Re: Anarchy and spontaneous order in business and education

Perry E. Metzger (
Sat, 19 Jul 1997 16:19:47 -0400

[Delayed by the NSI DNS disaster...]

> From: Andrea Gallagher <>
> David Friedman has an essay in Machinery of Freedom on a anarcho-capitalist
> education system. You should check that out, though it's mostly applied to
> college. Personally, I would love to see a world where 18 year olds could
> get reasonable jobs without going to annother four years of school.
> So, in an anarchic (or market-like) school, what do you have to show the
> employers? You need something more consise that the entire portfolio of
> work, and you'd like something that helps them rank you in relation to
> other applicants.

I do lots of interviewing, and frankly I'd love to see a world in
which we ended the idea of degrees. I've seen too many people who knew
what they were doing and had no degrees, and vice versa.

I rarely even am as concerned about what someone knows as I am with
their work habits and whether they can think. So few people can think
clearly about abstract problems that I'm willing to educate
half-educated employees who can think clearly much more than I'm
willing to hire someone who can do a narrow skilled kind of work but
who can't learn quickly or think well in unusual circumstances.

When someone goes to get a job in many creative fields, one actually
does bring a (literal) portfolio of one's work to prospective
employers, who examine it and make a decision based on it. I'm not
averse to seeing us return to such things.

> The option our federal government like is to create one
> Great Standard Tesk of All Knowledge, but that's likely to dictate how
> children are made to learn and doesn't help in specialized fields.

On the other hand, we can have private organizations like the
Educational Testing Service construct such things without government
intervention. Such tests may in fact be useful for screening out
riff-raff prior to an interview process, but usually no objective
measure (like GPA or presence of a degree) is good for more than
screening anyway...