Charles Hugh Smith: The education system is doomed

Why the Higher Education System Is Unsustainable (i.e. Doomed)

Here is an excerpt:

Before we start, it’s important to stipulate that the industry’s failings are systemic, and do not reflect the positive intentions and efforts of those working in higher education, any more than the systemic failures of U.S. healthcare reflect the good intentions and efforts of those employed in that industry. Despite the good intentions and hard work of individuals, these systems are broken.

Due to their size and structure, large systems such as national defense, healthcare and education limit the impact of individual initiative. This has several consequences. One is that individuals feel powerless to change the system and so they relinquish responsibility for changing it. As Voltaire observed, “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” A second consequence is psychological. Even if the system is visibly flawed or failing, insiders feel obligated to defend the system and their role in it, for two compelling reasons: self-preservation and the psychological need to believe in the value of one’s place in the institution.

In other words, don’t expect that anyone who derives their livelihood from the education system to be able to fix the problem.  In my view, however, when the education bubble pops, then the broken system will experience creative destruction but only by necessity.

Peter Attia at TEDMED: Is the “obesity crisis” just a disguise for a deeper problem?

Dr. Peter Attia blogged about his experience at TEDMED in April, and I’ve noticed that his lecture is finally available. It is very moving. He recounts how he treated a diabetes patient in emergency with contempt because she was fat. At the time, he was self-assured about what causes obesity and diabetes, and yet, he thought, this woman let herself get into the position where she needed an emergency foot amputation to save her life. Later, he learned that obesity is probably not the disease but a symptom of metabolic syndrome, a problem which he himself now had even though he was exercising several hours a day.  The system (meaning the standard health advice as it relates to dietary matters) had let this woman down, and he asks her forgiveness for his lack of compassion and kindness towards her.

Dr. Attia admits that the medical profession is in need of humility, because if his new understanding of the role of metabolic disorder is correct, the medical profession has been giving the wrong advice to their patients for many decades.  He now suggests that obesity is a symptom not a cause of metabolic syndrome and blaming the victim of the disease is neither compassionate nor a helpful solution to the problem.

Personally, I know that I was able to shed 50 lbs of fat by eating red meat, eggs and by increasing my dietary fat, but above all, by lowering my carbohydrate intake to about 30 gm per day.  This was against the advice of a physician who said to eat less red meat, exercise, blah blah blah.  Had I followed the standard dietary advice, I’d still be suffering from my metabolic issues.  Congratulations Dr. Attia, on a helpful lecture which will hopefully stir people, especially other doctors, to do the right thing.