“The University has no Clothes” – New York Magazine

Photo credit: New York Magazine

A couple of weeks ago I posted a brief comment regarding libertarian, entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s mission to rip the universal fabric of higher education’s importance to education, job prospects, and the rate of winning at life.

It comes, I think, at the spear’s tip of an emerging wave of skepticism over whether or not whippin’ out around $200,000 for a college education (or incurring the Wrath of Debt in that magnitude) is worth the investment. There seems to be a steadily rising number of popular written material on this issue in the past couple of months, and only time can tell whether the raised awareness of it all will ultimately change things before American society hits some sort of economic pressure point and explodes.

And while most of these writings say generally the same things (like this whole university thing is a bubble like the housing thing was, kids don’t actually learn shit in school, etc. etc.), this recent article in New York Magazine – entitled “The University has no Clothes” – has particular appeal enough to warrant a Wesleying post for three reasons.

  1. It engages the Peter Thiel Project from a different angle.
  2. It comes with the above picture of naked people.
  3. And it has the following quotation:

“People come back to me,” he (James Altucher, a subject of the article) says over lunch at a crowded restaurant in Union Square, “very smart, intelligent people, and say, ‘Look, college teaches you how to think, college teaches you how to network, college teaches you how to write.’ Personally, I didn’t learn how to do any of those things in college.” What Altucher learned to do in college, he says, is what all young men—“with almost no exceptions”—learn to do: drink and talk to women.

According to the sloths we here at Wesleying hired to research the tastes and preferences of our readers, these are precisely the things that appeal to you folks. For the article, click here.

Happy Hangover Holiday!

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6 thoughts on ““The University has no Clothes” – New York Magazine

  1. ya boy

    This is thought provoking for sure. I think James Altchuler is wrong to say that college presidents are “scamming” students by raising tuition. Tuition hikes are justified if you look at the luxuries offered here at Wes and the rising costs of healthcare as noted in the article. I think college is a different “thing” for every student. For some its a way to skirt meritocracy and maintain their socio-e. status, for some it’s free and creates huge opportunities. For me it’s in between and I’ll be saddled with almost 20k in debt while having also avoided much of the total tuition.

    The comparison with the housing bubble is a scar one for sure–and surprisingly applicable.

    Maybe if we gave up our 70k concerts and other absurd luxuries we could keep the education bubble from ‘tearing down the gates.’

  2. Wallas

    I think Wes students should be among the first places to remind everyone that the point of life isn’t entirely about making cash as an entrepreneur. Yes, I want a job. But I also want to pursue something that I am passionate about and that contributes to something greater than my retirement. I have no problems with people who want to start new airlines or make billions in Silicon Valley until they start trying to dictate my values.

    That said, college isn’t for everyone. For me, it’s a great place to study science because that’s what I’m curious about. For others it’s totally wrong. College, especially liberal arts, shouldn’t be a prereq for all jobs because of “networking” or some mysterious idea of well-roundedness. We as a country need understand what liberal arts is good for. If people who wanted something other than liberal arts had viable alternatives, maybe tuition wouldn’t be so high.

  3. Ugh

    if you guys don’t want to be here then don’t be here- but plenty of us love college and definitely get more out of it than “drinking and talking to girls.”

    1. Guest

      Who said anything about students not wanting to be here? The wesleying post is not ADVOCATING the ideology of Peter Thiel, just exposing us to his arguments. I think it’s always important to hear other perspectives…

    2. Guest 2

      that doesn’t mean we want to pay $50,000 a year to go here…there’s no generic, cheaper wesleyan

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