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The paradoxical problem with education is that humans are competitive. A consequence is this: many kids at school loose interest in education (especially sciences) not because of low confidence in learning the curriculum, but because of low confidence in competing with nerdy kids in glasses. They would rather enjoy social superiority over the nerds.

It is easy not to pay attention to this from a progressive-institutional point of view. But on a massive behavioral scale, the value of education is its competitive edge rather than rational competency. Armchair progressives should better start paying attention to this.

Intellect is generally a higher status characteristic for humans. How else did our outsized brains evolve? The modern society and universal education messed up this linkage somewhat. But with glorious times of swift progress and ample resources apparently ending, the future is with masses that do not particularly value education (especially knowing the recent screw-up in high education). People, especially men, will rather look for narrow mastery than broad education. And they will be comfortable with selection by inequality.

by das monde on Sat Jul 16th, 2016 at 01:15:31 PM EST
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