So, this came out.
— Shailene Woodley (@shailenewoodley) April 16, 2016
Now, here’s something deeply troubling with this tweet. And that goes into the heart of the problem we are facing today, not just in US but across the World.
First of all, who in their right mind borrows $226,000 dollars to study Speech Pathology, and then expect a bailout from taxpayers? I never borrowed ten dollars to study something, which doesn’t have job prospect, just because I am bleeding in my heart to help people, unless I am smart enough to get a scholarship.
(Thankfully I always had, not because I am the smartest man in this planet, but in this volatile and fluid era, with chances of conflict between great powers increasing, which might result in massive death unless a grand strategy pattern is predicted, my research is in a field which analyses the aforementioned foreign policy patterns of great powers. Demand, meet supply.)
Look, it is simple economics, and here’s how it works.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, obviously. People pay tax, that goes as grants and scholarships to Unis, which goes to research, which are beneficial to the public, or which are in demand.
Now, if you follow Real-Peer Review, or have followed occasional chats between Dr Benn Steil and yours truly, regarding the staggering pioneering “research” that Real-Peer Review is documenting for posterity, when the World is no more, and aliens want to investigate why we wasted so much money on these research, while we could have, say, funded a settlement in Mars, then you will realize, the argument that research are beneficial to public is down the drain. (Dr Steil is of course the Econ expert here and not me, I’m just a simple Foreign Policy kid, Macro and global trade were my secondary subjects.)
There’s no way a research on feminist glaciology is in any way policy relevant (Or for that matter, a research on Lady Gaga). But still it gets funded, somehow. These studies and the academics related to these field, have known something…how to rig the system, by having a niche subject, forming an epistemologically incoherent approach, and publishing in niche journals, manned, edited and peer reviewed by their own ilk.
But, not everyone gets funded, especially starry eyed students, so they borrow and loan and study subjects like these or conduct research. Which brings us to the second question, one of choice and responsibility.
If I decide, for example to study and conduct research on post-structuralist interpretative dance therapy in pre-piracy Somalia, I am free to do so. No one’s stopping me. But after graduating with my deep, profound scholarship, if I don’t get a job and have to pull a pint all my life, because frankly, there is no job in that field, then I CAN’T BLAME SOCIETY, SYSTEM, PATRIARCHY or ANYONE AND ANYTHING FOR THAT MATTER, but myself.
As Dr C H Sommers pointed out succinctly:
Which brings us to the final important point. The biggest problem is people seem to not understand the importance of Choice and Consequence. And that’s everywhere. You can’t give anyone any advice, on being thrifty, or careful, because everywhere, everyone is a victim. Victims of racism, casteism, classism, society, patriarchy, or the big bad “system”. Everyone wants protest, revolution, everyone wants to overthrow everything, but no one blames themselves. You cannot find a single individual these days, saying, man, I screwed that up royally, my fault.
So, therein lies our failing as a society. You can blame China and India, without blaming yourself, but that doesn’t change facts. You can blame society for not having jobs, but that doesn’t change the forces of economics, and your choices and lifestyle. You are free to have tattoo in your face and purple hair, don’t expect to have a job. And remember, it is proven, only the super privileged, whine more.
And lastly, it is a high to feel like to be a part of some kind of revolution…everyone loves the idea of overthrowing the system. It’s when you lose your own head, literally, then you realize, perhaps democracy is not so bad after all!