I was fascinated by the LSB Education level fanpost, and how it was sort of accepted that a college education somehow makes a person "better." It doesn't. College is for suckers. Don't get me wrong, if someone is going to pay for it, and you can get out with no debt, more power to you, but increasingly higher education is turning into a sucker's game.
See, I've got authority issues. I don't like people telling me what to study, or when to be someplace, or whatever. But 500 years ago, a university made a certain amount of sense: books were a luxury item, a sign of wealth; the overall educational attainment of the general populace was atrocious; long distance communication was ridiculously difficult. So it made some sense to have a central repository of learning because if you stayed at home in Shitford-on-Blyefordshire you would only ever see like 20 people, all of whom only knew about sheep and farming, and there wouldn't be any books.
But why is this a necessary model now? Not only are we increasingly finding even esoteric fields of information freely available in both lecture and written formats, but one can't even argue that you are getting some kind of personalized attention in a lecture hall with 500 other students. A sufficiently inquisitive person receives no benefit from a university setting, because they are incurring opportunity costs by not engaging in productive work for 4 to 5 years to be told specifically what areas they may study and paying a premium to do so.
To a certain extent, a university education has traditionally served as a classist signaling mechanism, but what good is that mechanism now? 50 years ago it was somewhat rare to have a college degree, not so much anymore. Sure, there are jobs that require a college degree as a condition for application, but every job I've ever had I've shared with college graduates, and I have a GED and no degree.
There are some things that higher education has in common with the subprime bubble: government subsidized assumption of risk through leverage, declining ROI, stated government policy of increasing accessibility to an asset or good. Some of you guys have heard me mention Crazy Ryan before, my schizophrenic friend. He lives in a group home and is on Social Security disability. He was approached by a trade school recruiter, offering him $20k in student loans for automechanic classes. Is this what we've come to? Encouraging disabled people to take on $20k in non-dischargable debt because "education is GOOD!"
Change is coming. Those of us in Gen X are probably the last group that will see any real tangible benefit from a college education, and it's dwindling.