Poll

Given what you know today and where you think the world is headed, if you were to go to a traditional University, what would be your choice of Major?

Literature
2 (25%)
History
0 (0%)
Biology
0 (0%)
Chemistry
0 (0%)
Physics
0 (0%)
Mathematics
1 (12.5%)
Engineering
1 (12.5%)
Botany
0 (0%)
Agriculture
0 (0%)
Nursing
0 (0%)
Computer Science/IT
0 (0%)
Economics
0 (0%)
Accounting
0 (0%)
Art
0 (0%)
Graphic Art
0 (0%)
Art History
0 (0%)
Communications/Media
0 (0%)
Cinema/Filmography
0 (0%)
Sociology
0 (0%)
Psychology
0 (0%)
Anthropology
1 (12.5%)
Ecology
1 (12.5%)
Black Studies
0 (0%)
Women's Studies
0 (0%)
Criminal Justice/Police Science
0 (0%)
Pre-Dental
0 (0%)
Pre-Vet
0 (0%)
Pre-Law
0 (0%)
Pre-Med
1 (12.5%)
I would not go to College unless my parents paid for the whole thing
0 (0%)
I would not go to College whether my parents paid for it or not
1 (12.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

AuthorTopic: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?  (Read 1605 times)

Offline RE

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I have started a new Forum for Education topics.  I will be moving the current topic in Internet Education to this forum from Futurology after I post this Poll.

This poll asks you to imagine that you just graduated HS this year and are heading off to a traditional Brick & Mortar University, say Faber College.  :icon_mrgreen:  You have to decide how to best spend your parent's money and how much debt you will take on in deciding this Major, to get the most bang for your buck and come out with a Sheepskin that might do you some good in the world of the future you expect.

Unfortunately, the survey system here on the Diner SMF does not allow for multiple choices in the answer or ranking answers in order of preference, for that I need to use Diner Surveys.  However this is a starter experiment for this topic.

You can explain your rationale for a given choice in the comment stream, and also tell other choices you might have made instead.  Also, if you have suggestions for other things to include in a more comprehensive Survey, please note them in this thread.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 03:03:40 PM »
I voted to skip college. I think agriculture is the best choice of careers, but there are many better avenues of education for someone interested in farming than what universities have to offer. There is an organic farming internship thing offered through the community college here...I'd take it myself but it requires too much of a time commitment. That might not be too bad.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 03:13:16 PM »
I voted to skip college. I think agriculture is the best choice of careers, but there are many better avenues of education for someone interested in farming than what universities have to offer. There is an organic farming internship thing offered through the community college here...I'd take it myself but it requires too much of a time commitment. That might not be too bad.

That was a kind of trick answer.  Agriculture as taught in college is bought and paid for by Monsanto.  You learn what all the best pesticides are, how to plant row crops, ho to harvest with combines, etc.

I don't know any Ag colleges that offer permaculture degrees, although probably organic farming is offered.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 03:25:25 PM »
Learning permaculture is good, but I don't think just getting a PDC means much..and I took the trouble to actually get one.
 
I'm trying to find successful small farmers who are offering classes. People who already know who to eke out a living selling at farmers markets. People who know how to meet the government requirements and rules for butchering animals and selling meat.

I'd go to college for fun, if money was no object, but it wouldn't be aimed at getting a day job.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 03:52:22 PM »
Literature was my choice without nary a second to decide.

To me, the others are a preparation for a job or career, which is why many folks laugh at a  Literature student as one who wasted his time and money.

It's only one of the reasons it is my most loved field of study, because they are correct. It won't put a dime in your pocket, but you will get an education.
 

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
― Emily Dickinson

“People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.”
― G.K. Chesterton

“I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul.”
― Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.”

― Gustave Flaubert

“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”
― T.S. Eliot

“In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself.”
― C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

“Do you realize that all great literature — "Moby Dick," "Huckleberry Finn," "A Farewell to Arms," "The Scarlet Letter," "The Red Badge of Courage," "The Iliad and The Odyssey," "Crime and Punishment," the Bible, and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" — are all about what a bummer it is to be a ...human being?”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.”
― Mark Twain


 

 
                                           

Offline Eddie

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 05:00:32 PM »
Literature was my choice without nary a second to decide.

To me, the others are a preparation for a job or career, which is why many folks laugh at a  Literature student as one who wasted his time and money.

It's only one of the reasons it is my most loved field of study, because they are correct. It won't put a dime in your pocket, but you will get an education.
 

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
― Emily Dickinson

“People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.”
― G.K. Chesterton

“I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul.”
― Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.”

― Gustave Flaubert

“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”
― T.S. Eliot

“In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself.”
― C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

“Do you realize that all great literature — "Moby Dick," "Huckleberry Finn," "A Farewell to Arms," "The Scarlet Letter," "The Red Badge of Courage," "The Iliad and The Odyssey," "Crime and Punishment," the Bible, and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" — are all about what a bummer it is to be a ...human being?”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.”
― Mark Twain

I often wonder what it might have been like if I had pursued Literature or History, both of which I really loved. Now, as an old man, it seems like it might have worked out better in many ways. Maybe I'd have even written a decent novel or a good poem or two.

Good writing is as close as it gets to immortality in this life. You are, in the long run, the words you leave behind.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2016, 05:04:58 PM »
Good writing is as close as it gets to immortality in this life. You are, in the long run, the words you leave behind.

I am doing good on this one, in Quantity for sure, and in Quality too if you go by the Testimonials.  :icon_sunny:

Quantity, I got both Shakespeare and Tolstoy put together beat. lol.

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Offline Ka

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 10:38:18 PM »
I picked mathematics (which is what I did major in) for more or less the same reason GO picked literature -- just for its intrinsic interest. I might have chosen philosophy but a) it's not on the list, and b) philosophy departments are dominated by materialists. For money, I would set my sights on something like learning to be an electrician, not an electrical engineer

Offline RE

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2016, 10:43:16 PM »
I picked mathematics (which is what I did major in) for more or less the same reason GO picked literature -- just for its intrinsic interest. I might have chosen philosophy but a) it's not on the list, and b) philosophy departments are dominated by materialists. For money, I would set my sights on something like learning to be an electrician, not an electrical engineer

Nice 2 C U Ka.  :icon_sunny:

I'll remember to drop Philosophy into the list when I do the full version on Diner Surveys.  Also I will add Religion, which I left out.  Maybe Bible Studies also for Ashvin.  ;D

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Offline RE

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2016, 11:38:51 PM »
OK, I submitted my vote on this, it was for Anthropology.

I was strongly inclined to vote NO COLLEGE because in reality I think you could learn stuff in other ways, but at the same time I saw that choice as a Cop Out.  Particularly if you are a middle/upper class kid even today.  Your parents will EXPECT you to go to college!  Even if they can't help you pay for it!

Now, why Anthropology?  First off because I am super curious about how we got here today from monkeys swinging in the trees.  What were the stages, why did we make the choices we did, and how did the choices affect the evolutionary change?

In terms of utility for the future, if I understand this better I can Advise better my post collapse tribe on what the best choices they can make are.  I am in a sense preparing myself to be a Seer in the future world of Collapse.  I would be able to explain better to my Tribe the choices that were made in the past and where we went south on them.

However, I had other thoughts as well.  Criminal Justice/Police Science seemed like a good choice since I believe we will go through a period of extreme Fascism, and my employment potential during this period as a member of the Gestapo would be high.  Similarly, I considered Communications/Media as a good choice, since I am a prolific writer anyhow and I could write good Propaganda for the State and insure my own survival that way.

The Pre-Professional majors did not seem good to me.  Not a good enough ROI for them, because you still have to do another 2-4 year of high cost education to pass through the Gate and practice in such professions, at least until the system collapses.  Nursing seems a better choice here if you want to go with the Med professions.

Mathematics or Physics are both good, that is good training in logic and fundamentals that are applicable to almost any situation.  Comp Sci/It not so good since its utility depends on Computers still being manufactured.

Botany would be better than Agriculture, understanding the basic nature of plants is more universal.

Literature is almost a complete waste of time, because it comes from a past that won't be repeated and the applicability is small. History marginally better, but we are moving into a period for which there is no precedent in History.

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« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 11:43:42 PM by RE »
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Offline Surly1

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2016, 04:42:29 AM »

Literature is almost a complete waste of time, because it comes from a past that won't be repeated and the applicability is small. History marginally better, but we are moving into a period for which there is no precedent in History.

RE

I could not disagree more. I voted for literature, and you can read GO's reasons for why.

Even when the wheels fall off the wagon, there is a cultural heritage to consider, for good or ill. Some one has to keep that alive, to interpret it.

Even Morris Berman wonders if whether the "monastic option" might not be the best way to deal with the coming madness. remember it was the Irish monks who kept the western philosophic tradition alive for centuries, cf. Thomas Cahill.

Survival is one thing; keeping the flame of knowledge alive for a coming generation is another.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2016, 06:05:21 AM »
Quote
Literature is almost a complete waste of time, because it comes from a past that won't be repeated and the applicability is small.

RE

Thank you for the kind compliment and for proving the point I made in my posting.

It's no wonder we get along so well.   

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana

William L. Shirer made these words the epigraph for his "Rise and Fall
of the Third Reich (1959)."

                                                 


                                                 
                                                                        War Plans

There's a group of men with a "Practical" education me thinks. Dante's Inferno would be greeted with laughter no doubt, if you could find one that read it amongst this group of wise learned men.


                                             

Offline RE

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2016, 08:32:33 AM »

Literature is almost a complete waste of time, because it comes from a past that won't be repeated and the applicability is small. History marginally better, but we are moving into a period for which there is no precedent in History.

RE

I could not disagree more. I voted for literature, and you can read GO's reasons for why.

Even when the wheels fall off the wagon, there is a cultural heritage to consider, for good or ill. Some one has to keep that alive, to interpret it.

Even Morris Berman wonders if whether the "monastic option" might not be the best way to deal with the coming madness. remember it was the Irish monks who kept the western philosophic tradition alive for centuries, cf. Thomas Cahill.

Survival is one thing; keeping the flame of knowledge alive for a coming generation is another.

I would of course READ History and Literature, it just would not IMHO be the best choice of major and most bang for the buck for the future I envision.

Studying Anthropology I could learn Stone Tool Knapping, I could learn shelter building techniques, I could learn what strategies various tribes used for survival and what their social organization was and how they lived in different climates.  I could then pass on this knowledge to others after TSHTF.  I think it would be the most useful set of skills for the future that I could learn in a standard college curriculum.

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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2016, 10:20:29 AM »
I would of course READ History and Literature, it just would not IMHO be the best choice of major and most bang for the buck for the future I envision.
I sort of agree with you... I think if you can get a TOP-NOTCH education in Literature or History, which Golden Oxen obviously did, it would be worthwhile.  Such an education would touch on the human condition at least as much as Anthropology or Psychology.  However, I suspect very few colleges offer that level of quality, and so I couldn't as a general rule recommend it as a major.  Perhaps if I had familiarity with the faculty at individual colleges it would be a different story.

As to my own choice, I was leaning towards "No College" until I read the survey.  But, since one of the "No College" choices was "even if Mom and Dad would pay for it", I couldn't.  IF you can get a college education WITHOUT getting into massive amounts of debt, I still think it worthwhile UNLESS you are absolutely sure you want to do something that does not require a degree, like being an electrician.

One notable major missing from the list is "Music".  I find that quite glaring because not only was that my first major (and free, courtesy of my father being a professor), but it is also the one that I find myself using the most.  And no, I am not a professional musician.  Things I learned from Music:

  • How to work with others
  • How to follow a script
  • How to memorize
  • How to make a mistake and keep going
  • How to take the limelight without getting scared
  • How to fade into the background
  • How to not lose my place
  • How to deal with boredom

However, at this point, I can't recommend Music as a major, unless you are good enough to get a major scholarship, so that you don't need to get into debt.  And, even if Mommy and Daddy are rich enough to pay for it out of pocket, if you're not good enough for a scholarship, it still probably isn't the best field for you.

Which brings me to what I did vote for: Ecology.  As a career field, it might not be the best choice, there aren't that many employment opportunities.  But, as was discussed on another thread, systems thinking is the Next Big Thing, and Ecology is the quintessential science for it.  Unlike what I said for Literature, I think just about any Ecology program will give you a good introduction to systems thinking, the field pretty much requires it.  (The best computer science programs will also feature systems thinking, but poor ones will just teach you how to program -- a useful skill, but not one worth paying large sums of money for).

Once you have the systems thinking down, you can go into any other field and be a major innovator.   Reductionist thinking is very well along the curve of diminishing returns, systems thinking is just getting started.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline monsta666

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Re: What should your Major in College be if you Graduated this year?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 10:53:58 AM »
Surprised this is not an option on the list but how about majoring on the Doomstead Diner? The degree teaches you how to properly track the real news and survive the collapse. My suggestions for the list of professors who would teach this course:

Golden Oxen - Financial advice
Surly - Political activism/how to spot propaganda
Eddie - Doomstead building
luciddreams - Permaculture
knarf - Meditation
Ka - Philosophy
Ashvin - Religious studies
RE - Orkin man theory
agelbert - Renewable solutions

 

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