September 24, 2005

Quit School and Set Things on Fire

A lot of college students, or at least humanoids of college age who purport to be going to school, ask me, "Hey, Wil, how can I be even half the pimp you are? Or at least .473x?"

"Good question!" I'll respond, because I like to pretend I give a shit. But usually I'll just mumble something about staying off of drugs and not picking your nose too much. Or too little.

The truth is, I've always worried about telling them what I really think, but no more. Not now that I have a blog and can type any old crap I want with no repurcussions. The real answer is simple: "Quit school and set things on fire."

Look, there are some things that are inescapable. One is that school is REALLY, REALLY boring. They lock you in a classroom for like, five or six years, and they drone on and on about some damn thing, and the amazing thing is, YOU PAY THEM. Then, at the end, they're all, "Good luck, sucker, and remember to keep those loan payments coming," and that's that.

In the REAL world, if you have to put up with being bored for someone, YOU GET PAID FOR IT. Also, you get "real-world" experience, which as well all know from watching reality TV trumps "book smurts" every time.

Seriously, if you want to be a student so badly, why not just come to Seattle and watch me eat hot dogs for three or four hours a day? Oh, and you aren't allowed to talk or eat or smoke. (Unless you're smoking hot dogs, on a grill, for me.) And you have to pay me.

So the quitting school part is a no-brainer. But what about fire?

Look, fire is an essential part of man. It's the crucial element that brought us from being animals to being civilized. We learned to cook our meat, so we could make our kills last longer (cooking away the bacteria that built up), and we didn't have to wander around as much. We became an agrarian species, growing tubers that are nasty when raw, then cooking them to make God's personal gift to humanity: french fries. (Back then, of course, we didn't have the french, so we just called them "oonga-mooongas.") Fire gave us warmth in the winter, it gave us protection from predators, it gave us a thing around which we could get lucky ("My god, your skin is so beautiful in the firelight..."), it gave us steam power and thus the entire industrial revolution.

Yet most of us barely see fire any more. You remember when you were a kid, how magical fire seemed? You'd have a candle at your table in the pseudo-Italian restaurant with the red and white checkered plastic tablecloth with the little burn marks in it that your parents would take you to before you were old enough to realize that chef-boy-ardee style ravioli from a can isn't truly Italian, and you'd mess with it all night until you finally put it out and your parents would act like you'd committed a sin against nature, on the order of sleeping with a turtle. "See what happens! We told you to stop that!" "Now you're to have half-turtle babies, and your mother and I sure as hell aren't going to raise them!"

Your parents had to tell you, "Don't play with matches," which, right there, is a clue to how great fire is, because nobody ever warns you away from doing something that's not totally fun. Nobody's ever, "Don't go to a Billy Ray Cyrus concert, it causes sterility," because, well, duh!

But now where is fire in our lives? Most of us cook on electric stoves now. Electricity heats our houses; if you even have a fireplace in your dorm room (and many don't!) it probably goes unused most of the time. Stupid "light bulbs" replaced candles and sconces for most applications except getting some. (Some people even try to use a dimmer switch instead of a candle for this: "Oh, baby, your skin looks so pretty when I dim the lights slightly... plus the high-pitched whining of the bulb when I do this covers up your high-pitched whining..." Good luck!)

Sure, some of us have BBQs, although even there most people have switched to safe, wimpy gas models, where the flame can never get more than an inch high, nowhere close to your eyebrows. THIS ISN'T FIRE! You have neutered it, watered it down, taken the flavor from it: this is the fire equivalent of the "buttery-like topping" at the theater -- it's worse for you and it sucks. The only upside is it was cheap and easy for them to give you.

In short, we've pushed fire out of our lives in the name of "convenience" and "safety." But in doing so, we've lost an essential part of ourselves. Like the encroachment of our cities on the forests in the most recent stage of man, where we pave and destroy everything natural in the name of progress, and then go and visit national parks and exclaim, "How beautiful is this!" without any awareness of the irony that WE are the ones who banished it from our lives, piece by piece. We complained every time the animals "encroached" on our cities, we killed their habitats as we packed ourselves so densely only squirrels could squeeze between us, and we locked ourselves inside a grid of fast-moving cars that effectively kills all but the most fecund of species.

Then we wonder what's missing from our lives. It's nature. Think about the peace you feel when you're in a forest, under a canopy of trees. Think about how nice it smells. Now imagine you've got a campfire going, and there's that wonderful smokey smell in the air, mixed with the steam from charring meats. (Or, if you're some kind of damn vegetarian, the steam from some kind of vegetable thing that you people eat.) That's home to us. In the name of making our lives simpler, and more convenient, and safer, we've forgotten to include anything that we care about. Anything that stirs our souls. We get into our cars and we choke our way through traffic and we lock ourselves in a room for eight hours numbing our brains and we go out after the sun has set and we never see or smell or experience anything that we, as a species, grew up loving.

We need to remember what beauty is, in every act. We need to plant trees, we need to make our cities safe for animals besides rats, and we need to set things on fire.

--

So: Quit school and set things on fire. This is the best advice I can give you. If there were some way to disable the posting comments on this essay, I would, because there are no possible dissenting opinions to this advice, which applies equally well to everyone in every situation. I just hope posters will be respectful here and admit that I am, in fact, the most clever person in the world, and every word I say is like pure gold.

41 Comments:

Blogger moy said...

this is maybe the greatest advice column i have ever read. :)

can't wait for del. monster 2! keep it coming. :)

September 24, 2005 3:08 PM

 
Blogger Drew Hamlin said...

...

September 24, 2005 3:21 PM

 
Anonymous Jonathan Johnson said...

Assuming by school you mean college, I agree :)

September 24, 2005 3:27 PM

 
Anonymous Richard Albury said...

Amen. While some of the things I've learned in my various stays in academia have been worthwhile - mmm, differential equations, and I still have a soft spot for fluid mechanics - the truth is that most of the classes are shite, most of the instructors are there because they'd never make it in the real world, and a lot of the students, frankly, are only there because it's a form of the dole that keeps them off the streets.

So, yes, quit school and set things on fire. With a good work ethic, the desire to always be learning, and reasonable checks on the old ego, there are no limits.

September 24, 2005 3:32 PM

 
Blogger acaben said...

I'm a little concerned because it seems you're only addressing quitting college. As a successful high school dropout, I can't recommend getting out of that hellhole and more strongly than you have here.

If you're a smart high school student, leave now. Take the GED at 13 or 14. You can pass. It's pathetically easy. Then spend those 4 years of your life on useful endeavors.

September 24, 2005 3:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Wil, whatever you're on I want two!! ^'^´

September 24, 2005 4:00 PM

 
Anonymous Daniel Jalkut said...

Quit high school, go to college, and make more than your peers do for being bored. Then set your money on fire.

September 24, 2005 4:01 PM

 
Anonymous Kevin Ballard said...

Sure, quit school. Great advice... unless, of course, you want to get a well-paying jobs. Well-paying jobs often tend to want degrees from college. And of course, if you quit school, you don't have one.

Were it not for what I just said, I probably would quit school right now.

September 24, 2005 4:07 PM

 
Anonymous Chucky said...

If you drop out of college, where will you learn the finer points of sex and drugs?

September 24, 2005 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad advice. Quitting school may work for some people, but those people shouldn't forget that it doesn't work for most other people.

September 24, 2005 4:32 PM

 
Anonymous Nick Beadman said...

Nice idea but doesn't work in the real world. I went to University (what we English call school) in the UK but have lived in California for 10 years. Without my degree I would have had zero chance of moving here. My life would be completely different.

So cut the BS, although you can be a great bloke and a great programmer without school you need that stupid piece of paper for companies and, especially, governments so you have the power in your life.

September 24, 2005 4:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, our clever friend Wil is, in a very clever way, hinting at the fallacy in companies (or immigration authorities) demanding a piece of paper which states you've spent $100,000 on being bored for _x_ amount of years (read: degree). Had you been .473 as much as clever as Wil, or actually learned how to be clever in school, you would have picked up on this.

But Wil - don't hate on the schools, hate on the system. Just imagine if the next generation actually received six figures worth of knowledge and experience... Until/unless that happens, though, you're right as usual.

**DISCLAIMERS: I don't know Wil, and have used "friend" in a figurative context. I've never set foot in a University class, but I've done quite well for myself. I would have dual US/Canadian citizenship, but have no degree - thereby making me a worthless wretch of an applicant - and was declined despite knowing more than most graduates and having as much cash as a congressman/member of parliament... I hate the system, but love fire.

September 24, 2005 5:14 PM

 
Anonymous Richard Albury said...

Yeah, I have to fess us: despite 18 years of software development experience (from Z80 assembler up through C# and Cocoa), I'm currently going to USF part-time to get that stupid piece of paper... and trying not to scream at the data structures prof because he doesn't understand the problem one of his students asked him about is because declaring two huge structures as local variables blew the stack on both Solaris and Windows. I had another prof say something about the "A-S-C-2" character set, and I realized with horror that he was talking about ASCII. Deplorable.

For an example of how schools should be, check out ADUni.

What boggled my mind was the public self-criticism by the instructors. Highly recommended to autodidacts everywhere. ;-)

September 24, 2005 6:30 PM

 
Blogger Andy Finnell said...

While I agree that you should set things on fire, I'm going to disagree with the quitting school part. For me school was a great learning experience. Sure you could learn the stuff they taught in class on your own, and probably more quickly than they taught it. It was what happened outside of class that made it worth while.

I mean, in college your sole purpose is to learn and investigate things that interest you. You don't have to worry about product schedules, you have copious amounts of free time, and nobody owns anything that you come up with. So you've got lots of free time, a free internet connection to explore & publish, and are surrounded by (potentially) smart people who are willing to help you. That's definitely fertile ground for doing something cool.

I used my college time to learn the Mac toolbox and even wrote some freeware software (among other things). I suppose I could have learned all that on my first job, but I might not have gotten my first job without it.

Most people require a degree so why not make the best of it? And even if you start your own company, why would you want to go into it that green? College does give you a smidge of experience (at least mine did) and a few contacts.

September 24, 2005 6:53 PM

 
Blogger Josh said...

First it's don't write unit tests, now it's quit college. The hits just keep on coming :)

September 24, 2005 8:15 PM

 
Anonymous Zachery Bir said...

Andy:

Or, you could just, oh, I dunno, move to a college town.

Six years in, no degree, but I'm doing fine. Own a house, write software all day long, and get paid well doing it.

September 24, 2005 8:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey, Wil, how can I be even half the pimp you are? Or at least .473x?"

Please tell me I'm not the only sad git who tried to read that last word as leet speek. Sat there for (some number of) seconds before I worked it out.

September 24, 2005 9:18 PM

 
Blogger Eric Jasso said...

Wil...great advice...for some people.

Better still...go to college, take all the classes that people say will do you know good, learn all you can, read all you can, date all you can. Find something you dig, and pursue it. Become the NEXT DeliciousMonster.

Did I mention chasing girls and drinking beer?

September 24, 2005 11:28 PM

 
Blogger Nevyn said...

"In the name of making our lives simpler, and more convenient, and safer, we've forgotten to include anything that we care about. Anything that stirs our souls."

Dude. Writing code.

September 25, 2005 12:09 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

I should mention Mike Matas dropped out of high school, and a year later he's one of nine guys on the Apple interface team, designing the next round of Apple products. Also, he's a known pyromaniac. Make of this what you will.

Also, check the college degrees of the top 5 richest people in the world, just published in Forbes. They also all enjoy a good BBQ. Coincidence?

September 25, 2005 12:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What generalised garbage. You can't give general advice based on the college degrees of the top 5 richest people in the world, or even the people you know.

Go to the US Bureau of Statistics (or whatever they're called) and find out the mean salary of everyone with a college degree vs those that don't. Then come back and write your blog entry. Personal opinion based on your little sphere of contact means nothing to most of the planet.

The blog entry seems incomplete. While you've written about quitting college, you've also raved about fires, nature, etc. Presumably this was somehow related to the opening line of 'quit college and set the world on fire'. We're still waiting to hear your advice on setting the world on fire. Oh, and what happens when everyone sets the world on fire, metaphorically speaking? Does it all burn?

This advice almost seems like an anti-capitalist, anti-right wing rant, but not knowing your politics it's hard to draw that conclusion.

Sheesh.

September 25, 2005 4:06 AM

 
Anonymous James said...

To all those people saying you need a degree to be successful, it seems your definition of success is pretty lame, and delivered to you by a system that strives to perpetuate itself.

Are people with degrees happier? Stress is causing incalculable disease, ranging from heart failure to clinical depression. Is that school helping? Helping to put us in an early grave, although with all the concentration on school and "success," maybe it's where we all belong.

Everything worthwhile I learned throughout my life was learned nowhere near a classroom. Every little bit I went through that brought me one day closer to death, was either in school, or building that "success."

So drop out, tune in and turn on.

September 25, 2005 5:34 AM

 
Anonymous Felix said...

Nice read, Wil. I pretty much had the same ideas on quitting school and battling life on your own until I started to meet people from the most different backgrounds, with the most different carreers and interests.

Turns out, we as software developers are in a very priviledged position as that we can, with comparably little effort, build our own company and products and, if we know our stuff, live from the income it generates. However, don't forget, there are other industries, where, if you want to work in them, you have to have either tons of money to buy all the equipment on your own and employ a couple of people to help you or you have to have the degree to be considered to do a job. Think of the chemical industry, rocket science, health care, etc.

I'd love to believe simple and short sentences like yours. And I really see the metaphor in it. But really, sentences can always only be applicable to parts of how life works, not to every single case. Therefore, diversity among humanoids ;) is simply too great.

That said, let me through another sentence at you ;) ..

Quit the (in)finite loop in your brain, think outside of the system you're born in, find yourself and make your own flame fire your life.

September 25, 2005 5:55 AM

 
Anonymous Felix said...

Erm, make that "through" a "throw" ;)

September 25, 2005 5:58 AM

 
Anonymous Daniel Jalkut said...

To me having a college degree is like owning a Tux. You can get into a lot of parties without one, but occasionally the door will be shut.

If you're Mike Matas, and you're fortunate enough to have some pretty good resume items, it may offset the gaping holes in your educational experience. Other kids who didn't get lucky shouldn't count on generating that luck out of thin air.

Also, my impression is that even companies with liberal hiring policies use arbitrary attributes like "level of education" to pigeonhole a salary range for a new hire. Usually the people setting the salary expectations are from a completely different department than the hiring manager, and are much more likely to be wearing a suit.

September 25, 2005 7:13 AM

 
Blogger Seth said...

Wil,

Daniel Jalkut, makes a good point about Mike Matas. He is having a great career, but he's an exception, not a rule.

To wit: You and Mike snubbed your noses at a lot of people and built an application in a coffee shop. What if, hypothetically, your app has sucked?

No articles in Business 2.0 or Wired. No delicious library. No success. Just another loser who gambled.

So, while there is no one specific thing that we can teach you in formal schooling that guarantees success, there is that whole, collecting knowledge of the human race thing... for what it's worth.

It's helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with... you know?

(And, yes. I'm a teacher.)

September 25, 2005 8:44 AM

 
Anonymous James said...

To Seth and other pro-education posters, what are you terming as "success?" Monetary gain? Fame? If so, then nothing you learn at school is going to give you that beyond the status quo.

Big success comes from who you know and what you've got. The "what" being either money or some fantastic idea and the wherewithal to put it into action. No amount of school will get you that, unless you go to school and meet some people with influence.

The thing is, the "whole sum of human knowledge" is acquired by people mostly outside of school. I finished a degree in computer science, it was conferred with distinction, and yet I will be the first person to tell you it's worthless, and so was the education that gave it to me.

As for school giving you an indication of what you have to gamble with; if the only place you can find that out is school, then it's likely your stack is pretty small, and your best bet is to not stick your neck out, just to hunker down and follow the herd. School gives you nothing that allows you to go above and beyond. It certainly doesn't give you the tools to have a happy life.

Our society's on a path leading towards perpetual unhappiness, and the only way to ward that off is to buck the trend and do things differently.

September 25, 2005 10:46 AM

 
Anonymous Zach Blume said...

When I was 13 I got a 1400 on the SATs. I think that shows how usefull high school and colledge are. Pshawww.

September 25, 2005 2:52 PM

 
Blogger Chris Foresman said...

Hey! I'm a goddamn vegetarian, goddamn it!

September 26, 2005 7:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to earn money to survive, on this planet, irrespective of your wishes, likings and disliking. A college degree is very important in getting a job in a company. One, to be eligible to apply for a job, should have got a "CONSISTANTLY EXCELLENT RECORDS THROUGHOUT ACADEMICS (i.e. above 7+ GPA in all high schools, undergraduate school, and graduate school) FROM REPUTED INSTITUTIONS". Then you can apply at least. Then, if you have good contacts in those companies you are applying for, may be, you will be selected for a job after clearing 6 or 7 rounds of interviews followed by the aptitude tests. (But remember, you should have contacts, NOT ONLY the degrees). Do you understand, now, the value a college degree brings to your life? A college DEGREE MAY SOMETIMES get you a job IF NOT ALWAYS.

I am agree with Seth, the GREAT teachers from these, so called, REPUTED institutions “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. But Seth, do you know that majority of the population are in competitive disadvantage in getting into these REPUTED institutions as these people CAN NOT AFFORD the EXTREME HIGH EXPENSES of this colleges? Let us assume that the government decides to make educations at these REPUTED colleges FREE (It can never happen in reality, though); then also these colleges can not accept all students, in the country, to GUIDE THEM to “figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. Right? So where will these remaining students (who are not selected in REPUTED schools) go to learn “what they have to gamble with...”.?

I want to point out a few HOLY teaching methods these GREAT teachers follow to make you acquire the skill “to gamble with...”.

First, these GREAT professors never want a student to become smarter than him/her (Have you have ever pointed out when a teacher taught a wrong concept in class? Then you must know the way “your pointing out” reflected in your GPA)

Second, these Profs, for 4 or more years, teach you to accept your fate decided by them (in the first place, and then by other people. The REPUTED institutions write fate for students in the form of GPAs).

Third, they teach you to think as smart (?) as they can think (and never try to go beyond their limit otherwise, you know, you have to protect your GPA. Right?)

And, if I continue to write the NOBLE practices these GREAT teachers (from REPUTED institutes) follow, it will take a major part of the web to do that…..

If these idiot Profs could “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...” , they would not have wasted their own time in schools instead of gambling in real world by themselves.

THEY DAMAGE YOUR CREATIVE MIND. THEY ARE FAILURES. THEY TEACH YOU TO BE A FALURE. THEY WANT THE WORLD TO BE AS FAILURE AS THEY ARE. YOU AND YOUR PARENTS WORK HARD TO EARN MONEY AND THEY ENJOY THEM.

I am not against education; but against these education systems called schools.

TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS WORLD, YOU SHOULD NOT CARE TO GET RECOGNITION FROM FAILURES.

Most knowledgeable authorities, in this world, were self educated. Michael Faraday, Thomas Edition, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson, Dhrubhai Ambani and the list goes on. All of them dropped out of schools and created history. And will you say “THEY ARE NOT EDUCATED”? They are much better educated than the majority of people getting a piece of paper (Known as Graduation Certificate) after flattering the GREAT Professors at REPUTED institutes for a number of years.

So, if you have faith in yourself, “QUIT SCHOOL AND SET THINGS ON FIRE”

September 27, 2005 8:01 AM

 
Blogger B Das said...

You have to earn money to survive, on this planet, irrespective of your wishes, likings and disliking. A college degree is very important in getting a job in a company. One, to be eligible to apply for a job, should have got a "CONSISTANTLY EXCELLENT RECORDS THROUGHOUT ACADEMICS (i.e. above 7+ GPA in all high schools, undergraduate school, and graduate school) FROM REPUTED INSTITUTIONS". Then you can apply at least. Then, if you have good contacts in those companies you are applying for, may be, you will be selected for a job after clearing 6 or 7 rounds of interviews followed by the aptitude tests. (But remember, you should have contacts, NOT ONLY the degrees). Do you understand, now, the value a college degree brings to your life? A college DEGREE MAY SOMETIMES get you a job IF NOT ALWAYS.

I am agree with Seth, the GREAT teachers from these, so called, REPUTED institutions “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. But Seth, do you know that majority of the population are in competitive disadvantage in getting into these REPUTED institutions as these people CAN NOT AFFORD the EXTREME HIGH EXPENSES of this colleges? Let us assume that the government decides to make educations at these REPUTED colleges FREE (It can never happen in reality, though); then also these colleges can not accept all students, in the country, to GUIDE THEM to “figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. Right? So where will these remaining students (who are not selected in REPUTED schools) go to learn “what they have to gamble with...”.?

I want to point out a few HOLY teaching methods these GREAT teachers follow to make you acquire the skill “to gamble with...”.

First, these GREAT professors never want a student to become smarter than him/her (Have you have ever pointed out when a teacher taught a wrong concept in class? Then you must know the way “your pointing out” reflected in your GPA)

Second, these Profs, for 4 or more years, teach you to accept your fate decided by them (in the first place, and then by other people. The REPUTED institutions write fate for students in the form of GPAs).

Third, they teach you to think as smart (?) as they can think (and never try to go beyond their limit otherwise, you know, you have to protect your GPA. Right?)

And, if I continue to write the NOBLE practices these GREAT teachers (from REPUTED institutes) follow, it will take a major part of the web to do that…..

If these idiot Profs could “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...” , they would not have wasted their own time in schools instead of gambling in real world by themselves.

THEY DAMAGE YOUR CREATIVE MIND. THEY ARE FAILURES. THEY TEACH YOU TO BE A FALURE. THEY WANT THE WORLD TO BE AS FAILURE AS THEY ARE. YOU AND YOUR PARENTS WORK HARD TO EARN MONEY AND THEY ENJOY THEM.

I am not against education; but against these education systems called schools.

TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS WORLD, YOU SHOULD NOT CARE TO GET RECOGNITION FROM FAILURES.

Most knowledgeable authorities, in this world, were self educated. Michael Faraday, Thomas Edition, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson, Dhrubhai Ambani and the list goes on. All of them dropped out of schools and created history. And will you say “THEY ARE NOT EDUCATED”? They are much better educated than the majority of people getting a piece of paper (Known as Graduation Certificate) after flattering the GREAT Professors at REPUTED institutes for a number of years.

So, if you have faith in yourself, “QUIT SCHOOL AND SET THINGS ON FIRE”

September 27, 2005 8:03 AM

 
Blogger B Das said...

You have to earn money to survive, on this planet, irrespective of your wishes, likings and disliking. A college degree is very important in getting a job in a company. One, to be eligible to apply for a job, should have got a "CONSISTANTLY EXCELLENT RECORDS THROUGHOUT ACADEMICS (i.e. above 7+ GPA in all high schools, undergraduate school, and graduate school) FROM REPUTED INSTITUTIONS". Then you can apply at least. Then, if you have good contacts in those companies you are applying for, may be, you will be selected for a job after clearing 6 or 7 rounds of interviews followed by the aptitude tests. (But remember, you should have contacts, NOT ONLY the degrees). Do you understand, now, the value a college degree brings to your life? A college DEGREE MAY SOMETIMES get you a job IF NOT ALWAYS.

I am agree with Seth, the GREAT teachers from these, so called, REPUTED institutions “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. But Seth, do you know that majority of the population are in competitive disadvantage in getting into these REPUTED institutions as these people CAN NOT AFFORD the EXTREME HIGH EXPENSES of this colleges? Let us assume that the government decides to make educations at these REPUTED colleges FREE (It can never happen in reality, though); then also these colleges can not accept all students, in the country, to GUIDE THEM to “figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...”. Right? So where will these remaining students (who are not selected in REPUTED schools) go to learn “what they have to gamble with...”.?

I want to point out a few HOLY teaching methods these GREAT teachers follow to make you acquire the skill “to gamble with...”.

First, these GREAT professors never want a student to become smarter than him/her (Have you have ever pointed out when a teacher taught a wrong concept in class? Then you must know the way “your pointing out” reflected in your GPA)

Second, these Profs, for 4 or more years, teach you to accept your fate decided by them (in the first place, and then by other people. The REPUTED institutions write fate for students in the form of GPAs).

Third, they teach you to think as smart (?) as they can think (and never try to go beyond their limit otherwise, you know, you have to protect your GPA. Right?)

And, if I continue to write the NOBLE practices these GREAT teachers (from REPUTED institutes) follow, it will take a major part of the web to do that…..

If these idiot Profs could “helped a lot of people figure out exactly what they have to gamble with...” , they would not have wasted their own time in schools instead of gambling in real world by themselves.

THEY DAMAGE YOUR CREATIVE MIND. THEY ARE FAILURES. THEY TEACH YOU TO BE A FALURE. THEY WANT THE WORLD TO BE AS FAILURE AS THEY ARE. YOU AND YOUR PARENTS WORK HARD TO EARN MONEY AND THEY ENJOY THEM.

I am not against education; but against these education systems called schools.

TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS WORLD, YOU SHOULD NOT CARE TO GET RECOGNITION FROM FAILURES.

Most knowledgeable authorities, in this world, were self educated. Michael Faraday, Thomas Edition, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson, Dhrubhai Ambani and the list goes on. All of them dropped out of schools and created history. And will you say “THEY ARE NOT EDUCATED”? They are much better educated than the majority of people getting a piece of paper (Known as Graduation Certificate) after flattering the GREAT Professors at REPUTED institutes for a number of years.

So, if you have faith in yourself, “QUIT SCHOOL AND SET THINGS ON FIRE”

September 27, 2005 8:03 AM

 
Anonymous lysdexia said...

I heard that eating char is carcinogenic.

Hey, we have the same birthdate. I'm not sure about the birthday, but I'm also a Libran Rooster (I think).

If one quits school, how is one supposed to learn how to perfect fire?

1
2

-Aut

September 29, 2005 9:21 AM

 
Anonymous Amorya said...

To B Das:

"Let us assume that the government decides to make educations at these REPUTED colleges FREE"

you mean like my university education was in first year? The only reason I pay now (£1000 a year, which is about $2000) is because my family's income rose above £30,000. Not every country charges loads for education!

"First, these GREAT professors never want a student to become smarter than him/her (Have you have ever pointed out when a teacher taught a wrong concept in class? Then you must know the way “your pointing out” reflected in your GPA)"

I've pointed out mistakes (tactfully) before. The trick is to pose it as a question, rather than say "Ha, you suck!". The lecturers have without fail gone on to thank me for pointing it out. It's all in how you put it - nobody likes a smart-alec, but if you're actually thinking then they tend to love you.

"Third, they teach you to think as smart (?) as they can think (and never try to go beyond their limit otherwise, you know, you have to protect your GPA. Right?)"

OK, I admit I don't know much about the American education system, but the whole GPA concept sounds flawed to me.

I study psychology - I'm in my final year of an undergraduate degree. Currently I'm working on a project (worth 15% of my entire degree mark) in conjunction with a staff member whose research interest it is. He's agreed that, if I want to put the effort in, he'll help me publish it when I'm done.

That's the kind of thing university staff should do. My study is hopefully going to support my tutor's current research - but he's giving me the support I need to form my own methods, collect my own data, and hopefully come out with an article. All this stuff about not thinking too much sounds bollocks to me - the more in depth I think about this project, the better my mark will be.

In my department, the essay markers love it if you make them have to look up some theory they haven't heard of, in order to understand how you're integrating it into an argument by contrasting it with another. If you stick to what your lecturers tell you, you'll get a 2:2. For a first, you pretty much have to out-think them on some topic!

"Michael Faraday, Thomas Edition, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson, Dhrubhai Ambani and the list goes on. All of them dropped out of schools and created history."

OK, no-one's saying you can only make it if you go to university. But I want to contribute to psychological research. There is no way to do that without at least an undergraduate degree (as that's the requirement for British Psychological Society membership). And even if there was, all the research is going on in universities.

Some of the people you mentioned just had a good insight and were smart enough to realise it was new and exciting. That's all well and good for Steve Jobs inventing the GUI, but what if I want to create a new treatment programme for bipolar disorder? You can't just come up with something like that on your own. And the hospitals aren't going to let you study patients without backing from a university, as you could be any freak off the street!

The field of computing is relatively unique since there are so few barriers to entry. Most sciences have much higher barriers - be they cost of equipment, or the huge amount of existing knowledge which is well known in academic circles, or access to subjects to study...

University provides the resources that let you go on innovating in your chosen field. As such, I advise people to stay on, if their interests lie in such a field!

Amorya

October 11, 2005 9:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Read!

IMO Highschool is the biggest failure of modern society since the Nuclear Bomb and Soap-Drama TV,

If kids could only learn quick enough in primary school they should be able to flag the 7 years of High School and go straight to College

October 12, 2005 7:40 PM

 
Anonymous Scott Ellsworth said...

Many schools do suck, but if you have a goal and some dedication, you can learn both because of and in spite of the institution. There are few places with as many bright people with nothing better to do with their time than talk.

Getting an education is up to the student, so you have to ask what would teach you the most. For Wil, it was not school, but for me, it was.

A lack of a high school diploma is going to be a stigma. Get the GED if you are thinking of dropping out, because otherwise, there are people who will think you are a moron. Sometimes, you cannot avoid these people.

Finishing college is less clear. If you have a great idea, it can be worth it to get in the marketplace faster, but most people's ideas are, frankly, just not that great. If you are not amazingly lucky, or amazingly talented, then a college education is one way to try and get that talent, the recognition, and the contacts.

I have worked with both scientists and academics who were surprised when someone with a mere Masters degree knew something they did not. Without a college degree, you would not be able to work with them at all. (Some of them _do_ check.)

They are not bad people, but they rate people based on academic performance. On the other hand, they pay on time, have interesting projects, and know neat stuff, and you do not get to work with them without the sheepskin.

Does this one group justify a degree? No, but as a door opener, the degree is cool.

Finally, look at the numbers. Do most people who drop out of college for a tech job do well? Some did, back in the boom, but most ended up having to go back at a later date, when they had a lot more commitments, and when campus life was no longer targeted at them. Easier to do that exploration while you have time to change direction.

Scott

November 03, 2005 4:58 PM

 
Anonymous jrc said...

Wil,
Me thinks you've been around Tom Brown and Daniel Quinn?

November 23, 2005 10:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes schooling is cool. It can help spot a fun, but completely erroneous rant. i hope you are not taking yourself too seriously!
While some teachers may not be cut out for a career in the 'real world' (perhaps because they would like to be round a fire in the woods?) the majority of them are actually not driven by money, but want to help and educate other people to the best of their ability. Can you berate someone for wanting money while at the same time rating succes in monetary terms yourself. You say you are successful without the education, but rate this success in monetary terms..
I could go on, and on, and on..
but I wont

November 24, 2005 3:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god I don't feel being a pimp is something worth striving for - I might be considered a brainless pile of shit if I did!!!!

November 13, 2006 9:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

School can be a pain...in fact all the time. I admit, I don't like my high school experience, but I will not drop out. At least I would take the GED first. I plan on going to a 4 year university even though I don't really want to. I am interested in a career that doesn't even require a college diploma- a paramedic. But many jobs like being a paramedic or firefighter, you can only do for so long because those jobs are physically demanding. You need to have a BACK UP plan. YOU NEED A BACHELORS DEGREE. It doesn't matter if its in basketweaking! And if you want to have a family and a stable family household you should be college educated. DON'T JUST THINK ABOUT YOURSELF! THINK ABOUT HOW OTHERS ARE AFFECTED BY YOUR DECISIONS AS WELL.

January 02, 2007 4:52 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

And if you want to have a family and a stable family household you should be college educated.

Whoa, whoa, I admit I was engaging in some hyperbole, but let's not go overboard here. I think I'm pretty fucking stable -- I'm the one who pays for my grandmother and my mother's medical care -- and I'm not college edumacated. Well, I am, but I didn't stick around for a degree.

College can be a great experience for some people, but I certainly wouldn't say it's a requirement to have a good life and/or be rich.

January 02, 2007 9:21 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home