Re: Anarchy and spontaneous order in business and education

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 21 Jul 1997 12:23:40 -0700 (PDT)

"Perry E. Metzger" writes:>
> From: Andrea Gallagher <>
>> 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.

Yes the signal has noise. But it is not all noise. The solution
isn't to throw away the signal, but to find less noisy signals.

>I rarely even am as concerned about what someone knows as I am with
>their work habits and whether they can think.

But can you design a credential/test which strongly correlates with
these features? If you could, and if others employers value these
features like you do, you could make a *lot* of money creating a
credentially service.

A pretty-free market currently provides certain credentails, and the
market is pretty open to those who want to market new credentials. So
if you think you have a good idea for a product here, I encourage you
to create it. But in the absence of much serious effort here, I think
it is also reasonable for the rest of us to think that it is pretty
hard to beat the existing educational credentialing services.

I've always been curious why IQ scores don't appear on resumes. IQ is
a well documented and studied credential shown to have high
correlation with future success. Personal interviews, in contrast,
look really lousy in academic studies. Is it a signaling problem,
where anyone who would choose to put their high IQ on their resume is
likely a member of a small subset of the high IQ folks who you don't

Robin D. Hanson