Down with Higher Education

So, I was just reading an article in the San Francisco Examiner about an investor giving young people money to not attend college. Amazing, right? You would think this would cause a tidal wave of lackluster, pot – reeking applications piled up at said investor’s door in grungy, wet envelopes (comedic value totally lost).

True, the idea excites even me. It has the makings of the anti-capitalist Armageddon, multitudes of young men and women just wanting to “cool out” and “get paid, yo.” This horror is a reality for some of the young in this country, but now it can be attained by honest(!) means.

Peter Thiel, the man behind PayPal, has a foundation that gives grants to young people who have good ideas and skip college. The idea is to give the young minds the time to develop their ideas and not languish in the university prison, i.e. Mark Zuckerberg, one of Thiel’s associates.

Great idea. I can’t say that I disagree with what he proposes. Studying electives was a problem for me, simply because I felt like vomiting when I understood that my university was forcing me to jump through a hoop and take bullshit classes that had nothing to do with my degree for the sake of culturing me. Students staying in school longer means more tuition money for the school, and logically I can’t think of any other reason.

So giving money to bright kids might be one of the greatest ideas of recent. These kids are smart. Most of them would even be considered the self taught genius level of brainiac that the world used to idolize (Albert Einstein). It seems that most geniuses pr categorized by their star power, a quality that spells doom for the country that feeds on only that attribute. These young guys are teaching themselves to program to platforms in high tech companies, utilize new systems that most people are too old to learn how to use, and best of all, they are malleable. I am of the mind that most of these young guys get investor money because they take orders and can be deceived, but that is off topic though.

These young entrepreneurs need only one thing, capital. That and a keg of beer, but most importantly capital. With money comes the free time to develop the things that will be marketed to the masses. The money provided will allow them to shape the world as they (and the investors) see it. What is wrong with that?

What I did find interesting about the article is the social change that might come out of telling people you don’t have to attend university to be intelligent. If the people who run the next generation of tech companies didn’t need college degrees, then will the people who work for the companies need educations as well? If the boss is good enough to be a drop out and clever, then other clever people have a shot at working for the company. This will probably never fly, but just imagine what would happen if there was a CEO of a large company that insisted there be no education requirement in the hiring process. Imagine the kind of people that would have access to a real job, making real money by first world standards. Imagine.