Erik McClure

College Is Broken

The reason I have been repeatedly rejected from the computer science major at my college is partly due to underfunded and crowded conditions, but primarily because they are letting in the wrong students. Apparently, had I gotten a 3.5 in all of my classes, I would have been in the major already. Because I instead got a 4.0 in one class and a 3.0 in another, they have rejected me. Why? Because when funding gets tight, they simply throw out anyone with inconsistent grades. Nevermind that half the time people with inconsistent grades are the ones actually passionate about something, while the people with rock solid consistent grades are simply good at getting rock solid consistent grades and don’t actually really know what they want to do, but heard that programming pays well.

Nevermind that Math 308 has been shown as the best indicator of success in computer science related math courses and I got a 3.9 in it, which is apparently very hard to do. Nevermind that the professor I talked to had tried to convince the committee to weigh student grades differently in an effort to improve the process but was ignored. Instead, I am to whore myself out to a bunch of grad students because no one wants to look at the paper I wrote until I help a bunch of other people with their papers.

Wow, this sounds familiar. It’s kind of like that academic ponzi scheme everyone’s been complaining about recently. I have to get involved in this just to get into a major to take some classes? Is this worth my time?

Sony can’t do basic security. Modern games are made of brown. User interfaces are rarely built in a user-centric fashion. Academic insistence that performance doesn’t matter dominates everything to the point that horrifically bad code is being put into production and customers are told to get new computers. These people have all gone to college, and this is the resulting mess?

I have seen many people defend academic rigor, but I believe there is a point where it becomes utterly stupid. When rigor only exists in theoretical thesis papers, the second some guy actually runs a company with a decent idea, and doesn’t screw it up, you end up with Google because they exploited an economic disparity worth hundreds of billions of dollars, created by this insane educational system that is too self-absorbed to figure out how utterly broken it is.

Google changed everything.

The theoretical papers, meanwhile, are still just papers.


Jerome Leclanche

Thanks for that :) And for your other posts too, reading your post backlog is fun (turns out I've been on this blog before).

Added to my reader. Keep writing.



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