12 September 2009

Educating for Oblivion, Surviving on the Dole and Cheap Spirits

If you want to make an enterprise antiquated, unresponsive to real world needs, make it a part of the government. Perpetuate the institution regardless of any actual success in real world terms. Do that for enough of society, and before long people have forgotten that other means exist besides government, for solving real world problems. By then, it is too late. Oblivion of the mind has set in. Russia is slightly farther along that road than the US, but the new US government is making great strides to catch up.
In 2008, 35.7 percent of the country’s GDP came from manufacturing, natural resource mining, agriculture, construction and housing and utilities. But only 14 percent of today’s students will major in engineering, 3.2 percent in geology and 2.9 percent in agriculture science. At the same time, 45 percent of students will choose business, management and law as their major focus of study. The problem is that Russia’s financial and legal sectors account for only about 8 percent of GDP. Clearly, there are not enough jobs for all of these students dreaming of becoming wealthy — or even middle-class — bankers and lawyers.

Moreover, higher education has lost much of its value. In Moscow in 2007 and 2008, 10 percent of university graduates — 90 percent of them women — did not work at all after graduating, and another 24 percent took jobs that did not require a higher education. Fewer than 50 percent started careers in their area of study. The situation is the reverse in the United States, where 94 percent of graduates holding degrees in business administration found jobs in their profession, 86 percent of engineers did likewise, as did 76 percent of those specializing in agriculture. What’s more, the percentages were the same for the first three years after graduation. If these statistics apply to Moscow — where an excessively high percentage of the country’s business activity and wealth are concentrated — just imagine how worse the situation is in the regions.

Thus, Russia is churning out far more graduates than it needs..... _MT_via_LaRussophobe
Russia's population has an average IQ just below 100, like the United States. With that IQ distribution, it is likely that over half of Russia's college student population do not actually belong in a challenging university course of study. Just as in the US, college is seen as the way to succeed for everyone, when quite obviously that cannot be true. Not everyone can be above average -- particularly at least 1 standard deviation or more above average, which is required for success in a demanding college degree.
Russia cannot modernize its economy without first modernizing its entire educational system — and its universities, in particular. Russia needs to move away from the goal of “higher education for the masses” and restructure the system to train specialists who can help the country gain a strategic global position in manufacturing and innovation-driven sectors. One place to start is for colleges and universities to make their admissions requirements stricter, which will lower the number of students admitted. This is the best way to move from high quantity to high quality. _MT
But rather than create a society where opportunities for success abound, Russia continues as a corrupt oligarchy of insider power. Recent assassinations of journalists who were outspoken critics of Russia's Dear Leader, proclaim a lack of openness seen only in countries like North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, or China.

But the US could easily trend in that direction. Its educational system is already well along the path. The journalism community of the US has largely adopted a subservient position to the current governmental regime, without needing to be threatened. Of course, the US needs a national medical system like Russia's -- where bureaucrats can forget to order critical TB drugs and doom hundreds of thousands to needless deaths.

Russia's population is shrinking steadily, and will be only 1/3 the population of the US in a few decades. Its medical system is crap, its journalistic media is crap, its educational system is crap, and its military is crap. Russia cannot man its own vast mineral resources infrastructure, and is letting many billions of resource dollars slip away each year from crumbling machinery due to neglect.

Psychologically and spiritually, Russia is engaged in a slow but sure suicide. Its educational system is playing a crucial role in maintaining the downward course. Its journalistic media are keeping quiet, staying subservient. Its bureaucratic health care system is likely killing more people than it is saving.

Meanwhile, everyone praises Dear Leader.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The journalism community of the US has largely adopted a subservient position to the current governmental regime, without needing to be threatened.

I disagree. We like to say the press has been captured by the Democratic Party, but actually the Democratic Party is a creation of the press, as is Obama. Obama may turn on his creator, but right now each is playing their scripted parts. I say that the DP is a creation of the media since it is the media that recruits, it is the media that grants respectability, and it is the media that implants liberal ideas in childrens heads in the first place.

As for Russia, I remember reading in The New American that prior to 1990 Russia didn't teach its doctors about the germ theory of disease, instead teaching its doctors a form of Lysenkoism that held that microbes originated from cells parts that broke off and became diseases. Without a theory to explain infection doctors had no way of fighting it.

Sunday, 13 September, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

The home is the gatekeeper of ideas for small children, then the schools. Unless parents fail at their jobs, the media comes in a distant third. (Churches may or may not come into it)

As for Russia and the germ theory not being taught to doctors prior to 1990, I wonder if you understand how absurd that assertion is, Ron?

Lysenkoism is a black mark on Soviet science, but Russian scientists and physicians were not stupid, by and large.

A useful way of disciplining thought processes in comments is to require yourself to provide a source to back up your opinions.

Monday, 14 September, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My source on Russia is The New American issue of September 5, 2005. The name of the article is Lowering Healthcare Costs and contains this quote from the third paragraph:

In countries with strict government controls such as Cuba and Russia, medicine is not only substandard; it is horrifically dangerous. When Russia's economy collapsed in the early 1990's and foreign observers gained access to Russian hospitals, they learned that most Soviet medical personnel and scientists followed the teachings of a man named Trofim Lysenko, who taught that chromosomes and DNA were unimportant and that bacteria and viruses spontaneously formed out of organic matter - meaning that doctors and nurses were usually at a loss to explain concepts such as molecular biology, cell function, antibiotic resistance to bacteria, and hormone interaction with cells. One day-to-day result of this lack of knowledge was that massive numbers of diseases were transmitted from sick to healthy people from the reuse of unsterilized syringes. The axiom holds true that says, "The more government exerts control over something, the less efficient it is."

I'll see if I can find the article on the web so that I can link to it.

Monday, 14 September, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the article here.

In fairness, I don't have a second source to back up my original assertion, but at least I didn't fabricate my claim from thin air either.

I would appreciate a retraction of your veiled accusation that I am just making this up.

Monday, 14 September, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Someone obviously made it up, it doesn't have to have been you. Whoever wrote that article you quote didn't have good knowledge of his topic. Lysenko put Soviet genetic science behind during the time of Stalin, but he didn't permanently make morons of all Soviet biologists and physicians.

Soviet medicine did not lack for knowledge of antibiotics and the principles of antibiotic treatment and resistance. Sheer sloppiness and misallocation of resources explains most of the re-use of needles, syringes, and surgical equipment without proper sterilisation.

The elites in the upper party apparatus got very good medical care. But most people without inside connections and without ways of bribing officials and doctors, had to settle for inferior treatment. It was a matter of resources and how they were allocated.

The Soviets had medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical, etc. journals where modern scientific treatments were discussed. They were burdened with central planning and a chronic misallocation of resources.

Monday, 14 September, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Maybe KW was wrong in his claim about Soviet medicine. I used to subscribe to TNA and their information is usually very good.

Monday, 14 September, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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