Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Academian Rationalization Hamster

Man, look at this hamster spin.

It makes me wonder if a human brain, after a certain amount of brainwashing/environment/etc., is incapable or independent thought, let alone taking criticism.  And even if it is in its best interests to stop, admit it made a mistake, take action to correct it, and thereby have a better life and future, how the ego overrides such wisdom.

I'd suggest sending her a copy of "Worthless" but it would be akin to her most likely path in life - pointless.


Anonymous said...

FTA: "rigorous Gender Studies"

One of these words is not like the others...

El Borak said...

My senior thesis -- which was optional, and which I decided to do primarily because it WAS difficult -- was a 65-page behemoth...

65 pages is not a "behemoth." As a history major*, my thesis was twice that size. I routinely did 35-40 page papers on actual, important subjects like hyperinflation in Wiemar Germany. Probably did 5 or 6 of them in two years, all told.

It is funny, though, that the recipients of worthless degrees will complain that they don't have a job. They'll occupy Wall street and they'll tweet and tout and whatever people without jobs do all day long. I don't really know what that is.

When you point out the obvious fact that an accounting firm might prefer to hire someone with an actual accounting degree to do their accounting, it's suddenly something wrong with capitalism that accounting firms don't consider a 65-page "behemoth" paper on Heaven's Gate and 37 credit hours in Sexual Disorientation to be proof that someone can balance the books.

You don't have to teach Socialism in college to create anti-capitalists. You just have to create people with no actual knowledge and a sense of entitlement. Of course, it helps to have a master's in Others Are At Fault as well.

* Sure it's worthless, but I've got 2 CIS degrees already, and what's more important, a job.

Anonymous said...

Just for giggles, I went through the whole comment thread on that article. No one mentioned one of the greatest problems in getting a job in the private sector with a degree in Womens and Gender Studies.

If I was in private industry reviewing applications, and was not under a government mandate of some sort to hire a W&GS specialist; I would NEVER hire someone with that degree for any job.

If you are in that field, it is a good working assumption that if you were hired by a private company you would be using your training to prove to a court that some aspect of the business was discriminatory against "Womyn" or any of the extra Genders invented by the courts. Why hire someone whose goal is to destroy the company in the name of a "higher good"?

Subotai Bahadur

Pax Empyrean said...

My favorite part was where she talked about how doing things with no readily apparent benefit teaches you valuable skills to use in the workplace.

Even supposing that wasting time builds character, it makes me wonder why one would need to pay for the opportunity to do things with no readily apparent benefit.

Also amusing were the people who claimed that getting an English degree is how one attains proficiency in English. I must have stolen an English degree from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The fact that she thinks a Gender Studies degree can even be 'rigorous' is hilarious.

Kristophr said...

My posts there, in case reasoned discourse breaks out and they start deleting them:


So you saddled yourself with tens of thousands of dollars of debt for a degree that can't get you a job?

I'm sure you feel good about the classes ... but what is the point if you cannot support yourself?

Perhaps you should have done something to get some work first? Maybe even a two year vo-tech degree?

Then put yourself through the program for the fun degree. instead of saddling yourself with some crushing debt?

I see a full page of self-rationalization for imprudent behavior. Do you expect your parents to foot your new bills and living expenses? Or just continued government handouts?


And seriously ... any employer is going to take one look at your degree and see someone who has been taught to sue businesses at the drop of a politically correct hat.

Suzanne McCarley said...

Found one SB! Or did you submit it?

"Since when have fields like that ever lead directly to easily tangible gigs? It's not like the recession unexpectedly gutted the once-booming private WGS industry."

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

"There were parts that were really fun, but like most academic things, writing this huge paper was also hard work."

That part made me smile. Yes, writing a paper can be hard work. Carrying a 50 lbs. rock up and down a flight of stairs over and over again is hard work, too. Just because something is hard to do, that doesn't necessarily mean it's worthwhile (the value of such nonsense inside of the bubble world echo chamber of modern academia notwithstanding).

Anonymous said...

A degree in Women and Gender Studies will qualify a person to ask that most profound question:


Glen Filthie said...

These degrees are WORSE than useless in my scholarly opinion - they are downright harmful.

I would look at a person with a degree like that as an enemy of my business. These people generate toxic office politics, stir up chit and hard feelings, and waste time. If I even THINK a candidate is some politically correct crusader - be it racial, sexual, or political - their resume goes in the garbage.

That girl has very, very limited options. She will need to find some affirmative action job or learn to sling coffee and run a cash register.

Heh said...

I was particularly taken with how Gender Studies analyses incorporated stuff like philosophy, critical theory, literature, film studies, psychology, disability studies, cultural and media studies, sociology, ethnic studies

She was so excited that stupid worthless nonsense incorporated other stupid worthless nonsense! Zero plus (zero times nine) still equals zero, yaaay!

wound up looking to me like the "Katamari Damarcy" of academic majors, except with a big feminist symbol stuck to it

Never mind that big-ass DOLLAR SYMBOL stuck to it.

Women’s Studies is easy, you say? OK, you try working on a thesis for a year

65 pages in a year. A little over a page a week. Wow, sooooo hard!

my M.A. thesis, for which I wrote and illustrated a lengthy autobiographical cartoon on disability and chronic pain

A thesis with a cartoon in it... words fail me.

In an era where there are no guarantees, even those in so-called "in demand" fields can have trouble finding work.

So wait, that's an argument to major in something useless?

all of us who are un(der)employed -- which many, many people are right now -- had a crystal ball back in our college days and could see that the “useless” subjects we love simply weren’t what the market would want

My crystal ball tells me W&GS has ALWAYS been useless and will always be useless. The market will NEVER want them.

It is TOTALLY our fault for getting degrees in fields that we were actually pretty good at.

If what you are good at is not what people will pay you to do, yeah that is a bad choice.

Because you could never exert yourself to be "good at" something worthwhile. Like other people - less special than you - make themselves do.

Never mind that WHAT COMPANIES WANT can be so nebulous as to be unpredictable depending on the industry, and not every company is the same.

It is easy to predict what companies don't want... for example, like W&GS, LMAO!

we should have had the foresight to mold ourselves into perfect worker bees for what the market demands.

Countless people do exactly that. But you're more special somehow!

a college education is not only supposed to be job training; qualities like critical thinking, writing, communicating with people, and being able to problem-solve in the workplace and daily life are also important.

Heh, two degrees in W&GS tells me you can't do ANY of those important things.

Plain Jane female... majored in useless communist nonsense... vast sense of entitlement... attention young men of America, AVOID AVOID AVOID this creature!

Anonymous said...

A 65 page thesis is a behemoth! Yikes! The first chapter of my thesis was 48 pages long. But, that was in a scientific discipline, and probably not "important" like womyns' studies

PeppermintPanda said...

People who claim that their degree gave them critical thinking skills generally don't have any ...

From what I have found "Critical Thinking" is code for blindly accepting what you're told by radical professors without question. For example, how many Women's studies majors have questioned whether women are (or ever have been) oppressed?

Eric Mueller said...

The owner of the site has a book called "The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics". He writes about r/K selection theory.

One of the attributes of r selected people is a damaged amygdala, which prevents them from properly responding to threats. They see everything as a threat, and freak out accordingly.

When I see things like this, I take it as validation of this guy's theory.

Phil Galt said...

Cappy Cappy Cappy...

I am deeply disappointed by your shortsightedness. Don't you know that feminism and other social studies are very much in demand? Companies (especially tech companies) have recognized the importance of critical thinking as applied to their corporate culture!

For example: Who better to determine what constitutes hate speech, than someone who has spent years studying the sins of the white male? Internet companies will need these people so they can judge which websites should be banned!

And how about the Diversity director? One major tech company employs a diversity director to write articles for the intranet. Just recently he published one highlighting how males don't listen to females! (no joke here people).

So don't write off the importance of the worthless degree! Our society needs these people (even if society refuses to admit it) to steer it towards progress!

daniel_ream said...

El Borak: It gets better. Her master's thesis was "an autobiographical cartoon".

That's the flip side of this. Not only is the degree itself worthless, but the institution isn't even pretending to academic rigour if it's accepting a cartoon for a master's thesis and 65 pages for a senior thesis. A degree in history or literature may not have much earning power, but an institution can still require the students show real mastery of the subject in exchange for the degree. A cartoon? You have to be kidding me.

Donttreadonmatt said...

According to the "Enjoy the Decline" philosophy, aren't all degrees worthless? Even STEM ones? Because it's all gonna crash eventually, right?

I've got a degree in civil engineering and I'm a professional engineer, and I've gone Galt. Even in STEM fields, they are not actually interested in doing real STEM work. It's all political BS, especially in the government monopoly of civil engineering. We're not building bridges a mile long anymore, were building "livable, walkable communities." The ladder climbers are based on PC, not talent. And the political BS is not limited to government work. Right?

I think the focus should be on doing what you want to do, in doing what you enjoy, but making sure that you gain those skills debt free. The problem is the debt, not the degree.

That's why they all want this debt to be forgiven now. They realize they've all been played for suckers, taking that free money to pursue their heart's desire.

Avoid debt, and you are free. That's the key, not choosing a worthwhile degree you have no interest in beyond a secure job, in light of enjoying the decline.

Anonymous said...

I have a PhD in physics, and my thesis was well over 400 pages - 467 I think... Do I make my living in that field? No. Is it related? No.. But I use the title - because it impresses the people that I interact with. That's all the degree is good for.

Was it a waste of time? Yes... Could you have convinced me it would be a waste of my time? No... That pretty much sums up all "advanced degrees" - and many BA's, or BS's... You would be better served getting a job which pays you to go to school, then get a degree they say is useful to them, that they are willing to pay for...

Gender Studies? Worthless to me... History - worthless... STEM? Now you may actually learn something useful, but till you've actually DONE something? Worthless as well... Since I have to pay you more than you're worth to me due to minimum wage laws - I just won't hire you. Simple solution - for me...

Oh.. So a lot of people are out of work since they need experience but can't get any due to stupid laws? Not my problem - you put the idiots into office, so sit on your butt till you vote them out. Meanwhile, I'll offshore those jobs and work so you don't get any of my money...

Let's see who starves first - hint, it won't be me... Welcome to Economics 101 - which they never taught you. They taught you their socialist theories - here's the reality...

JNorth said...

I really wish stupidity was painful.

My final project in Astrodynamics was 48 pages long. Granted most of that was calculations on getting to the moon and back.

One of my engineering technicians got her masters in English Lit. She is probably the only person I know who did it in an intelligent manor. She doesn't want to teach, she just likes the subject. Our work is rather seasonal up here (hard to pave at 40 below) so she worked for us in the summer and went to school in the winter. Got the degree with NO debt. Now she works for us year round, still making far more then anyone in her classes.

Anonymous said...

No way could I read the whole thing-but this has to be the best part-It took a major and Master's in WGS for her to learn that "Huge projects can't be done in a day."

>>>One thing that some people who majored in more “traditional” fields may not realize is that being in niche fields, and having experience in completing projects where the benefits are not immediately obvious, can teach you many important skills and life lessons that you can later use in the workplace. Such as: Huge projects cannot be done in a day.

LilyG said...

"... a college education is not only supposed to be job training; qualities like critical thinking, writing, communicating with people, and being able to problem-solve in the workplace and daily life are also important."

You don't need to go to college for that!

Greg said...

The problem with the degree of "Gender Studies" is that there's no intellectual rigour whatsoever.

For example, gender studies promotes the idea that, "Gender is a social construct." How much thought has been given to alternative hypotheses? Such as, perhaps, "Gender is a hormonal and evolutionary construct." (Especially since the latter has scientific studies providing evidence of this hypothesis.)

Gender Studies is a degree in indoctrination, feelings and who can use their thesaurus best when regurgitating the professor's tripe.

Anonymous said...

This is another paragraph that I like. Um, maybe you could have put some of those vaunted "Critical Thinking" skills to work at the time to analyze whether your "Love" for your subject was blinding you to reality. Now all you have is snark.

>>>>"Yes, because all of us who are un(der)employed -- which many, many people are right now -- had a crystal ball back in our college days and could see that the “useless” subjects we love simply weren’t what the market would want (ya know, what with that pesky recession and all)…and then chose to get useless degrees anyway. It is TOTALLY our fault for getting degrees in fields that we were actually pretty good at."<<<

Tom said...

Her previous article for xojane was entitled "Don't let unemployment crush your soul: a guide to staying sane while seeking a job."

El Borak said...

"... a college education is not only supposed to be job training...

That's utterly and absolutely true. But if you go to college to learn something that will not help you get a job or do a job, all I ask is that you do not bitch when you don't get a job.

A masters in puppetry or any other joke degree is not evidence of "critical thinking" or any of the other attributes the unemployed assert that the employed should value. In fact, as an employer, I would conclude that anyone with a masters in gender studies, sociology, or any similar degree not only cannot think, but actively wishes to avoid thinking.

A degree in physics (to pick one example) is valuable even if I don't hire you to do physics. That's because physics is genuinely hard and you'll learn discipline and math and logic and a whole bunch of other mental skills that are valuable.

OTOH, if your masters thesis is a cartoon, then you have actively avoided gaining the attributes you claim the employer should value in you even more than the skills you do not have.

You can argue until you're blue in the face that "critical thinking" is valuable. I will counter that a degree in wimmin studies makes your argument irrelevant: you don't have it.

Joe America said...

In my opinion Gender studies is essentially political indoctrination. I can draw a parallel to North Korea. North Koreans have virtually nothing in the way of STEM's only endless political indoctrination. Its a dirty secret that both South Korea and China feel North Koreans are unemployable. They are generally unwanted as they have zero work skills. Women can sell there bodies but that is about the only thing of value they can offer.

As far as gender studies goes I would venture to say it will often make you even more unemployable than no degree at all. I sure would not hire a person with professional victim degree.

Daniel W Bobo said...

"All of us who are UNDERemployed right now...."

Sorry snowflake if you and your masters in gender studies have a job making sandwiches thats called plain old employment.

If i'm doing your job with my stem Dr then that would be UNDERemployment.

MaMu1977 said...

She paid someone to teach her how to work. Really? That isn't right, that isn't even *wrong*. Does she realise that she's told the planet that she's borrowed/begged/stole the equivalent of 2-3 full-time workers' salaries to *pay* people to *teach* her how to *function* in a workplace (not "How to do something valuable", but "How to enable other people to do valuable things"/"How to avoid getting in the way of people who are doing valuable work"?)

Seriously? This isn't hamsterbation, its flat-out capybarationalisation. She just performed the academic equivalent of the Chewbacca Defense.

Anonymous said...

I always felt that this type of person should be allowed to collect whatever initials she needed after her name. Then she should be allowed to gather in whatever arena THEY practice; thereby segregating themselves from the productive folks. Finally, I always thought they would dry up, granulate and blow away.
But alas, I realize their sense of self preservation will drive them to TEACH!!!!!!!