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Comment author: Huluk 30 January 2017 07:59:50PM 2 points [-]

Used the poll. Mostly check discussion in my feed reader (both smart phone and desktop), read easily digestible stuff right away, put off the harder stuff for later (and read about 1/3 of the things I intend for later consumption). Do vote, rarely comment.

Comment author: Huluk 21 November 2016 07:08:23PM 2 points [-]

How about #4, interrupt the conversation and ask for your definition ("If you use weird words you can at least save me the work of looking it up").

Comment author: root 18 July 2016 09:42:37PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the long answer! I just looked at the Cambridge prices for overseas students and it made me feel poor. Might as well seen a 500,000 ILS debt in my bank account.

I live in Israel and maybe I should study here. None of my family has any education though so I'm not really sure what to do. Do you know any universal things I should look for when considering higher education? ('Is it worth it?' sounds like a good question now..)

Comment author: Huluk 18 July 2016 11:48:13PM 4 points [-]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your comment here gives me the impression that you are asking an awfully general question, but actually want the answer to a very concrete question: "Should I study X at a top uni abroad, any uni at home, or not at all, given that I'm good enough to choose myself but will have to make debts to study". This would be a much easier question for us to answer, especially if you tell us what X is, whether you'd want to continue with a postgrad, and maybe what you goals are for the time after your studies. It's perfectly ok not to know all of these yet, but some info would help.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 July 2016 05:12:01PM 0 points [-]

you'll be totally fine and get a reasonable job

Sure, but the question wasn't what would get you a reasonable job. The question was whether graduates from top schools have "better prospects" than graduates from no-name schools and yes, they do.

Comment author: Huluk 18 July 2016 05:25:07PM 0 points [-]

The question was also if the effort is wasted. I agree that the prospects are better at a top school, but that's not the same as "don't bother".

Comment author: Lumifer 18 July 2016 04:09:52PM -1 points [-]

do graduates from there have better prospects than graduates of 'University of X, YZ'?

Yes, they do.

There are basically three tiers: the elite (top 10-12 schools), the middle (top 50-100 or so), and the don't-bother (the rest).

Comment author: Huluk 18 July 2016 04:20:41PM *  2 points [-]

This may be true if you want to go into research or in primarily reputation-based fields like politics and law. In engineering or technology, you'll be totally fine and get a reasonable job with a degree from other universities. Maybe in the US it's not worth the fees, but that's a different matter and does not apply in many countries.

Comment author: root 18 July 2016 02:59:31PM 3 points [-]

What are the differences between the 'big names' of higher education, in comparison to other places?

For example, I often hear about MIT, Oxford, and to a lesser extent, Cambridge. Either there's some sort of self-selection, or do graduates from there have better prospects than graduates of 'University of X, YZ'?

In a little bit of unintended self-reflection I noticed that I have a strange binary way of thinking of higher education. It feels that if I don't go to one of the top n, my effort is wasted. Not sure why.

I'm just becoming somewhat paranoid regarding the real world after reading HPMOR because I always get a 'how much do I really know?' feeling. I'm not sure how my impressions were formed and I better double-check how well does the ideas in my mind reflect the real-world truth but at the same time I'm not even sure what's a reliable indicator.

Post-high education LWers, do you think the place you studied at had a significant effect on your future prospects?

Comment author: Huluk 18 July 2016 04:05:34PM 4 points [-]

I'm currently applying for jobs while finishing up my Master's degree, so I'm not technically in the group you are asking, but can hopefully still say something useful.

Background: I've been studying Computer Science with a natural language focus, both at a relatively unknown university in Eastern Germany and at University of Edinburgh. The latter is definitely top n in the field, although it does not have the same nimbus and does not offer as much of regular 1-on-1 teaching time with profs like Oxford and Cambridge do (you can get it if you ask, but it is not a default teaching mode). I can't compare to the US because I haven't been there yet.

Content comparison: I find that the courses at both universities is similar both according to content and quality. The focus is different of course, and workload is much higher in Edinburgh, probably because the degree program is only 1 year instead of 1.5 or 2 for roughly the same content. In both places I could get meetings with professors if I wanted to, although in Edinburgh there is additionally a lot of staff who checks up on us and reminds us about organisational things. Among students, there is a bigger share of really bright and enthusiastic people, and that is quite noticeable. The biggest difference here is that there is direct contact with the people who made major inventions and contributions to the field and are on top of things I actually care about. This is most important in a very narrow range of topics I want to go further. For the basics, it doesn't really matter who explains them. I currently also get very good dissertation supervision, but I cannot compare that to my old university because I wrote my dissertation there during an internship and largely with supervision from the company's research department.

Job applications: I feel like being in Edinburgh gives a significant boost to job applications. In Germany, profs were willing to write recommendations on request, but did not offer interesting company contacts on their own. There were partnerships between university and bigger companies, but this felt very cheesy and ineffective. Around here, I do get very cool company introductions and interviewers sometimes happen to have worked or studied here as well, which gives a good basis for conversation and might give a bonus, even if they try to avoid it consciously.

Conclusion: UK tuition fees at top-n universities (around £7k-25k/year) are low compared to US fees, so they are easier to justify and I think mine are worth it with regards to my future job. I would not say the same for knowledge gain per money, since German living costs are much lower and it does not have tuition fees. I could have done a two-year master in Germany for less money and could have had more relaxed studies with the same gain. I however wanted to have shorter, intensive studies, so the UK suited my preferences. Be aware however that Brexit causes trouble for British research, so this evaluation might totally change in 1 or 2 years.

Comment author: SquirrelInHell 18 June 2016 10:34:39PM 0 points [-]

Hmm yes, thanks, indeed it probably applies to quite a few people.

I don't personally get the whole "spend a lot of time in a train/car" thing, so let me also ask: what distance on land (or travel time) would make you give up on a train trip?

Comment author: Huluk 19 June 2016 04:17:38AM *  0 points [-]

Distance does not matter, travel time does. As does pricing because prices for train and plane are basically unrelated and because I'm currently a student and don't have much money. My decision mostly depends on the events around my travel – sometimes I have to fly to make it in time. This means I find it difficult to give a simple function, so let me give some examples:

• I currently live in Edinburgh and I fly to visit people in Germany or the Netherlands over the weekend. On the other hand, I will move back to the continent in September and will visit the LW community weekend "on the way". This will involve a travel time of around 25h over a period of 45h (13.5h train, 6h ferry, 4h cycling, 1h waiting, ~0.5h local transport). If I took a plane, it would cost around the same and I'd spent 10h (1.5h flight, 2h security/waiting, 1.5h local transport, 5h packing and unpacking bike + getting the packaging in the first place). EDIT: Without the bike, the times would be 19h (train through the tunnel) vs 5h and I'd fly.

• There is a reasonable probability that I'll be living in Switzerland soon, in which case I'm planning to do family visits by ~9h train instead of ~5h flight+transport. That is because I'm expecting it to be possible to do "home office" in the train.

• I really like night trains. I count night travel as 2-3h time investment due to reduced sleep quality.

• I prefer flying + airport shuttle over driving a car for the same total time if I'm the only driver. If this is a road trip with like-minded people and we share driving responsibilities, up to like 24h of driving seem okay during holidays. I'd probably prefer the plane once I have a job.

Comment author: SquirrelInHell 17 June 2016 08:45:30AM 1 point [-]

Yes, Berlin is the most obvious candidate at this point, and it seems strong on most fronts except climate and prices.

Note that cheap flights make "not be too far from any other country" much less important than it used to be.

That's why I think Berlin is a wonderful choice

Note that saying "X. That's why I think Y" is a straightforward transformation of "I think Y, because X", which I've been asking not to say.

As an exercise in consequentialist thinking, I suggest you rephrase your comment :)

Comment author: Huluk 17 June 2016 04:33:38PM 1 point [-]

I think that "not be too far from any other country" would lead to a more open community with more fluent membership status. People who feel vaguely connected to a community will go to events which are closeby, but are less likely to attend if they have to fly (and consequently have to plan much longer in advance). At least I'm willing to travel much longer in a train – where I can do work – if I can avoid flying that way, which seems to consist solely of controlls and queueing.

In response to Suppose HBD is True
Comment author: Huluk 21 April 2016 02:38:17PM *  1 point [-]

I think most of the allure of HBD comes from factors which are harder to measure than intelligence, like altruism or stronger bounds to kin and smaller bounds to state / nation / whatever. In general the point that some people are "better suited" for life in clan structure and some for life in other structures. I don't think you adressed any of this.

[Disclaimer: I'm not a proponent of HBD, so I don't guarantee to sum up the position correctly.]

Comment author: Huluk 26 March 2016 12:55:37AM *  26 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: Huluk 26 March 2016 01:06:44AM 44 points [-]

I have taken the survey.

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