Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On the death of meritocracy

According to my naive way of thinking, one of the fundamental precepts of modern university education is that of meritocracy -- that students can control their futures by excelling at their studies, and that being better at things that matter will be the key to success and happiness later in life. Now that it has been a few days and it still seems that President Bush has nominated a female version of Michael Brown to the Supreme Court (OK, and former lottery commissioner instead of horse show official), I have my face rubbed in the ugly reality: who you know really does matter more than what you know. Choose your path through life based on doing things that will let you meet the right people, rather than provide you with the best educational and life experiences. And pick your parents wisely (sorry, kids).

Links: Daniel Drezner has some interesting links, while Michael Bérubé provides some comedic relief.

1 comment:

  1. In a way, sure, who you know is more important that what you know, but didn't the horse show guy get canned?

    What we need to make sure is that people take responsabilities and they pay adequately for their failures.

    If you become CEO of a large corporate, fire half the employees, drive the company into the ground... and they leave with millions and millions of dollars... we have a problem...

    I will not give any specific examples, but I've seen time and time again, people being handsomely rewarded for failing. Working hard is for suckers. That's the real problem. Bush is not at the source of it, though he might be a result of the problem.