A university degree isn’t necessary

This is something that I’ve thought about for some time: having a university degree isn’t necessary and you shouldn’t need one for a lot of disciplines out there. But the world has become such a place where having one is a prerequisite for a lot of professional-type positions (engineer, lawyer, etc).

I think that the whole idea of a university has completely lost its meaning today. To my understanding, they were once respectable institutions mostly involved in research as well as offering a higher form of education (I’m not going to get into the Christianity base that a lot of Western universities were founded on). These days, at least in the Western world, whilst maintaining the research side of things, they’ve largely become something of a joke.

Before I go on, I’ll state my definition of what a university should be: an institution that is privately owned and whose primary focus is research in the physical sciences, and then other areas if necessary (literature, humanities, etc). Its academics/professors should hold objectivity, truth, facts and reason as their primary virtues and if they identify with a certain political/philosophical ideology, then they shouldn’t make it their aim to ‘recruit’ young students to their ’cause’ (as is the norm today). There wouldn’t be anything inherently wrong in offering courses that teach a certain ideology, just that it shouldn’t be filtered down to every subject and interwoven into the course structure such that you’re being taught things through a certain bias.

From my observations in todays world, I see universities as semi-propaganda machinations (if not fully) where Left-wing dogma is prevalent across the board: from professors, to postgraduate students and to undergraduate students. Sure, I know that not everyone harbours such views, but the point is that enough do to the point where a lot of students end up adopting such views, blindly (and then end up becoming the president of the US). Some degrees/courses have more of this left-wing dogma interwoven in them than others (for example, the likes of philosophy, politics, business as opposed to the physical sciences and engineering, but even they have a lot on climate change and so on). This has been going on for a number of decades now and I’m not going to get into examples of how Western universities are largely left-wing, since it should be obvious to anyone who has had some experience with them; but especially how rabbidly left-wing a lot of the students are.

The other thing is that, way before universities became the norm (so talking about early 1900s and going back), the vast majority of successful, famous people who made their mark on this world did so without the need of a university education (or even a high school one). Some people that come to mind are Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie; the reason why I mention these men is because all of them (I’m pretty sure) dropped out of elementary school and ended up taking on apprenticeships or other forms of work where they learnt what they needed to know that eventually lead to their success. But there are other people in todays world such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (well these two did drop out). Actually here’s a good list of successful people without a university degree. The point is that a lot of these people either taught themselves, were taught by a parent, through a trade, or received all their education up to the high school level and had no further use to be wasting their time sitting in a class room all day.

What strikes me the most though are those people who dropped out of school at the elementary level and continued to educate themselves, or it was their parents that educated them. These days anyone can get a basic education from elementary to high school, but does that mean that people are better off because of it? I would disagree. Going by my experiences in school and looking back to my primary and high school education, I can honestly say that I wasn’t taught a thing (with the exception of maths). And I know that a lot of other students felt the same way, however the difference between me and them was that I wanted to learn, whilst a lot of my peers simply didn’t and I know that a lot of them would actually be worse off today in terms of reading, writing, math, than they were back then. What’s worse is that the form of education we had in high school was full of left-wing propaganda and this is far worse than having no education at all; where you’re being taught not to be objective, but to see the world through a certain bias and you’re unable to think otherwise because you’ve been near  brainwashed, or conditioned, to think in that way.

The other thing about univeristies today are the pointless degrees/majors they offer. Things like business, communications, gender studies, and others. You really don’t need a degree for business since such a discipline is best learnt by working in an actual business, or doing your own research/study to open up one. I won’t get into the likes of ‘communications’ and ‘gender studies’. But an important point that I should make is that these days, even more so, a degree isn’t necessary because of the quick availability of knowledge through the internet, and this is something so useful and advantageous compared to past decades/eras/centuries. You’d expect people to be more educated these days as a result of things like “free education” and the fact that knowledge is so easily attainable via the internet, but I’ve come to realise that the opposite is true. It’s interesting that in past eras where knowledge would have been so hard to come by, compared to todays standards, was taken so seriously and seen as something so sacred that people literally soaked it all up at every opportunity. Now I know that not everyone had the same access in those past times (I’m talking about 19th century to early 1900s), but the point is that knowledge was taken seriously.

I might seem hypocritical since I am currently enrolled in an Electrical Engineering degree, and probably even more so hypocritical since I’m not exactly paying for it (the type of system that exists in Australia is one where you can defer your payments, to have the Commonwealth pay your fees, and you end up paying them back through your tax once you start earning a certain level income), but at the end of the day I still disagree with this type of system (and if the type of system existed where I could afford to pay for it, where taxes were far lower, where there was greater competition amongst private universities and my parents could have had the opportunity to save, then I would gladly pay). I’m only doing a degree because I want to become an Engineer and these days that can only be achieved by getting that piece of paper at the end. The other reason is that growing up in an immigrant family, my parents were always making out university to be the “be all end all” sort of thing, and they grew up in a country where going to university was seen as something so amazing and highly intellectual (communist propaganda). I have nothing against them though for urging me to go to university, even when at one point I stated that I didn’t want to. Plus they came here for a better life, and it would kinda seem like a bit of a ‘waste’ if I weren’t to take advantage of a lot of the opportunities that this country has to offer, compared with the dump that I came from.

There are other points I wanted to discuss, but this has already become rather long so I’ll leave it here.


The meaning of friends

I’ve often wondered what it means to have a ‘friendship’, what it means to identify someone as a ‘friend’.

I’ve never held a proper definition as to what constitutes a friend; usually it’s just been someone that I got along with at the time, regardless of anything else (so what they value, morals, etc). Such an approach has lead me to my current position where I don’t see some of the people that I know as friends anymore because my definition of a friend has changed over time and I now have a more concrete definition. I actually don’t even have many ‘friends’, it’s usually been 4-5 people where about half of them I’ve known since high school, and the rest are people that I met afterwards.

These days my definition of friendship is along the lines of someone who is similar to yourself, they don’t have to share all of your views (stuff like belief in God, political leanings even although it would depend), rather I’d prefer that they share your morals, values, and general life approach. I like this quote by Aristotle about friendship: The excellent person is related to his friend in the same way as he is related to himself, since a friend is another self; and therefore, just as his own being is choiceworthy him, the friend’s being is choice-worthy for him in the same or a similar way.

I like the idea of a friend being another self but I don’t know anyone like that. The type of ‘friends’ that I don’t like are the type who can’t (and won’t) think for themselves, who won’t question certain things, who go about life in a passive daze, who say “I want people to like me for who I am” when they don’t even know what constitutes that “who I am”, or the type that mechanically ask “how are you” not because they’re genuinely interested, but because they think that it’s expected of them to ask such questions and so on. Unfortunately most of the people that I know fall under these descriptions, whilst the others are variations.

The ‘sad’ part to it all is that I really don’t know anyone else in my life whom I can identify with, at the very least, partly as a friend. Nobody to go out with somewhere and have a serious conversation with that doesn’t involve gossip, talking about the latest superhero movie or other immature stuff. As much as I like my space, essentially my loneliness (which I’ve known since I was young), it would still be nice to have just one person that I can get along with on an intellectual level.


This man is poisonous

Sometimes I can’t help but to feel a sense of anxiety at the thought that there is a certain ‘person’ as the president of the worlds only hope, and he harbours such dangerous, poisonous ideas that it really worries me that he’s going to damage the US beyond repair.

What sparked this post was a pathetic speech given by him at a campaign event recently. I only heard about it through another website, and I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading the entire thing, so I’ll only comment on the parts that were commented on the website that initially posted it:

If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

That there sums up his entire speech, along with his core views and overall life-philosophy. I thought I couldn’t be surprised anymore; well I just was. I cannot believe that someone who is the president of a superpower has the audacity to make such a statement. Someone who is the president of a country that has produced so many countless people who DID build something, who continue to do so, the people who were the prime movers of this world, the people who had the intelligence, who had the mind and knew how to use it, to produce something that no primitive savage could ever coneive of.

What he is contributing to is the general stigma against businesses, but he does it in such a way that is just appalling. What he is hoping to achieve is to justify the higher tax rates for the wealthy, because since ‘somebody else’ made it all happen, then the one responsible for sparking off that business, for generating countless thousands of job, for having the courage to do something with their life, well they deserve nothing but condemnation.

I don’t think Obama understands what impact his words have on a general population, what impact it will have on the future of the country; or maybe he does?
The website that I got this from was the Objective Standard.
There’s a new website that’s popped up in response to his statement: you didn’t build that. It’s actually pretty good, but my favourite one by far is this one, but make sure you read the comment after the image 😉


A rant on the “gay community”

I’ve always held a certain aversion (in varying levels) towards the whole “gay community/scene/thing” or whatever combination of words is possible to describe this subculture.

I’ve never understood why certain things have come to be accepted as some sort of “universal truth” or rather, the norm. If you don’t subscribe to this method of ‘thinking’ (if it can be called that, since most just follow everyone else), then you’re seen as something so bizarre that you must be wrong. For example: the whole idea of a ‘relationship’ is so flimsy and shallow that it’s no surprise a lot of gay couples break up. The way it goes is that you meet a stranger and you either a) have a sexual encounter with them that very day/night (then try to base a relationship off that) or b) you go out on a few ‘dates’, see them say 4 times, possibly engage in some sexual contact, and voila you’re in a relationship without actually knowing who this person really is.

I know this type of mentality also exists amongst heterosexuals, so it is an issue about the culture of a nation, however I think it’s more pronounced in the “gay community” and even advocated for. What ever happened to getting to know someone as a friend? Actually see whether the two of you are compatible? Why rush into everything and then wonder what went wrong when it ends badly? Someone give me a good reason why you shouldn’t start off as friends, get to know that person, see whether the two of you are compatible, then take it from there?

Another thing I hate is the general stereotype of a gay male, where they’re assumed to be these flimsy, bitchy guys who have a “fashion sense” and go about with a limp wrist yet during the night they’ll sleep with the first stranger that comes their way. The sad thing is that this stereotype is very much true, perhaps not on the whole, but parts of it describe a lot of gay men out there, especially the part where they’re more than willing to engage in a sexual contact with a stranger. And this is more than evident on any dating website, as well as in any bar/club. But if someone comes along and says the unthinkable “I’m actually not interested in casual sex, I have a moral code and value system” then it’s something to smirk at. I hate how this is the norm, that gay men engage in “hook-ups” then try to base a relationship off a random encounter.

Case in point: about a month ago I was out with two friends (who are gay, and I’ve talked about them in another of my posts), and one of them wanted to go to this gay bar that he claimed had never been to, so after some nagging on his part and my reluctance, we ended up going there. I realised that it catered to an older clientele, had something of a relaxed atmosphere, but it wasn’t my type of place. What annoyed me though was this little man prancing about giving out condoms and he comes up to me and tries to force one into my hand, I politely declined and his response was “So you’re going to have unprotected sex tonight?” and my response was “No, I won’t be having any sex tonight” then “But what if you hook-up tonight?” and I finally said “No, I’m afraid I don’t do ‘hook-ups’ ” and he was on his way with a confused look.

I mentioned dating websites: as much as I dislike them, it’s about the only way possible to meet other men who happen to share the same attraction as you. I’ve somewhat ‘given up’ on them though, when there’s only so much garbage that one can sift through, and when you think that you have come across someone of substance, it doesn’t turn out to be so. So I figured: either I change my profile, take out the part about having morals/values, no hook-ups, etc, and see where that goes or I just give up on the dating sites completely. Why should I have to accommodate for others though? Why should I have to change who I present myself to be online, as who I really am in real life, just so that someone might message me, or respond, only to have either of us lose interest down the track? Case in point: I’ve had older men (40+) message me, commending me for what I have written, saying how they wish they knew that at my age, than those of my generation. Now I don’t know if that was some ploy on their part, but even if it was, I think that there is an element of truth to their comments.

I used to actively seek other guys around my age who shared my views (this was in my mid to late teenage years) but what I found was that the more I tried to find someone even remotely like me, the more disappointed I ended up being. It would be nice to be able to have an intellectual type of conversation with someone, and whilst their sexuality doesn’t matter, it would still be good to have someone who could identify with you completely. Either my city/state just sucks, or all the decent guys have had enough like me.

Another thing I hate is the whole “gay pride parades” that are just an excuse for some outdoor party where you can be who ‘you really are’, whether it’s wearing next to nothing, leading people around in dog collars, or whatever other disgusting acts these people manage to conjour up. You can make an argument that perhaps such parades were ‘necessary’ at one point in time, however their primary motive has been distorted and perversed into something that resembles an R-rated movie out in public. I know that not all such parades are something obscene, however it’s the obscene ones that get all the attention and I’d wager to say that such parades add to the general negative sentiment against homosexuals, and worst of all, they add to the repression many younger people put upon themselves when questioning their sexuality. I know I did but I wonder how many never got out of that thought pattern.

I remember when the Sydney Mardi Gras (as it’s called) was being aired on TV, some years ago, when I was a teenager, and I wanted to see what it was all about. All I remember was my sense of embarrassment and general disgust, where the only image I can remember were two grown men in some sort of wedding dress pushing around prams. I don’t know why I felt ’embarrassed’ at that age, but looking back it must have been because I was really ashamed to have the same-sex attraction as those men. What gets to me is that such people, such public displays are taken to be a representation of all gay men, and that only adds to the negative mentality. There are plenty of other examples but I’ll be here all night if I go on.

I mentioned in an earlier post how I had a friend, whom I have known since primary school, and a year after I told him about my sexuality, he also ‘comes out’ yet what I didn’t understand was why he suddenly became so involved in the whole “gay community/scene/thing”, going from night club to night club, ‘boyfriend’ to ‘boyfriend’ and drama to drama. He told me that it’s what you do when you ‘come out’, or something like that, and I figured that there must be this expectation, or ‘right of passage’, when one declares their sexuality openly, and that means you involve yourself in the dirty, immoral, superficial world that is the ‘gay world’. During the day you’re expected to be a left-leaning ideologue who shouts out the same bromides propagated in university class rooms, newspapers and the general media; anything remotely opposed to this belief system is glared at with preying eyes, silenced as soon as possible, and then you go back to demanding your ‘rights’ and ‘freedom’. During the night you openly reveal your body (and whatever is left of your soul), allow any stranger to use you for their momentary fulfilment, maybe even try some drugs to enhance or numb the experience, then justify it all by saying that you’re ‘having fun’.

Finally I want to include a funny article from The Onion, which is very close to the truth of this whole rant. When I first read it, I had to double-check that it was The Onion and not an actual news site.


Anti-intellectualism

This is an issue with many different aspects, but I’ll only focus on the one that is most prominent in Australia; the view that coming across as an ‘intellectual’ type of person who uses ‘big’ words is scoffed at and looked down on, whilst the one doing the scoffing uses such vulgar and derogatory words in their daily speech, generates next to no condemnation.

What brought this post on was an internet forum I came across where some member asked if “intellectual GLBTs” exist; but the topic quickly descended into an anti-intellectual bash fest. It was an Australian website that catered to homosexuals of all ages and I quickly realised that the majority (if not all) of the members (along with the websites news section) were heavily left-wing oriented (not that I was surprised). All of the members that replied to the post had something to say against anyone who sought to educate themselves, bar one person who defended ‘textbook knowledge’ as someone called it. And it wasn’t an attack against say politicians who think they know what they’re talking about, rather against young people (whether at university or not) who use ‘big’ words and don’t have a clue about the real adult world.

Well first of all, of course any young person won’t have a clue about the ‘real adult world’, just as a 6 year old doesn’t have a clue about the ‘teenage world’ or whatever other type of world we end up encountering. I found it interesting and somewhat hypocritical for all these people making fun of those who have ‘textbook knowledge’, yet not realising that the ‘rights’ they all scream for can properly be won over by those ‘textbook knowledge’ people who are lawyers, policy makers, and others that know how to string a coherent sentence together and defy the stereotype that their ilk readily endorses and encourages.
That brings me onto my second point. The fact that the use of vulgar/derogatory language is seen as “ok” by the general Australian population (along with these people on that forum where I inspected a number of the other topics being discussed and found nothing even remotely of substance) and wouldn’t be looked down upon as much as styling yourself as an intellectual. Why is it that if you show a certain confidence in what you say, in what you do, if it shows that you’re using the power of your brain/mind, then it’s something to scoff at?

I’ve observed this at my work as well. Every single time I have a lunch break greater than 30 minutes, I make sure I bring a book with me to read in the lunch room and I’ve noticed the way some of the other staff say certain things to me, or smirk as they ask me what I’m reading.

The other thing about harbouring such negative views to education and ‘textbook knowledge’, is that, like them or not, such people end up influencing the country that you live in. Those that go on to become politicians or even philosophers, end up influencing your life in subtle and obvious ways. I can understand the anti-intellectualism against politicians and the likes of philosophers, but scoffing at them isn’t how you’ll ‘defeat’ them, rather equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and vocabulary to challenge and question their ideas.

To me an intellectual is basically a person that can think for themselves and comes to their own conclusions using nothing but their objective, rational minded self (so to have an active mind). Spouting what you read in a book, or what your professor tells you, or re-wording all of that and integrating it into your non-existent ‘personal’ views does not constitute an intellectual, rather a conformist (hence having a passive mind). This is the state of many young (and young adults) people these days. You see them on youtube, at protests, at gay pride parades, on internet forums as the one I mentioned, and anywhere else you encounter the same style of arguments.

This almost turned into a rant against the ‘gay community’ but I’m saving that for a later post.


Irrational people

Every now and then I hear (or read) something that is so unbelievably moronic/stupid/irrational/etc, that after a moment passes by, I actually say to myself the following: “Hold on, did I actually just hear that? Did that really happen or did I somehow twist the events?” And I hate that I’m questioning my reality, questioning my mind in such a way that suggests I have no confidence in my mind. I quickly ‘snap out of it’ and realise that yes, it did happen, and no, I’m not twisting the events in some subconscious way. It’s just that, what was done or said, the severity of that action, the level of irrationality strikes at me in such a way that I guess I can’t help but to question whether it was what I perceived. And I’m not talking about foolish things, or something that someone said out of ignorance, but rather, a statement said or action done using nothing but the thinking faculty of your mind, and relying on nothing else but your mind, no knowledge of anything, just a simple statement/action that requires a process of mental thought.

I won’t get into examples, because I honestly don’t want to think about them. This entry is more of a rant as I found myself thinking about certain things, as I do. For instance, I came to the realisation a short while ago that there’s perhaps a subconscious reason as to why I’ve always been drawn towards the likes of science and maths. That fact that there’s so much order, all these laws/identities that can’t be broken or contradicted, the fact that this computer I’m using is functioning on technology that was made in an absolute reality, technology brought about by human minds applying reason, applying their knowledge to bring about order; it’s this that I admire most about engineering.

There was a time where I tried to involve myself in the “Arts” side of things, mainly in senior high school (and a bit after), and I’ve wondered why I never picked up on a lot of the stuff that was being taught. Was it because I just simply could not understand the book/play that we were reading? Or could it be that there is such a lack of order, of contradictions in the humanities, that I was just put off it all? I remember reading a statistic somewhere, that the vast majority of college students in America who have either experimented or are regular users of drugs (so the likes of marijuana, ecstasy, etc) are from the humanities departments. I’m not surprised and I can see why. It’s a shame that the arts/humanities is so low today, where a series of books about a teenage girl who wants to become a vampire sells more than actual quality novels. Or how a lot of people end up reading a book after they’ve seen the movie adaptation, because they wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise (better late than never hey?)

If I can get into an electrical/electronics engineering firm with mostly rational, intelligent people, then I’ll be happy (although going from what I’ve heard, it’s not usually the case). Otherwise I think I’ll just establish a lab of my own and live out my life amongst oscilloscopes, function generators, voltage sources, PCBs and countless components. At least I know what to expect when working with those devices (and when I don’t, the results are always pleasing), or what response I’ll get out of a circuit if a number of components are positioned in a certain way. I can see why scientists are stereotypically portrayed as staying indoors, away from other people, having no ‘lives’ (according to todays standards), etc, because there’s an element of truth to that stereotype. And the reason why such people would have lived detached from ‘society’ may as well be that they couldn’t stand the irrationality of the world, and perhaps they couldn’t identify the nature of this irrationality, so the natural response is to immerse yourself into a world of order.

Well I might not go so far as to become some sort of a ‘recluse’, just that at times the idea is so tempting. /End rant.


Living in fear and the cycle it brings about

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. But I’ve come to the realisation that a lot of us (including myself) live in fear. It’s not a direct type of fear that you can immediately identify (for instance, fear for your life), but it’s more of a subconscious type.

I’ve observed that all of my friends (and other acquaintances) live in this state of fear where they dig out this niche for themselves in their own life, and reach a level of contentedness, having avoided all risks and opportunities (plus obligations). I know that they don’t like changing their surroundings if they’re already comfortable with their life; even if it’s living at home, on welfare, or working at a coffee shop, or working in your chosen field, yet living your life as if you expect to be homeless at any moment (keep in mind they all have degrees and live at home). I know that they’re afraid to make big decisions that will put them on a completely different track of self-development, career development and ultimately life-development. They’re the type who say “Think of what could go wrong” where they always focus on the negative, on their fear.

The problem with this mind-set is that, once a person grounds it in themselves that they won’t make any major decisions that will derail from their mediocre existence (and possibly lead to an exceptional existence), based on the premise that “something could go wrong”, you enter this cycle of thought. Perhaps every now and then you’ll make a small step in a direction that requires you to take risks, and if something doesn’t work out the way you expected, you quickly retreat back into that niche, into that familiar shell, and you (sub)consciously reaffirm that thought to yourself, that something will go wrong, and because it did, it’s best to stay where you are; thus the cycle ensues. Or if you know someone who ends up taking those risks that you’d never see yourself doing, you might think “that’s crazy, don’t they see how risky that is?” and if it turns out that things didn’t go to plan for that person (a business start up fails for instance), you enter that cycle again where you reaffirm that thought pattern to yourself, of avoiding anything that takes you away from your comfortable, mediocre life.

I know that this mindset isn’t limited to my friends, but to many other people. I once harboured such fear driven thoughts, “think of what could go wrong”, and looking back it was silly of me to think in such a way because now I see what opportunities I have missed out on. But I’m not the type to dwell on the past. I don’t like this type of mindset, and I know that it’s hard to change your surroundings, to throw yourself into something unknown, but isn’t that what everyone’s life should be about?

These days it’s all about getting that secure job (we all want stability, but at what price to our inner freedom?), all about pleasing everyone else (at what price to our integrity and confidence?), all about getting into that monotonous routine that will guarantee you a safe, near stable life, where you won’t have to venture outside of your comfort zone, because by then the breaks you applied to your mind years ago have completely stopped any progress and all there is left to do for you is wait and die.

Another fear driven action is doing a job that you hate, but you’re afraid to quit because of the pay, because it brings you financial stability, security, etc. Aren’t you better off to be doing something that you genuinely love to do, and not doing it out of fear? I realise people have mortages to pay off, families, and so on, and in those instances there isn’t a whole lot I can say, but I’m mainly talking about people who are mostly independent of such obligations (or who have the choice before they take on such obligations).

We shouldn’t have to do things because of fear, rather because of the happiness that comes about. Another example is pursuing a relationship with someone because of the fear of being alone. I won’t get into explanations on this one but it revolves around the whole idea of living in fear. Basing your life actions/choices on fear will ultimately lead to unhappiness and this is the reason why I think a lot of people these days are unhappy. They’re either in a job they hate (but it’s too late to quit or make a dramatic change if they have a mortage/family) or they’re in a relationship with a person whom they know isn’t right for them, but are afraid to be ‘alone’. There’s also another fear driven lifestyle; people who are afraid of what others will think of them, so they act accordingly, they don’t show their true selves, and by the time they realise this, they don’t even know who their true self is.

Edit:

I just want to add this great quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It relates to my post because it shows what it means to live a life as a fearless human:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

It’s from a longer speech of his, which you can read here.