Twenty two out of twenty three Harvard grads could not explain why the earth gets hotter in summer and cooler in winter.
So I asked my cleaning lady, who has received no science education whatsoever, and very little education. She replied that the days were longer in summer and shorter in winter. I then prompted her “Why are they longer in summer and shorter in winter?”, to which she correctly replied that the earth is tilted with respect to its orbit around the sun.
To be strictly correct she should have said the earth’s axis is tilted with respect to the earth’s orbit, but since she already got “days” correct, unlike the Harvard grads, axis is implied.
The author of this video suggests we need improved science education, but I think that no amount of education can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, that what we need is considerably less education, about as much education as my cleaning lady has.
Harvard does not, for the most part, teach anything that matters to anyone other than how to hate whitey. Universities have been dumbing down since 1870. They want to be more inclusive, and then adjust their course material to make those included feel more at home. Which makes them useless.
Ferguson looks at measured elite IQs, concludes that our ruling elite is around IQ 120, and that everyone above IQ 140 is pretty much toast. “inappropriately excluded”. It looks to me that the situation is worsening over time, that older members of our elite are generally substantially smarter than recent members of our elite, though all my evidence on this is anecdotal, and people dispute it.
Our elite is being stupidified by avoiding disparate impact. Anything that filters for smarts has disparate impact on women and blacks. Also, smart people tend to mansplain – give those affirmative actioned into jobs beyond their competence instructions and advice that they are incapable of following. Wasenlightened denies this. I accuse him of false consciousness. The level of fear at Google seems excessive if Wasenlightened perceptions are accurate. In an environment where one has a large number of female affirmative action employees, filtering for political correctness is going to filter for stupidity since smart people will be perceived as discriminating against the less smart.
Our universities have been dumbed down so that they no longer teach what high school used to teach.
Academic credentials are not indicators that one has learned anything useful, or indeed learned anything at all, rather they are filters for intelligence and diligence, and, due to degree inflation and the inclusion of women and blacks, very poor filters at the upper end.
Used to be that graduating high school proved you were pretty smart. Now, graduating Harvard does not show you are smart.
I propose degree deflation:
Smart kids can learn in high school maths to calculus and trig, science to special relativity, how to calculate pi from first principles, geography, history of western civilization, and can absorb the western culture and western civilization that university no longer teaches.
I propose that the lower two thirds, pretty much everyone below IQ 106, fails to get a school leaving certificate and leaves school at the start of puberty. The somewhat smarter and more diligent people, IQ 106 to IQ 120, about a quarter of the population, also leave school at the start of puberty, but with a school leaving certificate. The smart people, 120 and up, the top ten percent, graduate high school. Ten percent of that ten percent, the top one percent, people 135 and up, take a two year university course.
Attempting to use academic credentials to filter to smarter than the top one percent is unlikely to succeed, because of demand for lengthy recreational degrees. If we try to get an elite smarter than 135, going to need some new filtering mechanism. Also, using academic credentials as a filter means you are up against the bureaucratic imperative to expand. If one is supposedly in the business of educating people, one is naturally inclined to claim that the education is beneficial, and can benefit everyone, rather than acting as a filter. Thus academic institutions have an incentive to subvert their filter function, and thus an incentive to stupidify the elite.
We used to have a public service exam, a requirement for government employment in functions likely to exercise power, that was IQ heavy, though it also tested for diligence by requiring you to memorize a lot of useless nonsense. Unfortunately, this, of course, had disparate impact. Simply re-instituting the exam would dramatically improve elite function, and one could simply make it a substantially tougher exam for anyone in the system at a level likely to make policy. On the other hand, the Chinese mandarinate tried this and it worked extremely badly. The mandarins were not all that smart. It is hard to make a filter that works when everyone is trying to game the system. But it is not as hard as making a filter that works when you are trying to be inclusive.