Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, June 24, 2016

to a degree

 Did you ever wonder why we award " letters " to those that learn what others already know ? Think about it. If I attend school for 12 years and learn the prescribed material I earn my diploma. True, I don't earn any letters for that I have to continue. Should I do so I can start adding those letters. A.A. B.A. M.A. PhD. The list of letters one can be awarded is quite extensive. The thing is, they all just prove that you have learned what others already know. They had to know it to teach it to you. So I guess you could say the letters are a measure of your ability to learn. Do those same letters measure intelligence ? I would say, empathically, no ! I've known a few educated damn fools in my time. Call it common sense and that is something that can't be taught, or learned. You can't teach common sense. And common sense is nothing more than the application of knowledge. Using what information you have to solve whatever problem you encounter.
 The conferring of " honorary " degrees are more impressive to me. Those " letters " of knowledge are given to those that just learn it themselves, without formal training. Those folks have employed common sense to its' fullest advantage. They have impressed those with the letters ! It is an admission, on their part, that all those years of schooling where not necessary to obtain a level of proficiency equal to theirs.
 That having those letters will increase your earnings can not be disputed. Isn't that the reason the majority of the folk seek those letters ? Is it a thirst for knowledge ? I don't think so, I think it is a thirst for credentials and cash.  Not that it matters much as long as the education is pursued. Does motivation matter ? Not so long as the end result is a positive one. Correct actions require no justification. The rest of us, those without letters, have to rely upon one thing, our reputation. Our reputations are earned but must be renewed with each job we perform. It is a constant examination of our abilities. Experience is the teacher and life the classroom. We have no " letters " to rely upon. Our letters would be letters of recommendation. A strong resume. The problem being that the one receiving those letters may not know the person writing those letters. Then, the value of that recommendation is substantially reduced. I can see this with the proliferation of " letters " today. What with the relatively easy availability of obtaining those letters today, their value is diminished. A two year degree was considerably move valuable twenty years ago Today, a two year degree would be a minimum requirement. One does have to consider the source of that degree.
 I have often thought that if I had a string of letters following my name, my opinions would be regarded differently. I have often wondered why that should be so. Opinions can be formed without any basis in knowledge whatsoever. Just because I have a degree in astrophysics doesn't guarantee my intelligence. That I could learn about astrophysics is proven but my opinion on politics has nothing to do with that knowledge base. So why do we place so much emphasis on these " letters " ? We tend to do the same thing with celebrities. Their opinions make an impact ! Why ? Why should their opinion carry more weight than yours or mine ?
 Well, I don't know. I just woke up this morning with this thought in mind. Why do we award letters for learning what others already know ? Doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment when viewed in that light. Of course that is coming from someone that doesn't have any " letters. " Do I want them ? Guess not, as I haven't pursued them. No motivation to do so. For me the proof is in the pudding ! I don't care what the list of ingredients on the box is, I just want it to be good. I have only to satisfy myself and so letters are not necessary. No denying the journey thus far may have been easier. I'll just remain content with a " degree " of common sense, although, some will dispute that. Probably someone with " letters. "