My answer’s better. Shorter, anyway.


If professors don’t teach a lot of job skills, don’t teach their students how to think, and don’t instill constructive work habits, why do employers so heavily reward educational success? 

He’s writing a book about it.  But the right response is, because I.Q. tests are forbidden.

In 40 years, that one opinion has cost America trillions in wealth production.  As well as blowing up the education bubble to insane dimensions.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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11 Responses to My answer’s better. Shorter, anyway.

  1. Edohiguma says:

    “I teach my students how to think, not what to think.”

    I’m looking at Prof Seidl and our lecturers right at that moment. Seidl is doing Japanese Theory, and he’s a linguist with extensive work in Japanese dialects. Our lecturers are all native speakers. They teach us what to think. They teach us the grammar, the basics, how to use it, and they, especially the lecturers, challenge us every single lesson. The goal of both courses is to get a level in the JLPT of at least 2, 1 is preferred. All that in roughly 3 years (it’s longer for me since I work 40+ hours a week and can’t and don’t want to live off daddy anymore.) That doesn’t work with teaching the students how to think. That only works with strict guidelines and constant checking of the progress.

    If you don’t make the cut, you don’t make the cut. Some student I know was whining the other day that the lecturers gave him an F on an exam because his handwriting was awful, according to them. He’s not a beginner. He should have his calligraphy under control by now and if, in semester 3+, your hiragana still look like ass, well, then it’s your own damn fault.

    But the same really apllies in the other things, too. Any additional lectures go that way. In Japanese history we had historic facts (with some SIGNIFICANT issues, since the woman who does the course is just god awful at this -some of her “theories” are just crazy-, I’d do a far better job at this than she does.) We had to learn those for the exam. Learning how to think doesn’t help there. Learning what to think does. Same applies for any proper courses one takes anywhere. Take medicine. What would be the point of teaching med students how to think? There is none. The only thing that makes sense there is teaching them what to think. A doctor who doesn’t have his anatomy together is not a doctor. Simple as that.

    But there’re too many faculties with the “teach them how to think” nonsense. I guess it works in pseudo-academics like psychology and international development (we have something like that, yep, we do, it’s new, it’s already over-run and it’s called a “baby degree” due to the lack of actual work you have to do in it.)

    • Xpat says:

      OT, Edohiguma, a favor: would it be possible for you to quickly (because I’m looking at a deadline for ordering stuff) recommend 10-20 titles of good books on Japan, in English (including Japanese translated to English). If possible readable, for a broad audience but not too dumbed down, scholarly OK, but not too arcane? I’m looking for stuff especially in these areas: Shinto, native religion, folklore, anthropology, ancient or pre-modern history (pre-Edo–sorry!), yokai, oni, yurei, anything about Kunio Yanagita. Modern period sociology also OK. Just if you happened upon any books in these areas that you found good, or heard were good. If it’s a hassle don’t worry about it!

      I already have Kojiki and Nihongi, so I got that covered, but otherwise kinda thin on source material. I also read a one on yokai recently–informative but a bit disappointing.

      • Edohiguma says:

        Kojiki and Nihongi are funny to read, but ultimately they’re like a collection of fairytales and myths.

        Genji Monogatari and Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book come to mind. Plus some four bazillion versions of the Heike story. All my books on Shinto and similar are in German, sorry. I looked through my history script, but our history girl is very scarce with actual sources (which I guess explains some of her outlandish claims, she’s not a historian.)

        Yanagita, we don’t deal with him just yet. I think he may pop up in the course “pre-modern language”, which is a course for the Master degree, far away for me atm.

        Liz Dalby wrote “The Tale of Murasaki”, which is a work of fiction, but she’s doing a good job with the Heian period court and stuff. While we’re at Dalby, her book on geisha is pretty much a standard work these days. Same for Downer’s “Women of the pleasure quarters”. While they’re not really in your era, they’re definitely good reads, if you’re even remotely interested in that area. I am, so I gobbled it all down.

        Other than that my own library is very specific and very Edo centered, the earliest going back to the Onin war. Totman “Early modern Japan”, Dunn “Everyday life in traditional Japan”, Hanley “Everyday things in premodern Japan”, Nishiyama “Edo culture”. And from there it gets even more specific. Walthall “Peasant uprisings in Japan”, Bernstein “Recreating Japanese women , 1600 – 1945”, multiple authors “Re-imagining Japanese women”, Yamakawa “Women of the Mito domain”. Most recent addition to that was Turnbull’s “Samurai Women”. You see where this is going?

        While I’m at it, recent research has started to suggest that the story of the submissive Japanese woman is really just a fairytale. Recent excavations at Senbon Matsubaru (Takeda vs Hojo in 1580) have shown a head mound with roughly 30% female casualties (105 heads were recovered and tested, the DNA showed 35 women.) Two other battlefields show similar results. Those women were beheaded, that clearly indicates that they weren’t camp followers and prostitutes.

        I’m not good with the mythology. But why would I need mythology when actual history gives me women like Tsuruhime of Omishima (raided enemy forces on sea and killed their commander on his ship), Ueno Tsuruhima at Tsuneyama (where she led 33 other women out of the besieged castle and into the enemy line, challenging the enemy samurai to individual combat, which they refused) and, of course, Nakano Takeko (who led her small brigade of fellow samurai daughters into the imperial line and hurt them plenty)?

        • Xpat says:


          “While I’m at it, recent research has started to suggest that the story of the submissive Japanese woman is really just a fairytale.”

          I didn’t need research to figure that one out!

          • Edohiguma says:

            Hehe, so true. But it’s nice to finally have it black on white on paper with some archeologists and historians backing it up.

        • Xpat says:

          These people could save so much in grant money if they’d just ask me instead:

          “Is the story of the submissive Japanese woman really just a fairytale?”

          “Utterly and completely. Next question?”

          • Edohiguma says:

            Or invite Shida Mirai. 4’8″ of pure, unbound energy.

            Or even better, a good friend of mine. Oh dear. When she gives you “the look”, you just say “yes ma’am” and do whatever she wants.

  2. IQ tests were used to put perfectly intelligent, albeit troubled kids, into institutions for “morons,” back in the day which was really just a few decades ago.

    Not saying they are inherently bad, just terribly abused. Perhaps that’s why they were ditched?

    • wormme says:

      No, the reason they were ditched is because of the racial impact. Black peoples’ average test scores are lower than Caucasians (who in turn, of course, are beaten by Jews and many Asians). Rather than working to get blacks to close the gap (as they’d been doing prior to Johnson’s “Great Society”) the courts simply ruled that employers had to quit giving the tests.

  3. Xpat says:

    I’m not opposed to IQ tests in principle, I’m just “personally opposed,” because if they made me take one, then I would know how stupid I was.

    • Edohiguma says:

      Yeah, I know. My last one a few years back was only on 130-something. It was higher in school. Or maybe I should pay attention to the test when taking it. 😛

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