via Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NNT)
Distilling the conversation with @bryan_caplan hosted by Tyler Cowen
1) There has been a traditional separation between:
+ “liberal education” for free men, (liber), who didn’t work for a living, &
+”technical education”, for those who labor.
2) For instance, mathematics as taught for “liberal” education, was theoretical mind exercise. Euclid’s theorem was never used in building.
Meanwhile builders (parts of guilds with trade secrets) were using their own heuristic, richer, geometry. (see #Antifragile)
3) The Anglo-Saxon world conflated the two, with aristocrat-envy:
+ Education to be civilized. (Literature, philosophy, poetry, abstract math, history, stamp collecting, etc.)
+ Education to learn to do things. (Engineering, medicine, accounting, law, belly dancing, plumbing)
4) So we need to separate “things to learn to be civilized” and “things you learn to do things” with separate institutions.
The only overlap I could find was mathematics, though not a strong argument since applied math is a v. different animal.
5a) The problem of the peer review system is selecting professors on theories abt subject never checked for basic knowledge of subject. It is common for people to know the “post colonial gender theory” of Levant, teach it, but never the actual facts.
5b) The French solved the problem with knowledge exams for educators (“aggregation”); you never end up having people judged solely by peers (See #SkininTheGame ).
6) The educational model is now imploding as the only thing people seem to learn at colleges is ideology by losers who became professors because they aren’t good enough to create things & got together to BS in a citation ring #RentSeekers (not just in economics, but everywhere)
7) Finally, we can split education:
+ Taught by nonskininthegame people (math, poetry, etc.)
+ Taught by skininthegame people (engineering, medicine, belly dancing, plumbing, finance, law, burglarizing, computer “science”, accounting, …)
In SEPARATE institutions.
8) The idea that liberal education makes free thinkers is about the greatest myth: empirically, liberal education creates the exact opposite of “thinkers” and “free”: indoctrinated and slaves.Nassim Nicholas Taleb added,
Patrick Lee Miller
9) Remember that the “University” system for this “liberal education” (trivium/quadrivium) was historically closely associated with, and supervised by, the Church.
Technical education was left to free thinkers.
10 In #Antifragile I document the confusion
Business =>Technology => Science,
far far far far more frequent than the reverse.
Problem is that academic, not practitioners, write the books.