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Benquo comments on Lost Purposes - Less Wrong

68 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 November 2007 09:01AM

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Comment author: Benquo 26 November 2007 11:00:28PM 0 points [-]


The choices that create a school are not the only choices responsible for the schooling that goes on. Students choose to attend, or others choose for them (parents, gov't, etc.). They do so in response to incentives created by others (businesses, higher educational institutions, etc.).

And of course employers value some kinds of knowledge. But knowledge and schooling are not the same thing. At least, people behave w/ regard to school in ways I can't imagine their behaving if it were just about knowledge (e.g. caring about grades, fulfilling major and core requirements that they don't want to but need in order to graduate).

This doesn't mean that school never accomplishes anything beyond signaling, and I suspect Robin Hanson doesn't believe that either. But often, its major role is as a signaling mechanism.