Disadvantages of an Elite Education

While elite schools confer many advantages on their graduates, they also wall them off from normal people and create an entitled, out-of-touch elite.

Michael Innes has generated an interesting Twitter discussion about “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education,” an archival piece at The American Scholar by William Deresiewicz, a literary critic and former Yale English professor, arguing that, while the Ivies and their elite cousins confer many advantages on their graduates, they also wall them off from normal people and create an entitled, out-of-touch elite. As a product of decidedly non-elite institutions working to put my daughters on an elite path, much of it rings true.

He begins with an anecdote:

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League degrees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.

While this seems plausible on first read, I’m actually a bit dubious that this is the norm. Many people who have chosen a life of books, myself included, have a tendency to be socially awkward. And, while I have no trouble making small talk with the plumber, handyman, and exterminator, there are doubtless subcultures in the country that I’d have difficulty relating to.

Still, I know plenty of rich kids who went to great schools and they don’t strike me as any more removed from society than the average professor I ran into at UT-Chattanooga or Troy State. When talking to people from very different walks of life, most of them do the same thing I do: talk about sports, current events,  kids, the weather, or other cross-cutting topics.

The larger, point, though, hits the mark:

As two dozen years at Yale and Columbia have shown me, elite colleges relentlessly encourage their students to flatter themselves for being there, and for what being there can do for them. The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.

I’m not talking about curricula or the culture wars, the closing or opening of the American mind, political correctness, canon formation, or what have you. I’m talking about the whole system in which these skirmishes play out. Not just the Ivy League and its peer institutions, but also the mechanisms that get you there in the first place: the private and affluent public “feeder” schools, the ever-growing parastructure of tutors and test-prep courses and enrichment programs, the whole admissions frenzy and everything that leads up to and away from it. The message, as always, is the medium. Before, after, and around the elite college classroom, a constellation of values is ceaselessly inculcated. As globalization sharpens economic insecurity, we are increasingly committing ourselves—as students, as parents, as a society—to a vast apparatus of educational advantage. With so many resources devoted to the business of elite academics and so many people scrambling for the limited space at the top of the ladder, it is worth asking what exactly it is you get in the end—what it is we all get, because the elite students of today, as their institutions never tire of reminding them, are the leaders of tomorrow.

[…]

Elite schools pride themselves on their diversity, but that diversity is almost entirely a matter of ethnicity and race. With respect to class, these schools are largely—indeed increasingly—homogeneous. Visit any elite campus in our great nation and you can thrill to the heartwarming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals.

My parents not only didn’t go to college, it never even occurred to them that they could go to college.* And, while it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t go to college, I was completely clueless. I had vague notions that I had the aptitude for great schools but my high school guidance counselors were in the same boat as I was, having no real understanding of any schools more elite than Alabama or Auburn.  Even when I applied for PhD programs in my mid-20s after a stint in the Army, I didn’t really comprehend the implications of my choices. I understood that Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and a couple of other schools were great, but figured they weren’t going to take someone with a masters from a regional school in Alabama.  And I figured that, aside from that handful of schools, a PhD was a PhD. So, applying from Germany, I put in for only one school, the University of Alabama, and got accepted. Even then, I was only going if they awarded me an assistantship; there was no way I was going to forgo several years of paid work and give them money on top of it.

Through a combination of hard work, dumb luck, and timing I’ve managed to put myself in a situation where my kids are in a different world. They’ll have access to better schools, have choices much less constrained by cost, and have the benefit not only of my knowledge of the system but a network of people who have experience with elite schools.  And, yes, that also means that we’re already having to make educational decisions for our 2-year-old, who’ll be starting pre-school in September.

My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright. I learned to give that little nod of understanding, that slightly sympathetic “Oh,” when people told me they went to a less prestigious college. (If I’d gone to Harvard, I would have learned to say “in Boston” when I was asked where I went to school—the Cambridge version of noblesse oblige.) I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to elite colleges, often precisely for reasons of class. I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to college at all.

The closest thing in my personal experience to the “you are special” indoctrination is the year and a half I spent at West Point. While admission was largely meritocratic and more economically diverse that our brethren at the Ivies, the notion that we were an elite vanguard was inculcated in us from the earliest days. (Rather odd in hindsight, since they also spend the first year doing their best to make cadets feel inadequate.) Not only were we a cut above our civilian college brethren but the Army and the country were depending on us to guard its virtue. While academy graduates were a small part of the officer corps, we would be like a drop of ink in a barrel of water, changing the character of the whole Army.

Even though I nearly drowned in that environment and wound up finishing at a podunk regional school for financial reasons, it took me a couple of years to fully shake off the notion that, simply having been selected to go to West Point, that I was special. So, I can certainly see how someone who spends years in that sort of environment–and years in select schools competing to get there–would have an enormous sense of entitlement.

I also never learned that there are smart people who aren’t “smart.” The existence of multiple forms of intelligence has become a commonplace, but however much elite universities like to sprinkle their incoming classes with a few actors or violinists, they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic. While this is broadly true of all universities, elite schools, precisely because their students (and faculty, and administrators) possess this one form of intelligence to such a high degree, are more apt to ignore the value of others. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for one’s advantages. But social intelligence and emotional intelligence and creative ability, to name just three other forms, are not distributed preferentially among the educational elite. The “best” are the brightest only in one narrow sense. One needs to wander away from the educational elite to begin to discover this.

Again, I don’t know that this is peculiar to the Ivies.  I saw the same condescension Deresiewicz describes at Alabama.  Jocks look down on nerds. Beautiful people sneer at the unattractive. Smart kids think they’re better than dumb ones. Is this more true at Harvard than, say, the University of Virginia? Maybe. But it’s a matter of degree, not kind.

What about people who aren’t bright in any sense? I have a friend who went to an Ivy League college after graduating from a typically mediocre public high school. One of the values of going to such a school, she once said, is that it teaches you to relate to stupid people. Some people are smart in the elite-college way, some are smart in other ways, and some aren’t smart at all. It should be embarrassing not to know how to talk to any of them, if only because talking to people is the only real way of knowing them. Elite institutions are supposed to provide a humanistic education, but the first principle of humanism is Terence’s: “nothing human is alien to me.” The first disadvantage of an elite education is how very much of the human it alienates you from.

[…]

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s intellect or knowledge. There is something wrong with the smugness and self-congratulation that elite schools connive at from the moment the fat envelopes come in the mail. From orientation to graduation, the message is implicit in every tone of voice and tilt of the head, every old-school tradition, every article in the student paper, every speech from the dean. The message is: You have arrived. Welcome to the club. And the corollary is equally clear: You deserve everything your presence here is going to enable you to get. When people say that students at elite schools have a strong sense of entitlement, they mean that those students think they deserve more than other people because their SAT scores are higher.

There’s actually something to this. And, while we’re leaning to putting our girls in private school for a whole host of reasons, we both went to public school and have some trepidation of isolating them from kids outside their social background.

An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it’s not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks.

This is somewhat overstated. Even at Troy State, there were advisors and deans and department heads. And students actually did on occasion appeal grades or complain about policies. But, yes, many of us did in fact severely penalize students for missing deadlines and otherwise demand that they do their work or suffer the consequences.

There are few, if any, opportunities for the kind of contacts I saw my students get routinely—classes with visiting power brokers, dinners with foreign dignitaries. There are also few, if any, of the kind of special funds that, at places like Yale, are available in profusion: travel stipends, research fellowships, performance grants. Each year, my department at Yale awards dozens of cash prizes for everything from freshman essays to senior projects. This year, those awards came to more than $90,000—in just one department.

This is absolutely true. Indeed, at Troy, it was a giant chore for even faculty to get funding to attend conferences and the like; there was next to no money for students. And, no, there were no dinners with the powerful; I was in DC and in my 40s before I did that sort of thing.

Related to this is a subject I’ve written about a few times before: Kids from these schools are much, much more likely to serve one or more unpaid internships with major companies or nonprofits. Not only can kids at Podunk U generally not afford to do it–most spend the summer working to earn money, not spending money to work–but they don’t have the slightest clue that they’re even supposed to do that. So, the elite school kid not only has the benefit of a more prestigious degree but they have the resume and connections that come with being inside the club.

In short, the way students are treated in college trains them for the social position they will occupy once they get out. At schools like Cleveland State, they’re being trained for positions somewhere in the middle of the class system, in the depths of one bureaucracy or another. They’re being conditioned for lives with few second chances, no extensions, little support, narrow opportunity—lives of subordination, supervision, and control, lives of deadlines, not guidelines. At places like Yale, of course, it’s the reverse. The elite like to think of themselves as belonging to a meritocracy, but that’s true only up to a point. Getting through the gate is very difficult, but once you’re in, there’s almost nothing you can do to get kicked out. Not the most abject academic failure, not the most heinous act of plagiarism, not even threatening a fellow student with bodily harm—I’ve heard of all three—will get you expelled. The feeling is that, by gosh, it just wouldn’t be fair—in other words, the self-protectiveness of the old-boy network, even if it now includes girls. Elite schools nurture excellence, but they also nurture what a former Yale graduate student I know calls “entitled mediocrity.” A is the mark of excellence; A- is the mark of entitled mediocrity. It’s another one of those metaphors, not so much a grade as a promise. It means, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. You may not be all that good, but you’re good enough.

I’ve seen this attitude quite a bit from the kids of the elite. And it’s true that well-connected graduates of elite schools often get on the fast track right from the outset. There are people working at the White House, Congressional staff, and the Joint Chiefs with less subject matter expertise and real world experience than I had fifteen years ago. There’s simply a huge degree of path determinacy at work.

Moreover, the degree is always a trump card. I’m well past the point where anyone cares where my undergraduate degree is from. Unless I’m applying for an academic job, it’s at the bottom of my resume. But people who went to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, and the like are still getting credit for it decades later. And it’s like a get out of jail free card: “Well, yes, he seems like a complete dumbass. But, hey, he went to Harvard! He must actually be smart!”

There’s much more to the article, some of which I agree with and some that strikes me as rant without substance. There’s a lot of political and social philosophizing that I’d have cut out of the piece had I been the editor.

Steven Metz, a state school grad with his PhD from Johns Hopkins, guesses that people with a cross-class background are more likely to adjust to cross-cultural interactions, regardless of where they went to school. And, while it may be a little self-serving, it strikes me as reasonable.  I grew up in a lower-middle class family (my dad, the sole breadwinner, was an Army non-com through my sophomore year in high school in an era where military pay was lousy) and both of my grandfathers were laborers with large families. In hindsight, constant moves were broadening, too.

It’s very easy for those in the professional class to live in a bubble of their own creation and, especially, to put one around our kids. And, frankly, the incentives to do so are powerful. There has to be a balance between making providing opportunities for your kids and walling them off from reality.

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*My dad ultimately got an associates and a bachelors degree, but at age 32 and 45, respectively. The social implications are completely different.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughters. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Elite institutions are an ancient solution-problem, or problem-solution. Yin-yang. The problem of their being elite is inseparable from their value as being elite.

    (I don’t see them as where the real “education problem” is happening. It’s mass eduction that has really gone off the rails, or gone down the wrong track … (railway metaphors are fun))




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  2. sam says:

    “It’s very easy for those in the professional class to live in a bubble of their own creation and, especially, to put one around our kids. And, frankly, the incentives to do so are powerful. There has to be a balance between making providing opportunities for your kids and walling them off from reality.”

    I once read that the real beginning of the British Labor Movement was in the trenches of the First World War. The officers, of course, were all Oxbridge, the enlisted, all cockney-farmer-coal miner. It was the first time those upper-class men had ever, ever come into intimate contact with the lower classes. Those officers were astonished at the deference and near worship the enlisted showed them. And that these officers were ordering these men to their deaths wholesale engendered in many of those privileged men a profound sense of responsibility toward the working class. And the British Labor Movement, as a political force, was born.




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  3. john personna says:

    Read “Heart of Oak” By Tristan Jones for a really good contrast between the British class/officer system and the American model circa WWII. In contrast, we had no class system.




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  4. Drew says:

    I’ve made this comment before, but it seems relevant again. I remember when I first started babbling about going to Harvard Business School and after the obligatory “you must mean Hahvud” my father looked down his nose at me and inquired ” so you are telling me you would completely exhaust the resources of a lesser school?” Uh, er, point taken.

    Fortunately I didn’t make the mistake of going to school “in Boston” but rather to a real school, “in Chicago.” But I think there is something to going to “elite” schools just to open one’s eyes and being forced to ‘play to the level of the competition’ if you will. That said, in my business we’ve purchased businesses founded and well managed by people with Wharton MBA’s…and guys who never finished high school. Its a big world out there.

    I will say this. Having worked in New York and lived in CT for 6 years, there is no shortage of Ivy types wanting to tell you all about it. Ugh.

    Good luck, James, with the education choices. Our daughter has been in public and privates. Like anything – pros and cons.




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  5. tom p says:

    And, while we’re leaning to putting our girls in private school for a whole host of reasons, we both went to public school and have some trepidation of isolating them from kids outside their social background.

    James, if you do go the private school direction, there are ways to broaden their social interactions. Joining the YMCA, Little League Softball/soccer, etc.




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  6. Brett #2 says:

    My parents not only didn’t go to college, it never even occurred to them that they could go to college.* And, while it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t go to college, I was completely clueless. I had vague notions that I had the aptitude for great schools but my high school guidance counselors were in the same boat as I was, having no real understanding of any schools more elite than Alabama or Auburn.

    Same here. My mother was a college graduate, but that had been decades before, and she had gotten in on an athletic scholarship. My dad only went to community colleges here and there.

    My counselor was a little better than that, but she was overwhelmed – it was a big, over-crowded high school. It wasn’t much help.

    That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school.

    My uncle once told me it was like that at Stanford. Very hard to get in, but once you were in, they really tried to help you stay in.

    It’s understandable, too. So many students – even at the local community college level – drop out in their first semester. Other opportunities call at them, or they just get burned out and disillusioned after spending a life-time in a structured educational environment that always told them what to do. It almost happened to me.




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  7. JKB says:

    Well, the important part is for those not of the Ivy league to come to understand the bigotry of the Ivy graduates. I for one was unaware of all the status decisions in where you went to school and throughout my career took the school someone attended into very little consideration. It wasn’t until late in my career that I was transfered to DC and exposed to the credential culture. Had I had my eyes opened earlier, I might have adapted better when dealing with the credentialed and their often unhidden derision of someone not in the club. But it was amusing to watch a Presidential Intern, who often exhibited disdain for me when I was a mere deputy come hat in hand when she needed my input as chief.

    Now granted, the “elitism” isn’t just from the Ivies. Many college graduates, especially those with advanced degrees, disdain the non-college and begrudge them when they are better paid. I remember the terrible concern one of the scientists had when she asked me why the ship’s engineers got paid so much. I’d never seen anyone blanch, but she did when I replied because we need them and if the ship broke down a thousand miles from nowhere, no one would think they were overpaid.

    This does seem to support the recent recommendation to teach entrepreneurism but at the non-elite colleges. Those graduates could best benefit from escaping the credentialed hierarchy since profit reveres no credentials. Not to mention being the owner means you got a better chance of keeping your job after 55, for that increase in retirement age everyone is promoting. Downside, business owners pay a lot of attention to taxes and regulation, which wouldn’t help the Dems.




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  8. michael reynolds says:

    Well, just to add a voice from an entirely different world: I dropped out of HS after completing 10th grade. (I was at a new school for 11th and a teacher told me to go back out a wrong door and come back in through the right door, mister, so I quit.)

    Rather than attend HS I got a full-time job at Toys R Us and took myself and a hot cashier to Europe for three months at age 16. After getting my GED I was accepted to Princeton (No one more amazed than me) but went to Cal State SF on the theory that I’d rather nail San Francisco hippie girls.

    Quit after a year. Spent the next decade as a drifter/waiter/pothead. Met my wife in there somewhere as she was getting her BA at UT Austin.

    Then became bestselling kid book authors. Had kids — one maladjusted genius, one physically virtuosic but academically challenged — yanked them in and out of various private school and home schooling.

    Not quite sure any of that is replicable.

    I actually enjoy the company of folks from the elite schools. It’s fun the way they start off assuming they should condescend to me. I enjoy the scared bunny look in their soft eyes as the awful truth begins to dawn.

    There is a special pleasure to be had when one reaches my advanced age and I can look around and see myself roughly at par with the Harvard and Yale boys, and know that I at very least tied the race while running ten times further and having a hell of a lot more fun.




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  9. Janis Gore says:

    You write under “Michael Grant,” Mr. Reynolds?

    I recently read Alan Bradley’s “A Red Herring Without the Mustard.” It was an entertaining diversion. A pissy 11-year-old sleuth, that Flavia de Luce.




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  10. Janis Gore says:

    The cost of going to even non-elite private e schools is enormous these days. My husband went to Loyola in New Orleans for law school in the early seventies. The cost went up to $1500 a semester when he was there.

    Now it costs $36,000 a year. Tulane is worse, at $42,000.




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  11. sam says:

    Uh, there seems to be a lot of reverse-snobbery snobbery in this thread.




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  12. michael reynolds says:

    Janis:

    That’s me. (Not the Michael Grant who was the classicist.) I’m also half of KA Applegate.




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  13. Janis Gore says:

    There’s reason for it, Sam. I tested in the top 10% of my class, 1% for some.

    Why does some half-assed legacy student like George W. Bush get a ride? That’s not to say that I hate Mr. Bush.




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  14. Janis Gore says:

    By the way, Sam, are you taking that Milton course yet? For the third time, I will read his pretentious self.

    I’ll take it with you.




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  15. sam says:

    Yeah, I took it. I was a bit disappointed. I wanted a little more in the way of poetic analysis, his use of language, etc. Don’t let my (moderate) disappointment dissuade you, though. It was a good course – I was just looking for something a bit different.




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  16. Janis Gore says:

    Tell me about it. Tell me on email so we don’t totally hijack this thread: janisgore@gmail.com




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  17. JKB says:

    Not at all, Sam, but there are anecdotes and experience of how the ‘privileged’ find themselves at a loss in the world where what value you add is more important than where you attended school. I’m happy to say that many in my experience, got off their laurels and added value just like their credentials were normal. My experience is with science and engineering so may not be typical of fields where competence doesn’t have an objective measurement.




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  18. Janis Gore says:

    Years ago, I had a discussion with some co-workers. Laura’s assertion was that her father, who came off the manufacturing floor, was a better manager than a newly-recruited business degree major.

    It was at about the time — say 1985, a year less or more — they were instituting a new rule at the telecom company where I worked, which specified that all managers had to be degreed.




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  19. sam says:

    “Not at all, Sam, but there are anecdotes and experience of how the ‘privileged’ find themselves at a loss in the world where what value you add is more important than where you attended school.”

    You know, I gotta say, that that’s just a highflalutin version of, “Yeah, but get him out of his field, and he’s useless.” Look, I’ve no doubt that there are Ivy-educated assholes. This is supposed to be some kind of news? But really, “Well, the important part is for those not of the Ivy league to come to understand the bigotry of the Ivy graduates” — You’ve met every Ivy grad? I met a lot, back in the day, and maybe it’s because of the circles I moved around in or the ancientness of the times, but they didn’t strike me as arrogant, looking-down-the-nose types. As assholes. I can’t recall a single one that came across like that.




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  20. Drew says:

    “You’ve met every Ivy grad? I met a lot, back in the day, and maybe it’s because of the circles I moved around in or the ancientness of the times, but they didn’t strike me as arrogant, looking-down-the-nose types. As assholes. I can’t recall a single one that came across like that.”

    sam – you were going down a good path until that last sentence. A single one? In my business, and when I was in New York, you are immersed up to yer arse in them. A good third of them are like that. What are you smoking, dude?

    Speaking of which……… A pothead becomes best selling author. What a country, eh?




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  21. michael reynolds says:

    Speaking of which……… A pothead becomes best selling author. What a country, eh?

    The US of A.




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  22. john personna says:

    Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier is a good book to read when fairly young. Good lessons.

    In it there is a discussion of whether to choose high or lowborn to serve as courtier (post “knight’ but still “man-at-arms” in a pinch). One argument was that, while they knew that high or lowborn could each achieve excellence, the high had more to lose. They had more skin in the game. Similar to arguments above.

    (On the subject of bravery, “be brave, but esp. when the king is looking.” I translated this to my friends as “if you work Saturday, be sure to walk by the owner’s office”)




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  23. mockmook says:

    they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic

    Perhaps.

    But, we seem to have MANY examples (cough, Obama, cough) of Ivy Leaguers with very poor analytical skills. Or, they are doing brilliant analysis, but their assumptions are all wrong.




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  24. AZ says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. I feel like there are a tons of socially awkward, out-of-touch people everywhere. Being at an Ivy doesn’t mandate it. Most people feel like an outsider somewhere. So what if you’re more likely to be awkward with a low-level blue collar worker on the job? He’s probably just as awkward in box seats at the opera. People are different, and sometimes those differences make you feel like you don’t fit in. I don’t see why this is some disadvantage. Also, simply put, the diversity of interests and mindsets at the Ivy campus I attended was staggering. Having graduated, I now know people who are at Harvard Law, and others who are taking up causes and volunteering their time for minimal financial reward. You will only be out of touch if you keep yourself out of touch, and I think those people are the minority.




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  25. Jose says:

    Every time I meet someone with an ivy league background, I get disappointed, I expect brilliance and realize they aren’t anywhere close to being on my level. A lot of them got there thanks to silver spoons (think Bush) and those who studied hard are just being trained in status quo and orthodoxy, albeit very well.




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  26. Zack Rules says:

    Interesting piece, I go to the University at Albany, SUNY which has an interesting distinction for attracting many sons and daughters of well off New Yorkers who either couldn’t get into an elite private school or whose parents refused to pay the magic 47k per year for a private school (it seems many private schools settle at around this number). It is interesting as many of those students actually do fairly well and end up being generous alumni.




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