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Old 03-02-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
Richard the Lionheart
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Default The State of Higher Education in the U.S. (and probably everywhere else too...)

I know many people say youtube adds nothing to society and that it is filled with nothing but pointless mind-numbing videos, but there is actually some very good satire on here. Take this recent piece on the state of higher education in America. Very biting humor here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43pkqeamXe8


By the way, this is a real video for a real "song". And if after watching you think, "darn, that was bad, but Ricky, I still haven't lost all my faith in humanity yet!..." Don't worry, little one, just read some of the comments....
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
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I can't wait for other people to respond, so I'll begin my commentary now:

*If the west was not already dead (it probably was), this video officially finishes it off. We are officially living in a meaningless world.

*There are way too many people in college. We need an infusion of trade-schools and more high schoolers going straight into the work force, where they will still be able to play beer pong, except they will get to be in a nicer appartment and not have to drop one-hundred thousand dollars.

*I've never been a censorship guy, but our media/ pop culture is pure poison. I've gotten to the point where I would love to just see a U.S. administration completely ban television. Television is the biggest limitation on independent (or free) thought in the world today.

*Uh, when it comes to condom, never put two on...
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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That was really great satire. Wasn't it done through MIT's student sponsored Youtube channel?

College is a sad, sad place-- unless you can get into and have the money for a legit school like U. of Chicago, CMU, MIT, etc.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:11 PM   #4
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Obviously some schools are better than others, but if you know what you're doing to any extent and give a ****, you can get a decent education at plenty of schools. Obviously, if you go into it with the attitude of Asher Roth and the rest of this generation, you're not going to care about the "pointless bull****" your philosophy prof. is making you read.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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On another note, any degree that can be replaced with less than 2 months of on the job training should be abolished.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard the Lionheart View Post
I can't wait for other people to respond, so I'll begin my commentary now:

*If the west was not already dead (it probably was), this video officially finishes it off. We are officially living in a meaningless world.

*There are way too many people in college. We need an infusion of trade-schools and more high schoolers going straight into the work force, where they will still be able to play beer pong, except they will get to be in a nicer appartment and not have to drop one-hundred thousand dollars.

*I've never been a censorship guy, but our media/ pop culture is pure poison. I've gotten to the point where I would love to just see a U.S. administration completely ban television. Television is the biggest limitation on independent (or free) thought in the world today.

*Uh, when it comes to condom, never put two on...
There is still hope at some schools. When I went down to Stanford and U. of Chicago this year, there wasn't a party/shallow attitude. I know that CMU is the same way.

But what are you going to do? TV is garbage, but it has more to do with the culture. You're not going to change it.

Like the W.B. Yeats poem (ironically about drinking), I look at you and I sigh. Not much more you can do. The only thing you can really do is seclude yourself, but that certainly takes a toll.

Idk... there's no way to stop it.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:58 PM   #7
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But what are you going to do? TV is garbage, but it has more to do with the culture. You're not going to change it.

Idk... there's no way to stop it.
I probably agree with your conclusion that there's no way to stop it, but the relationship between a culture and its media is cyclical in my opinion. Yes, it is telling about our culture that the stuff the media puts out attracts viewers, but you can't tell me that television (which most Americans watch up to 8 hrs a day) doesn't shape minds, especially when you consider what people used to do during those 8 hrs, reading, communicating with human beings in their community, finding creative ways to have fun. I just look at the things the media celebrates (wealth, power, sex, consumerism) and then look at the attitude of the typical attitude of a young person today. Speaking for myself, I know the things that I have read and even certain well-done films I have watched have had some influence in shaping the person I am. It's definitely not all the fault of the media, but if there was no television today I think the attitude and character of the typical person in our country would be drastically improved.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
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Jesse Ventura wrote about the state of the television media in his last book and blamed it on CBS' 60 Minutes. Prior to that, he said the news was something that every network offered but was never a revenue generator for the station. It was simply a service they tried to provide to the best of their ability. When 60 Minutes came on the air and became (one of?) the most watched programs on CBS, networks learned that fabricated news centered around politics mixed with the weekly or daily gossip and entertainment fluff can draw ratings, leading to a ton of advertising dollars.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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SkOoL bLoWs
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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SkOoL bLoWs
Is that how kids write these days? I wouldn't be surprised with the proliferation of texting and IM. Back in my day, I kid you not, we didn't text. ld:
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Richard the Lionheart View Post
*There are way too many people in college. We need an infusion of trade-schools and more high schoolers going straight into the work force, where they will still be able to play beer pong, except they will get to be in a nicer appartment and not have to drop one-hundred thousand dollars.
I can agree with you here, and it is happening, mostly because of the economy. Trade schools and community colleges are booming right now. Text book sales at trade schools and community colleges are on the rise. I think the average university or college increases enrollment by 1-2% per year. Trade and tech schools are increasing by more than 10%.

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*I've never been a censorship guy, but our media/ pop culture is pure poison. I've gotten to the point where I would love to just see a U.S. administration completely ban television. Television is the biggest limitation on independent (or free) thought in the world today.
I don't know man, isn't this (as most issues are) a parenting issue? I mean, if you have children and they only watch National Geographic, is TV a problem?

Sure, there is a bunch of garbage on TV. But it's also entertainment. If buck wants to watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County" for a good laugh, shouldn't he be able to?

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:lol:

Well said.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #12
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I can agree with you here, and it is happening, mostly because of the economy. Trade schools and community colleges are booming right now. Text book sales at trade schools and community colleges are on the rise. I think the average university or college increases enrollment by 1-2% per year. Trade and tech schools are increasing by more than 10%.
3 Problems:

1. The gap is still huge. Way more kids go to college than go to trade schools. Throw out community colleges. It's only a matter of a few years before Yale will be the equivalent of a community college if it isn't there now.

2. By the time there even approaches an ample supply of skilled labor to sustain American businesses those jobs will ALL be overseas. Hell, most of them are there now because employers have been unable to find replacements for retiring workers (us old folks) because those people actually knew how to do something. We are basically going to be educating and training people who will be used to continue China's massive growth. Not a big deal since China will own us all in a few years but just saying.

3. Federal funding for trade schools is completely out of balance in comparison to traditional academic institutions and the cost is too high. I understand that it's higher because you actually have to learn on machines but financial aid for said schools pales in comparison to state universities. This has been obvious for 30 years now with the collapse of manufacturing and to some extent - local agricultural. You make everyone go to college where they learn nothing of merit/have no skills, inherent a decent debt and then they go shuffle papers for 40 years because without skill and that debt...they can't quit/do something else.

That's what college has become: a ticket for the poor to HAVE A CHANCE at the middle class. A ticket for the middle class to maintain their class. And a ticket for the rich to continue their draconian rule over everyone. Don't get me wrong, it has always been this way to SOME extent but never before in the history of this society has it been so transparent, unapologetic and immoral.

And without more job diversity, it will only get worse as everyone must bow down to the almighty institution of college...where as my old college professor put it...logical folks, those with work ethic and independent thinkers go to die.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:34 PM   #13
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I don't know man, isn't this (as most issues are) a parenting issue? I mean, if you have children and they only watch National Geographic, is TV a problem?
Absolutely it's a problem, especially if they are watching it eight hours a day. While some programming obviously is better than others, and some National Geographic in extreme moderation may even be enlightening, it would be better if my kids were reading a book (a much more active form of education, rather than sitting and having information thrown at you while your brain is on flat-line), or even playing outside. I'd much rather my kid was outside learning about bugs and trees and flowers first-hand, where he can develop a real love and passion for those things, and hell, maybe even join a club or society like the Boy Scouts where he can learn about those things further (organizations like those are all on the decline because of television and "home entertainment"). Aside from the fact that we are creating isolated people who can't think for themselves, we are making a much less sociable and more dreary world in the process.

Then again, I don't have kids, so who am I? I'm sure its very tempting to just set them in front of the tube and let Elmo babysit them.

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Sure, there is a bunch of garbage on TV. But it's also entertainment. If buck wants to watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County" for a good laugh, shouldn't he be able to?
I get what you're saying, and I probably still agree with you at the end of the day that the government can't really do anything about this, but more and more arguments like this are starting to sound like "If my kid wants to eat nothing but cookies all day why shouldn't he have the right to?" We're obsessed with this notion of rights, which is good in a way, but in obsessing over them we are neglecting all sense of duty and responsibility. And if you're going to say that my analogy is weak because it deals with children, I would answer by saying that I trust the judgment of the average child MUCH more than any adult who wants to watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County".
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:14 PM   #14
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Absolutely it's a problem, especially if they are watching it eight hours a day. While some programming obviously is better than others, and some National Geographic in extreme moderation may even be enlightening, it would be better if my kids were reading a book (a much more active form of education, rather than sitting and having information thrown at you while your brain is on flat-line), or even playing outside. I'd much rather my kid was outside learning about bugs and trees and flowers first-hand, where he can develop a real love and passion for those things, and hell, maybe even join a club or society like the Boy Scouts where he can learn about those things further (organizations like those are all on the decline because of television and "home entertainment"). Aside from the fact that we are creating isolated people who can't think for themselves, we are making a much less sociable and more dreary world in the process.

Then again, I don't have kids, so who am I? I'm sure its very tempting to just set them in front of the tube and let Elmo babysit them.
I agree with your general point here, but I still see a huge problem with your argument.

I know this may be the exception, but what if a kid reads 2 hours a day, joins clubs, plays outside, AND enjoys a half hour of cartoons (or whatever) a day?

Yes - TV, internet and video games have taken the place of more valuable activities. But that's not to say there is no value in those things.

For instance, there are millions of bugs that are much more effectively presented on TV or the internet than any book could begin to present.

Quote:
I get what you're saying, and I probably still agree with you at the end of the day that the government can't really do anything about this, but more and more arguments like this are starting to sound like "If my kid wants to eat nothing but cookies all day why shouldn't he have the right to?" We're obsessed with this notion of rights, which is good in a way, but in obsessing over them we are neglecting all sense of duty and responsibility. And if you're going to say that my analogy is weak because it deals with children, I would answer by saying that I trust the judgment of the average child MUCH more than any adult who wants to watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County".
Who knows why someone is watching any show? Yeah, "The Real Hosewives of Orange County" is a joke. There is no real value in the show. But if someone gets a good laugh from watching it, where's the harm?

I agree with your point about the obsession with "rights." But that's not really the point I'm making. I'm saying that different people find different value in different things. A show might be a gross representation of the materialistic nature of American society to you, but to someone else it might be a way to forget about their troubles and giggle for a half hour.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:35 AM   #15
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Who's going to be the thought police: the free market or the government?
Lose, Lose.
And reading isn't necessarily good in and of itself. Tori Spelling (I have no idea what she is famous from) and Paris Hilton have books. Plus, most paperback novels are garbage, along with most best-sellers. If you're going to read that, you might as well just turn on the TV.
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