Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ah, Higher Education!

I don't know if Tucker will ever decide to run for POTUS but he, certainly, raises important questions of higher education as do I for the last...many years. 

Let's face it, US Ivy League institutions are basically clubs for good ol' boys and girls and are, in a sense of the REAL high education, nothing of supremely outstanding. Harvard, as an example, is known primarily for its Law, Economics and Divinity "schools". Standford is known for its Medical School and so on. I deliberately omit here technological schools such as MIT or WUSL (Washington University in St. Lois) or Berkley's STEM programs, those DO matter. As Tucker correctly states: what is the real worth of some "Communications" degree from some liberal arts college... somewhere? Right, such degree is worthless, like having no value whatsoever and it doesn't matter if its obtained through some backwater college or Stanford. The same applies to degrees in "economy", the ways it is "taught" in all those useless US economic schools from Harvard to what have you, same applies to degrees in "journalism", "government", political "science", philosophy and other so called "degrees" which, for a person with a solid fundamental education, including good level of humanities background added to this fundamental education (a euphemism for STEM), are just the matter of reading appropriate books in his (her) free time. 

Tucker, largely, conveys an idea which we discussed very recently here (and in my books). Recall this? 
I, of course, do not even discuss such pseudo-educational shit as Gender and Diversity "studies"--they should be removed completely from any programs. Let's face it, as I repeat ad nauseam, the number of synapses required to be developed for, say, accomplishing a career in industrial engineering or system integration in aerospace requires way more effort than the same could be said, as an example, when trying to get one a BA in "broadcasting". But what  all those "broadcasting", "economics" (I omit here accountants--they will always be needed and crucial for running any business) and "communications" degrees are in essence? Those are degrees designed for service economy. In other words--non-productive economy. Do you know that such profession as "entertainment analyst" not only exists but is (well, was, I am sure by now) in demand in the US? And why not, when pornography is being pushed as a viable subject for schools, one may conclusively state that something doesn't add up here. Of course, one may argue that being "educated" by means of "studying", say, classic German porn may increase one's technical proficiency with plumbing, especially in kitchen sinks, but I am not entirely positive that benefits overweight costs in this particular case. 

It is am axiom, a well known to anyone with IQ above room temperature, that modern world is run by numbers, literally. It is called digital for a reason, isn't it? Even modern toilets today, especially ones with ass-washing functions, have microchips in them and operate based on some algorithms. Modern industry, all of it, is digitized today--from assembly lines, to CNC machining centers, to networks which run whole companies, to extraction of resources, to warfare. You see, the real world which depends for own survival on manufacturing does not really have much use for "entertainment analysts" or Ph.Ds in "broadcasting". It needs, however, all those unglamorous engineers, doctors, nurses, technicians, auto-mechanics, machinists, even janitors, among very many others, who actually make the world go round. Other professions, however, such as in broadcasting, journalists or entertainers with stock brokers, among many others are what once was described by a line from a classic piece by Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits: "Money for nothing, and chicks for free." 

Make no mistake, I am not trying to disparage these "professions". Of course not, how else can one BS "investors" and rob them blind without having "degree" in economics and a title of "financial analyst". That is impossible--human stupidity and ignorance must be attended by "professionals" in precisely these two crucial fields of human existence, which are in the foundation of the neo-liberalism. But we are talking here about real economy and some of its fundamentals which remain constants for centuries, in fact--millennia:

1. Consumer patterns of humanity;
2. Production of the means of production and of consumer goods. Marxists split these too in goods of Category A and B respectively.

Of course, there is another, third, factor, which is a relation between need and want. But it is tightly connected to the first one (just different terminology) and we will start with this one. I may want (not really) to have a Ferrari, but do I really need one? Not really, once I have a reliable and fairly comfortable conveyance in a form of Subaru Legacy. Someone needs a heart transplant and wants it--totally justified and understandable relation. Some ugly aging sociopath wants to have his erection back but does he need it? A question? Akin to a question of how many sexual perverts and pedophiles populate political "elites" globally? So, this relation, thus, comes down to what is reasonable to consume and what's not. It is one of those major pillars on which human civilization is placed. It is also the issue of resources and ability to develop them. The necessity (need) to feed humanity brought about the development of industries which produced agricultural machinery and chemistry which improved harvesting dramatically--then consumer pattern kicked in (in terms of ethnic cuisines and staple foods) and we have today seafood heavy Northern and Asian consumer pattern, which is supported by massive fishing fleets, hence commercial fishing shipbuilding, or American beef-heavy consumer patterns, with immense life-stock processing industry in place, which made access to beef (and other meats) relatively affordable for the most, thus balancing out need and want. So, you see how it works? You want something--develop and produce means of production, which will allow you to get the extraction (harvesting, processing etc.) going for you to get what you both need and want. I, of course, really want now some black caviar (no, I do, really), but do I really need it? I don't think so. But in the most cases, I, personally, can see the link between the need, which is always more important than want, albeit want is important too, and how this need (and want) then translates itself into the development of those proverbial productive (PRO-DUC-TI-VE) forces and while scanning mentally all this chain I see many engineers, workers, industries, complex machinery, logistical chains working overtime to get the piece of beef, or bread, or fish into my stomach, which allows me to live. I CAN live without Ferrari, I CANNOT live without Subaru Legacy. Need trumps want, even when want is still important--I love my good cigar and a shot of bourbon once-in-a-while.  

Neo-liberalism, however, doesn't really operate with such things. It operates with mostly category B (consumer goods) and it is in the business of creating a NEW need, which often is covering nothing more than NEW want, which, however important is NEVER as important as actual need. Just to give an example--I don't have any social media accounts other than this blog (and I have access to my daughter's fully private Instagram). I neither want them nor need them. Yet, we have hundreds of millions of people globally who, while absolutely not needing their social media accounts, desperately want them and, many, experience a host of serious psychological and psychiatric problems when not having access to their accounts or some new model of smart phone which allows them to be connected to a virtual world. And that is why, in classic capitalism or, even socialism, tangible things, which actually produce things for real needs were always valued, together with people who made those tangibles work, and if you may have guessed it already, those people were not "entertainment analysts" or "broadcasting" specialists. Not so in neo-liberalism which is a fnal stage of financial capitalism, whose collapse we observe right this very minute. As I say non-stop, in the world where the company which generates and, in fact, inflates the want to the absurd levels, such as Facebook or any other social media, and is valued more than the company (however in trouble now) which served the actual need, such as Boeing, nothing eventually is going to work. The resets of valuations and of establishing more realistic balance between need and want, and with it between Group A and B is in progress right now. 

We may thank  the outbreak of Covid-19 for that, this outbreak and panic that followed, being the last straw that broke the camel's back, but primarily a systemic crisis of liberalism (or neo-liberalism) which cannot create anymore any real value other than insane wants and virtual money which are supposed to pay for those wants. But that is not how world works, because the forms must be... ah, I mean, the balance between want and need, between Group A and B must be established. This was this balance which neo-liberalism destroyed by trying to satisfy its want for more zeroes in the virtual bank accounts and while doing so produced an "educational" monster which provided a gluttony of "graduates" whose only calling and extremely limited set of skills, if any, was to promote want at the expense of need and to cover for a system whose death was postponed by two major world events, but I wrote about this not for once. So, the question for the United States today is simple--is there anyone who can actually run a damn country with some degree of competence? As per EU--it is over and good riddance. You see, degrees in PR, broadcasting and economics didn't help, did they? You all know the answer. This is my short and grossly oversimplified take on this global clusterfuck we all have to face today and how education will change, since no one needs specialists in "conflict resolution" or "entertainment analysis", especially when entertainment long ago turned to shit for the most part. I like the new term for hoarders--covidiots. What a bunch of losers (going to my garage to check on my 1,200 packages of toilet paper, 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 100 bottles of Jack;)))      

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