College is stupid

For most people who attend, anyhow:

There is no magic point at which a genuine college-level education becomes an option, but anything below an IQ of 110 is problematic. If you want to do well, you should have an IQ of 115 or higher. Put another way, it makes sense for only about 15% of the population, 25% if one stretches it, to get a college education. And yet more than 45% of recent high school graduates enroll in four-year colleges. Adjust that percentage to account for high-school dropouts, and more than 40% of all persons in their late teens are trying to go to a four-year college–enough people to absorb everyone down through an IQ of 104.

No data that I have been able to find tell us what proportion of those students really want four years of college-level courses, but it is safe to say that few people who are intellectually unqualified yearn for the experience, any more than someone who is athletically unqualified for a college varsity wants to have his shortcomings exposed at practice every day. They are in college to improve their chances of making a good living. What they really need is vocational training. But nobody will say so, because “vocational training” is second class. “College” is first class.

I’d estimate that a college education is wasted on 85 percent of the recipients, and is downright destructive for at least a third of those. If you factor in the cost of an education combined with the opportunity cost of not entering the workforce full-time for four to six years, there’s a lot of people who are way behind the eight-ball upon graduation.

Many people – most of whom don’t belong in college – don’t seem to understand that elites exist for a reason. That which is in low supply will always be in great demand, whether it is intelligence, beauty or athletic ability. Handing out pieces of paper and expecting it to serve as a substitute isn’t going to work, it isn’t going to make any difference at all.

Fred abuses the arts

And rightly so, I say:

The arts, I say, constitute a brazen fraud—the arts at least as peddled in boutiques, sanctified in galleries, and rattled-on about by professors who ought to find productive jobs.

To begin with, the poseurs who have awarded themselves charge of the arts wouldn’t recognize an art if they found it swimming in their soup. It is true. Start with literature. I have read several times over the years of wags who copied out three chapters of some classic—The Reavers, or Moby Dick (“Call me Fishmeal.”)—and sent them, perhaps with the names changed, to publishing houses in New York. Invariably they were rejected. The professional judges of manuscripts recognized neither the books nor good writing. You would get better results having literature judged by a committee of taxi-drivers.

Trust me, I’m not operating under any misapprehensions about my literary abilities. But more importantly, I’m no longer operating under the misapprehension that most publishers have any clue about a) what is good writing or b) what will sell.

The beauty of living in an age when quality self-publishing is affordable is that the gatekeepers are largely irrelevant now. Oh, you’re not likely to find fame and fortune selling 50 books at a time, but then, it’s not as if the odds were in your favor doing things the conventional way anyhow.

Kill Ben Shapiro

The moral case for killing the Littlest Chickenhawk:

In deciding how to treat our [columnists], then, we must answer one question: Do the benefits of [murder] in this case outweigh the harms?

In the case of [columnists], however, the answer is that [murder] will often serve a useful purpose. The [Iraqi occupation] scenario, wherein [murder] is necessary to save [American] lives from imminent destruction, is an obvious example. But it is not the only example. If a [columnist writes] about [invading other countries], if he [advocates] future attacks, if he [writes favorably] about [actions that will cost American lives], we should [kill] him.

The first duty of Western civilization is self-preservation. By the Littlest Chickenhawk’s own logic, if we could save American lives by killing those columnists who advocate actions that could lead to the loss of those lives, we are bound to kill them if we wish to preserve Western civilization.

Naturally, it would only be fair to start with him. Better not behead him, though, he strikes me as one who shows every sign of being able to survive without need for a functioning brain.

Torture is a historical aspect of barbarism. Shapiro is advocating the destruction of precisely that which he supposedly wants to save. America can survive ten dirty bombs without serious trouble, in fact, the odds of its long-term survival would increase dramatically without New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. But it will not survive the varied and pernicious measures being put in place that are nominally supposed to prevent the possibility of such attacks.