We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Bright College Days: Part II

5th February 2018

West Hunter continues his evaluation of Bryan Caplan’s new book.

For example, test scores convey useful information. They could help show that an applicant is smart even though he attended a mediocre school – the same role they play in college admissions. But employers seldom request test scores, and although applicants may provide them, few do. Caplan says ” The word on the street: putting high scores on your resume suggests you’re smart but socially inept. ” Who would understand that better than Bryan? So valuing conformity leads to totally arbitrary standards – they exist because they exist. Let me suggest another possibility: flaunting high scores risks irritating the drones in HR. HR tends be packed with underperformers and people that the corporation felt compelled to hire (AA). Few people in HR have high scores on standardized tests. Other employees routinely express contempt for HR/Personnel. In the immortal words of Lieutenant Callahan: ” Personnel? That’s for assholes. ”

In the long run, who you hire is truly important, so it seems odd that companies would routinely allot this task to feebs. Yet it happens. The same thing is true for college admissions – the people doing it are not that special.

(The headline is, of course, taken from the Tom Lehrer song, which was in turn taken from the title of the Yale alma mater Bright College Years, which Lehrer, a Harvard man, was intending to mock. We’re everywhere.)

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>