Every Child a Boob

Once more into the breach, or, in this case, the week out. And not a bright outlook. In fact a bit dismal out this morning after a night of rain. I am also in the mode of clearing tabs and I find most of them this morning to be dull and uncommentable.

I have however, been cogitating the nature of freedom, something we have rather little of these days. And the politicians seem Hell-bent on reducing that, regardless of their party. But the mode I was thinking in goes back to he comments yesterday about the emerging requirement of a college diploma – I am unsure this means one has satisfied the REAL requirements for a degree any more – for any sort of job.

There will, of course, always be jobs that college graduates will not seek except in the direst of circumstances. Those that do not pay a living wage, much less enough to retire the now coupled college debt, and those that are abhorrent. I rather doubt that we shall see many wetback graduates toiling in the fields of vegetables and fruit. In many cases these jobs are scorned by Amerikan non-graduates of even high shule because of the labor required. So we have become an affluent society of aversion.

But there are several things troubling about such a trend. If nothing else it will further alienate the necessary but menial jobs. This may have the minor benefit of raising their wage levels but only at the price of reduced numbers of positions. If anything it will advance the proliferation of automation with its detriment to society. It seems also likely to further the degradation of academia.

It is exceedingly rare, in my experience, for any position to require less educational and knowledge credential than the work requires. Jobs that require a baccalaurate can usually be performed by an “associate”. This follows from the absence of freedom in almost all positions, a constraint that leads to great waste and dissatisfaction.

But it is in the nature of education that it is highly individual. The best criterion is that one has learned how to think in a constructive, creative, positive fashion. What data was accumulated along the way is less important than the skill. Sadly, this is hard to assess and the old way of a committee review for a degree has proved long ago too expensive even in the graduate environment. Hence we come to the other side of the abyss, that educational institutions are uniform, in several of the horrific meanings of that word. In my day it was largely a matter of courses that could be assembled with some freedom to meet the uniform requirement for a degree sans examination. Today that freedom has disappeared and the nature of courses has become so uniform that who teaches a course is of only minor importance, hence the demise of tenure.

This may be expected to intensify as the requirement for employment further become only a demand for a certificate and not demonstrated cognition. After writing all week about ways the species ends, this seems likely the most horrific, to reduce our intelligence to facade.

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