College is a huge scam

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by SLTF, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Well, in the case of medicine, "passing an exam" doesnt mean jack sh!t to me. I mean it does to a certain extent, but in the college environment (in this case medicine) real life circustances are dealt with (residencies) studying of cadavers) that cant be taught in a text book. I want hands on experience dealing with bodies and the students under pressure not to make mistakes. And I want the inevitable mistakes to be made in a environment where it doesnt affect a live person.

    Maybe I missed your point, or missed something earlier in the thread whch touched in this. I admit I skimmed through it.

    I do believe that in general college courses teach very little in what you end up using in real life, but I believe that the life skills you learn (teamwork, meeting and learning to deal with different personalities in a professional environment in a respectful manner, is useful. As is learning to budget your time, and prioritize issues.

    Not that you cant learn these things on your own without college, but I think it helps speed up the average persons learning curve in doing so.
     
  2. SLTF

    SLTF New Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    I agree, not everything can be learned from a textbook. I think the point I'm trying to make applies more to lawyers than to doctors, because alternative medicine (dubious as it may be) at least exists. In most states, you need to have a degree from an ABA-accredited law school AND pass the bar in order to practice law. In other words, the government has granted the ABA (which is not accountable to the public) an unacceptably high level of control in deciding who can practice law. I think everyone should have the right to practice law as long as they can follow proper procedure in court. Or, if some added requirement is insisted upon, just passing the bar should be enough. Why the degree requirement?
     
  3. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, but along with that degree, there is alot of practicing and mock trials thatgo on to prep a future lawyer. This is also true in business.

    While textbook business mgt. info is probably useless when it deals with theory, etc. College projects that encourage people to work with each other and set goals are invaluable.

    I have always thought in general college is good b/c it forces people to exist outside their usual comfort zone and although sometimes it is confrotational when you deal with idiots, it is good b/c it preps you for the real world and how to handle bad situatiosn when they arise.

    Hell, I'd argue running/operating a frat is a great leadership expereince. Hell, ordering supplies, managing attendees, keeping the frat out of trouble while still having a good time, getting the hotties to show up, etc. Ok...... I am reaching a bit here, but you get my point.
     
  4. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    Ok...can you explain to me how I can master everything a CIS student would without going to school or using text books?
     
  5. SLTF

    SLTF New Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    Why can't you use textbooks without going to college?
     
  6. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Member+

    May 12, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hey, you know, come to think of it, after about 4th grade you should be able to read fluently enough to glean information from a text book. Why go to school at all after that?
     
  7. Ombak

    Ombak Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 1999
    Irvine, CA
    Club:
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    Hmmm, I have no one to advise me on what to pick...

    so... maybe I'll pick this:

    [​IMG]

    or this:

    [​IMG]

    And work from there...
     
  8. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, every once in a while some state or another will try to pass a law to this effect. I remember being required to vote on whether judges should have to be lawyers. After all, it's just glorified common sense, right? Well I don't know about you, but given a choice I'm going to pick the judge or lawyer who's been subjected to rigorous, competitive and exhaustive training at the hands of experts over the used car salesman who's studied for a single exam every single time.

    As for the rest, I'm not a lawyer, but I'll take a shot a responding to your basic point:

    Your suggestion that requiring a degree is an arbitrary requirement made unnecessary by the presence of the bar exam misconstrues the respective natures of both an education in law and the bar exam. The bar exam does not comprise the essence of being a lawyer, no more than any single test of a finite body of information can accurately gauge the skills and expertise necessary to practice any complex profession. It's the education that creates a lawyer. The bar is just the standardized quality control mechanism for ensuring that people who are--by virtue of their success in a course of study--already lawyers have taken the additional step of accumulating the minimum of specific knowledge needed to practice law in a given state.

    And as for who should be allowed to decide what makes a good law school, if not lawyers, then who should do it and what standards should they use?
     
  9. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A bit off topic, but re: scams:

    If the legal profession was required to take the equivalent of an Hippocratic Oath, I wonder what the upshot would be...

    Don't get us started on the legal profession, the most sinister monopoly ever conceived by the most conniving minds.

    All lawyers are not bad people, and some lawyers are very good people, but here's the rub: being able to practice law is controlled by lawyers. It's an old boys club at its root. The educational excellence of one law school varies so widely from another, you cannot begin to suggest that graduating from law school means something quantifiable. Passing the bar exam is the ticket, really, to the big dance: without that you don't get to play.

    In the final analysis, studying law is very akin to learning an arcane foreign language. Only those who speak the language may ( have permission to ) communicate with one another. It is true that one can represent oneself at trial, but there is very little latitude given ( as it should be ). But having that right isn't the same as being in the club. In fact, acting in pro per constitutes a real threat to the sanctity of the profession, and, pragmatically, it must be discouraged.
     
  10. SLTF

    SLTF New Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    Please. If you have no one to advise you on what to pick, that's your problem. It has nothing to do with college. Even today it is laughably easy to find out what textbooks are used in almost any school, if you require such guidance. And how do you choose what "regular" books you read? Do you just pick them randomly, or is there some information, gained through word-of-mouth perhaps, that you use?

    Anybody can decide what makes a good law school using whatever standards they wish. I am saying that anyone who is able to follow procedure should have the right to practice law, however poorly.

    Who should decide what makes a useful job that people should be allowed to have, and what standards should they use? No one, because everyone should have the right to choose their own profession. The issue here is freedom, not quality control. If most lawyers without degrees were to be shunned, then that's the way it's supposed to work.

    And by the way, California, for example, has an exclusionary bar.

    Exactly.
     
  11. MrBojanglesASillyCat

    May 12, 2006
    Houston
    College is not a huge scam. A degree says that u managed urself well in order to complete a bunch of BS.
    If ur not willing to do this and ur homework, why would any company want to hire you?

    I suggest u join the military, theyll teach u the value of bs
     
  12. Metros Striker10

    Metros Striker10 New Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Planet Earth
    Yep...I'm sure IBM or Microsoft are more than willing to hire someone with absolutely no proof that they have mastered everything a CIS or CS student should know.

    I learned HTML on my own and know a little about Photoshop, but it doesn't mean that I should be hired to work for a Fortune 500 company.
     
  13. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Big City Blinking
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You realize, don't you, that lawyers have canons of ethics that have to be followed and failure to do so can result in various penalties including disbarment. Pick up a copy of your local bar journal one month and then go to the back pages to read all the notices of disciplinary actions taken against lawyers.

    You've lost me on how any of this makes the legal profession a monopoly....especially since you seem to concede that where one goes to school isn't nearly as important as passing the bar. Are you suggesting that the bar is a monopolistic barrier? Would you prefer that lawyers not have to pass some sort of proficiency test before they are able to practice? Do you feel the same way about doctors and their boards?

    Hmmm, I sort of see what you mean about comparing law to learning an arcane foreign language....but I don't think that's nearly as true now as it may once have been. Most law schools focus on the reading and analysis of case law and statutory law, as well as overall critical thinking. Learning ancient writs and means of pleading might still be taught in legal history courses....or by really cruel and pedantic property professors.....but not really anywhere else.

    As far as one acting pro se (which is...I assume what you meant) being a threat to the legal profession. No attorneys that I know lose any sleep at night worrying about it. People hire professionals for all sorts of services. To discount that they should do so for legal problems (if that's what you're advocating...as you've not made it clear) is just as silly as saying one should self diagnose their own illnesses.
     
  14. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  15. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How does the fact that it's easy to find what textbooks are being used in colleges support your contention that colleges are a scam? You're still depending on colleges as the standard for determining essential or even pertinent reading on a given subject, which is tacit recognition of the fact that the teachers and curricula in those schools systematically do a better job of educating than whatever (thus far unexplained) alternative you're proposing.

    Furthermore, your argument as to how one might choose books for entertainment is beside the point, as that depends on a merely subjective measure ("I like it vs. I don't like it") whereas the kind of education you're talking about has to rely on something far more complex and conventional. Using the example you've chosen--the law--I'd argue that the difference there is that the value attaching to whatever information you gather and deploy, whatever knowledge you enact, depends on a social exchange that brings a range of evaluative measures (other peoples', including opponents, more or less informed opinions, historical precedents, codifed practices, etc.) to bear. History demonstrates that scholarly traditions bred and sustained in colleges and universities systematically produce minds that are much better at engaging in these kinds of social exhanges than self-education, the (very) rare exceptional individuals notwithstanding.

    If you want to argue that knowledge is overly commodified then you're going to have to engage that issue at a much higher level than you've come close to so far.

    Unless I'm mistaken, individuals have the right to represent themselves in court (any lawyers out there correct me if I'm wrong). However, arguing that anybody should have the right to accept money from clients as an expert in the law, regardless of training, is a categorically different position, and one you haven't provided with anything like an adequate defense. The potential harm done by legal charlatans may not be as immediate or as easily understood as that done by medical charlatans, but it's just as real. Caveat emptor isn't remotely good enough as protection against the damage that can come from incompetent representation in criminal or civil courts.

    Oh, yeah: you haven't answered my initial point here.
     
  16. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Big City Blinking
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  17. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Oztraya
    Um, that's because the only people who are truly capable of assessing someone's proficiency in a given area of specialisation are people who are themselves experts in that area. Which, in the case of law, means lawyers. Just as in the case of medicine it is doctors, and the case of engineering is engineers, and so on and so forth.

    The alternative is either having inexpert people determining people's proficiency in an expert area (more than slightly ridiculous) or having no sort of quality control mechanism whatsoever (more than slightly dangerous).
     
  18. StrikerCW

    StrikerCW Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Perth, WA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd like to see someone take up a few Calculus and higher math, Structures, Soils, etc.. books and read them and be able to take all that in in time to be able to sufficently do what an engineer may. If you can do that, you are one fo the smartest, most motivated men alive and I wish you luck for your college career because.

    a) you are going to be going to any school you want for free
    b) you are going to excell in any profession you choose therein and will quickly move to the top of the ranks in the work in said profession.
     
  19. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    -=-
    whether anyone says it or not -- and that is certainly debatable -- is irrelevant. the term isn't wrong.

    i grew up in the Midwest, and i was taught to say, "How do you do?" when introduced to another person. "How do you do?" is a formalism, probably not in use much, except in cultures where formalisms haven't died out.

    so, it's possible that a person wouldn't have encountered the question, and it's possible, since it's not really typical English, that it would not be immediately understood. if so, you might be correct in saying that it is "wrong" to use a such a term that has fallen out of use.

    in the case of in propria persona, this is standard Latin, and it means exactly what it meant 2000 years ago, or 50 years ago. criticizing my usage, especially in light of the fact that your dictionary citation gives in propria persona as another equivalent term, is smug pedantry.

    back to other points:

    i proffered the view that practicing law is an old boys club because lawyers control entry. there was the counter argument to the effect that there is no preferable way to vet potential lawyers: we need experts in the field to develop standards for entry into the profession. i wasn't arguing for changing the method by which lawyers are approved to practice. i was only commenting on the fact that it is a fraternity of sorts.

    and the fact that lawyers don't lose sleep over the prospect of potential clients acting pro se is also irrelevant to the premise that a populist revolt toward the legal profession wherein private persons began to act pro se would be met with defiance by the legal profession, at least in my opinion.

    but there is another issue here, and that is the fact that the law is more and more difficult for the layman to parse out. it is less and less a matter of common sense and clear common interest, because if it were so, then we would have less and less need for lawyers. the law is intentionally arcane.

    it isn't at all like medicine, where understandings of anatomy and physiology are intrinsically complex, not made more and more complex on purpose.

    on the other hand, as medical procedures become more and more a matter of technological expertise, such as using equipment that has been designed to make easier the work of a surgeon, the fact is that it takes a person trained in the specialized use of such equipment to utilize it. a surgeon of 100 years ago would not be able to walk into a surgery today and function with the current array of paraphernalia.

    i am not suggesting this as a bad turn. i'm only making a distinction between the two disciplines, law and medicine.
     
  20. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Big City Blinking
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Please point out where I said the term was "wrong." I said that the term isn't commonly used anymore....which is why in your first post I asked if you meant "pro se." I've been practicing law for over 10 years and can't recall hearing "propria persona"

    Smug pedantry, indeed.


    You called it a monopoly.....in fact....far from calling it a "fraternity of sorts" you called it "the most sinister monoply ever conceived by the most conniving of minds"...... which to most people implies (at the very least) that there is some "illegal" impediment to those wanting to enter the practice. Or did I read too much into "most sinister monopoly" ??

    :rolleyes:

    ......so what exactly were you arguing for?

    People act pro se all the time....it's not uncommon. The fact that they don't do it more often is because most people understand that it's best to have a professional, ie., someone who's been trained/educated in a particular profession, helping them. But out of curiousity.... what exactly would this "defiance" entail...do tell?

    As I said before, pleading requirements and other legal procedures are becoming more and more lenient and easier to understand. Please provide an example of how the law is intentionally arcane.
     
  21. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard
    I would love to tell some of my clients to draft their own damn offering circulars and tax opinions. The "unrated debt" market will go through the roof!

    No, the law is unintentionally arcane. Its drafted by people who cannot forsee all consequences of laws, which then require other laws leading to a patchwork that seems incoherent. It is not meant to be so.
    Its not hard to become a lawyer - the first time taker passage rate for the NY bar (reputedly the second hardest after California) is 80%. Its not difficult - just time consuming. The problem is that law is complicated because life is complicated.

    Of course it is similar to medicine. Knowing how to do legal analysis is not something you can pick up in 15 minutes. Those who represent themselves have fools for clients.

    A lawyer 100 years ago would need to learn a lot before practicing today, especially if doing any corporate work. Its hard to explain just how vastly different the world of 144A 10b-5s for synthetic CDOs is from the creation of trusts in 1900. It would take that person a lot of time to function properly.

    They are different, but not nearly as different as you claim.
     
  22. SLTF

    SLTF New Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    The post you quoted was in response to someone else's tangential post. It wasn't meant to directly support my original contention.
     
  23. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nevertheless, your argument about college textbooks undercuts your original contention because it carries the implicit recognition that colleges provide the best educational opportunities. You simply have not done a good job of making your case.
     
  24. HuntKop

    HuntKop Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 15, 2002
    Sulla mia Vespa
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Jumping in this discussion late, but thought I'd add a few thoughts, being a disgruntled college (and graduate school) graduate, and current PhD candidate.

    Someone earlier posted that attending a school with a large alumni network was imperative for finding job opportunities, and I would concur. I would also add that your access to this network is also an important consideration. For example, if your UNIVERSITY has a great alumni network, but its mostly in a department or school that you have no contact with, then it does you no good.

    Also, it can be very frustrating to be over-educated. For example, if you have a Bachelor's degree (or even a graduate degree), and all of the associated debt, and find yourself in a job with people who have no degree, and thus no debt, and your prospects for advancement are no better than theirs (because, remember, you're over-educated), it is quite easy to start questioning your decision to attend college and the program you selected.

    College is, in all practicality, necessary for many professions (Law, Engineering, Medicine, IT, etc) but for other areas, it can be a HUGE frustration. Think long and hard before attending college if you are not interested in a particular profession - the negatives can most definitely outweigh the advantages.
     
  25. Sempuukyaku

    Sempuukyaku Member+

    Apr 30, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well...I just finished my my BA in History 3 months ago, and I'm getting looks and interviews for jobs that I NEVER would've had even a remote chance of had I not had a degree. And I'm not talking about history-related work, as that's not what I'm interested in. I'm talking about corporate America opportunities in marketing, sales, and product launches. Try getting a job at a top corporation without a college degree and see what happens....you'll get a very nice "no thank you" and then the sounds of snickers as you walk out the door.

    Furthermore, even in corporate America nowadays if you want to make a serious run at top level and executive management, you'll HAVE to have an MBA, which I plan on starting in about 2-3 years.
     

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