Friday, June 06, 2008

The 80-20 Rule Vs Education

Disclaimer: The argument I am trying to put forth is slender and has millions of counter-arguments indicating otherwise. Tons of data against it. It is one of those topics where it is hard to be decisive and logical about. I wanted a particular slice of an argument to come out. For that I needed to make an unpopular assumption. So I did. If it has not come out well in all the noise and clutter of this post then treat this post as some twisted form of entertainment.

'Neeya Naana' (You Vs Me)is a debate show in Vijay TV that occasionally very good. In all my years of watching TV - I have never seen this particular beaten-to-death topic being debated in such a brutal style. A few weeks ago there was an episode where the topic - 'does formal/school/college education help one become successful?' was brought to debate and I still can't stop thinking about it. One team was filled with "uneducated" people (as in 8th std pass) in veshtis and the other team was 'echukated' parties (as in M.Phil/ PhD / MBA ) in pant/shirt. The debate population distribution was biased, deliberately I may add. All the uneducated people were entrepreneurs, filthy rich and unbelievably successful. All the people in the 'educated' team were, to put it simply, losers.

While Gopinath, the moderator, did not say it aloud, the debate assumed that we educate ourselves to make money. Let us go with the assumption. It is a fair assumption. We never asked the question 'why get educated at all?'. We probably should but rarely do. The important thing is - We don't know why the people who funded our education did so in the first place. Every time a child asked this question, its parents yelled, "otherwise who will give you a job? What will you do for food?". So I'll take a guess - For middle/lower-middle and poor class people, most definitions of 'success' (one that is both caused by education and stated by people as #1 purpose for investing in education) that hovers around the mean and 99% of the bell curve - Money is the 'necessary' condition for success. People who don't have money for next N-generations invest in *formal* education because of its ROI. Everything else - satisfaction, happiness, contentment, pursuit of religion and bla-bla satisfies the 'sufficient' condition and is a by-product of having some money in the kitty. Importantly, these things don't operate in a world that is mutually exclusive to pursuit of money. You can have both money and happiness etc. The rest of the post holds this assumption to be true.

In the debate that spanned 3 episodes - The simple question that the uneducated team repeatedly asked and a question for which the educated folks consistently gave poor responses was - 'what the hell did you accomplish by studying? What have you earned?'. The educated folks kept saying crap like 'I am loyal to my employer' or completely nonsense like 'I do service to society by teaching' etc to defend themselves. Because in this crowd none of the educated people were really rich. On one hand there were uneducated Vanniyars from north (not south) Thamizh Nadu, more specifically Goundars from Coimbatore who had lost their childhood/education to father's death, sorrow and poverty. They just rocked in the debate. They were literally bleeding money. On the other hand we had losers like that Iyer mama and Mudaliyar type people who were 'middle-class' losers who had no major childhood deprivations, financial or otherwise, but were crying, and I mean literally, that they did not get a medical seat in 1965 because of 'reservation'. I found this interesting. Education has somehow taught people, directly or indirectly, to work in a 'profession' where work is bartered for money - but still put passion (or something similar) above money. People fundamentally do work in exchange for money. But they have been taught that maximizing the moneyreceived in that exchange is lower form of success and something else is a higher form of success. Children who were put in school to earn money in the future are taught similar things. Is it unintentional? Why is it fashionable to view money as a non-primary target and an inferior form of success?

The key aspect that was different in the debate from all the other debates that have happened before was that in this case - the rich people were happy people and unashamed/unapologetic of being rich. Completely different from MGR and Rajinikanth movies that the thamizhan was used to. Those movies glorified the poor by giving them credit for being happy and criticised the rich for being unhappy as a result of having money. Here in the debate, every time the educated people said something like 'Mere paas Ma hai' the uneducated-rich said "mudri naayee, I have mummy, daddy, gaadi, bungalow, bank balance and lots of happiness". Whatever the educated people said that they had by virtue of education, the uneducated-rich claimed that they already had, didn't need it, or could simply "buy it" - easily.. And this was hilarious to watch. Mainly because it was true - in their individual cases. Money could buy other forms of success. Not all types of success. But more than you think. In the past, the direction of such debates have always been 'orchestrated' by actors/politicians/TV-Channels to appease the uneducated-poor and to dupe them that they aren't any worse off. This debate was orchestrated to glorify the uneducated but used a radically different method.

The summary given by the 'expert' guest had a lot of common sense in it and probably reflected what everybody was thinking - that one should view the uneducated's success as an inspiration but they are an exception and not the rule. We all get the fact that education increases probability of getting employed in IT firms and other salary paying companies and decreases the probability of a person remaining poor. It has been successful in delivering some sot of minimum money back guarantee. I am not contesting that the process has no value. But there was a common thread that I noticed in this argument about educated people. They took 2 different positions on education depending on the context. When challenged 'why should one get educated at all?' most arguments assumed that earning money (employment) was the primary purpose of getting education. But they quickly disassociated themselves from that purpose once the context changed to a time when people have finished education. When asked "now that you are done with it, are you earning good money?" - they rambled on about satisfaction and happiness. Let us keep aside the bias in the debate sample population, all the cliches surrounding 'padikaatha medhai', exception vs rule arguments and answer the simple question posed by Gopinath - "is education a disadvantage? Does it make you less prone to be an entrepreneur?, does it dampen your money earning spirit? does it cripple your freedom of thought?"

The answer is yes.

It simply is. Over time - formal education has put man in situations where he will get locked in as a salary receiving person. It give man something that he will later become afraid to lose. It teaches an ordinary man, who started off wanting to earn money, things like principles, passion, happiness. Education overemphasises these factors and makes him believe that these factors are mutually exclusive from money. And he uses these factors as excuses for not earning money. There are people who are naturally passionate about something and don't care about the money. There really are people like that. But not all the people who claim to be satisfied with 'passion' 'happiness' and 'principles' are genuine. They say this as an excuse to complain against their lack of success. The reality is education makes people inflexible, conservative and pursuers of the comfort zone. The very same person who draws Rs 6500 in a govt job every month might behave differently if he weren't educated and had no prospects of getting a govt job.

I also have my doubts on whether educated children of rich-uneducated men will go a level-up on their parents. Let me take an example of 2 friends, one of whom is very close. Both these friends had reasonably uneducated parents. The parents went through a difficult childhood but they had the drive to make it big. They made big money. Their sons did engineering and M.S with the hope that education will make them more successful (as in rich) than their parents. Both faced some very tough moments getting a career started/going-on. When talking to them in their most frustrating moments, I found that they were trying to make things work in the salaried construct. They couldn't unshackle themselves from the purpose their M.S or other 'formal education' stuff had built them for. They were sort of aware that they were falling into what they called 'this middle-class mentality' but they still wanted a job in Mechanical Engineering or software. They weren't passionate about the field. But that was success to them. An immediate one too. After a while, one guy said 'screw this' and became an actor. The other guy is still doing a job for salary. However, both were less dynamic and less entrepreneurial than their fathers. I thought 'Education' was the reason.

The common thread I observed after hearing all the educated people defend themselves (by making escapist statements) was that education killed some passion in people to earn money. Person wants a job that correlates to his most recent education and so becomes myopic. The minimum cash flow that happens when one is in a salaried job becomes a burden. If one wants to really become rich, one almost always has to give up that sustenance cash flow. And when one fails to sum up the courage to do it, one quotes vague things like principles, work-life balance and other stuff. The reality is that one does not need to give up any of those factors to become rich but education makes one think otherwise. The small fraction of educated and uneducated people who turned out to be filthy rich entrepreneurs were people who were clear in their objective. They wanted Return On Intelligence. Maximum money for their time spent working. They were clear about that and worked towards that. This made them more agile and more flexible to do things (very very legal legitimate things) that an educated man would refuse to do. In fact they would love to do things an educated man would not like to do, ever.

In short, the commercial purpose of education has become diluted. People lose the drive and the passion to become rich as a result of it. They become blunt instruments. Education tells them that pursuit of money is an uninteresting and superficial process - When the opposite is true. A business man who runs a chain of restaurants is viewed with the same disgust as a scientist who pursues the $1 million that a Nobel prize comes with. People view seekers of money as less of a person. So, they settle in salaried jobs and wait for death.

40 comments:

Anupadmaja said...

Some of my points of view:

> I dont think education brings complacency. Complacency is brought by the job. Education simply enables people. But people stop learning/exploring once they have their first pay check in their pocket. Education is a tool, if you dont use it, it will be useless.

> A key takeaway from the episodes is that uneducated != poor.

> Stating this just for the record: I wouldnt hero worship all the "winners" side veshti mans. Only one of them was dashing in the show, not all. There were many stupid idiots in that side too who took weak stands. Eg. the idiot that said "Oh educated people dont adjust, they are so stupid". Losers side could have questioned what do you mean by "adjustment" (dont tell me he is pure gold).

> Education in India has no time to teach happiness, passion, righteousness, etc. In India, these anti-money (anti-pleasure) things are taught by religion/society/family/teachers.

> People will use "known good things" to try and mask their inferiority complexes, especially when exposed. That doesnt make a case for the non existence of the good things. Please apply the 80-20 rule here.

Anupadmaja said...

> And yeah, "how to make money" is a problem that does not yet have a common workable solution (since I, a common public hasnt yet heard of one). Right now it looks like a random distribution (some areas have a high probability though), but time will tell.

maxdavinci said...

I think its the education system (this includes the colleges/schools, teachers etc) that blunt the entrepreneurial edge in many.

We begin to look towards safer careers and it slowly dies a silent death. Thats the reason ppl have to goto b-schools!

fantastic post, some very valid points!

Maha said...

If education is indeed a hindrance towards making money - wouldn't that mean that there would be a lot more educated people among the poor? while it is true that there are a lot of rich people with education, there aren't a lot of poor people with education - this leads me to : education may not hinder money making abilities - though it does not help much either.

As far as education in India goes - yes.. the purpose may be to teach you to make money - but that is not what it actually does.

Hawkeye said...

/*Oh educated people dont adjust, they are so stupid */

if 'adjust' means bribing and other illegal stuff. then you may have a point.

but 'adjust' has several other meanings. And educated people are poor in adjusting to reality that education is a path to make money. They stick to making money in 1 particular field in 1 particular way.

I totally agree with the point that they dont adjust.

reply to rest of your points tomorrow.

Anupadmaja said...

"Adjust" in that guys context sounded like bribe and cutting edges in other similar ways. That educated people dont adjust is synonymous to they are unwilling to bend rules to ease making money is very common in Chennai and thats what I presume that guy was talking about.

In this context, "They stick to making money in 1 particular field in 1 particular way." is not even an issue coz we are not talking about that issue - why does he care if the other educated guy is willing to make money for himself. That guy was referring to people whom he depends on to run his business.

Anupadmaja said...

"I totally agree with the point that they dont adjust."

I never said I disagree. I am calling him stupid not because I believe educated people adjust, but because those educated people are doing the right thing by not adjusting and this guy has an issue with it.

There is this issue of people not exploring once they get into one job that gies them salary - but that was my first point and is a different point.

Saravanan said...

>> Vanniyars from south Thamizh Nadu
wtf??

srinath said...

I saw the episode too and felt there is a flaw in the topic. It should have ideally been "skilled vs un-skilled". Education is really only a means of gaining some form of skill. Which means, someone who apprentices in a tea shop learning to make tea is also undergoing some form of education.

I agree (school or college) education in our country has totally lost its purpose.
But what I observed was, the people sitting on the uneducated side were not actually skilled. They just made money. They kept saying they can hire some 10 educated people and run some business. Its not going to take the world anywhere. If everyone took to that kind of work, there would be no progress. While someone who learns and improves upon some kind of skill (like an artisan or a cook) is truly to be appreciated, simple money making business men are not important for this world. It is not going to lead to any progress. One might argue, ambani has given employment to millions of people. But behind the empire lies the work of many years of skilled labour. Civilization happened not because of money.
Sorry for the long comment.
I like your blog a lot.

Hawkeye said...

saravanan,

i didn't say it. gopinath did. he also gave some data that 80% of peoplee who get above a particular filthy rich income were uneducated

Hawkeye said...

saravana,

mannichikoba. he said 'vadakku' for somereason i wrote it down as south. i don't know why.

ruchi said...

Interesting post. I think an educated person is someone who can read,write,think independently and can make an argument. An educated person is someone who is aware of his surroundings political, geographical, social. etc. Based on this, a person who has studied up to primary class or even eight std is an educated person. After this level, its all "higher education" which is actually a "training" in a specialized field. If a person is studying to be an engineer, doctor, architect, artist, singer, musician and so on, it means he is learning a skill. The curriculum does not aim to make them entrepreneur neither does it hinder it. Based on personal experience, I never felt during my higher education/training that money is bad or I should not become rich. Infact, everyone in my class wanted to become rich. But, that said, everyone can't become an entrepreneur, they either don't have the guts to take risk, or lack the intelect to think something innovative, or just lack the drive to work hard. For such people higher education is a boon. It enables them to lead a comfortable but not a rich life. Without the training they would actually be living in penury. So, I don't think just because one has a steady stream of income and decent 9-5 hassle-free job, one lacks the drive to become rich. The people who become rich have the drive to do so. No amount of "training" would blunt that.

Hawkeye said...

/* For such people higher education is a boon. It enables them to lead a comfortable but not a rich life. */

yes! yes! this is it. this is the blunting thing. The "easier option" or you can call it "the path of least resistance".

/* But, that said, everyone can't become an entrepreneur, they either don't have the guts to take risk, or lack the intelect to think something innovative, or just lack the drive to work hard. */

the wont have all the above skills because they arent required to develop it. the process of education which feeds the educated to 9-5 jobs - renders all that e above skills unnecessary.

Bharath Madhavan said...

Hawkeye,
Education reduces interest in money! - I read your disclaimer and hence would treat this post as a mere entertainment. But,as a sheer coincidence, I happened to watch this following video today. It is J.K.Rowling at harvard commencement 2008.I'm not saying that her speech discusses the same thing as your post but some answers could be derived out of it.

http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html

-Bharath.

Ramesh said...

I do not think most of the educated do not want to make more and more money. They do, they just don't act for they are comfortable (as somebody said it's the job and not the education).

If there is anyone that truely does not want to make money then it is most likely that he is also not afraid of money (that it may jeopardize his happiness)

Just yesterday I was wondering (for some weird reason; I have not watched that program) "isn't it the education that is the easiest way one can make a living out of." I am wondering now "Why do somethings make sense only a little later in life, no matter who tells it before and how many times."

On a different note disclaimers do not suit your personality (BIG statement I know you can brush off if you want to), or probably it has evolved into one that needs 'em.

Ramesh said...

I mean individual disclaimers to posts

Saraks said...

There is a mentality that rich are essentially bad and they have bend the rules/oppressed the poor to get there. This partially true and also due to our socialist background where the only way to get rich is doing these things. But things are not so true during the recent past and we still haven't embraced the pursuit of money as an OK thing(not good/bad).

And we(educated) easily assume the integrity of the business people. But the truth is we bend the rules when we interact with the rules(read Government). And the more we interact the more we bend the rules. Are we actually talking education imparting the moral values here?

Hawkeye said...

ramesh,

Thanks for the comment on disclaaimers. I dont usually put them. But for this post every sentence I wrote I began to think of several arguments against the logic of the sentence.

The idea behind putting it was to discourage arguments that went like -'its up to the individual and not the system'

/* as somebody said it's the job and not the education */

It is the education. As i mentioned in the post

Over time - formal education has put man in situations where he will get locked in as a salary receiving person. It give man something that he will later become afraid to lose.

Person wants a job that correlates to his most recent education and so becomes myopic. The minimum cash flow that happens when one is in a salaried job becomes a burden. If one wants to really become rich, one almost always has to give up that sustenance cash flow

r said...

/* as somebody said it's the job and not the education */

/* It is the education. As i mentioned in the post */

I disagree. Its not the education. In many cases education enables a person to become rich. For example, the person I know, who started his own website and now the website is making enough money that he has left his salaried job to work full time on his current website and many more ideas in pipeline. So, in his case his education - CS degree from THE institute gave him enough tools to achieve this. Ofcourse, he had something extra - innovation, hard work.
Another person, he runs a restaurant which has wait times on week nights! I have been told that he used to work for some high-tech company. In his case, his higher education did not hinder his entrepreneurship. I know few others, who left their job to start a company, did not work out, but then, they had the skills/education to get back to work force. I know they have the drive and they will try again some time to start another company.

I am not sure what different model of education system you are proposing. I don't say that current system is good and does not need improvement. But, if you remove higher education, then we will have a society of only rich and poor. No middle class. I don't think its the society we want as you can look at many countries in Africa and S.A. Higher unemployment rates lead to higher crime rates.

Thought Room said...

Hi
I am a lurker, but this topic has made me delurk. I hope you don’t mind. I have not watched this episode, but write this opinion based on your post. I think monetary success depends on the street smartness of an individual. Generally people are more ready to take a risk less middleclass life, rather than risk it more for money. Education sometimes tempers this risk taking mentality, because sometimes a bird in hand is worth 2 in a bush. What they can achieve by education satisfies their ambitions, while they can do much more in life than just chase after money. (Though they will wish they did chase after money). But mostly what prevents them from pushing on is the little piece of can’t in their heads, or the pressure of family and children. But there are a few both educated and uneducated, whose ambitions cannot be dampened by either ignorance or education, but who can push along to get what they think is success.

Jillu Madrasi said...

he said 'vadakku' for somereason i wrote it down as south. i don't know why.


Forgive you for this -- NEVER.'indi ozhiga.

Anonymous said...

To simplify:

Are you saying there are more uneducated rich people than educated rich people?

Are you saying the percentage of rich people among uneducated is greater than percentage of rich people among educated people?

If answers were affirmative to the questions above, are you suggesting that one should remain uneducated in order to get a greater chance at being rich?

-SR

Saraks said...

Man, why is everyone treating this piece as a case against education?

Hawkeye said...

suresh,

dei, you didnt get the post.

saraks,

yes. and i give up.

hari said...

I think the educated/uneducated and rich/poor topics are totally unrelated except to the extent that:

1. Rich children of rich parents are less likely to study so they continue in the family business and tend to stay "uneducated" in a formal sense.

2. Really poor people are too busy to study.

3. Middle class people feel the need to educate themselves and earn money, but while the earnings may go up, it doesn't reach the proportions of a family businessman who has been in it for ages.


My analysis:

There are business people and there are working people. Working people are unlikely to ever get as rich as business people regardless of the level of education.

Period.

Jillu Madrasi said...

saraks -- this is when we typically say "surrender."

amanchap said...

The human inherent tendency in shaping one's future is:

Future= Actions of a person in the present driven by events the person experianced in the past.

Ideally one’s future should be shaped as.

Future= Actions by the person in the present driven by a goal set in the future for himself/herself.

Well this might sound disjointed to your post. However,

Achiever or the so called “Extraordinary person “… is a common man/woman who makes a paradigm shift by shaping their future based on what he/ she wants to be, say at a point down the line few years in the future.

And this is independent from person to person based on the circumstances, environment they have been brought, which turns them into extraordinary persons or just an average person or poor.

Educated Poor, middle class…
The next generation Educated Poor, middle class…
(I) Get educated, with no Goal in future… ( or complacent with the current living), will remain in the same level.
(II) Get educated, dislike the current living, to change their life , make a paradigm shift., set a goal an what they want to be in future and become achiever or …rich.
(III) Dislike their current living shun education ….make paradigm shift set a goal for future , will act in present driven by the goal and become an achiever or rich (now they will fall into the of uneducated rich…and about their next generation…well the cycle starts).
(IV) Dislike their current living… shun education….set no goals…no work…and end up poor.

Uneducated Rich
The next generation Uneducated Rich
.
(i) Get educated, complacent with their current life style, sets no goal, continue to be the rich feeding on the wealth they have inherited….or might end up poor if they spend it all.
(ii) Get educated, continue to set new goals inheriting his/her parents Characteristics….progress further (and fall into the Educated Rich).
(iii) Get spoiled misusing their parents wealth, shun education…. but set goals for the future achieve as his /her parents…remain uneducated Rich.
(iv) Get spoiled misusing their parent’s wealth, shun education, and set no goals….end up poor.
Education can get money and money can be used to get education but ultimately it depends on what one “Wants” (Well the “Want” should be out of sane thought practical though).

alpine path said...

Hi, I've been a regular reader to your blog but am commenting for the first time. Its a great post and I totally agree with it and feel that education, and the job that comes with it, gives a sense of safety(which the uneducated lack and have to search for some other kinds of safety, eg:money) which not many would be ready to give up in order to become filthy rich. But more than education or non-education, its the drive to work hard and earn money that makes a difference. Had education not been important, Bill Gates wouldn't have gone back to school to finish his degree, right? I've known loads of rich, uneducated men who said that had they had had education, they would have taken better and wiser decisions and become more rich/popular in life rather than having to learn from their experience. So, education is a tool and its in us to use it well. Btw, I found one part of the post intriguing.
"This made them more agile and more flexible to do things (very very legal legitimate things) that an educated man would refuse to do. In fact they would love to do things an educated man would not like to do, ever."
Can you explain it a bit more, preferably with an example?

Thiru said...

"So, they settle in salaried jobs and wait for death."

That’s a sweeping statement. There are people who just use the money from employment as a sustenance tool while working for totally different goals. How can we call them losers? Who is to judge?

-Thiru

Sarang said...

In the end as our thalaivar said: "The Rich get Richer and the Poor get poorer" and you and I get to waste our time on this topic generating all the distaste we do not need.

Nice Post!

Babu said...

nice post daa, have you read "Rich Dad, poor dad", I have not but heard some good things about it.
I totally agree with you, that education blunts our drive to become an entrepreneur, but there should be a school which sort of starts early to teach us to pursue that drive, rather than to unlearn some later....

Do I know the other person you were talking about in this post.

Hawkeye said...

babs,

yes, you do know the other much much better than I do :-)

Anonymous said...

@Bharath Madhavan
thanks for the link.

Hawkeye said...

bharath,

your got the 'eye of the beholder' thing. her speech had a slim connection to this topic but could be interpreted as reaffirming the topic too.

Nithya Kalyani said...

“Formal education has put man in situations where he will get locked in as a salary receiving person”
This statement is not always true. The classic example, I wish to cite, is the case of legions of students who choose to take up engineering at the undergraduate level not because of any particular inclination or natural ability but because they want a software job. In fact the choice is made quite early on in terms of choosing the right combination of mathematics and science as opposed to arts or commerce in order to be eligible for engineering. It is a mindset or a mentality or a social thing – people want a risk free, nine to five job with reasonable monetary rewards that formal education cannot significantly alter in most cases, because the need for anything more is simply missing. At the risk of belaboring the point, I wish to point out that the same system that produces these safety seeking conformists engineers has also produced a maverick engineer entrepreneur like Narayan Murthy.
“People lose the drive and the passion to become rich as a result of it.”
This can be explained by two different points – either the person simply did not have a passion to be rich in the first place not because they are passionate about the work/service but because they are simply not ambitious. As hard as it can be to understand this point of view, this species does exist and is by far the most populated and there exists another subset who have not figured out what they want and hence are not ambitious. Now the other possibility could be that these people are in hot pursuit of something else. Classic examples are the Indian mandarins or the IAS lot. They are power seekers, at least the honest ones with everyone wanting to be the principal secretary to Government of India. Then there are the mad scientists, who almost never peruse the Nobel Prize for the cash but for the associated recognition and prestige. Most people do science very rarely for the money and more because they are in pursuit of a solution to a problem never solved before, because the chase is exhilarating and results quite often give a humongous high. This is not idealism or escapism or a euphemism for “Mere paas Ma hai”. These people simply think that power or the thrill of the chase is more rewarding than money.

When one makes the point about “Return On Intelligence”, the return need not necessarily be “gold” but it can be “glory” and in this context it could be fame or recognition or power or whatever else makes you get up and get out of the bed in the morning. The corollary to the theorem of success is when one succeeds in one’s chosen field no matter how “success” is defined in that field, money follows.

Hawkeye said...

Nithya Kalyani,

The reason I put 80-20 in the title is to preempt certain things.

If 100 people did enginering would Narayan Murthy types fall in the 80% or the 20%?

/* This statement is not always true. */

after saying this - all you sentces went on to prove 'WHY' my claim was true. Really. You explained nicely as to why education puts man in those positions.

Regarding your power seekers argument. I said several times that I am making an assumption that people educate themselves for money and hold the assumption true for the rest of the post. So power seekrs who dont want money (who also belong to the 20 in the 80-20 rule) are not the focus here.

/*These people simply think that power or the thrill of the chase */

My claim is education makes them think so. Makes them less inclined to earn money. Agree?

Ram said...

Hawk,

I have one fundamental kostin as someone who did not watch this on Vijay TV. Is this debate supposed to consider people in a vacumm? I mean, 8th std pass can be successful but only due to having stood on the shoulders of several more educated people. One does not achieve success in life on his own and neither do people strive or is it possible to only seek the assistance of ONLY other 8th std pass. Maybe the 8th std was at the head of an operation, was street smart. But how likely is it that he can compete for example financially with a formally educated and trained eyes of an accountant at an investment bank? How can he for example look for ideas to cut costs, compete globally, expand his business, gather demographics, etc?

Next, success itself like several have said is open to interpretation and to what one considers it to be. All the cliched movies that show poor as happy and rich as unhappy are mere screenplay and I know this as a person who has lived in both ends of the spectrum. It is just that when you are so near 0, you have not much more to lose, whereas when you get near 100, you tend to spend more time in the protect mode, because you don't want to go anywhere near that zero.

Perhaps, those salaried people are in their protect mode of operation besides some of them being just plain lazy.

Don't you notice people peak at different times in life, some do it early, so late, some never.

Education in your discussion is assumed to be for earning money, so I shall not touch upon the other benefits you know it brings us. A few simple examples being, identifying trends, relating to recent events, understanding and logical reasoning, civic sense, etc. Whether anyone or all use education for these reasons is beyond my range.


P.S: I am not smoking pot ;)

Nithya Kalyani said...

I agree to disagree :)

alpine path said...

Hey! I've already commented on this post and had asked a question. Since I didn't get any replies in the comment section, I'll just repost it.
I found one part of the post intriguing.
"This made them more agile and more flexible to do things (very very legal legitimate things) that an educated man would refuse to do. In fact they would love to do things an educated man would not like to do, ever."
Can you explain it a bit more, preferably with an example?

Mahesh said...

This is for the comment by alpine path.

Typically, a very academic person tends to go by the book.

In the Indian academic system, rote learning plays a primary role.

Consequently, one who has to excel in this tends to give more importance to remembering something and answering rather than debating/thinking why. Even in maths a lot of importance is given to remembering formulas etc.
The education is also within boundaries. Anything outside scope is ignored. A common complaint of students is "out of syllabus".

This means, they tend to take the beaten path.

A less academic person, would tend to apply fresh thinking or find out how something can be done. They don't often take no for an answer.

These less academic people are also more exposed to the real world, varied challenges and they must overcome these to reach success.

It is my opinion that academically inclined people also tend to have parents who give more importance to blind obedience. This means their thinking process is also that of a follower or copycat.

That is why we don't see much innovation happening in the IT field. Indians are happy to do what others tell us.

Of course, as said here, not all academically good people fit into this.

I would also prefer to use terms like academic instead education/educated since education is not limited to what we learn in school/college.

-Mahesh Ramamurthy