I recently asked my university’s library to order this book called The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen by Dr. Robert Epstein. (I recently blogged about an article featuring his ideas in “Stuff I Found”.) The book looks very interesting, especially since it seems to echo, in some respects, arguments I’ve made earlier somewhere in this blog about the uselessness of the teenage education system.

Speaking about useless education systems, I’m taking a required computer science course this semester having to do with computer architecture in which we learn how a processor and such process instructions, such as assembly instructions. This course is a perfect example of a complete and utter waste of my time. If there’s a job out there that requires this sort of knowledge, I don’t want it. There is no good reason for this course to be required, many of us CS majors will get along fine without it for the rest of our lives. There is no good purpose for making this course a requirement. This, like many other courses, are a complete waste of my time and tuition! But it’s not just the universities that I think are to blame, it’s the industry… the companies who hire graduates with a BS in computer science. Instead of searching for actual signs of a skill in something, they seem to put more emphasis on a piece of paper representing that you got a C or better in a bunch of courses.

The professor went around the room of and asked each of us why were in the course. Some students were genuinely interested in the subject… good for them, somebody’s gotta carry on doing this nitty-gritty work in the future! Some students seemed to fake answers to please the professor. I, like about a third or a fourth of the class, was honest and said I was there because it was a required course. The professor didn’t seem very pleased, I’m sure he’d rather be teaching students who cared a bit more. Oh well.

To continue ranting…

I once asked in a game programming forum which was more important, a degree or a portfolio? Obviously a portfolio should be more important, but employers for some reason don’t always agree. According to this website:

the asker is showing his laziness, trying to find a way to get out of having to have both a portfolio and a degree. And the asker has the naïve belief that there is a cut-and-dried preference for one over the other. Life just ain’t that simple!

Not doing something that is not needed is not laziness. But unfortunately the answerer is correct in that there is no cut-and-dried preference… but there should be, and it’s employers’ fault that there’s not and it’s because of them I’m stuck in some boring class wasting my time and energy. Life is very simple, it’s just not easy.

Why are so many people so scared to admit that most of the stuff learned in high school and college is useless? I feel like I’m countering the evil of Ayn Rand’s “secondhanders” … I guess because I am.

Maybe it has to do with red hair.

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