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You don’t really want to be here. Image courtesy of Pixaby.

Colleges are doomed. They ought to be doomed. For generations, we’ve enshrined a vision of higher education which drives millions of young people into crippling levels of debt for little gain. Instead of taking the extreme measure of bailing out America’s most privileged or making college free, the COVID-19 pandemic offers us the chance to build an alternative, fairer system. For the first time in generations, we have an opportunity to fundamentally reform our universities and colleges. We need to face the uncomfortable reality: Americans don’t really want or need pricey liberal arts educations. …


How Modern Life Has Annihilated the Distinction Between the Personal and Professional

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I don’t own this image and this is a parody, Please don’t sue me.

I thought of the title for this piece before I knew what I wanted to say. The phrase popped into my head after I realized I search for people on LinkedIn before I check Facebook or Instagram. I’m not ashamed. After all, I haven’t updated my Facebook profile since I was in high school, and most everyone sets their Instagram to private. If you want up-to-date, accessible information about what someone looks like and what they do, LinkedIn is the safest bet. But that sparked a broader question: If Facebook and LinkedIn are interchangeable for me, what does that say about LinkedIn? …


How I learned to stop worrying about hard skills and love the liberal arts.

A couple of years ago, I made a questionable decision: I decided to get a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Tragically, tens of thousands of American students make this same choice every year, choosing a “professional” education over a liberal arts one. They’re making a false choice: American business schools are structurally incapable of producing technically savvy graduates, despite their best efforts to the contrary. It’s time for business schools to embrace the type of education universities are actually good at — the liberal arts.

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Stop trying to make Biz-B-Qs a thing. They’re not going to be at thing.

It might seem strange that I dislike business schools’ “professional” focus. After all, I’ve previously argued in favor of sweeping expansions to vocational training. If business schools were producing job-ready graduates, I’d be a fan. Unfortunately, they aren’t. You can’t cram very much technical coursework into undergrad; students need time to figure out their majors. Indeed, all explicitly technical programs struggle within the framework of a baccalaureate. Take engineering schools, which have tried to get around this through draconian entry requirements. Many universities demand that undergraduates apply to the engineering school as a part of their college apps. Even then, coding bootcamps are comparable to or even better than traditional CS programs at producing highly competent coders. Students at these camps can maintain a laser-like focus on technical skills, without the distractions of universities’ general-education requirements. …


Could Covid-19 spell the end of the modern urban way of life?

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On some level, you’ve probably come to terms with the idea that the world we return to will not be the one we left. Many of us will Zoom to work. Many of us will wear masks every year. Seeing sick people in public will make us enormously uncomfortable. Standards of sanitation and hygiene will hopefully be far higher. These changes seem benign, or perhaps even useful. Hopefully, a disease of similar infectiousness and lethality to SARS-COV-2 will be far less disruptive in 2025.

But these improvements belie how markets are fundamentally changing society: As investors scramble toward resiliency and away from risk, the economics of much of the fun of modern urban life will stop making sense. In future years we may see Covid-19 as the end of a millennial Belle Epoque. We will awaken to a darker, more tired world. …

About

Arun Solanky

Political Science and Business at UW. Class of 2022. Writing into the void.

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