoid catastrophic mistakes.

Just knowing about Tulip mania probably helped inform Dr. Mike Burry, Lippmann from Deutsch Bank, and probably Paulson, that the Housing Market was a bubble. That yes, they DO burst. Eventually. Looking for insane signs, like tulips trading for more than gold, by weight. Like maybe, a $600 K house in South Central?

There are certain patterns of human behavior that are near universal and exhibit themselves over and over again, in history, the arts, literature, music, poetry, so on. Its not circular, just human beings revealing themselves. Sometimes far more understandable as a story than pure numbers.

Rex Little said...

the articles blasted the school, calling it a “diploma mill"

I'm confused. How is a school a diploma mill if 87% of its students don't get diplomas?

Emre_G said...

You flip through some of the textbooks used in 300 level courses and are dismayed at how far above your head they are.

Has anyone at Chicago State ever done that? Thought about anything 2 years in advance, I mean.

l said...

Chicago State is a “ripoff institution,” it said, “a place where a comfortable white administration and faculty is providing a second-rate education for black students.”

I'm sure the white staff at CS would want everyone to know that they're not "fucking NASCAR retards."

some other anon. said...

"Actually I dont think that."

You just got done saying that you did. Do you even pay attention to what you write? Introductory university level Calc. and Trig. courses are advanced math for the majority of students, and are of no use to the vast majority of liberal arts majors. Sorry, but your proposal is idiotic.

"What I do think is a lot of kids in college have IQ's of 80-90 and dont belong there to begin with."

Well then, there's your solution: don't allow them in in the first place.

What you don't seem to understand is that your proposal wouldn't just flunk out the 80-90 IQ students, it would also flunk out the 100-140 IQ students whose verbal and other non-math abilities are well above average, but whose math abilities are only average or slightly below average.

There are plenty of students whose ability to excel in various liberal arts majors is off the charts, but who would be in danger of flunking out due to your insane proposal to force them to complete courses in Trig. and Calculus, that has nothing to with their majors. An ability to pass courses in Algebra, Geometry, etc. is more than sufficient math for people in disciplines that don't require higher math. Not everyone needs to know that stuff, especially those who are pursuing a classical liberal education.

"Many of these eventually change their majors (after flunking a few classes) and get into politically charged majors, and accumulate a nomenclature of victimhood and academic wordiness, and thus get to present themselves as learned scholarly types (ever met some of those women's studies majors and their bogus statistics? some of those Afrocentric scholars and their huge lies about the past?)."

The answer is to purge all of that garbage from the universities.

Yes, that is an impractical suggestion at the moment - but so is yours. The difference is, my proposal doesn't flunk out millions of students just because they are good liberal arts majors but not good at higher math.

michael farris said...

What NTan tells his Syrian family: "Please, stop thinking that I'm anything like Idiotcousin, my IQ is significantly higher than hers, I go to a much more prestigious school than she does, my degree is much more intellectually demanding and will prepare me for a much better paying job than hers will. She is simply not in the same league as I am and I find being lumped together with her to be insulting."

What large Syrian family hears: "I'm a bad person who hates my family and feels no family loyalty and I'll betray you all to some other family the first chance I'll get."

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone who has invested his whole life in the liberal arts, I have to say that it is wince-inducing to read comments by a liberal arts major whose had his feelings hurt.

It just underscores the other guy's point, doesn't it?

Big bill said...

Rex Little: "I'm confused. How is a school a diploma mill if 87% of its students don't get diplomas?"

Even diploma mills have standards.

Dahinda said...

Chicago already has a ton of junior colleges - Malcolm X College, Kennedy King College, all of the other City Colleges of Chicago, and suburban colleges like Triton College. Why not just close Chicago State and send the kids to these schools?

lesley said...

"I was smart enough to read Finnegans Wake" Bob!"

I'm impressed. I could only get through "Ulysses" going backwards, but there were unforgettable moments nevertheless. "Finnegan's Wake" I read by reading crtiques of it and bios of Joyce.
I don't know what it is about "English" (meaning literature in general of any language) and "History" that rankles so many who consider themselves pragmatists (for lack of a better word.) These are subjects that actually can raise the mentality a bit, from the dross of everyday existence, if there is any mentality to raise. Unlike the hard sciences, they are not dependent on a specialized type of talent--at least I don't think so--or doing well in algebra. Of course the terms "literature" and "history" are broad, but I have never been in gross disagreement about what the experts think is high quality in these areas, except that "history" is much too limited and controlled by whoever is running the show. Still...
These are called "humanities" for a reason and often it's not until after high school that you can appreciate them. Perhaps nobody should be paid four year tax money to study them, but maybe one or two years is worth it. While I may risk sounding like Jon Voigt (spelling anyone? you know, Angelina's estranged Dad?) in that movie where he's teaching apparently hopeless cases in a black rural school, I have seen changes in unpromising young people exposed to the worlds that literature and other humanities can open to them. Of course there is a risk of the teaching being too absurdly "leftist." That's why pragmatists and race realists have to be involved in the process. Too many of them scorn anything that is not of material value to them in an immediate way. Literature is a vast world and any "ideology" can be found in it if you look.

Bostonian said...

Steve is echoing Charles Murray:

"For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time"
WSJ
August 13, 2008

"Down with the Four-Year College Degree!"
Cato Unbound
October 6th, 2008

"Real Education" (book)

The Wobbly Guy said...

Uhm, maybe I'm being facetious, but is trig and calculus REALLY considered 'higher math'?

I consider basic trig and calculus to be essential skills for an university student, even a liberal arts major, simply because it's good brain exercise. Of course, I also expect that science and engineering major students have some grounding in the arts and social sciences.

From my observed experience, science and engineering students do not have too much trouble with humanities, but liberal arts majors struggle terribly when trying to do science. The technical majors are simply more versatile.

Here's a suggestion - universities should be for the truly elite, who have the potential to deal with both the sciences and the arts (albeit with much greater competence towards one field). They get a 'degree'.

The students good at the sciences but can't write a story and the humanities students who can't do trig should get something lesser than a degree.

Hmmm... come to think of it, maybe the problem lies in how we define the various educational attainments.

Anonymous said...

We're all supposed to feel bad that employers would rather hire -- sight unseen -- a Jane than a Lakeshia, but I do think we've lost something when even new immigrants no longer seek to assimilate to the WASP consensus. The NYT says immigrants are no longer changing their names. However, anecdotally, Asian kids may be the last aspiring to our lost WASP hegemony. There are plenty of Korean Sophia's. And I wonder who will be the successful job candidate in 20 years? Who is being "smart" in naming their children?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/nyregion/26names.html?hpw

Anonymous said...

I think it is a lot worse than this, Steve. A lot of people are forced to go to high school who shouldn't be there. If we made a chart of IQs vs grade-level education they're capable of absorbing, it would probably be something like this:

60 - 2nd grade

70 - 3rd grade

80 - 5th grade

90 - 7th grade

100 - 8th grade

110 - high school

120+ - college

europeasant said...

Schools like Chicago State and Northeastern Illinois State have to admit anyone that graduates high school. The Chicago public schools average ACT test score is something like 16 or 17 with many schools having an average of 15. With such low brain power obviously the dropout rate will be ridiculously high. The "we are all equal" mantra is to blame for some of our education problems. This ideology will not change anytime soon in out multicultural society.

Anonymous said...

Why should liberal arts degrees even exist? Anyone can read and subjectively interpret a bunch of non-technical books in their spare time. You don't need to pay someone to teach you how to do it.

Paid instruction should be for learning problem-solving techniques in science and engineering. What problems have ever been solved through the study of liberal arts? What job should a liberal arts degree qualify anyone for? You don't need an English degree to be an author. But you do need an chemistry education to be a chemist.

Curvaceous, etc. said...

"Trig. courses are advanced math for the majority of students, and are of no use to the vast majority of liberal arts majors. Sorry, but your proposal is idiotic."

Not at all. Clearly, humanities majors and engineering majors are two different animals. So sending them to the same place ("university") for their job training is wasteful.

Engineering, hard science and math students, to become competent, need to go to expensive university with well-equipped labs doing cutting-edge research. Since such edu institutions are going to spawn high-tech companies nearby, the real estate the school is located on is bound to be horrifically expensive. Why force taxpayers to buy more of it to accommodate liberal arts majors who don't need it?

Humanities should taught in the much cheaper Ju Cos in other towns, as the college, on cheap land, will cost us taxpayers much less, and the degree ought to be achievable in two years by smart students, since they aren't wasting time in calc.

(Algebra for liberal arts majors and English for engineers can be taught through distance learning.)


Also, such a setup would have the beneficial effect of making clear to the public that humanities majors are not, in general, the mental giants that their presence at university implies. Which would, to my delight at least, relieve the Cultural Marxist poo-peddling humanities professors of some of their bogus status.

Howard Hughes said...

"Philistines who are heavily invested in technical subjects often feel the need to denigrate those who have different interests. The world will be a boring *and* dysfunctional place if the only subjects taught at university are 'practical.'"
Well said. The worst thing with the HBD-sphere is the nerd dominance: many gifted people but all focused on technology, science and math. Nothing wrong with those things, but get a goddamn grip on reality, people - verbal intelligence is a real thing. There are thousands of smart people who focus on literature and art och, yes, sociology. It may be easier to dumb down those subjects, but it isn't easier to perform on an elite level in them. And arts and humanities on an elite level is a magical thing.

Truth said...

"If I were you, I'd be lot more worried about the effects of regression to the mean on my future offspring than about conveying differences in status to a bunch of clueless immigrants."

Way to encourage the guy there Kylie, I'm thinking if you and Scooter don't work out in the long term, you have a fine potential career in the self- help business.

Anonymous said...

If every freshman was ["were"] made to pass college-level calculus, [why is this comma here?] and college level trig before getting to take sophmore [sic] level classes in any subject, we'd flunk out a lot of people who dont [you need an apostrophe, sport] belong in college right off the bat. Give em' [I think you mean "'em"] 2 chances to pass the class, and then out they go.....into tech school, apprenticeship programs, or the work force.

I have a better suggestion: no college for anyone who can't write a correct sentence. Unlike trigonometry, English is something you can use every day!

Truth said...

"The answer is to purge all of that garbage from the universities."

So, you think college students having to take math classes is "idiotic", yet any course regarding women or Africans is "garbage."

OK got it.

Anonymous said...

>>If we had a free market, the smartest kids would access MIT and Stanford lectures on youtube and read world class technical books online for free on any subject that is taught in college.

Where getting there. Check out Academic Earth.

Anonymous said...

That CS is at the low end of the college scale is pretty much understood by everyone, so what's the problem? Not everyone is going to work at NASA. I've never used algebra in my life, forgetting it all the moment I walked out of my last class. Many people prefer being writers, psychologists, artists, etc. We are all grateful consumers of their products, aren't we? That the arts departments are hideouts for crypto-commies is probably true and they should all be purged at some point or other. However, the Maoists of the English dept. have usually been the counterweight to the Stalinists in the administration, so some equilibrium was usually achieved. Anyway, these sorts of discussions on blogs usually degenerate into some "my IQ is higher than yours" blather. After all is said and done I'd rather be good looking than acquire an extra 10 IQ points; life would be just more fun.

Anonymous said...

As an English major, I have to say I agree with the disparaging comments directed against that department. Any yet, some of us just really like literature. What are we to do?

carol said...

"but whose math abilities are only average or slightly below average."

You know, those can in fact be improved with some diligence. Freshman-level trig and calculus are not genius-level courses. The whole point is to give "normal" students a healthy respect for the subjects and at the same time keep them from being too much in awe of those who go further in math.

Oh, and to screen out the morons too.

Anonymous said...

It makes me mad because my IQ is like 140 and hers is about 95...How do I politely communicate to my family that I am not in the same class as my stupid cousin?

Just be cool, dont worry about it, it doesnt hurt you. If you are the family genius it will become quite obvious in the years to come. Meanwhile be happy for your cousin. (Of course having her expectations built up may damage her)

Dubya said...

Turning "Chicago University" into a community college just because 87% of the students can't graduate even a very diluted traditional 4 year college program is the very definition of the "soft racism of low expectations".

Bill said...

Underachiever said . . .
If we had a free market, the smartest kids would access MIT and Stanford lectures on youtube and read world class technical books online for free on any subject that is taught in college. After reading the appropriate books they would be tested nationally (similar to the SATs) to test their verbal, non-verbal, and spatial intelligence, their creativity, and their knowledge of the field that they wish to enter. Employers would have access to all of this information.

This (minus youtube and other modern stuff) is how Patrick Henry got his license to practice law, for example.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat off-topic, but relevant to a Sailerian theme. In today's New York Times there's an opinion piece by Timothy Egan about the stupidity of Republicans. The very first comment, from a reader named "Bill" in (you guessed it) San Francisco, is "Can't we just have an IQ test as a part of determining voter eligibility?"

Ever heard of disparate impact, Bill?

Matt G. said...

NTan,

My advice to you would be to suck it up and show some humility. Since IQ is mostly hereditary just be happy that you won the genetic lottery. Show some respect for your "stupid" cousin and let her have her moment in the sun. Your post makes you sound like a socially retarded high IQ twit. Hopefully you'll mature and realize that family relationships are more important than status seeking.

Anonymous said...

Dropouts are good, not bad. We should be trying to increase dropout rates. I certainly did when I was teaching computer science classes.

I got tired of teaching math and statistics to business students so I switched to teaching computers. But I was told at the private college where I had taught (at a pretty good pay rate) that I would have to first get experience teaching at a public college. The public junior college nearby paid about half what I had been making. It was sort of an apprenticeship.

At Contra Costa College I taught beginning Data Processing. I was told by my new boss to flunk at least half of the students.

At that time the policy was to admit anyone to any class irrespective of qualifications. I don't think you had to have a High School Diploma. I was given a two story auditorium lecture hall and about 150 students. The regular Data Processing faculty wanted to "protect" their COBOL classes from the hordes. They couldn't exclude any students for cause but they could set my class as a prerequisite.

They didn't expect me to teach this dropout class more than once - nobody ever had. But they didn't care, nor did I.

The students were very unprepared. A number confused computers with computer games - these dropped out quick. I had a little Vietnamese couple who were eager to learn but neither of them could read English or understand English speech. They didn't last long either.

The book started off with generalities and got gradually more difficult as textbooks do. I decided to alter the order of the chapters and taught binary and hexadecimal conversions in the second class rather than in the last class. That thinned the herd.

I had about forty finish. The regular faculty was quite pleased with me but I never taught there again.

I wasn't really a dropout class - more of a flunk-out class.

Albertosaurus

John Dewey said...

You're an idiot if you think that everyone who goes to college has to know advanced math. Hey, here's an idea. Let's make everyone who wants to work in the hard sciences write a really good short story. After two chances, we'll toss 'em out if they can't do it.

Philistines who are heavily invested in technical subjects often feel the need to denigrate those who have different interests. The world will be a boring *and* dysfunctional place if the only subjects taught at university are "practical."


Undergraduate degrees do require STEM philistines to pass liberal arts courses called "Breath Requirements". This typically include English/Rhetoric, Cultural Studies and even Foreign Languages now. Per your suggestion, College do "toss 'em out" if philistine STEM students don't pass these courses.

The justification is that colleges are tasked with intellectually training and broadly educated citizens who can responsibly participate in society. This includes colleges demanding all graduates acquire both "practical" skills (writing, historical facts, languages) and more general skills (recognizing and composing arguments, cultural awareness, critical thinking).

Liberal arts education and what society thinks of as an educated man dates from hundreds of years ago when STEM subjects were grouped under Philosophy as abstractions far outside mainstream society. Over the past 150yrs, STEM fields have proliferated, specialized and revolutionized our world

How can a college graduate be informed and think critically on major issues today without a grounding in STEM or related tools like statistics? Virtually every major public policy today depends in part upon understanding the underlying science, genetics, mathematics, and statistics behind things like trillion dollar bailouts, Head Start, Wars to Democratize the Middle East, etc.

Calculus isn't "advanced" math anymore than a good writing course in the sense that is is accessible to any decent college student (IQ=115). Although calc itself isn't used by many outside the classroom, it teaches rigorous and useful logic and reasoning skills much like philosophy does.

More importantly, as a quantitative field it gives students realistic sense of intellectual measure and humility that is sorely needed by Americans in general and our elites in particular.

At this point, I would be happy if colleges would just require all students to prove they can identify and refute rhetorical and statistical fallacies that are everywhere in public discourse today.

Anonymous said...

"My little idea, if implemented (and of course it never would be, but its fun to conject isn't it?), would probably weed out 80% of those with a IQ < 85"

You should probably weed out 80% of those with an IQ < 110.

"my presence lending crescedence to the whole farce."

Being unable to spell "credence" does not make people want to look at your proposals seriously.

And someone else said:

"What you don't seem to understand is that your proposal wouldn't just flunk out the 80-90 IQ students, it would also flunk out the 100-140 IQ students whose verbal and other non-math abilities are well above average, but whose math abilities are only average or slightly below average."

If people cannot reason logically (which is the major trait measured by ability to do mathematics), by what standard could they ever be considered "educated" even in the humanities?

"Not everyone needs to know that stuff, especially those who are pursuing a classical liberal education."

Mathematics and the sciences (nee "natural philosophy") were once part of the core of a classical liberal education.  We have a much better argument for dropping language requirements and such for science majors.

"The answer is to purge all of that garbage from the universities.
"

The students who can pass calculus aren't the sort who will sit still for that garbage, and the leftists who use such requirements as their sinecure would be rendered unemployed by math requirements.  Even a strong freshman algebra requirement might force most of the fuzzy-studies types to drop out before they can get to the indoctrination classes, decimating the Marxist cadres of the educational system.  Closing the departments of hyphenated-studies for lack of majors would be a win for everyone but administrative empire-builders and the traitorous left itself.

Cynical

kudzu bob said...

"Frankly, I think the hordes of... english (yes, I said that)...and education majors form a sort of two-year degree now"

He's talking to YOU mr. Kudzu "I was smart enough to read Finnegans Wake" Bob!


No, Twoof, anonymous was no more talking to me than your fillings are to you. Those voices in your head are merely your sense of entitlement and sense of inadequacy screeching at one another.

Unlike you, I have better sense than to brag about my intellectual prowess, especially not around this remarkable bunch, which includes physicists-turned-geneticists (Gregory Cochran), anthropologists (Peter Frost), marketing analysts (John Seiler), cartoonists (Baloo) Johns Hopkins sociologists (Robert Gordon), and New York Times columnists (David Brooks and John Tierney). Their bellybutton lint has got more going for it than you do.

Geoff Matthews said...

NTan,

How do you let your family know that your cousin isn't in the same class? First, graduate from the U of Chicago. Chances are, he won't, so you'll have the degree, he won't.
If he does graduate, you need to have a better job than him. Should not be too heard, since you have the U of Chicago degree (or you could get a doctorate of some kind (PhD, JD, MD, etc.)).
If he still manages to get a job as good as you (or an advanced degree), maybe you aren't as smart, and he not as dumb, as you think.

NTan said...

Thanks friends for your kind advice. I will be humble.

I think I don't like my stupid cousin because she has tattoos and probably whores around.

walter condley said...

@Anon re Contra Costa college/data processing:

would you please e-mail me? Would like to get your opinion on a case I once tried involving data processing. thanks.

department11@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

In a similar vein:

What's the Matter with Wayne State (Detroit)

Truth said...

"No, Twoof, anonymous was no more talking to me than your fillings are to you..."

So you agree with this young man, that your education was useless?

Truth said...

"which includes physicists-turned-geneticists (Gregory Cochran), anthropologists (Peter Frost), marketing analysts (John Seiler), cartoonists (Baloo) Johns Hopkins sociologists (Robert Gordon), and New York Times columnists (David Brooks and John Tierney)."

Come to think of it, Bobby, with the exception of Cochran, your boy up top wouldn't be any more impressed with them then he is with you. Baaaaa-Haaaaaaaawwww.

(A cartoonist, Seriously?)

Grumpy Old Man said...

Where are the apprenticeship programs, the technical programs? There are plenty of people who can't tell a simile from a metaphor and don't care to do so, who can take an engine apart, pour concrete, etc.?

I know 6 languages, but changing a bicycle tire is a challenge for me. Some people have the opposite aptitudes. Good for them! Central Europe seems to turn out lots of people with those skills and training. Why can't we?

SFG said...

"I know 6 languages, but changing a bicycle tire is a challenge for me. Some people have the opposite aptitudes. Good for them! Central Europe seems to turn out lots of people with those skills and training. Why can't we?"

Yeah, the Germans have good vocational training and produce good quality manufacturing product. I think there's too much of a focus on the status aspects of college and on everyone having equal opportunities here. There are no such illusions in Germany, I would guess.

I do have to say, much of the Western tradition paleos are interested in preserving does consist of the humanities. Even 'useless' fields like philosophy helped pave the way for science--the tradition of rational inquiry that allowed the West to conquer the world had to come from somewhere. That they've been conquered by lefties is an argument for taking them back, not wiping them out. Shakespeare and Dante don't cease to become important because someone writes a feminist interpretation of _Taming of the Shrew_. If I poop on the Parthenon, does it cease to become a great building?

Gene Berman said...

N Tan:

Your IQ may be higher than your cousin's but that, obviously, hasn't provided you with much understanding. Why begrudge a bit of acclaim from family members? Be satisfied--at least in these instances--with the distinct superiority of your intellect (and remember, if you can, that it's basically an unearned superiority).

Anonymous said...

To NTan who wrote:
Hi Steve,

I come from a large Syrian family and attend the University of Chicago. My cousin goes to the idiot school Chicago State. We're the only two people in the family to go to college.

At family events everyone groups us together. "Oh look at those geniuses." It makes me mad because my IQ is like 140 and hers is about 95. But I can't come out and explain that to a bunch of immigrants who don't know anything and think that going to any college is a huge accomplishment worth bragging about. How do I politely communicate to my family that I am not in the same class as my stupid cousin?

Thanks

-------------------------

my response:

lower-iq girls are easy to bed!

Anonymous said...

you know something Steve, "your people" the Ethnaol lobbyist types, yup, red-state corn growing white people are going to

want the governemnt to force you to use more ethanol in your car so they can profit, I don't see you railing against this injustice.

only when blacks lobby, do u rail against.

kudzu bob said...

Twoof, everybody on that list, the cartoonist included, knows that cars can't possibly run on water. Unfortunately, you can't say the same, which tells me all I need to know about the affirmative action policies of your "alma matter," as you so tellingly put it, Warm Body State University.

BamaGirl said...

"Even a strong freshman algebra requirement might force most of the fuzzy-studies types to drop out before they can get to the indoctrination classes, decimating the Marxist cadres of the educational system."

They have something similar to that at my university. You have to complete pre-cal w/ trig as part of the BA requirement. Of course most people end up taking some form of remedial maths first (since they don't pass the placement test), but its a requirement nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Im the anonymous who said the ugly things about English (and History).

I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't allow my ill feelings toward a few old professors from many years ago to discolor those whole disciplines.

What I do think is that some cultural leftists have infested these departments and use these classes to critique the West negatively at every chance. Sitting through one of my old History classes and hearing that lunatic yell and scream about how awful America was, and listening to a couple of my old English professors pretty much more subtley do the same thing irritated me quite a bit. I didn't show it, but it was 'seething'.


We need to figure out a way to take our universities back from the Gramascians. They are perfectly placed to indoctrinate youth, and to get that same youth to blow the rest of their 20's voting for the Democrats until they wake up (around 30) and figure out how wrongheaded those policies are. Since a student practically has to defer to a professor who gets to grade his essays, and has to be polite to him (even if he's a raving nut), it imparts respect to the professor-at-hand in the eyes of the rest of the students.



Twoof,
Does contempt cast a shadow?

Anonymous said...

And the lamest comment of the week is...

you know something Steve, "your people" the Ethnaol (sic) lobbyist types, yup, red-state corn growing white people are [unintelligible] to force you to use more ethanol in your car so they can profit, I don't see you railing against this injustice.

Anonymous said...

"What most of these graduates are showing you by obtaining these degrees was that they could not do higher science or especially higher math. "

I am sick and tired of these math and science snobs.Calculus isn't everything. We only need so many of these math and science people.There are other things to study.

We need to rethink education from k to college in this country.

"What we need to do is resurrect the vocational training programs that the social-justice gestapo dismantled back in the 70's (due to the number of students of color going to voc ed and the number of whites going to university: Disparate Impact"

I have no problem with that,but is there a shortage in fields out there. Maybe some,but there aren't enough jobs out there.

I work for a big company,but my job doesn't really require a degree.Just someone who is fairly intelligent and can pay attention to some detail and sit there all day doing something continuously that you don't want to do. A large portion of society couldn't do my job,not because it needs a high IQ,but that it needs diligence. The majority of jobs don't need a 4 year degree at a company.

Anonymous said...

"At this point, I would be happy if colleges would just require all students to prove they can identify and refute rhetorical and statistical fallacies that are everywhere in public discourse today."

Aren't the people engaged in public discourse the elites and they can't even understand it. Of course, some do and they just try to smudge the issue to win support from ignorant people.But, many leaders really don't understand it.

Burp said...

The usual cop-out for the dumber students is "I am more of a people-person", thus allowing them to go into sociology or nursing with their intellectual self-esteem intact.

The best reason for learning calculus is that it is a piece of art, one of the great accomplishment of mankind, yet can be grasped by anyone with an IQ of 110. You have to read Shakespeare to get thru (or into) university - you should learn calculus too.

Anonymous said...

and remember, if you can, that it's basically an unearned superiority

That's basically speculative metaphysics. My advice to him would be to simply not dwell upon such distinctions unless people are claiming that he somehow *cheated* to get ahead, in which case he would have a perfect right to engage in comparisons. BTW this is exactly why I think that study of HDB is morally defensible. OTO the other hand its not clear to me that the truth really matters to A) Marxists and B) defiant egotists. Marxists hate the truth because it conflicts with their narrative and defiant egotists will deny it because for them it will always be preferable to blame others when they fail.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: Say you you were an above average student in your urban high school with a 95 IQ. There are a whole bunch of people in America with 95 IQs, but nobody who is anybody ever thinks about them.

chris: What we need to do is resurrect the vocational training programs that the social-justice gestapo dismantled back in the 70's (due to the number of students of color going to voc ed and the number of whites going to university: Disparate Impact!)

I know that Steve tries to put a cheerful face on all of this stuff - with his theories of Citizenship and ex-drill sergeant inner city school teachers and whatnot - but the truth of the matter is just so awful that I don't even know why I keep beating this dead horse anymore.

My gut instinct is that a traditional college curriculum [of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, to include Calculus, Organic Chemistry, a language with a tedious grammar, like Latin, Greek, or German, etc etc etc] was designed for students with an IQ at or above 120.

In other words, for American whites [average IQ 100, SD 15], traditional college was meant for about 9.1211% of the white population.

The "trades" were meant for the folks with gray matter in the vicinity of IQ 105 to IQ 120, which made for about

[IQ <= 120] - [IQ <= 105]
= 90.8789% - 63.0559%
= 27.823% of the white population.

Below an IQ of about 105, there just isn't all that much "skilled" work that a person can be expected to perform, i.e. about 63.0559% of the American white population is going to be stuck doing grunt work for their entire lives.

Indeed, here are some figures from Arthur Hu's Wonderlic to IQ conversion table:

Administrator: 114 to 130
Editor: 118 to 130
Industrial Engineer: 116 to 128
Reporter: 114 to 128
Teacher: 114 to 128
Bookkeeper: 108 to 118
Police, Patrol Officer: 104 to 114
Telephone Operator: 104 to 112
Driver, bus or truck: 100 to 108
Warehouse person: 94 to 102

I know of no psychometric theory whatsoever which holds that you can get any sort of "skilled" work out of someone with an IQ of 95.

Ain't gonna happen.

And if [as I fear] Charles Murray's Footnote #44 is correct, then IQ 95 is already at least a full standard deviation above the average for African-American high school students today - i.e. about 84.1% of them can't even aspire to employment as a "Warehouse person".

PS: Chicago State's graduation rate of 13% is consistent with a curriculum that requires an IQ of about 105 being presented to a freshman class which has an average IQ of about 88.1 & an IQ standard deviation of 15.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: Say you you were an above average student in your urban high school with a 95 IQ. There are a whole bunch of people in America with 95 IQs, but nobody who is anybody ever thinks about them.

chris: What we need to do is resurrect the vocational training programs that the social-justice gestapo dismantled back in the 70's (due to the number of students of color going to voc ed and the number of whites going to university: Disparate Impact!)

I know that Steve tries to put a cheerful face on all of this stuff - with his theories of Citizenship and ex-drill sergeant inner city school teachers and whatnot - but the truth of the matter is just so awful that I don't even know why I keep beating this dead horse anymore.

My gut instinct is that a traditional college curriculum [of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, to include Calculus, Organic Chemistry, a language with a tedious grammar, like Latin, Greek, or German, etc etc etc] was designed for students with an IQ at or above 120.

In other words, for American whites [average IQ 100, SD 15], traditional college was meant for about 9.1211% of the white population.

The "trades" were meant for the folks with gray matter in the vicinity of IQ 105 to IQ 120, which made for about

[IQ <= 120] - [IQ <= 105]
= 90.8789% - 63.0559%
= 27.823% of the white population.

Below an IQ of about 105, there just isn't all that much "skilled" work that a person can be expected to perform, i.e. about 63.0559% of the American white population is going to be stuck doing grunt work for their entire lives.

CONTINUED

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED

Indeed, here are some figures from Arthur Hu's Wonderlic to IQ conversion table:

Administrator: 114 to 130
Editor: 118 to 130
Industrial Engineer: 116 to 128
Reporter: 114 to 128
Teacher: 114 to 128
Bookkeeper: 108 to 118
Police, Patrol Officer: 104 to 114
Telephone Operator: 104 to 112
Driver, bus or truck: 100 to 108
Warehouse person: 94 to 102

I know of no psychometric theory whatsoever which holds that you can get any sort of "skilled" work out of someone with an IQ of 95.

Ain't gonna happen.

And if [as I fear] Charles Murray's Footnote #44 is correct, then IQ 95 is already at least a full standard deviation above the average for African-American high school students today - i.e. about 84.1% of them can't even aspire to employment as a "Warehouse person".

PS: Chicago State's graduation rate of 13% is consistent with a curriculum that requires an IQ of about 105 being presented to a freshman class which has an average IQ of about 88.1 & an IQ standard deviation of 15.

Truth said...

"Twoof, everybody on that list, the cartoonist included, knows that cars can't possibly run on water."

So you've asked them?

Anonymous said...


Maybe the Chicago State dropouts have career avenues after all? No this is not a link to The Onion:

Ebonics interpreters needed for war on drugs, says DEA

Baloo said...

The question is, how do we politely communicate to Truth that he's really not in the same class as the columnists, physicists, cartoonists, etc?

Jeff said...

Lots of posts knocking the humanities. But IMHO, my history and philosophy courses were much more difficult and rigorous than my business courses and many of my math courses. I breezed through calculus.

Our college educational system is much better than our high school system. The teachers are simply better. I don't think it's a terrible thing to strongly encourage students to aim for four year college educations (even in the liberal arts).

Anonymous said...

My IQ is somewhere between 120 and 132, depending on what test or what age I was tested. I got through college without taking a math class, mainly because I hated math and didn't want to take it. Science was only slightly more interesting for me. I prefer English and history and the liberal arts in general. Those are the fields I was good at and I am much better than average at those. I've picked up extra money editing dissertations for science types who can't spell or write to save their lives. People have different abilities. Mine are linguistic. Unfortunately, what I do well doesn't pay but I'd have been miserable in the science or mathematics fields.

kudzu bob said...

The question is, how do we politely communicate to Truth that he's really not in the same class as the columnists, physicists, cartoonists, etc?

Well, I suppose that you could draw Twoof a picture...

Truth said...

"The question is, how do we politely communicate to Truth that he's really not in the same class as the columnists, physicists, cartoonists, etc?"

Ah, the great man himself makes an appearance!

Hey Rex, I've read your stuff; quite pithy I must say. A few genuine moments of inspiration, some genuine, constructive irreverence, but let's be honest, you're not Gary Trudeau.

So Mr. Baloo:

1) How do you feel about your brethren knocking your vocation and education? You do realize a few people choked here when you mentioned "cartoonist" and "physicist" together, right?

2) Are you smart enough to read Finnegans Wake?

2) Kudzu Bob was interested in your thoughts on water-powered cars?

Anonymous said...

"I'm not going to go into details, but in my job I've read hundreds of undergraduate transcripts and have seen many examples of people who were either forced by parents or themselves to take something considered "useful" (chemistry, engineering, whatever). They did *terribly* at it, because fundamentally they didn't like it. They then took one course in a subject in the humanities (like history) for distribution purposes, and did markedly better at it. They began to take more, and their grades would improve from D's and C's (or even F's) to A's and B's. Moral of the story: some people just don't like the hard sciences, and that's just life. "

The problem is not that humanities are inherently useless. It is that they have been dumbed down and students passed through for fun and profit for the college.

These students don't come out much more employable or skilled than when they entered.

Sure, it is possible to design rigorous courses in the humanities. Unfortunately it hasn't been done.

My math degreed husband writes a mean short story. I studied linguistics and couldn't write a short story to save my life.

kudzu bob said...

I would suggest an illustration of Twoof wondering why the shiny new GM H2Obama that he paid so much for gets zero point zero miles per gallon, as a scientist in a labcoat says to him, “It’s a white thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

ITriedtobeaCynic said...

Lots of interesting points raised.
I thought the basic psychometric theory was that IQ measured a general intelligence. But several posts imply that STEM and humanities require different sorts of intelligence.
NTan has a high IQ, but his desire to publicly denigrate his cousin is rather dumb. In fact, boasting about your IQ is stupid, and only high-IQ people (obviously) do it.
A lot of posters seem to think it's significant that hard sciences require a higher IQ than humanities, but I never met a hard scientist who didn't despise psychometry as pseudo-science (and yes I am a scientist myself so I have met quite a lot). I know there are famous exceptions, but is there any scientist here who doesn't think he's smarter than a psychologist?
I've worked with a couple of people who've done their degrees by distance learning,as someone suggested, and they weren't really as good as people who've been to regular universities. The experience of living away from home and continuously dicussing the stuff your're studying is part of education.
Someone suggested separate STEM universities and humanities colleges in different towns. Given the current gender imbalances in the respective intakes, I think that would be unattractive to most STEM students.

Gene Berman said...

Anonymous with two posts (citing Hu
and Murray):

I don't question your assemblage of facts nor some conclusions you've drawn but I'd still maintain that the broad conclusion is unjustifiable on any logical or "scientific" basis.

The "skilled" tasks prevalent in an economy aren't bound to various
IQ ranges by some Ricardian "Iron Law of IQ" (drawing analogy to a similar failure of great intellect to grasp a simple--though elusive--reality).

As a matter of fact, the principal failures in present socioeconomic systems have far more to do with a failure to comprehend reality by those of far higher intellectual abilities and attainments than any shortcomings attributable to the "left half" of the bell curve.

Virtually since the beginning of time, uncelebrated smart guys have been making those around them "smarter," not by teaching them recognizable academic subjects--but by dramatically reshaping just how the various requirements of survival may be met. The chief instructional aid to their achievements is also of great antiquity: it's called "the market" and its method of operation "competition" (or, to be technically precise, "catallactic" --or price competition). And its object--ALWAYS(!)--as in "business"--is a combination of 2 of 3 (never only one, never all three): BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER.

So far (and I have my doubts as to the future), we can't make people much more intelligent, though, given certain cognitive ablities, we can make their tasks "dumber." There are many tasks today that formerly required great cognitive or physical (or both) skills that, today, can be performed by those with far less of either.

And the idea that we are "running out of jobs" or the similar, that we're "running out of decent jobs," examined closely, implies that we already have everything we want--that nothing's left we might want to have, to eat, to wear, to live in, etc.

What I'm trying to get across is that, though cognitive abilities may be invariant, performance of various kinds is greatly influenced by many physical and social factors. (And that, given inequality in cognition, "fault" must be seen as arising from that portion of the spectrum from whence "leadership" is drawn.

Anonymous said...

The diploma mill aspect is related to the Chicago Public Schools: lots of teachers in South Side schools went to Chicago State to get an MA or a teaching certificate.

This actually worked out pretty well when I went to a South Side public school-we had teachers who had bachelors degrees in technical subjects (math, physics, chemistry) from decent schools (IIT, UIUC, Northwestern) who nipped down to Chicago State, got their credential, and went to work. This was 2 decades ago, though...nowadays they'd probably have bachelors degrees in education and Chicago State credentials in education, which would mean they would be clueless about pretty much everything.

The neighborhood right around Chicago State is, oddly enough, about the only part of MLK Drive where "run!" isn't needed advice-the people living there are from the black bourgeoisie, and they don't tolerate much crap. They don't want little Whitley to have her cotillion ruined, after all. If you want to cause a ruckus, they'll point you in the direction of Percy L. Julian High School.

It's the kind of neighborhood where someone with Barack Obama's skin tone will walk up to J. Random White Person to complain about how the hoodlums from Englewood are ruining the whole city and can't you white folks beat them down?

-Anonymous

elvisd said...

The greatest educational innovation in this country were the land-grant colleges, which pulled off two feats: prepared more people for industrial revolution careers, and opened up opportunities for more working-class students. Proud to be a Mississippi A and M (now Miss. State) grad.

Anonymous said...

she has tattoos and probably whores around

Could we get her cell phone number and/or her email address?

Thanks.

Mr. Anon said...

"Baloo said...

The question is, how do we politely communicate to Truth that he's really not in the same class as the columnists, physicists, cartoonists, etc?"

"Truth" may not be a cartoonist.

But he is a cartoon.

Anonymous said...

Sure, it is possible to design rigorous courses in the humanities. Unfortunately it hasn't been done.

At my liberal arts institution, it isn't the English majors, the foreign language majors, the philosophy majors who are looking to coast through.

The departments known for being undemanding are all in the social sciences: psychology, sociology, women's studies.

Truth said...

"Well, I suppose that you could draw Twoof a picture"

Kudzu Bob, double entendre? I like it, didn't know you had it in you (or did you crib it from Finnegans Wake?).

Mitch said...

Just wanted to chime in with Chris and Kylie. We are wasting a fortune on kids in community college, and that needs to stop. We need community college for kids who are genuinely capable of getting an AA, which is about half the kids who are now at the lowest state university level. Almost all the kids at the cc level should be gone.

We probably need other educational institutions, but we really need to stop referring to any post-high school work as "college".

Jamila said...

Geez, I'm a Chicagoland resident and was recently considering applying to Chicago State for their Nursing Program (or Community Health, I wasn't sure which.) The nursing program is pretty good, from what I hear.

Perhaps the school should stick to focusing on producing nursing and education majors.

Truth said...

Baloo, Kudzu, Anon:

I do not know why you guys are picking on me. I'm on your side, the three of us (The three Musketeers)along with Steve "Dartagnan" Sailer are together in the soft major thing (although Anon may be usurper, I'm not quite sure).

Was it me who considers your whole vocation, education and basically life a pile of Hund Sheiss just because you work with words instead of numbers? No!

Us soft major guys have to be a little like the Us and he Ruskies in 1938, put our differences aside and form a coalition.

I say we present a united front against these WhiteBoys!

David Davenport said...

... but I never met a hard scientist who didn't despise psychometry as pseudo-science (and yes I am a scientist myself so I have met quite a lot).

These very hard scientists you meet -- do they also scoff at the SAT and GRE tests and advocate open admissions to their departments?

kudzu bob said...

Alternatively, you could draw a cartoon of Gregory Cochran at a university lectern, exasperated after attempting all afternoon to explain what percentages are to an uncomprehending and defensive Twoof, pointing at a long and complicated equation on the blackboard that finally ends in an equal sign followed by ”Boy, are you dumb.”

Baloo said...

I suppose if I were Garry (note: 2 r's) Trudeau I wouldn't pick on you, but then, I'm no Garry Trudeau.

Anonymous said...

"...explain what percentages are to an uncomprehending and defensive Twoof, pointing at a long and complicated equation on the blackboard that finally ends in an equal sign followed by ”Boy, are you dumb.”

While I don't particularly rally round the comments of "Truth", he is not really that "dumb" just very biased, like many here, except that "here" is not biased in his direction.
That said, your jeer of "Twoof" is apparently a dig at the likely pronunciation of "truth" by members of a certain race. I doubt the "Truth" who comments here pronounces it that way. You'd make a clearer, cleaner point by dispensing with the childish mentality.

adfasdfadfadf said...

A lot of these colleges oughta be honest and market themselves as 'party schools' or 'social clubs'.
Don't promise 'students' the future but four yrs of putting off the future. College never did me any good but it was fun while it lasted. And those memories will always be precious to me.
For many people, that is the real value of college. All those late night parties, pizzas, movies, talk talk talk, friends, freedom, leisure, and the sense of being separate from the world of 9 to 5.

Anonymous said...

Hey ntan,

How do Syrians generally do in this country?

Eric said...

And if [as I fear] Charles Murray's Footnote #44 is correct, then IQ 95 is already at least a full standard deviation above the average for African-American high school students today - i.e. about 84.1% of them can't even aspire to employment as a "Warehouse person".

I used to write software for that business, and I can guarantee you the average IQ of floor workers is considerably below 95. 75 or 80 is probably more accurate. Average. The most you can expect is they can follow simple written directions.

That might be a result of technology. Just like fast food workers don't have to know how to make change (or even read) anymore, warehouses that ran our application issued every worker a cheap wireless computer with a bar code scanner. The computer would tell the worker things like

1. Go to location x, scan the location
2. Take two boxes from x, scan the boxes
3. Put the boxes on the conveyor belt, scan the conveyor belt.

On the one hand it has to be the most dehumanizing thing to be ordered about by a computer all day. On the other, it allows people who have no hope of figuring out the inventory system to be productive.

TGGP said...

I believe the claim in the article is that some schools like Chicago State drop out students at a much higher rate than others, even matching for standardized test scores & GPA. I'm less confident, but I think there have been studies showing that in community colleges and less-demanding institutions generally, matching students drop out more.

gcochran said...

Given all afternoon, I like to think I could come up with something better, more like this:


" You would exchange your soul for a heap of dung - and you would be right to do so. "

Anonymous said...

Eric: I used to write software for that business, and I can guarantee you the average IQ of floor workers is considerably below 95. 75 or 80 is probably more accurate. Average. The most you can expect is they can follow simple written directions.

Your problem is that you are confusing IQ 75 or 80 with IQ 95.

At IQ 75 or 80, they would be utterly unable to read, and concepts like

"1. Go to location x, scan the location; 2. Take two boxes from x, scan the boxes; 3. Put the boxes on the conveyor belt, scan the conveyor belt."

would be completely meaningless to them.

[Unless maybe you were to draw it all out for them in pictures, like they do with the cash registers at McDonald's.]

Even among the HBD cynics here at iSteve, there is still an appalling naivete when it comes to the question of just how stupid the left half of the bell curve really is.

And our looming tragedy is that IQ 80 isn't even "left half" for about 50% of all the children being born in America today - it's right smack in the middle of their bell curves.

Which means that we now have staggering numbers of children with IQs in the 70s, 60s, and 50s - children who will grow up to be adults who aren't even capable of [reliably] mowing lawns or changing bedpans [without 1-to-1 supervision].

Baloo said...

Emes, (I take Anon's point, and have decided to call him that instead of Truth or Twoof), where did you get the idea that I was some sort of soft-education advocate? Although I have, obviously, a lot of regard for much of the subject matter, I have relatively little respect for their manifestation as academic fields. And, I haven't noticed anybody here except you expressing contempt for the mental acuity of a cartoonist qua cartoonist.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

While I don't particularly rally round the comments of "Truth", he is not really that "dumb" just very biased, like many here, except that "here" is not biased in his direction."

No, he's pretty dumb. He just tries to hide it in a cloud of snark.

NTan said...

Hey ntan,

How do Syrians generally do in this country?


I'm not an expert, but from my experience they do well enough. The ones I know usually aren't college graduates but do fine as store owners and small merchants. My uncle owns a bunch of buildings in the hood' in Chicago by the university and leases them to Yemeni and Palestinian immigrants, who run convenience stores and shops. Native born white Americans (or native born Americans of any race) would never work in black areas and it seems the welfare state/genetics have made African-Americans unable to form their own entrepreneurial class, so I shudder to think where black America would be without immigration. In the city you'll often see blacks selling selling water bottles at stop lights for a dollar each. I usually buy from them since I'm charitable.

Second generation Syrians have all kinds of Middle America pathologies as far as drugs and flunking school and stuff, but strict cultural norms stop them from being too sexually promiscuous, coming out as openly gay or (especially) getting pregnant out of wedlock. The higher IQ ones go to college and become white people if they're Christians or marry within the community and remain exotics if not. Christian Arabs see marrying a white American as moving up while Muslims who haven't cut all extended family ties see it as the ultimate shame.

Baloo said...

Emes, maybe you've challenged me in a positive way. I think this week's strip is a bit Trudeavian, at least in its rhythm.
This week's Atlantea the Beautiful

none of the above said...

College isn't just an IQ filter, it's also a filter for being functional enough to show up somewhat regularly to class, study for tests, do homework and projects, not wander off in the middle of the semester to join a cult or something, etc.

This works better, the more closely the student's ability is matched to his school's expectations. Someone who could do okay at Caltech by working his ass off can probably slide by at San Jose State with minimal effort, despite drinking a lot and showing up to class irregularly.

none of the above said...

NTan:

Actually, I think during segregation, there was a large and visible black entrepreneurial class in most places with a large black population. While there's still a big, visible black middle class, the whole entrepreneurial class seems to have faded away. I suppose they were absorbed into the broader economy/society at various levels--probably being a schoolteacher or city bureaucrat or nurse or whatever is just a better life than owning your own hardware store in the black part of town.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

@Kudzu Bob: Just for a laugh, go back into the archives for "The Irony of Victory" thread from a week or two ago. Notice towards the end how I point out to T. that he's slipping b/c he doesn't sign off with his usual "sport". His response is jaw-droppingly dumb. Typical Noobie Behavior from the Head Noobie In Charge's # 1 fanboy...

Anonymous said...

none of the above: College isn't just an IQ filter, it's also a filter for being functional enough to show up somewhat regularly to class, study for tests, do homework and projects, not wander off in the middle of the semester to join a cult or something, etc.

I am absolutely convinced that IQ correlates very strongly with "attention span", which, in turn, ought to be very easily measurable by psychometricians [you just pose an age-appropriate problem to the child, start your stop-watch, and then stop the stopwatch when the child turns away from the problem].

The smarter a child is, the longer and more intently he will think about the problem; the stupider a child is, the more quickly he will lose interest and move on to greener pastures.

Anyway, point being that many of the qualities which we traditionally associate with character, such as "stick-to-it-iveness", or "stubborn-as-a-mule-irascibility" probably correlate* very, very strongly with IQ.



*If only you could figure out a way to "measure" them.

SFG said...

"Was it me who considers your whole vocation, education and basically life a pile of Hund Sheiss just because you work with words instead of numbers? No!"

Eh...you misspelled 'scheisse'. ;)

Rex Little said...

Hey Rex, I've read your stuff. . . let's be honest, you're not Gary Trudeau.

Are you talking about me, or some other Rex? If me, what stuff do you mean? I don't see what my blog comments have to do with Gary Trudeau or anyone else.

Truth said...

"And, I haven't noticed anybody here except you expressing contempt for the mental acuity of a cartoonist qua cartoonist."

That's right Sexi-Rexi; I'm sure everyone here would be in agreement that Aaron McGruder is a genius (what, is that crickets I hear?).

I did not express contempt for your mental acuity, I simply questioned kudzu Bobby's use of a cartoonist as someone who is considered intelligent by default; e.g, one assumes lawyers, doctors and engineers are "smart"by default, even without meeting them. I don't think one automatically holds the intellect of a cartoonist in the same esteem.

The smartest man in America works as a bouncer in a honky-tonk bar; am I to automatically assume that Wyoming bouncers are geniuses?

"where did you get the idea that I was some sort of soft-education advocate?"

This is called an assumption based upon logic. You could have chosen your vocation after competing your undergrad studies in EE or physics, but the odds are against it, and as you did not reveal what you did major in, I would take those odds.

That is kind of the way odds work, you don't always win, but you win more than you lose, for instance:

"His response is jaw-droppingly dumb. Typical Noobie Behavior from the Head Noobie In Charge's # 1 fanboy..."

Now, I did not re-read my own post here, but as Nine-of-diamonds has proven himself as one of the foremost experts on "jaw-droppingly-dumb", and has established his credentials here beyond doubt, one would be right to make the assumption that my post was just that.

Truth said...

I'm glad to be of help, Baloo. hopefully you can now go on to national syndication, or whatever you desire. I personally prefer your "New Yorker" Type stuff:

"Supply side economics is passé, now we're in the bait-and-switch era."

"The president said that the economy is healing, he also warned everyone not to pick at it."

"I would have come to you sooner, but you hadn't graduated from medical school yet."

Great lines. And believe me, I don't give compliments easily.

Now you see, there is now one less thing that Bob and I have in common, I've actually read your page.

Curvaceous, etc. said...

"The smartest man in America works as a bouncer in a honky-tonk bar; am I to automatically assume that Wyoming bouncers are geniuses?"

This is an HBD blog. So in general, most posters here don't automatically assume anything but do, however, understand that normal distributions apply, and so concede likelihoods.

It's a fair bet that while Wyoming bouncers are unlikely to be geniuses, they are likely a good deal smarter than bouncers in Washington, D.C.
Which is probably why a bouncer who's a genius ended up in WY, as opposed to Washington, D.C. -- smaller IQ gap between himself and his colleagues.

kudzu bob said...

In today’s animated one-reeler, boys and girls, a safari-clad Twoof tries to ‘splain his bad self when instead he should really be watching where he steps:

“I did not express…”

Twoof looks annoyed as he realizes that he’s standing in muck.

“I simply questioned…”

Twoof’s eyes widen in alarm once he belatedly realizes that his boots are firmly stuck.

“I don’t think one automatically…”

Twoof’s efforts to pull his feet loose having proved ineffectual, he redoubles his efforts, only to sink even faster, of course. Now the quicksand is over his knees.

“Am I automatically to assume...”

By the time he thinks to reach for one of the many branches overhead, Twoof has already sunk to his waist, and it’s much too late for such measures.

“…An assumption based upon logic…”

Twoof hopes that we'll think that the above phrase is one of those fancy technical term used by big-brained intellectuals like that Tuvok dude on the TV, maybe something along the lines of “square of opposition” or “appeal to ignorance,” instead of a sorry piece of obfuscatory bullshit that Google can only manage to bring up three times.

Now Twoof is in up to his shoulders, arms flailing. He’s desperate.

"Us soft major guys have to be a little like the US and the Ruskies in 1938, put our differences aside and form a coalition." Poor, doomed Twoof thinks that we made common cause with the USSR a year before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviets and the Nazis set the stage for World War Two, thereby demonstrating not only the corrosive effects of affirmative action upon higher learning at Warm Body State University, but also the validity of Mr. Anon’s contention that Twoof's "...pretty dumb. He just tries to hide it in a cloud of snark."

In other words, Twoof has done gone down 'neath the brown. Only his pith helmet remains atop the quicksand, there to serve for a time as a resting place for the occasional talkative African Gray Parrot. All the jungle creatures within earshot agree that this raises the level of discourse considerably.

Anonymous said...

"Christian Arabs see marrying a white American as moving up while Muslims who haven't cut all extended family ties see it as the ultimate shame."

This is interesting info. Do you think Christian Lebanese/Syrians are smarter than other Arabs?

none of the above said...

Anon:

I have seen a lot of variation in attention span, organizational skill, study habits, general non-flakiness, etc., among people of broadly comparable apparent intelligence. It's not like these are 100% linked.

Now, I've spent most of my adult life in IQ-selective environments (from college-prep classes in high school on). So my observations probably hide much of the correlation between these things.

In fact, there's a kind of funny backward effect here, in environments where people self-select or are segregated by performance, outside the very top and bottom levels. If we're all arranged by performance (you're good enough to get to play AAA ball but never major league ball; you're bright enough to get a CS major at State U but not to major in physics or to get that CS major at Caltech), then there will be a kind of inverse relationship between things that contribute to success.

Very smart people with lousy study habits will be in the same classes with moderately bright people with pretty good study habits, and not all that bright people with really great study habits. (If the super bright guy was a hard worker, he'd have been pre-med or at a harder school or in a harder major; if the dumb girl didn't have amazing study habits and work ethic, she'd be an elementary education major.)

Haven't most of us known the guy who was so bright he could get away with substantial flakiness, or the girl who didn't really seem to fully *get* what she was working on, but who got through it anyway on hard work and grit? There's a limit to both of those, but over a wide range of performance, there are examples of them. (During their careers, my dad mostly lived on the first strategy, while my mom mostly lived on the second.)

Truth said...

"Which is probably why a bouncer who's a genius ended up in WY, as opposed to Washington, D.C. -- smaller IQ gap between himself and his colleagues."

Uh, no.

I would seriously doubt that Chris Langan, who has an IQ of 215 is getting a great deal of intellectual nourishment from a group of drunk, Jackson, high-school dropout ranch hands. Not that I ever even wrote a single word about Washington D.C...oh never mind.

I have no problem carrying on a dialogue with you, Curvaceous, but please; let's try a little harder and keep it on an adult level, OK?

Curvaceous said...

"uh, no"

College degree =/= IQ.

Wyoming has lots of high-paying, and DANGEROUS, jobs where the training is done on the job that do not require college, but require at least an average IQ in order to avoid deadly mistakes (like directional drilling.)

College and IQ are correlated, but correlation does not equal causation.

Out here in the WY, our average IQ may be lower than, say, Cambridge, which attracts the brightest from the entire country, but we're certainly higher than the bouncers are likely to be in, oh, say, New Mexico (as Steve's pointed out, New Mexico's motto: Thank God for Mississippi.)
Wyo kids do well on NAEP, usually somewhere around 10-15th. New Mexico and Wash DC, chronic bottom dwellers.

At MathCOUNTS 2009: Most improved team? New Mexico. Why? Two families of Koreans moved in.

So our smart bouncer is, indeed, likely to get a more intellectual stimulation from his drunken cowboy customers / buddies on Friday night than he would in, say, New Mexico.
Let's see, who was it that posts here who assesses himself as smart living in New Mexico? hmmm...I can't remember.

kudzu bob said...

In today’s animated one-reeler, boys and girls, a safari-clad Twoof tries to ‘splain his bad self when instead he should really be watching where he steps:

“I did not express…”

Twoof looks annoyed as he realizes that he’s standing in muck.

“I simply questioned…”

Twoof’s eyes widen in alarm once he belatedly realizes that his boots are firmly stuck.

“I don’t think one automatically…”

Twoof’s efforts to pull his feet loose having proved ineffectual, he redoubles his efforts, only to sink even faster, of course. Now the quicksand is over his knees.

“Am I automatically to assume...”

By the time he thinks to reach for one of the many branches overhead, Twoof has already sunk to his waist, and it’s much too late for such measures.

“…An assumption based upon logic…”

Now Twoof is in up to his shoulders, arms flailing. He’s desperate.

"Us soft major guys have to be a little like the US and the Ruskies in 1938, put our differences aside and form a coalition."

Poor, doomed Twoof thinks that we made common cause with the USSR a year before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviets and the Nazis set the stage for World War Two, He thereby demonstrates not only the corrosive effects of affirmative action upon higher learning at Warm Body State University, but also the validity of Mr. Anon’s contention that Twoof tries to conceal his stupidity in “a cloud of snark.” (Nice phrase, that.)

Going…going…gone, down 'neath the brown. Only Twoof’s pith helmet remains atop the quicksand, there to serve for a time as a perch for the occasional African Gray Parrot. All the jungle creatures within earshot agree that this raises the level of discourse considerably.

Mr. Anon said...

"Curvaceous said...

"uh, no"

College degree =/= IQ."

It's pointless arguing with "Truth". he doesn't argue in good faith. He's just a guy who never got past some momentary glory on the college debating team, and who thinks that saying something - saying anything - is a substantive argument.

BTW, I wonder why he often brings up Christopher Langan. How does he know that Langan has the highest IQ? How does anyone know, other than asking Chris Langan, or the producers of 20/20 (both of whom have every reason to lie, if not to us, than to themselves).

Truth said...

"In today’s animated one-reeler..."

That's pretty good Bob, I'm thinking, you write the scripts, Baloo draws the panels, you'll have another South Park on your hands, just half as intellectual.

You're right Grasshopper, there is no proof that Langan is smarter than, say, you are.
















Daaaaaahahahahahahahah!

That was funny, I actually wrote the first line with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

"english (yes, I said that)"

From what I've seen, English programs at top universites are much more intellectually demanding than most people probably think. There is no comparisioon between an Englsih class where the student must make an origianl argument based on evidence and other liberal arts majors like political science, history, sociology or psychology which at the undergrad level are purely excercises in the regurgitation of facts. This may not apply at mediocre schools.

kudzu bob said...

Twoof doesn't know what percentages are, can't grasp the concept of a crime rate, thinks that cars can run on water, and has it in his underpowered brain that we formed an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR back in 1938. Gregory Cochran was much too kind to him.

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

You're right Grasshopper, there is no proof that Langan is smarter than, say, you are."

On the other hand, d**khead (that's just my term for "grasshopper"), he sounds passably intelligent, so there is some proof that he is smarter than you are.

Truth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Truth said...

"On the other hand, d**khead..."

Temper, temper my son;

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

-Buddha

Truth said...

Hey Buddy, I'm going to stop messing with you so much, I apologize. I thought we were just having a little fun.

kudzu bob said...

Hey Buddy, I'm going to stop messing with you so much, I apologize. I thought we were just having a little fun.

The above is an excellent example of what the Buddha meant when he said: "An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind."

"Beneath contempt" is a state to which Twoof can only aspire.

Anonymous said...

an Englsih class where the student must make an origianl argument based on evidence

English classes are supposed to be about English-language wordsmithery.

How do you make arguments about wordsmithery?

Observations, maybe, but it's not clear to me what you would be "arguing" about.

Baloo said...

Rex Little, Truth/Twoof/Emes was talking about me. My pen name is Baloo and my real name is Rex May.

Truth said...

"Beneath contempt" is a state to which Twoof can only aspire."

Bob, I think you're watching too many late night movies.

Gx1080 said...

Hi, nice blog.

I don't care how much difficult is a course, but expending 4 years learning skills that aren't marketable in the real world is a massive waste of time. Period.

You are supposed to get a JOB that requieres the knowledge that you learn there, and if that knowledge doesn't get jobs, why waste your time, huh?

Do it in your own time, but don't complain when the guy who learned how to do useful stuff is employed and you don't.

I respect self-educated people and 2-year degrees on trades and technical fields, those people understand what makes money and what doesn't.

Humanities in general has become a massive training course on Goverment bureocracy and Marxist rethoric. It deserves to get purged.

I'm sorry that your parents didn't let you get that hip, cool career that you wanted, but they don't want to keep feeding your 30+ year old ass.

Jay said...

Gotta love how the engineering nerds are always over-compensating for not getting any by making fun of the Liberal Arts Majors.

Let me just say that I have completed all of the lower division GE requirements back when I was an Engineering Major. That means I had completed all the "hard math" classes all the way up to Differential Equations and all the lower division Physics and other "hard science" classes. But have I ever applied any of these lessons in real life? Nope, nada, zip, zilch.

Right now I own a pretty profitable company, and the most math I have ever done on the job are basic Arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), percentages, decimal points, and the such. So unless you are one of those supernerds who design rockets or computer chips, doing these "hard science" and "hard math" classes are just a complete waste of time.

In my third year I realized the folly of studying literally nonstop for something I truly detested (I only got into it because of pressure from my father) and for something I would never use in real life, and changed my Major to Political Science, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and right now I am managing a whole team of Indian Engineers in India, for one-tenth the price of over-compensating egotistical Engineering Majors educated in this country (another reason I did not want to be an Engineer: Your job is easily outsourced).