>From: Amara Graps <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Degrees vs. smarts
>Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 14:04:52 +0100
>David Lubkin (email@example.com) Fri, 01 Oct 1999 14:05:56 writes:
> >Surely it is least appropriate to judge people on this list by
> >the criteria Joe is applying to Mike. Is Robin any more
> >insightful than Eliezer because he's Dr. Robin? Do you know
> >what degrees, if any, Anders or Hal or Kathryn have? Who
>"Who cares?" ? I'll bet Dr. Robin cares about the degrees that Dr.
>Robin holds. (And me too. I know something about his long and
>hard-earned effort.) I would guess that the other list members that
>hold degrees would care similarly about the hard struggle and effort
>in gaining their degrees.
>If a person is really passionate about the work that they do, then
>holding degrees in ones' field has a special meaning. Those degrees
>are not medals that they think that they can hang around their neck,
>nor are the degrees a guaranteed admittance to the job world
>(certainly not in astronomy). Those degrees are symbols to
>themselves that they were committed to learning and gaining an
>expertise in a particular area. In some fields, it's not necessary
>to have a degree to gain an expertise, in other fields (like
>science) it is (usually) necessary.
>I think that the main issue here is whether a person loves their
>work. If a person truly loves their work, and are committed to it, it
>shows in every aspect of their life. Degrees, papers, products,
>talks, paintings, music compositions, etc. are natural by-products of
>this passion. How many people really love their work? How many people
>jump out of bed in the morning and say, "Oh boy, another day that I
>can do my job!" I would guess that not a significant proportion of
>the population feel that way.
>Pursuing one's dream(s) is what life is all about (my personal
To hold a degree doesn't mean you are passionate of what you do. I'm very passionate with research of my own in the field of philosophy concerning consciousness yet I don't hold a degree. I'm also not working very hard to get one because I honestly don't care about it. I'm in school for the support of the professors and peers. In class I don't jump through the hoops I'm expected too. I really don't give a shit if I pass the courses or not. If I do great. If not, so what. It is too uncommon to notice a person for their ideas. To listen to a person on bases of a degree is a Fallacy of Authority and doesn't give me the view of a very intelligent person.