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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More doubts about college

The Sports Guy reaches a conclusion that is being heard more and more of late:

All I can say about college is that anybody who thinks it's money well-spent is insane. If you have a kid who's a senior and you think it's a great idea to be dropping 50k a year and it's going to be this valuable thing for them, lower your expectations. Your kids are going to go to college, they're going to look for every possible way to cut corners, they're going to be out having a good time and you're not going to get your money's worth.... It really doesn't matter where you go, it matters what you do, the people you meet, and the experiences that you have. The difference between you getting a B+ and a B- on a test, it really doesn't matter. Nobody's going to care when you get out of college.

One of the interesting things I've noticed is the way those who have a nominally impressive degree from a name school but have done absolutely nothing in the real world - and sometimes have never even worked in it - tend to cling to their alma mater as a primary source of their identity. You'd probably have to attend a Meth Anonymous meeting to find a bigger bunch of losers than you'd encounter at the average Big Name College Club in a city that isn't New York or London.

You may recall that I recently spent a few days at a technology investment conference. I met a number of impressive men there, including Blackblade. Some are massively wealthy, others are more accomplished in the technological arena. They hailed from everywhere, China, India, Sweden, Switzerland and even Israel. Some ran one-man shops; my usual bar-side companion has over three thousand employees.

And I have absolutely no idea where any of them attended university. Or even if they did; two of the most successful men I know in the game industry don't have college degrees.


UPDATE - Just in case you aren't buying the notion that colleges are in the con game:

"Harvard has a tradition of having a Latin oration at graduation; the speech is delivered in Latin. The amusing thing is that a translation of the speech is left on all the students' seats. The students follow along, and cheer (when the speech says something positive about Harvard) or boo (when the speech references Yale). The parents are sitting in the back (with no translation), and listening to a speech in Latin with no idea what the speaker is saying. But the parents see their kids listening and following the Latin speech and are likely thinking, 'It cost me a quarter of a million bucks, but check this out.'"

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