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Universities, from merit to mediocrity


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8 hours ago, cannuck said:

1.  Would love to have the time to collect data and citations, but unless someone is paying my bill that isn't going to happen.

2.  Some do, but from what I understand many have great difficulty getting what they consider adequate and/or appropriate placements.  One of our kids did vetmed, so had no trouble doing exactly what she trained to do.  The other has four different degrees, and has never had to apply for a job (always sought out) until now that she is way overqualified for just about anything and works far below the kinds of offers she got from the science community.  She was a campus counselor for many years, so heard a lot of the employment frustration from a broad spectrum.

1. Data and citations don't enter into it.  You have characterized the situation with a moral framing, and I don't share that morality.  Would you patiently wait if I told you  "I have some citations to support my assertion that a massive right-wing plot to undermine education is underway" ?  No.  I'm not even sure people know how to discuss issues without imposing their political values on the conversation any more.

2. Well, ok but you had the government support your kid getting FOUR useless degrees so why are you complaining about the system ?  I do agree that University is viewed as a ticket to a middle class lifestyle and a certain kind of 'job'... 

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Society is in a total war over facts and spin.  Virtually every aspect of society that has any influence is infected by it.  Many (not all) want to push their own agenda, to control the narrative.  We

No cites for most of this, and the single cite is misrepresented by you in your summary.  My thoughts are that alt right hysteria is a thriving cottage industry.

I think that CNN has become just as bad as FOX.  We can blame both networks all we want, but the very sad part is that since they are corporate media, they very clearly are operating on a profit motiv

3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. Well, ok but you had the government support your kid getting FOUR useless degrees so why are you complaining about the system ?  I do agree that University is viewed as a ticket to a middle class lifestyle and a certain kind of 'job'... 

That's making quite a jump in assuming her degrees are  "useless".  She didn't get them for vocational reasons, but because she wanted to learn.  Her grad studies/theses established some key reference points and understanding of the applied science side of that discipline that are the foundation of much more to come in a useful and environmentally important way for many industries.  Her last degree was in education since she wanted to enhance her teaching skills while raising her own children.  She will probably return to academia later in life as there is a lot more she can and will accomplish that will no doubt be quite useful and beneficial to many.  She passed on the many commercial offers while she was there before since she did not want a career to take her away from her research and her family.  Not only do I fully appreciate the public funding of her extensive education (and the much larger commercial sponsorship of her research) but I hope you can appreciate the financial sacrifices she and her family have made in pursuit of work that will benefit many others - but not likely her bank account.  Meanwhile, she is now probably the most over-qualified and underpaid pre-school teacher to be found.  She feels her teaching today will be far more beneficial to society than tolerating a room full of bio-chem students who have no other interest than passing the next test or exam.

What I hope you can take away from this is that our secondary and post secondary education system is badly damaged and no longer a place of learning where learning is valued.  It has instead become something else - much of it due to the politics being dragged into the equation overpowering the academic standards that once existed.

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Just now, cannuck said:

1. That's making quite a jump in assuming her degrees are  "useless".  She didn't get them for vocational reasons, but because she wanted to learn. 

2. What I hope you can take away from this is that our secondary and post secondary education system is badly damaged and no longer a place of learning where learning is valued.  It has instead become something else - much of it due to the politics being dragged into the equation overpowering the academic standards that once existed.

1. I'm assuming that that is YOUR argument though.  Isn't it ? "A BA and often BSc is no longer much of a value in the workplace, but should not be dismissed as of value to broaden one's horizons - but why do you expect me to fund that???"
2. I have said something similar, but given that you have a kid who gathers degrees like apples fallen from a tree, it's hard for me to understand which side you are on.

 

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On 9/2/2020 at 9:09 AM, Michael Hardner said:

1. I'm assuming that that is YOUR argument though.  Isn't it ? "A BA and often BSc is no longer much of a value in the workplace, but should not be dismissed as of value to broaden one's horizons - but why do you expect me to fund that???"
2. I have said something similar, but given that you have a kid who gathers degrees like apples fallen from a tree, it's hard for me to understand which side you are on.

 

Sorry to take so long to reply, getting in a panic to get things done around farm and shop before we lose this summer/fall weather.

I object to paying for basket weaving courses, and I don't appreciate paying for someone who is there just to pass tests and get a degree.  I will gladly pay for someone to actually learn useful subject matter, and understand the subject at hand - and believe they have no business being graduated until demonstrating mastery of the subject matter and concepts.   I REALLY object to paying for the exceedingly politicized part of today's Universities.   Outside of policsci, there should be no place within any educational institute with public funding for politics of any kind.

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17 minutes ago, cannuck said:

 

1. I object to paying for basket weaving courses...  I will gladly pay for someone to actually learn useful subject matter, and understand the subject at hand - and believe they have no business being graduated until demonstrating mastery of the subject matter and concepts.   

2. I REALLY object to paying for the exceedingly politicized part of today's Universities.   Outside of policsci, there should be no place within any educational institute with public funding for politics of any kind.

1. It's subjective though.  Is organic chemistry 101 really more important than the philosophy of Hegel ?  Hard to say.
2. Again, subjective.

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On 9/2/2020 at 11:05 AM, cannuck said:

much of it due to the politics being dragged into the equation overpowering the academic standards that once existed.

This is endemic of leftism's stance once it attains power- government authority extends into every aspect of human life. The left has taken us to the edge of the precipice. We need more of certain right-wing ideas to balance out. Namely, that government authority must be kept in check.

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7 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

This is endemic of leftism's stance once it attains power- government authority extends into every aspect of human life. The left has taken us to the edge of the precipice. We need more of certain right-wing ideas to balance out. Namely, that government authority must be kept in check.

You know, OW, this is generally quite true however lately there are counter-examples that reveal the tribal nature of politics becoming more evident:
- Government management of intellectual property, trade, and patents is something the left doesn't support because it helps busienss
- Military and security costs are a form of government authority that left and right switch sides on with regards to their principles, but it also depends on the area, eg. gun rights, police brutality etc.
- Government support of religious rights is another tricky area, and the left sometimes supports religious accommodation only for non-Christian religions
- Left and Right are all over the map on how global trade is perceived

Edited to add:  Freedom of speech is another odd one.  Lately, conservative governments have threatened action against material being taught in schools such as racism, for example.  This is because conservatives think government is a good tool to suppress ideas they don't that are valid (such as 'cancel culture').

So, yes, leftism is generally on the side of government authority but it's not a clean mapping to all leftist/rightist policies.

 

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8 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

You know, OW, this is generally quite true however lately there are counter-examples that reveal the tribal nature of politics becoming more evident:
- Government management of intellectual property, trade, and patents is something the left doesn't support because it helps busienss
- Military and security costs are a form of government authority that left and right switch sides on with regards to their principles, but it also depends on the area, eg. gun rights, police brutality etc.
- Government support of religious rights is another tricky area, and the left sometimes supports religious accommodation only for non-Christian religions
- Left and Right are all over the map on how global trade is perceived

Edited to add:  Freedom of speech is another odd one.  Lately, conservative governments have threatened action against material being taught in schools such as racism, for example.  This is because conservatives think government is a good tool to suppress ideas they don't that are valid (such as 'cancel culture').

So, yes, leftism is generally on the side of government authority but it's not a clean mapping to all leftist/rightist policies.

 

Yes the devil is in the details. When there is actually too much talk about racism, the dialogue is no longer helpful. Rather it becomes a problem in itself. One must walk a fine line between criticising racism in all its forms, and calling the state immoral and illegitimate. As in the system is racist, somehow by design or intent.

Oh well.

I went to the sub shop other day, everyone in there looked like they were all from one family. Dad, daughter. Others could be brothers, sisters or cousins. I know they are from ME. The man is a good man, but they are not all his kids or family. I know wen they hire people, they like to hire their own kind.

Now, do I think that is wrong?

No.

Go away, leftist pansies, and chatter some more about racism.

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On 9/1/2020 at 10:40 AM, Shady said:

There is no inherit bias against minority groups.  Unless you think people look at the race checked off in an application and toss it aside.  Maybe decades ago, but not anymore.  Not for a long time.  Discriminating against White and Asian students to foster "equality" is wrong.  Discrimination in any form based on somebody's skin colour, religion, race, sex, etc is always wrong.  No matter what direction you push it.

https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/canadian-companies-still-struggling-to-overcome-hiring-bias-against-minorities/

Quote

For jobs requiring a university degree, Asian-named applicants have a 32.6% lower rate of selection for an interview compared to Anglo-named applicants, even when both groups had equivalent all-Canadian qualifications. These jobs required a university degree.

  • The lower rate of interview selection was observed for jobs at both high and low skill levels.
Quote
  • Asian-named applicants with some or all foreign qualifications experienced a 45-60% lower rate of interview selection than Anglo-named applicants.
  • Discrimination against Asian-named applicants is twice as frequent in smaller organizations but still significant in large ones.
    • For large employers (500 or more employees), Asian-named applicants have about a 20 percent lower rate of selection compared to Anglo-named applicants (both with equivalent all-Canadian qualifications).
    • Among smaller employers, the Asian-named rate was found to be nearly 40% lower.
Quote
  • Extra qualifications may boost the applicant’s chances, but disparities still exist, especially in smaller organizations.
    • In large organizations, having an extra Canadian Master’s degree gives Asian-named applicants an equal rate of selection compared to Anglo-named applicants without the extra degree.
    • In small organizations, even with the extra Canadian Master’s degree, their rate of selection is still 29% lower than for Anglo-named applicants without any extra degree.

 

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:51 AM, Michael Hardner said:

Edited to add:  Freedom of speech is another odd one.  Lately, conservative governments have threatened action against material being taught in schools such as racism, for example.  This is because conservatives think government is a good tool to suppress ideas they don't that are valid (such as 'cancel culture').

Uhm, no. What conservatives believe is that government entities ought to be politically neutral. Schools are government entities which survive only on government money. Thus they ought to be teaching their subjects in an unbiased, scientific and politically neutral manner.  Teaching it in any other way is a basic fraud on the taxpayer and the student, for it provides the student with a poorer education, giving him or her slanted and biased information so they are unable to actually use their critical thinking skills to decide for themselves.

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6 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. It's subjective though.  Is organic chemistry 101 really more important than the philosophy of Hegel ?  Hard to say.

I could cut some of the classic artsy subjects a bit of slack IF once again actual academic requirements to get in were strong and graduation was based on actual academic achievement at a high level.   I can NOT however, endorse any sort of the really flakey stuff under any terms at a University.  Do that kind of crap in the private sector, and if lifestyle studies, etc. are all that important to someone, let them pony up the cash to do so.

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10 hours ago, cannuck said:

   Do that kind of crap in the private sector, and if lifestyle studies, etc. are all that important to someone, let them pony up the cash to do so.

That's not how the commons works, though.  I don't give a crap about funding some kinds of research, but there is a general public need for it.  And one thing we definitely need now is research on how to promote social cohesion in times of change.  That has a real economic benefit.

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@ Abies - I will point out that the name discrimination studies that you point to, particularly by Phil Oreopoulos, find a bias that favours female names over male names for job applications. In some cases, the bias towards female names is larger than the bias towards Anglo sounding names. Yet somehow this bias towards female names is always ignored...

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1 minute ago, -1=e^ipi said:

...the bias towards Anglo sounding names. Yet somehow this bias towards female names is always ignored...

The bias AGAINST Anglo names is also a new one.  Is it a problem ?  At some point the government will bow out of adjudicating 'fairness' I expect

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12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

The bias AGAINST Anglo names is also a new one.  Is it a problem ?  At some point the government will bow out of adjudicating 'fairness' I expect

I'm a bit confused. I said bias TOWARDS Anglo names, meaning IN FAVOUR OF Anglo names. I haven't read the whole thread, but is there evidence of a bias AGAINST Anglo names?

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36 minutes ago, -1=e^ipi said:

I'm a bit confused. I said bias TOWARDS Anglo names, meaning IN FAVOUR OF Anglo names. I haven't read the whole thread, but is there evidence of a bias AGAINST Anglo names?

In my experience, that is just starting yes.  

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2 minutes ago, Moonlight Graham said:

They won't if their goal is equal representation of all races and genders etc in all things.

Well, I don't think that's it.  Universities and companies have been under represented in groups without it raising a concern.  This has always been about the backlash from slavery.  

Nobody cares about the Irish.

Watch these two, in order:

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Moonlight Graham said:

That doesn't mean they aren't discriminated against in the job hiring process by many companies.  Studies have proven they are.

To what, then, do you attribute their superior economic success? And given that success why would the government need to intervene?

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24 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

I don't think that is really their goal.  When you think about it, it's unattainable anyway.

I don't think affirmative action will end until all non-white racial groups are more or less equal in representation.  Since that's extremely unlikely to happen, it probably will never end.

What do you think their goal is?

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8 minutes ago, Moonlight Graham said:

1. I don't think affirmative action will end until all non-white racial groups are more or less equal in representation. 
2. Since that's extremely unlikely to happen, it probably will never end.
3. What do you think their goal is?

1. Ok - two differences from what you said before: you said "non-white" and you added "more or less".  I think I agree with this statement.
2. "never" is such a long long time my friend.  
3. Same as anyone interested in politics - especially university students: THEY ARE MORALISTS.  Even the post-modern mindset can't scrub the moralism away.

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On 9/2/2020 at 3:54 AM, Michael Hardner said:

I'm not even sure people know how to discuss issues without imposing their political values on the conversation any more.

That's because there's a complete absence of integrity and honesty in journalism/mass media.

Stories are stripped down and then rebuilt with glaring omissions and misleading commentary so that all that's left of a story by the time a viewer sees it is politics.

Even if a viewer from one side of the political spectrum or the other wanted to discuss an issue fairly they couldn't because they've never even been exposed to any of the facts which support the other half of the debate.

Making matters worse is the fact that in most cases, people are extremely resistant to facts that they don't like. 

Just try telling someone who watches CNN that Obama was actually the huge liar in Russian collusion, and not Trump. They'll go apoplectic.

They remember clearly that Obama said "Trump is lying, he was not wiretapped", and now they know that Trump was 100% correct when he said that his campaign actually was spied on. They have all the facts, and they absolutely KNOW that Obama was clearly lying, but you'll never get an admission out of a CNN junkie. It's literally impossible. 

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