Archive for February 12, 2013

Is There a Cynical Quote on Education? Actually, There Is

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Quotes on education

Many feel education pays off less than it used to. College Board and the Brookings Institute tell us that educational attainment is still the best predictor of income. That said, it sure does not feel there is a correlation for the millions of unemployed graduates, or those with a masters degrees who is overqualified for every job. Add that to the fact that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg made billions of dollars, and some cynical education quotes can develop. In fact, quite a few people have a quote on education as being counterproductive.

A modern quote on education in this vein comes from Peter Thiel. A cofounder of PayPal and venture capitalist, Thiel was the first outside investor for Facebook. “Had the people who started Facebook decided to stay at Harvard,” said Thiel “they would not have been able to build the company, and by the time they graduated in 2006, that window probably would have come and gone.”

The quote on education Thiel posited was one that said college stiffles innovation. Thiel has started the Founders Fund, which gives scholarships to those with business ideas who want to drop out of college. As such, his thinking reveals deep anti college and anti education strains.

Going back earlier, Frank Zappa also had an anti college quote on education. “If you want to get laid, go to college,” said Zappa. “If you want an education, go to the library.” Such disdain for college this quote on education shows also wrapped in the belief that education occurs outside the classroom, and is ultimately done on self initiative.

Of course, many thinkers had a quote on education that railed against institutionalized learning. Many also had a quote on education that was for it. Whether for or against, these educational quotes reveal there is still a debate about the role education plays in our society. So long as there are quotes on education out there, we can expect to have a vigorous debate going forward.