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Peter Thiel laying yet another smack-down on College

GoGetter24

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Just as I thought Peter Thiel couldn't shiv the educational establishment any more severely, this video pops up:


"Colleges are as corrupt as the Catholic church was 500 years ago".

Brutal.
 

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Christian McGhee

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Just as I thought Peter Thiel couldn't shiv the educational establishment any more severely, this video pops up:


"Colleges are as corrupt as the Catholic church was 500 years ago".

Brutal.
Interesting. Actually the first 30 seconds or so had the most impact for me, the one size dosent fit all piece. I don’t exactly agree with the comparison but I guess you could make the comparison that colleges claim to be the “gate keepers” of a better life, much like some religious groups claim to be.

I think some people should go to college.
I think some people should stay in the “slow lane.”

Everybody is different and we don’t have the same motivations. That’s not a bad thing in it self.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JScott

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Peter Thiel will say anything to get attention. He's a Stanford graduate; he has a law degree; he's taught at Stanford. Several of his Thiel Fellows have dropped out and gone to college, as they realized that getting rich overnight in tech wasn't as easy as Thiel made it sound.

While I agree that college isn't -- in and of itself -- a recipe for success, even Thiel is the first to say that college has a lot to offer many people. And it clearly had a lot to offer him. When PayPal was first hiring, they refused to interview candidates without a strong collegiate pedigree. When he was running the company, he clearly thought that engineers out of top-tier schools had more to offer than those who didn't have degrees.

Only once he had made his first billion from Facebook did he decide that school was overrate -- coincidentally around the same time he figured out a business model that would potentially allow him to make billions more off of kids not going to college. Funny how that works.

College is the right path for many. Trade school is the right path for many. Entrepreneurship is the right path for many. Getting a job is the right path for many. And for many, a combination of these is the right path. I made a lot of money by going to college; I made a lot of money as an entrepreneur; I even made a lot of money by marrying someone who had a lot more money than I did.

There is no one right path for everyone...each person needs to decide what works for them. I certainly wouldn't take advice from someone who takes one path, gets wealthy from that path and then denounces it as a bad path.
 
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GoGetter24

GoGetter24

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^ Nothing in that refutes any criticism made in the video, which it's unlikely you even watched before commenting. Indeed it doesn't even say anything. It just vaguely meanders around the topic on a logical fallacy fed high-horse.
 

kelvinfernandezm

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The problem with college is that people now see it as an investment. It goes something like this. I go to college and spend $100k. In 4 years those $100k will land me a job that will pay me $100k for the rest of my life. So I can pay my initial invest of $100k in 2 years. That leaves me with the remaining of my life making $100k every year thanks to the college degree that I have. They see it as a sure ticket out of poverty.

But is not. There's so many variables that go into a college degree. What are the odds that someone will hire you? How much enthusiasm do you have for the job you are seeking? Employers will see right through you if you actually care about what you are doing or just in it for the money. Will your field of study still be relevant 10 years or 20 years from now? How much competition is in your field of study?

At 18 years old people don't think about all these variables. They are still trying to impress their friends, worried about getting laid or sneaking around trying to get some alcohol. No 18 year old is thinking so far ahead into the future. But the adults in their lives push them to college. Their teachers, their parents, and even the mainstream media. So what do they do? They jump into debt with faith that they will come out the other side safe and sound.

People have been falling for the college lie since the 80's. College was a club for the rich. That's where the rich sent their kids to spend their young adulthood. So yes all this rich kids with college degrees had a good paying job waiting for them after college. They worked for their families or friends of their family. Slowly over time some average Joe's got admitted to college. They also had good paying jobs waiting for them because they fraternized with the future business owners.

That's not the case anymore. Now that the masses are going to college their is no guarantee that your degree will make you millions. The value of a degree is now diluted. Colleges figured out that they could turn college into a good money stream. That's exactly what they have done by raising their tuition by thousands of dollars.
 

DAL

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I agree that college is right for some people - the people that know what they want to do in life and so can choose the degree that will help them get there. It is not right for people who are not sure what path to take or what they want to do, just taking a course because they like the sound of it or did well in it at school is not a great way to spend your time or money. This is why I believe more emphasis needs placing on entrepreneurship and also apprenticeships during schooling years to let kids know all options are open TO EVERYONE, especially so in this day and age. It seems the kids nowadays are being purposefully funnelled towards the uni's just for the purposes of making more money.

Incidentally, for anyone interested there was an article on the BBC website about a girl talking about her disappointment at going to uni, link here:
Why I hated university - BBC Three

DAL
 

JScott

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^ Nothing in that refutes any criticism made in the video, which it's unlikely you even watched before commenting. Indeed it doesn't even say anything. It just vaguely meanders around the topic on a logical fallacy fed high-horse.
Nothing in my post claims to refute anything in the video, nor does it indicate that I even watched the video. If you inferred that my comments were in response to the video, perhaps you should consider that your reading comprehension is sub-par, and focus on remediating these intellectual shortcomings of yours.

Additionally, you indicate that my post contains logical fallacy, yet you don't support that assertion with any example or evidence. That, in and of itself, suggests invalid logical reasoning and support. Again, your intellectual shortcoming, not mine.

While these types of posts may make you *feel* intellectually superior, they merely make you *appear* to be insecure and overly dramatic. Perhaps that insecurity stems from your lack of formal education? Perhaps it's just a personality deficiency. Only you can determine that and attempt to remediate.

That said, if the issue is lack of formal education, perhaps you should consider some college-level reading, writing and logic courses? I mean that both ironically and unironically.
 
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Xavier X

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Ahh, the ol' college is good, college is evil thread.

My take is: For the average person, college is the best option out of poverty.
Or better put, "education" is. You don't need to go to college to educate yourself.

The reality is entrepreneurship isn't most people's cup of tea. We are all inclined to different things.
Just like there are worker bees and soldier bees etc.

Only time college can be discounted is when one studies some bullshit major with zero demand, and then wonders why they can't get a good job.

But, but I paid $80k and did my 4 year sentence.

Well, too bad because no one cares about 10th Century Contemporary Ottoman Art Theory. However, if you could continue stocking these here shelves, that would be great.

On the other hand, if someone studies a valuable major, they have made a good choice (in most cases).

Education isn't confined to formal college. The ultimate goal of college is skill acquisition.
Whether skills to be a great entrepreneur or great employee boils down to the individual.

If someone decides to skip college WITHOUT doubling down on marketable skill acquisition, intense self-education or true entrepreneurship, then too bad.

It is one thing to say:

"I don't need to get into college debt, because all I want to be is a programmer, and I've already self-taught to a proficient level. Now I'm my own boss and get paid handsomely for my code."

And another to say:

"F*ck college! I'm too smart to get into college debt. I'm just going to work this part-time minimum wage job, be on food stamps and government assistance. That way others can pay my way through life, while I make the bare minimum effort at self-reliance."
 

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Nothing in my post claims to refute anything in the video, nor does it indicate that I even watched the video. If you inferred that my comments were in response to the video, perhaps you should consider that your reading comprehension is sub-par, and focus on remediating these intellectual shortcomings of yours.

Additionally, you indicate that my post contains logical fallacy, yet you don't support that assertion with any example or evidence. That, in and of itself, suggests invalid logical reasoning and support. Again, your intellectual shortcoming, not mine.

While these types of posts may make you *feel* intellectually superior, they merely make you *appear* to be insecure and overly dramatic. Perhaps that insecurity stems from your lack of formal education? Perhaps it's just a personality deficiency. Only you can determine that and attempt to remediate.

That said, if the issue is lack of formal education, perhaps you should consider some college-level reading, writing and logic courses? I mean that both ironically and unironically.
ouch, dude is gonna need some ointment for that burn.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I'm a "case by case" basis on the argument for college, ranging from "stay the f*ck away" to "yes, absolutely go".

I do want to mention that carefully cheery-picked anecdotes do not justify one action or another.

For instance...

But Bill Gates dropped out of college!


Yea, and Bill Gates was admitted to Harvard.

He wasn't playing video games all day in his mum's basement while failing at remedial math.

Food for thought...
 
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GoGetter24

GoGetter24

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Nothing in my post claims to refute anything in the video, nor does it indicate that I even watched the video. If you inferred that my comments were in response to the video, perhaps you should consider that your reading comprehension is sub-par, and focus on remediating these intellectual shortcomings of yours.

Additionally, you indicate that my post contains logical fallacy, yet you don't support that assertion with any example or evidence. That, in and of itself, suggests invalid logical reasoning and support. Again, your intellectual shortcoming, not mine.

While these types of posts may make you *feel* intellectually superior, they merely make you *appear* to be insecure and overly dramatic. Perhaps that insecurity stems from your lack of formal education? Perhaps it's just a personality deficiency. Only you can determine that and attempt to remediate.

That said, if the issue is lack of formal education, perhaps you should consider some college-level reading, writing and logic courses? I mean that both ironically and unironically.
Cool.

So clicking the "reply" button to a thread topic with a specific piece of content, doesn't create an inference that you're actually replying to that specific topic and content; nor is "gets wealthy from that path" selection bias or correlation implying causation; and apparently you can attack the person "Peter Thiel will say anything to get attention", and then right next to it post something that looks very much like a wandering criticism, but no one can call you out on it and demand address of the substance.

I guess I missed that $100k worth of lessons, no doubt in the humanities. I understand if it's a sore point to have spent that much learning what most people could from wikipedia or a few dollars worth of 2nd hand books.
 

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JScott

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Cool.
So clicking the "reply" button to a thread topic with a specific piece of content, doesn't create an inference...
No, by definition, it does not. An "inference" is a conclusion reached by a listener -- the person speaking might "imply," but does not "infer."

So, in this case, I might have implied something to you by clicking the "reply" button, but I most certainly didn't infer something to you. Language forbids that possibility. (Btw, I learned this in college, I believe.)

...apparently you can attack the person "Peter Thiel will say anything to get attention", and then right next to it post something that looks very much like a wandering criticism, but no one can call you out on it and demand address of the substance.
What do you mean by, "...but no one can call you out on it and demand address of the substance?"

I'm pretty sure anyone can call me out on it and ask me to support my claim (again, your language skills leave a lot to be desired). In fact, you could have simply asked, "Can you please support your claim?"

But, for some reason, you chose to get antagonistic instead. This just reinforces my assumption that you are insecure. (That was an "inference" on my part, btw.)

Now, had you asked for substantiation without getting upset and defensive, this is what I would have replied with:

My wife briefly worked with Thiel (she was in senior management at eBay back when eBay purchased PayPal), and I worked with and was friends with many people who were his colleagues in the years that followed (I was also at eBay after the purchase).

Based on plenty of first-hand stories, I was able to come to the conclusions I stated above.

Is that sufficient?

Btw, if you know Thiel or are friends with people who do, I'd love to hear some of your stories that dispute my assertion.

I guess I missed that $100k worth of lessons, no doubt in the humanities. I understand if it's a sore point to have spent that much learning what most people could from wikipedia or a few dollars worth of 2nd hand books.
Actually, my degrees were Electrical Engineering and about 90% of an MBA (I'm a business school dropout). And you're correct -- there's no doubt that a lot of people could learn everything I learned on their own.

But, my degrees allowed me to get jobs at, and climb the ladder at, companies like Microsoft & eBay. Ultimately, I left those companies and got a senior management level job at a company called Tellme Networks, which was acquired in 2007 (you can Google the details if you care). I retired from the tech industry shortly after.

I give this information simply to point out that my college degrees led me to making more money than most people ever make. Microsoft would not have hired me into the position it did had I not had my engineering degree. Tellme would have not given me a senior level position without my MBA experience.

While you may think degrees are absolutely worthless, in my case, they were essential to my early financial success. I've since gone on to additional financial success as both an entrepreneur and investor, and I credit the discipline and learning techniques I acquired in college and business school for those successes as well.

As I pointed out in my original post, there are lots of different paths that can lead to success (which, in itself, is a relative term and idea). To dismiss any of those paths as viable is ridiculous and often self-serving.
 
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I mean if anything this whole college bubble thing really shows how much our education system has failed in that nobody can do basic decision-analysis or how to maximize utility or think independently.

I think its unfair to say everyone should go to college because "You're not bill gates, and you are a schmuck" the same way someone says that nobody should go to college. It's not fair to apply absolutes or label generalizations about peoples abilities.

If you are self-directed and disciplined and spend your time learning new things then you probably don't need college.

What I tell most people is why do you wanna spend 4 years to know something 99% of college grads are gonna know. You wanna spend your time trying to understand things 99% of people DON'T understand. You wanna a competitive advantage in intelligence. That to me seems like a better strategy then getting a business education that is stuck in the 80s and that is pretty much useless.
 

Mr.Brandtastic

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As someone who graduated fairly recently, 90% of college students are there because they are either too lazy to go get a job or too unmotivated to start a business. They believe their parent's Boomer ideology. Unfortunately, go to school, get good grades, and get a good job is a fantasy for most. The last two recessions and de-industrialization have obliterated most good jobs, never to return.

U.S. has low unemployment? Sure, with Wal-Mart everyone has a 28-hour a week job.

We must understand as entrepreneurs that you need to create something that brings value to people's lives. That touches the lives of millions of people. A piece of paper simply won't do that.
 

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I encouraged my son to go to college. He's brilliant, and he should have been able to figure out stuff on his own. But the unfortunate reality is that he's spent way too much of his life playing video games (thanks to my ex), and he isn't self-motivated or self-organized enough to do it on his own. But so far he's thriving in school, totally digging his computer science classes, and aiming for a Data Science specialization. College works for him, and I expect he'll get a very good return from his (and my!!) investment.

But that's not true for everyone. His brother isn't interested in that kind of corporate path. Once he determined he couldn't be a commercial pilot (eye problems), he headed down a pretty trade-oriented blue-collar path. He's attending community college now to be an EMT. I'm afraid he'll get a stressful starvation-wage job out of it (EMTs are paid crap wages) but that's what he wants to do with his life. At least right now.

Neither of them has an entrepreneurial bone in their body. They grew up with their mom and me being self-employed, trying to launch businesses, etc. I've tried to interest them in all kinds of self-driven income options, but they're just not interested. Maybe when they get older.

Some people will benefit from college, some do well going straight to a trade, some are entrepreneurs. The problem with college is that they've sold it as a universal golden ticket to the good life -- and jacked up the tuition costs FAR faster than the rate of inflation. It's a lousy deal for most people.
 

Mr.Brandtastic

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The problem with college is that they've sold it as a universal golden ticket to the good life -- and jacked up the tuition costs FAR faster than the rate of inflation. It's a lousy deal for most people.
'
Exactly, the government guarantees a steady flow of loans to students. Regardless of their future ability to pay these loans back. They even put in laws making it impossible to discharge student loans via bankruptcy. Meaning you're stuck with that debt, regardless of how terrible the job market is.

It really says something that the job market is so bad and tuition is so high that they needed a law preventing bankruptcy due to the expected high numbers of recalcitrant and delinquent students.

They need to let the market work. Education should be getting cheaper! It's lunacy that in the digital era, education is getting more and more expensive. If the government got out of it, I'm sure it would collapse overnight as much as 80-90%, right where it should be.
 

MJ DeMarco

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For all of us who had to take a god-awful amount of loans to go...

27rpj5.jpg
 

JohnZ123

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College/University is crap for people more inclined to be entrepreneurs. I dropped out 3 years ago and today I already make more than 90% of graduates.
 

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