Before I go any further, I absolutely believe that doctors, lawyers, physicists and the like need specialized training and years of education. I'm not a fucking idiot. Colleges and universities provide this training and education. To that end: Yay college. Woot.
Now, I've had several people over the years write me to express, in varying degrees, how offended they are that I would say this. The response has ranged from "That's just, like, your opinion, man..." to "I used to be your fan but you've insulted me for going to College. I will never read anything you write again." Apparently Tolerance 101 wasn't on some folks' curriculum.
You have to understand: I am vitriolic. I am caustic. I am not faking these things, but I absolutely play them up in an effort to invoke a need to respond. I want dialog on topics I cover. I want people to talk about them, consider them, and ideally see things my way because I'm fucking right all the time and life will be much easier when everyone realizes this.
And as far as college is concerned, I really think the vast majority of people who go to college are simply seeing it as some sort of price of admission for success -- and that's total bullshit.
As a whole, our society is far too focused on steps.
- Go to school.
- Get a degree.
- Get a job.
That's a myth. Period. There is no company worth a shit out there that would look at someone with talent and maturity, and another person with a degree, and hire the person with the degree first. Not one. If they would, you don't want to work there.
I am not anti-education. Everything you need to know to start doing just about anything period is available on the internet and the library. Hell, I'm actually not even anti-college, insofar as the purpose for which it is intended. But college has long since stopped being about learning. It's gone from college to College. It's about partying and socialization in-between staged, highly-planned courses designed to take as long as possible to educate you before you realize the price tag of that education. And then, you get the Degree.
Outside of medicine, law and highly specific sciences, it's so much less about knowledge and education then it is about paying dues -- literally. It's supposed to be a sign of commitment, maturity, sticktoitiveness and dedication.
For a vast majority of things, especially in arts, humanity and computer sciences, it's a waste of fucking time. The industries associated award experience, creativity and the ability to keep up (or better yet, set the pace). College necessarily puts unnecessary steps and this concept of getting permission to feel like you've done a good job in the form of grades. That's nonsense. And it's annoying as hell to have conversations with people who feel, because they have a degree, they're somehow better than me (or anyone else who doesn't have one) -- regardless of our respective successes.
Let's face it -- elementary school through high school is set up specifically to teach you how to be a factory worker. You are assigned tasks by your manager, you are told to concentrate on those tasks for a set period of time, take a lunch break, and do what you're told. All day, every day, for eight hours or so a day.
College, for the most part, simply serves as advanced factory worker training. You sign up for advanced education to get ahead, which might somehow get you into a management position if you're lucky. But for the most part, kids go to college because they're not yet ready to actually work for a living, and they have been convinced they have to go to a good school and get a degree to get anywhere in life.
Yes, I want my lawyer and my doctor to have degrees. But that's because in matters concerning the courts or my continued health, I want absolute proof that the individual advising me knows what the hell they are talking about. For these purposes, the step is absolutely necessary.
I also like the idea of anyone who wants to pursuing advanced education. Learn more. Do better. Good for you. But the idea of paying admission into this amusement park of learning and greek letters that is somehow going to guarantee you success in the world is ridiculous.
If you want success in the world, there are two skills you can acquire that, accompanied with will to succeed, will get you anywhere you want:
1) be so good you cannot be ignored. If you're not that good yet, practice until you are.
2) Meet the right people.
The rest is pomp and circumstance -- literally.
Look, waste all the time you want. Go to college. Take on heaps and heaps of debt for a degree that, more and more these days, means less and less. People like me will be out in the world doing things, learning from experience. We look forward to the day you finally join us.