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Ha. - MisterPengo — LiveJournal
August 17th, 2008
06:15 pm
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Ha.

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From:misterpengo
Date:August 18th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
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You: It boils down to "why go to university?" If it is to pick up a specific set of skills (i.e. I already have a field and major selected), sure, a degree is worthwhile.

Me, paraphrasing you: If you want a specific set of skills, get a degree.

Lighten up, Francis. You're getting too snippy, too fast over what is a pretty meager topic.
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From:sensei256
Date:August 18th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
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I want to guess which Francis it is, but I can't think of anything in Aqua Teen named that.

That said, the difference between "is worthwhile" and the imperative verb is more than trivial, but that's an issue with semantics expressed in a comment box.

And relax. Just because I disagree with you strongly doesn't mean much. You're the one who claims to like to bring up controversial topics.
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From:misterpengo
Date:August 18th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
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And my analogy was brought up to point out that just because a given course of action technically satisfies a given desire, it doesn't automatically make it reasonable or wise for said course to...

Look at this pedantic shit. Online arguments haven't changed since the first fucker wrote angrily at someone else on fidonet. I tell you to lighten up after you snap about how my analogy is stupid and 'spattering random arguments' when I politely explained why I disagree with you, your response is to tell me to relax in turn because the person who's accused of being worked up is docked points in the imaginary ruleset of internet arguments. You're down to bickering over imperative verbs with me now and their relative force in combox conversation.

Here, I'll make this easy: You're acting like Hitler. Oh shit, I Godwin'd, ergo I'm wrong.
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From:sensei256
Date:August 18th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
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I decline the gambit. :) Accordingly, I'll switch back to matters of substance.

I still say that, for some, depending on their goals, a degree is worthwhile. Depending on their situation (regular degree, science degree, skilled trades, etc.) this may or may not be the best choice. There is the side debate of whether it is right that certain fields require degrees. Either way, I hesitate to break down the line-by-line but it's easy for me to get lost in there.

To rephrase with proper respect, I have not engaged in a straight debate on "self-study" mostly because there I don't have any proper definitions or a framed debated. Does self-study include X or Y or Z? Are those compatible with other ways of learning? Etc. This is probably worth another blog topic by itself.

There's no way we'll ever come to a perfect consensus in online form. Then again, if we were writing 3000 word essays, I don't think we'll get there either. So, it's not really a matter of winning or losing, but making points until we get bored and play more Strong Bad.
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From:misterpengo
Date:August 18th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
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It's not consensus, it's just courtesy. If I wanted to get in the typical snide and insult-laced e-argument, I'd head to SA and let out 'Richard Dawkins is just compensating because a vicar jacked him off when he was a kid'. I'd be racking up the faggots per second at quite a clip.

My take on the university system covers more bases than value per dollar, naturally. But I'll be outright and bracketed and say that I favor developing certification systems such that a man can get a job doing sensitive hi-tech work with no degree to his name. If such a system could provide confidence that a given hire has the expertise needed and he has the initiative to self-study his way to that point, fantastic. That's something to encourage, not discourage. Obviously that goes for less specialized work as well.

I'm in favor of it for more tertiary reasons as well. Just want to learn about history, or biology? If you can teach yourself by reading books and studying on your own, so much the better. But that, I think, leads into the real contentious area.
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From:sensei256
Date:August 18th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
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I apologize for being less than courteous. I should lose major points for heading for semantics. I do get annoyed with the tactic of "misrepresent your opponent, attack the misrepresentation". On another reading, this wasn't your approach. Accordingly, I withdraw my remarks.

To substance:

Certifications for high-tech stuff are a bit hit-and-miss.

If the goal is "to get a job", the degrees or certs are solely to get you into the interview. Whether or not this is right or wrong is a huge question.

If the goal is "prove you learned stuff", then it's very variable. There's many stories of people who have interviewed candidates with degrees or certs that didn't meaningfully know the material. They're both useful to companies as it has a fairly degree of correlation, but no one claims that either is a perfect match.
[The question of correlation when it comes to non-science degrees is a fun debate]

If the goal is "just learn stuff because I want to", then there are many ways to do this, depending on the level of effort. Even today, I don't think there are any inherent barriers to this.


Currently, with high-tech stuff, there are a huge array of certifications. I can go out right now and pay for a 1 week training course on Java, and take the official Java test and get certified. Whether the added certification has any value above "gets you a first round callback for a phone interview" is unclear.

Certifications are in that weird stage where I perceive them as "almost the same but not quite".
More tangibly, there is some difference in terms of "G.E.D" vs. "graduated from high school",
at least in terms of side knowledge or social knowledge. Does that same perception factor in between "degree" and "buncha certs"? Is that why college is worth so much? I dunno.
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From:misterpengo
Date:August 18th, 2008 07:28 am (UTC)
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Re: courtesy, no problem. I've just grown tired of standard internet arguments, and besides, the only people posting here should be people who I can be mutually respectful with. And I'm sure that's the case between us.

I'm sure an interview will always be necessary for any hire, regardless of what they bring to the table as far as certs or track records go. Not just to verify their capabilities, but their personality too. Some people just aren't a fit for a certain company and the like, I'm sure.

As for learning things solo, I think there's a cultural/social barrier. People are stuck in this mode where, if you want to learn some ('Truly' learn it), you pay a university for the privilege. And I'm not sure how much of this is due to a teacher really helping, and how much is due to people associating learning with 'something you need a teacher for'.

And I'm not saying certs are where they need to be, or where I'd like them to be. I offered the concept up as a goal, a direction I hope the world moves in. Yes, this is only a small part of my problem with universities and school systems in general, but it's a pertinent one.

As for side/social knowledge, that's where things get dicey for me. I don't buy people's concerns are always 'Well, your child should know how to interact with peers', because there's other and likely better ways to handle that. That's a whole other topic though, and one where my suspicions start to ramp up.
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