Article note: I don't agree with all his positions, and I'm not sure how viable he really is on the national stage (dude lost to _Ted Cruz_), but frankly affiliation with CDC indicates, to me, a surprising amount of wherewithal for someone that deep in politics.
Beto O'Rourke, the former Texas congressman and Senate candidate and recently declared Democratic candidate for president in 2020, has been outed as a former member of what has been described as America's oldest hacking group—the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC). O'Rourke admitted to his membership in an interview for an upcoming book, as Reuters reported in an exclusive based on the book.
O'Rourke's role in the group, starting in the late 1980s, was more focused on writing screeds for the CDC's text-file essays than hacking. O'Rourke, like other teens of the time, did find ways to avoid paying for long-distance dial-up phone service time to connect to bulletin board systems (BBSs) of the day across the country with his family's Apple IIe computer and 300 baud modem, which he often used to search of pirated games.
He eventually launched his own bulletin board system (BBS) called TacoLand, which Reuters' Joseph Menn reports was largely about punk music. "This was the counterculture: Maximum Rock & Roll [magazine], buying records by catalog you couldn't find at record stores," O'Rourke told Menn.
Article note: The author (an economist) oversells their case a little, but I don't fully disagree. My bad attitude about credentialism is both the source of most of my problems in academia, and the reason why I find teaching so compelling. I don't generally expect a lot of correlation between credentials and competence (Too many dumbasses with degrees and highly competent people with no formal credentials in my areas), BUT that isn't because of a _fundamental_ problem with college.
Also helpful teaching at a school I have degrees from, it keeps me in the "If I let dumbshits through, it devalues all the other degrees from this program" mindset.
A worthwhile college education is teaching you:
- Intellectual and practical fundamentals in a field (underlying principles, terminology, etc.)
- How to learn in a field (ties to the first)
- Exposure to a field (what parts do you like working with. Enough of the other parts so you can work adjacent to them without being a menace. Etc.)
- Buying you time when you can focus on self-development.
- One last attempt to impose some general educational grounding to give you enough context to not be a goddamn idiot.
- Demonstrating a minimum level of drive, follow-through, and social competence.
Often, programs fall short, and higher ed as it currently exists deserves to die when it really does only serve as status signaling.
Structural engineering is the art of molding materials we don’t wholly understand, into shapes we can’t fully analyze, so as to withstand forces we can’t really assess, in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.