Friday, 25 May 2012

Corrosive college


A residential college ought to be organised, busy and supervised (and Christian) - but when (as now) it isn't then it reflects the character of the students; which is that this period of life is characterised by the highest lifetime levels of neuroticism (moodiness), extraversion (need for the company of others, intolerance of solitude), and generally lower conscientiousness (poor concentration, need for distraction) and less empathy than later adult life.


And modern college students are too old - college should begin the the mid-teens, and end before twenty; when humans are biologically at the peak of learning ability.

(And of course the vast majority of people should not go to college, but only those who are intended for the intellectual professions.)


The problems of modern college are not real problems but societally self-inflicted problems: they are the kind of problems you get from doing something you don't need to do and shouldn't be doing in the first place.

In fact, college is one of those Leftist 'benefits' - I mean the sort of Goods that are the outcome of re-labelling damage as construction. As when a cripplingly expensive, intellectually harmful, morally corrosive waste of human life is relabelled as an unchallengeable benefit, nay human right.

It is on a par with relabelling crime as vibrancy, parasitism as injustice, self-gratification as the highest virtue and entitlement...


Modern college is a multi-valent anti-Christian force of civilizational destruction - instilling addiction, destroying motivation, inculcating the metaphysics of hedonistic nihilism...

No wonder college is so popular with the Left! 



Proph said...

There's a further element of the poor conception and execution of college: by being so radically divorced from the practical contexts in which learning tends to occur, students probably walk away knowing less than they would've if they had just gotten a lower job in their field and worked their way up to it.

I have, for instance, learned more about applied statistics in the past year then I did the previous six years in college, with an army of Ph.D's at my disposal, simply because my job requires that I know certain things, and the things I need to know are things my peers in college were expected to be too stupid to grasp (e.g., structural equation modeling). That evaluation was probably correct, but that only proves that college was a waste of time and money for me.

So in an ideal world, college would not only be radically smaller and more austere, it would be paired up with practical work -- internship placements, etc., that extend through the whole of collegiate life. Such a thing would, in a sense, not be so different than a guild system. But we must never, ever admit this, for fear of acknowledging that perhaps those benighted Middle Age crazies were actually brighter than we are!

Add in the monumental opportunity costs (i.e., $40,000 of debt for four or more years of non-work during which time a person could've earned $120,000 from slightly lower-paying work) and, well, no wonder nothing short of a monstrous governmental effort to support and sustain colleges despite the obvious harms they inflict is keeping them in business.

Ryder said...

This is pretty comprehensively right, including the bit about age.

Regrettably I know this from my own experience. Although I don't think it was my university's intention to turn a cheerful atheist into a demotivated Christian. But that's what having a look inside their looking glass ended up doing.

nydwracu said...

College should begin in the mid-teens, when humans, at least in our society, tend to start wanting the sort of freedom it provides. (And what society keeps its members as children until 18 anyway?) I started college at 15, and I really don't know how most people handle the ridiculous totalitarian nightmare that is high school for four years when I could barely put up with it for two, not to mention the parental panopticon.

Bruce Charlton said...

@nydwracu -"College should begin in the mid-teens, when humans, at least in our society, tend to start wanting the sort of freedom it provides."

They may WANT freedom, but that is exactly what they should NOT get!

(As a general rule.)