Naomi Schaefer Riley, a former editor at the Wall Street Journal, is the author of the forthcoming The Faculty Lounges .?.?. And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For” complains about high-price, low-impact education here, and says something interesting about legacy media journalism along the way:
Think about it this way: Suppose I start a print newspaper tomorrow. I might think I’m selling excellent journalism, while my “readers” are actually using my product to line their birdcages. It might work out fine for a while. But the imbalance in this transaction would make it difficult to talk in general terms about improving the product or whether the product is worth what I’m charging. I might think I should improve my grammar and hire more reporters. My customers might want me to make the paper thicker.- “What is a college education really worth?” (Washington Post, June 3, 2011).
Yes. That’s the trouble with both education and media today. Education is about fronting materialist dogmas that no one can consistently believe, and legacy news media are about the exact same thing.
Colleges and universities have allowed their value to slip by letting students call this an undergraduate education. There is no compelling understanding among students of why they are there. Studying is not how they spend even the bulk of their waking hours, and their classes seem random at best. They may spend Monday in “19th Century Women’s Literature,” Tuesday in “Animal Behavior” and Wednesday in “Eastern Philosophy,” but these courses may bear little relation to any they took the previous semester or any they will take the next.
Yet some degrees are worthwhile:
Practical ones. Study engineering or nursing, not Victimhood Studies, Shoe Fetish Literature, or The Evolutionary Psychology of Cannibalism.
Or, if you like theoretical, study math or serious philosophy. I’ve been impressed by clear thinkers like Bradley Monton,author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Broadview Press, 2009). If that’s philosophy, study it. Learning to think clearly is a big help, wherever you find yourself.
Either way, study as if you had to account for the time you’ve been given, by Whoever and for Whatever. Does it really matter whose religion is right? You own your time. Use it wisely.
Hat tip: Five Feet of Fury.