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Saturday, June 08, 2019

Less intelligent, but more ignorant

The Great Enstupidation of the United States proceeds apace:
When Yale recently decided to relocate three-quarters of the books in its undergraduate library to create more study space, the students loudly protested. In a passionate op-ed in the Yale Daily News, one student accused the university librarian—who oversees 15 million books in Yale’s extensive library system—of failing to “understand the crucial relationship of books to education.” A sit-in, or rather a “browse-in,” was held in Bass Library to show the administration how college students still value the presence of books. Eventually the number of volumes that would remain was expanded, at the cost of reducing the number of proposed additional seats in a busy central location.

Little-noticed in this minor skirmish over the future of the library was a much bigger story about the changing relationship between college students and books. Buried in a slide deck about circulation statistics from Yale’s library was an unsettling fact: There has been a 64 percent decline in the number of books checked out by undergraduates from Bass Library over the past decade.

Yale’s experience is not at all unique—indeed, it is commonplace. University libraries across the country, and around the world, are seeing steady, and in many cases precipitous, declines in the use of the books on their shelves. The University of Virginia, one of our great public universities and an institution that openly shares detailed library circulation stats from the prior 20 years, is a good case study. College students at UVA checked out 238,000 books during the school year a decade ago; last year, that number had shrunk to just 60,000.
One can make a very good case for outlawing so-called "higher education" now, as the Christian university created to educate young men has now devolved into a worse-than-useless factory for transforming young women into barren SJW debt-slaves.

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66 Comments:

Blogger JC Skinner June 08, 2019 9:55 AM  

Digitisation might account for part of this decline. Most texts I read in digital form now. But I think most university libraries are simply pickup and hangout spots for undergraduates, or sleeping space for precariously employed academics.

Blogger VD June 08, 2019 10:00 AM  

Digitisation might account for part of this decline.

Not much. These "students" simply aren't reading many books in any form. And I suspect grade inflation has more to do with it, as the professors are assigning less and less material now.

Blogger Nostromo June 08, 2019 10:01 AM  

Last night, Tucker Carlson was mentioning the number of stupid people that the Ivy league schools were pumping out, and then go on to become prominent Democrats.

Blogger scipioafricanus June 08, 2019 10:01 AM  

Amen.

Blogger Dave June 08, 2019 10:09 AM  

People love the idea of books and book depositories.

https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/06/enchanting-libraries-by-photographer-thibaud-poirier/

https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2018/08/the-worlds-most-beautiful-libraries/

Blogger Gregory the Great June 08, 2019 10:09 AM  

2044 D-Day: all books must be digitalised to save the trees.
2049 HP-Day: the word God will be replaced by Imaginary Higher Power automztically in all books.

Blogger David The Good June 08, 2019 10:11 AM  

It is both a great time and a lousy time to be a writer.

Blogger Sheila4g June 08, 2019 10:38 AM  

I used to love wandering around my college library, finding all sorts of interesting and unexpected books in out of the way corners of the mezanine stacks (after first wandering through the card catalogue). And finding an open spot in the original reading room, with its wing chairs and enormous fireplace, was always a delight. Discovering the rare book room changed the trajectory of my life.

Now, I read only on my kindle or those books I order online. The local public libraries have become diverse community centers filled with vibrants playing computer games, and only the small "quiet room" for oldsters like me who remember when a library was for the literate. Not to mention the hijabbed helpers hired by the neoTexan librarians and all the Chinese language books and Spanish language videos.

The library. Yet another vestige of America that was, to be mourned along with the rest of what used to be my country.

Blogger pyrrhus June 08, 2019 10:40 AM  

I think the massive grade inflation since the Vietnam War and the decline in reading go hand in hand...When 3/4 of the majors in Education at Northwestern University have A averages, what incentive do they have to interrupt their social lives by digging deeper?

Blogger Tars Tarkas June 08, 2019 10:45 AM  

Are the libraries keeping track of e-books through surveys of the students? Such a precipitous drop must have at least some other contributing factors.

Nostromo wrote:Last night, Tucker Carlson was mentioning the number of stupid people that the Ivy league schools were pumping out, and then go on to become prominent Democrats.

But nobody is allowed to say that the diversity racket is playing a big role in this dumbing down of the universities.

Blogger pyrrhus June 08, 2019 10:47 AM  

But fundamentally, smart people are curious about the world, and read a lot, others not very much, and statistics indicate that there is a significant part of the American population that never reads a book...

Blogger pyrrhus June 08, 2019 10:54 AM  

@10 <But nobody is allowed to say that the diversity racket is playing a big role in this dumbing down of the universities.


Based on what I have heard from friends and kin, the reason that software "Boot Camps" have been so successful is that they are tough and demand competence across the board, while Computer Science courses at the University level have been dumbed down to the point of practical uselessness...

Blogger buzzardist June 08, 2019 10:59 AM  

If students are checking out fewer physical books because they are accessing more quality information online, then this explains the drop in library circulation, and it's not a problem.

My guess? It's actually a problem. Students may be accessing more information online and less from books, but it's low-quality and too easily obtained. Nobody has to read and digest. Set your ideology ahead of time. Treasure hunt to find whatever supports your point of view. Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V. Reword slightly to evade plagiarism detectors. Cut-and-past scholarship has become the norm. And that's not just among undergraduates.

There's more information out there than ever, but over 99 percent of it is garbage. Nobody wants to sift through trash heaps.

Blogger Aeroschmidt June 08, 2019 11:00 AM  

Even if the post literate decline wasn't in full swing there's no reason you can't get books in the mail subscription service like we do everything else from Amazon.

Blogger S1AL June 08, 2019 11:03 AM  

Yeah, and colleges bear a lot of blame for the decline in reading. Your can only force someone to read so much crap before he decides books are pointless.

High schools aren't any better, of course.

Blogger Fargoth June 08, 2019 11:03 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger LZ June 08, 2019 11:17 AM  

It's not digitization of books, in that students are reading on iPads, it's that they don't read books anymore because digital media replaced it. I went through mountains of books when writing a paper, cross-checking facts and getting different viewpoints. The drop off is alarming.

Blogger Uncle Maffoo June 08, 2019 11:19 AM  

VD wrote: And I suspect grade inflation has more to do with it, as the professors are assigning less and less material now.

Many of their students are sub-100-IQ diversity admits, and the universities' status absolutely depends on them not flunking out.

And even for the second-tier and lower institutions, they just want as many government loan financed customers as possible. So of course they'll have crap like "remedial algebra" if it means a few more credit hours worth of revenue. I mean, when I was in college in the early 2000s, I was astonished at the number of people who made me think, upon meeting them, "how did you end up here?"

Blogger Ransom Smith June 08, 2019 11:27 AM  

Purely a theory, but I would imagine at least some of the decline of library check outs has to do with modern textbooks.
Rather than needing significant material from outside the core curriculum , textbooks are the primary required study materials.

Blogger cecilhenry June 08, 2019 11:33 AM  

Less intelligent....

but more certain they already know what they need to know.


Blogger Doug Cranmer June 08, 2019 11:44 AM  

Uncle Maffoo wrote:And even for the second-tier and lower institutions, they just want as many government loan financed customers as possible.

Canada is entirely second and lower tier institutions with a handful of singular isolated individuals and groups. Foreign graduate and increasingly undergraduate students are a huge source of income.

But they are almost all third rate researchers who think because they can code they deserve high paid industry positions. The entitlement is astounding until you understand the cultures they've come from.

We have a big problem in industry here when they try to produce original IP to put into products and perhaps patent and license. The foreign Ph.D.'s will go into the existing literature, which they are at least familiar with, lift someone else's original work out and then wrap some code of their own around it. Then they try to present the whole thing as some accomplishment of their own.

You have to be there to believe the responses when you point out they didn't actually do any of the work. It's plagiarized. It's academic fraud and would be actual fraud if we tried to push this onto a customer as original IP.

You can always pick out these dingdongs when they start to go on about how practical we must be. They've zeroed in on the English word "practical" as a way to short circuit criticism. I've seen a few other rhetorical tricks like this to excuse incompetence and I'm sure the Chinese are taught about them before coming here. Fucking (((Chinese))).

Blogger Ska_Boss June 08, 2019 11:45 AM  

You don't need to read an economics book to know that when you flood the marketplace with college educated people, the value of being a college educated person goes down. I was perusing through some resumes for a receptionist position at the real estate office I work at and there was a shocking amount of people who had either a bachelor's or a master's in a completely unrelated field just trying to find entry-level work anywhere they could.

Blogger sammibandit June 08, 2019 11:45 AM  

This starts in public school with an emphasis on computer learning rather than with paper and pen. I worked for a place that sold paper and saw lots of studies, both corporate and government indicating that paper and pen is the best way to learn. It comes down to auditory processing and physically writing things down.

I used to translate postmodern texts written in English to sound French back into normal English for my useless degree. It made my marks better. Well it wasn't entirely useless because I took some classes on what makes a good parent and some classes on my ethnicity before the professor was made to retire. My brother translated German chemistry texts from the 1700s and 1800s in Gothic font into English to help with his masters. What he did is what you're supposed to do in uni if you're trained to do it.

When I finished high school I was in the first group that could write final term papers with a proctor in the computer lab. It was just my goth and mod friends and I that year. The teachers didn't want us to, but we also didn't want them to go on strike during our diploma exams. It was more to make them waste their time than to do something "cool".

My point is that too much of schooling is for the benefit of admin and teachers. I did an informal survey with one of my Austrian friends online a few years back and we dug into the sex segregation of schooling. Over 90% of teachers are female in Canada and Austria.

One of my customers teaches economics in uni. He regularly has problems with muslim (I don't capitalize demon religions) and Chinese students skipping midterms and trying to get deferred finals, surely so they can bring in a fixer. He doesn't let them.

Blogger Rhys June 08, 2019 11:52 AM  

One thing that is certainly baffling to me, is how much my generation loves to virtue signal about the value of books, all the while banning certain ones and refusing to read any of them...

Blogger Clay June 08, 2019 11:58 AM  

Rhodes Scholars. What a joke. Name a Rhodes Scholar, that isn't a stinking socialist (these days, anyway)

Blogger liberranter June 08, 2019 12:02 PM  

Particularly revealing of the enstupidation is that supposedly "intelligent" people can't grok the difference between "knowledge" and "education," especially the painfully obvious fact that the former increasingly not only has nothing to do with the latter, but is anathema to it.

Blogger Johnny June 08, 2019 12:03 PM  

Way back when, when I was in college, a course had an assigned text, and usually some assigned reading. I eventually got the impression that the more than textbook reading was of little consequence. For the most part it just maintained the impression that the teacher was doing more than just teaching the text, and thus retaining the idea that they were an independent expert. Experts or otherwise, the teachers I was exposed to taught little more than the consensus thinking in their area of study. To do otherwise would leave the student unprepared for the next class up.

For people of ordinary temperament, during the school years they are throwing so much stuff at you already that hardly anyone has an interest in picking up stuff on the side. Speaking for myself, I am now impressed with how little I learned while in college. And to the extent I have intellectual curiosity, that was more effectively addressed after I was out of school.

Part of the problem, I think, is that we expect more from the educational process than it can produce. The naturally brilliant move beyond needing it quickly, and the dullards don’t benefit from it.

Blogger JC Skinner June 08, 2019 12:03 PM  

VD: These "students" simply aren't reading many books in any form. And I suspect grade inflation has more to do with it, as the professors are assigning less and less material now.

Largely agree, but there's some nuance to this. A lot of reading is assigned online. Not much gets done, for sure, but there is some.
I forget who, maybe Sailer, said that if you incentivise something you get more of it. When academics are remunerated dependant upon student "achievement" and "satisfaction", grades grow to the sky inevitably.

Blogger Clay June 08, 2019 12:08 PM  

Huh. I just read that "Mayor Pete" buttplug is a Rhodes scholar.

No real surprise.

Blogger Ahărôwn June 08, 2019 12:15 PM  

As someone who recently completed my Masters online, I found that most of my sources were in e-format - either books, or online academic essays/papers and whatnot. Most of the remainder came from my own personal library, and of course most of the class reading assigned by the professors was in .pdf format as well.

However, it wouldn't surprise me that people are reading less, too, as some of my general undergrad courses were overly simplistic, and the reading materials reflected this.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim June 08, 2019 12:20 PM  

And the importation of geniuses from “The Country that Stopped Reading” will only help turn libraries into museums of “whiteness”./s
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/opinion/the-country-that-stopped-reading.amp.html

Blogger Uncle Maffoo June 08, 2019 12:21 PM  

Clay wrote:Huh. I just read that "Mayor Pete" buttplug is a Rhodes scholar.

No real surprise.


So is "It's Pat!" from MSNBC.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz June 08, 2019 12:42 PM  

Seconded.
Exactly the same technique is enforced here, in Poland, by the state's Ministry of Education for last 25years.
The same process takes place in Germany. Personally witheses the public ass chewing of the University of Munich by Mrs Minister of Justice of the Bavarian government on the very same basis.
Marxists, Marxists everywhere.

Blogger DonReynolds June 08, 2019 12:55 PM  

I am not terribly surprised that the university libraries have experienced a decline in book circulation. I can remember when the university library was a big island of books and information on any particular topic was only available from books in the library. Going to college was all about READING books, tons of books. That was before the internet and that was before closed shelves.

That was also before students started to destroy books, instead of valuing them, so much so that some universities have separated their collections into undergrad and graduate, not allowing undergrads access to some of the more valuable materials, books, and journals. Some books and materials have been put on microfilm. Some have been scanned and are only available as digital copies. It was a significant effort to safeguard materials from being released as paper copies. Many books ended up as non-circulating reserved books that could only be read in the library or as reference books. This was particularly true of out-of-print or otherwise unavailable books, that simply could not be replaced if lost, stolen, or destroyed.

But probably most important is the fact that THE university library is no longer the Fort Knox of information. Some academic departments and colleges have their own libraries. Various libraries are now easily accessible on-line by the internet. More materials, books, and journals are now on-line from non-university collections, often the state archives, US Census, and other state and Federal agencies.

It is kinda like the steep decline in letters handled by the US Post Office. One could conclude that people simply do not send as much mail as they have in the past....when the post office was a virtual monopoly on mail. Much of it is now e-mail and free long distance telephone service and cell phones and video calling. People seem to communicate constantly and almost instantly.

Blogger kurt9 June 08, 2019 12:58 PM  

We need higher learning for science and engineering. However, its abundantly clear that the rest of the higher education system is utterly worthless and ought to be shut down. Glenn Reynolds has written several books about this issue.

Blogger Tars Tarkas June 08, 2019 1:00 PM  

Johnny wrote:Part of the problem, I think, is that we expect more from the educational process than it can produce. The naturally brilliant move beyond needing it quickly, and the dullards don’t benefit from it.

Another problem is how bad our middle and high schools have become. Kids are just woefully unprepared for college. This is even assuming that the kids have a sufficient IQ for college. Running to the suburbs is no longer enough. I am not sure the Trump administration is doing it, but the Obama administration was trying very hard to combine school districts of the suburbs with school districts of the cities. Not only will the suburban schools get a bunch of diversity and the suburban kids bused to the city, but the city can confiscate the tax base of the suburbs. These cities already spend a fortune on these daycare facilities. Baltimore is #4 on $ per student and right around dead last in the nation for reading and math.
The suburbs in my area is loaded with free housing and other schemes to diversify the suburbs.
Frankly, it is child abuse to send a white kid to a very "diverse" school.

Blogger Clint June 08, 2019 1:23 PM  

I used to joke with my students and tell them that the library was the big building next to ours that they had not yet visited. But then it quit being funny, as it was true.

Our library is currently going under renovations, to be completed by this fall, and will be much like these being described. They are getting rid of the vast majority of the books, and adding in much more "study space," for student collaboration, etc.

The argument given is that since so much data is online, there is no need to have the same inventory. While there might be some truth to that, as Vox mentioned above, it is not the main reason. Students not only do not use the library, many of them are incapable of doing so.

They are not able to find resources online, either.

Blogger Jacob June 08, 2019 1:26 PM  

Imagine the grumpy cat faces when it dawns on these students that there are only a small number of organizations that can afford a VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. They'll have to settle for being a low-level Commissar (ahem) HR Associate.

Blogger sammibandit June 08, 2019 1:34 PM  

Some problems at my uni
1. The medsci library regularly had muslims stabbing others.
2. A human skull from collections was stolen and later recovered damaged.
3. People wrote on human bones from the osteology collection. These bones came from the British body trade and belonged to people murdered for their specimens.
4. Losers refusing to give up the library computer they were using for Facebook to students who needed to search the card catalogue.
5. Chinese students cheating.
6. Losers in the library being loud. I used to study in stairwells for a reason.
7. It got so bad trying to study on campus I just stopped going to class and only showing up for tests. Why show up if the seminar discussion sucks and isn't graded?

My favourite class was called New Social Movements. It was about jewish infiltration into various countries under the guise of civil rights. I have no idea how the TA got it approved but it was amazing. We learned all about the Weathermen Underground, Boulé, Frankfurt School, the Green Party and the PIE scandal in England.

Blogger dienw June 08, 2019 2:07 PM  

Clay wrote:Rhodes Scholars. What a joke. Name a Rhodes Scholar, that isn't a stinking socialist (these days, anyway)

A Rhodes scholar is by definition a Socialist -Fabian; he also is part of the Cecil Rhodes program to return the United States to the British Empire.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl June 08, 2019 2:25 PM  

Other Rhodes Scholars-

Susan Rice
Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
David Souter
Bill Bradley
Gen Wesley Clark
Terrence Malik
Dennis Blair
Robert Reich
E.J. Dionne
Larry Sabato
Russ Feingold
Ashton Carter
Nicholas Kristof
George Stephanopoulos
Naomi Wolf
Bobby Jindl
Peter Beinart
Rachel Maddow
Ronan Farrow
Bubba Billy Clinton

I'd suggest everyone go read the whole list. It's choked full of politicians, military types, propagandists,Spooks, and Jews. But, I repeat myself.

Blogger VFM #7634 June 08, 2019 2:32 PM  

Undergraduate university is basically upper-level high school. With the added factor that there's more of a danger of brainwashing... possibly because the parents aren't around to walk the kid away from stupid ideas.

Actual smart people get a master's or professional degree or trade certification in something more useful and get out.

Mainly idiot savants and midwits get PhDs nowadays, with a rapidly-increasing proportion of political-commissar and/or affirmative-action types. For example, those who are basically paid by deep-pocketed left-wing foundations to study "climate change" or other SJW causes. There are some docs who are actually all-around smart, but they're few and far between, and need to have strong autistic tendencies.

Blogger anorganicbear June 08, 2019 2:39 PM  

@19: I'm sure this is part of it. We also had course packets (selections of printouts from other books) that we would have to buy when I went to college. Still, thinking back on it, I'm surprised at how few of the classics we were required to actually read. I guess it's just the dumbing down of education to meet the demands of a more vibrant culture.

Blogger S1AL June 08, 2019 2:40 PM  

"Actual smart people get a master's or professional degree or trade certification in something more useful and get out."

Or STEM, which is just about the only valid section of college degrees today... and even those are generally way too expensive.

Blogger VFM #7634 June 08, 2019 2:55 PM  

"The argument given is that since so much data is online, there is no need to have the same inventory."

@37 Clint
They're wrong. Hardcopy books are much more convenient than ebooks if they cover subject matter you'll repeatedly go back to. For one thing, it's much easier and faster to bookmark a full book than an ebook.

For similar reasons, I've never understood why people buy clothes online nowadays, rather than go to a brick-and-mortar store. What if they don't fit quite right?

Blogger VFM #7634 June 08, 2019 2:56 PM  

to bookmark a *hardcopy book.

Blogger tublecane June 08, 2019 3:39 PM  

"the changing relationship between college students and books"

I think you mean between everyone and books. We're to lazy to read now, and wouldn't understand if we bothered. Duh.

By the way, I used to leave gaps in my schedule when I was in college so I could go to the library--or "media research center," or whatever they called it--to do homework. Which often left me with time to browse and dabble in books I happened across. Which led in a few cases to great pleasure and a rabbit hole of distraction.

Point being, apart from their strict connection to learning, libraries serve a great many purposes in fostering young intelligence.

Blogger tublecane June 08, 2019 3:48 PM  

@41- Naomi Wolf is a talented comedienne, at least if you go by her book titled simply "Vagina."

Bill Bradley is...tall.

I enjoyed precisely one Terrence Malik movie.

Blogger Noah B. June 08, 2019 4:21 PM  

Has anyone told these students that the books aren't just decorations?

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia June 08, 2019 4:27 PM  

VD wrote:Digitisation might account for part of this decline.

Not much. These "students" simply aren't reading many books in any form. And I suspect grade inflation has more to do with it, as the professors are assigning less and less material now.


All true.

Victor David Hanson has said when he started teaching classics at Cal St. Fresno back in the early '80s --not exactly a school with students of towering intellect -- he could assign 1,000 pages of text, and the students could wade their way through. When he retired from teaching, he was lucky if they read 300 pages per course. It's not that he didn't WANT to do 1,000 pages, it's that the students were simply not prepared or able.

Meanwhile, I've been at university on and off for the last decade, and I've seen the decline first hand. In the hard sciences, as well as in humanities and soft "sciences," students read textbooks, course packets, and journal articles -- if they read at all. And in English lit, there may be core courses in the "canon" but in upper level courses it's all devolved to the "studies" mania -- gender, queer, latino, and on and on and on.

As Glenn Reynolds has noted, it's the higher education bubble.

Blogger Iron Spartan June 08, 2019 4:36 PM  

Prior to the founding of the Department of Education ever high school in America taught Calculus, Latin and Greek, a host of foreign languages, advanced physics and chemistry. Students were taught to budget, understand interest, and were at least introduced to to a host of trades skills that every apprentice was expected to know from day one.

After 40 years and Trillions of dollars extra spending, we now teach elementary math and remedial English in every college. Latin and greek are all but dead. The only foreign language left is Spanish, and that can be argued to not be a foreign language anymore. Science/physics/chemistry is essentially dead, along with trades/shop education. But reducing the modern high school education to the level of a 1970's 7th grade (at best) at 10 times the cost is a small price to pay for diversity and through put

Blogger Remo - Vile Faceless Minion #99 June 08, 2019 4:39 PM  

Sending your daughter to work in a brothel makes more sense in this day and age then sending her off to college. She's going to get about the same or less sexual experience working there, minus the student loan debt and social justice warrior training. Also as a bonus she is more likely to get a wealthy husband out of deal while she is still young.

Blogger S1AL June 08, 2019 4:42 PM  

"After 40 years and Trillions of dollars extra spending, we now teach elementary math and remedial English in every college. Latin and greek are all but dead. The only foreign language left is Spanish, and that can be argued to not be a foreign language anymore. Science/physics/chemistry is essentially dead, along with trades/shop education. But reducing the modern high school education to the level of a 1970's 7th grade (at best) at 10 times the cost is a small price to pay for diversity and through put"

On the bright side, the vast amount of online material means that those who desire it have ready, inexpensive access to the equivalent of an old-school college education at a fraction of the cost.

Blogger Sargent.matrim June 08, 2019 5:06 PM  

A friend of mine edited a series of lectures from a 19th century Scottish Reformed Seminary Principal. They outlined in large part what students were expected to learn.

I was blown away by the depth of their theological training compared to mine. I have advanced degrees in theology and still feel like our system is much shallower than theirs was. And their education standard was the norm in a lot of universities and seminaries of the day. A much higher standard was demanded.

Universities expect less and create less. I make sure I do my own reading to try and make up some of the gaps, but there is no doubt higher degrees are not as demanding as they used to be. And most students just want to do the bare minimum to get through.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len June 08, 2019 5:18 PM  

devolved into a worse-than-useless factory for transforming young women into barren SJW debt-slaves

And media outlets can hardly contain their glee at the fact that, at least in the US and UK, women are far more likely to attend university than men. They may make some tiny gesture of concern, but mostly they make it clear that this is a positive and necessary state of affairs, because patriarchy.

Blogger God Emperor Memes June 08, 2019 5:32 PM  

I don't know anyone born after 1990 who actually reads for pleasure/interest.

Blogger Avalanche June 08, 2019 6:56 PM  

@49 "Has anyone told these students that the books aren't just decorations?"

Oh Noah, you've missed the design shows where they buy "books by the pound" at thrift stores so they can fill "decorated" shelves with books by color-ways: some even SPRAY PAINT the binding so they match!! Or they buy by height... and then chuck the ones that won't do. And yet, I have SO many friends who haven't a book IN THE HOUSE! And I sometimes worry about a catastrophic bookslide created by the piles on top of the armoire, and the coffee table... Yes, I have a tablet and read on it a lot too ... but I mostly prefer real books!

Blogger Avalanche June 08, 2019 7:03 PM  

@53 "On the bright side, the vast amount of online material means that those who desire it have ready, inexpensive access to the equivalent of an old-school college education at a fraction of the cost."

All 53 of "those who"? {sigh}

When I was younger, back in dinosaur days, the CUNY -- the City University of New York -- was, and still is, as far as I know, a FREE college for dwellers in NYC. There was a movement, and a proposal by the CUNY Board, that there be placed a MINIMUM requirement for matriculation of: enrolling student must read at the SEVENTH-GRADE LEVEL. !!!!! Oh! The protests, the marches, the screaming, the lawsuits!! People: dumb, stupid, venal, and/or evil people, raised high-holy-hell until the requirement be able to ENTER COLLEGE was not protected by a 7th-grade reading ability!!

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 08, 2019 8:45 PM  

Actual smart people get a master's or professional degree or trade certification in something more useful and get out.
Actual very smart people are more likely to quit, flunk out, or never enroll.

Blogger sammibandit June 08, 2019 9:07 PM  

I would have liked to see Snidley in a seminar class. Might have learned more from him than the guy at the lectern. More entertaining too.

Blogger Lone wolf June 08, 2019 9:43 PM  

The kingdom of darkness is built on ignorance ESPECIALLY willful ignorance.

Blogger Lone wolf June 08, 2019 9:44 PM  

The kingdom of darkness is built on ignorance ESPECIALLY willful ignorance.

Blogger Brett baker June 09, 2019 6:29 AM  

Entry-level work....that avoided physical labor.

Blogger thechortling June 09, 2019 9:01 AM  

University Libraries may well be the canary in the dolt mine.

Blogger flyingtiger June 09, 2019 10:18 AM  

Wow, Yale has turned into Northern Illinois University!

Blogger justaguy June 09, 2019 4:19 PM  

#44: STEM has been polluted by now too. Engineering with 5 semesters of calculus, hard sciences are still okay, some math at top schools, but there are too many other majors in STEM that really aren't worth much.

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