Bryan Caplan  

My Conversations with Tyler and Taleb

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On April 17, I'm having an official Conversation with Tyler. 

Send Tyler questions for me here.

On April 23, Tyler and I are having back-to-back conversations with Nassim Tabeb. 

Tyler's doing his usual free-ranging conversation; Taleb and I will be discussing The Case Against Education.

Send Tyler questions for Taleb here

Send me questions for Taleb in the comments below.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (6 to date)

Do you think some of the signalling problems you describe are related to somewhat recent structural changes at university. Specifically, it seems that universities have become more "customer-facing," with an incentive to give students an enjoyable/successful experience, with the result that profs spend more time appeasing students, and are less inclined to give bad grades for shoddy work.

In other words - if university were MUCH harder, and professors didn't have to care about student opinions, would it lead to a better than 20-80 ratio in terms of signalling?

That's a hard change to make, but it might be possible via regulation or by stiff entrance exams.


Jim writes:

Bryan, when it comes to personal decisions on education, you seem to generally advocate sucking it up and earning credentials, in spite of the inevitable waste and silliness that entails. I'd like to hear Taleb's take on that, and/or a discussion between the two of you on that view.

Chris H writes:

Does Dr Taleb believe there is a distinction in the quality of education given from for-profit schools and non-profit schools? And to take a page from his books (asking not what he thinks but what's in his portfolio), does he actively seek to include share in for profit companies in his portfolio? Alternatively, is he trying to short them?

If Dr Taleb was running a company and had to hire workers, what character/personality traits would he want from his workers and what would he consider a credible signal of those traits?

Does Dr Taleb see educational institutions as important for creating shared culture and experiences in a population? Does he think such a shared cultural experience is potentially fragile?

Does Dr Caplan have the right skin in the game in publishing a critique of his own profession? Is there a way he could increase his skin in the game on the question of the social value of education?

Greg Linster writes:

It appears to be high status for a highly credentialed person to criticize the educational system, yet low status for those without credentials (very successful entrepreneurs are an obvious exception). Is this one of the major benefits of acquiring credentials?

Ari writes:

For Taleb: We homeschool (mainly unschool) our child with very limited curriculum; we are teaching her skills such as programming in Mathematica. What do you consider the essential skills for children to learn before the age of 18?

Luke Svenson writes:

A big thank you to Bryan Caplan for allowing reader to suggest questions to Nassim Taleb.

My question. Can we say that GMO crops introduce as much uncertainty in the food chain as Public Education did in Civilization?



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