an idea I call "Real Life University." Seth questioned whether four
years in a place that teaches how to be normal filled with students who
are looking for a degree helps me. He wondered aloud whether two years
on the road traveling in different cultures, and two years reading
books and meeting mentors, would be a better experience.
From that point forward my opinion on the matter became clear: I
want to spend four years of my life learning. I don’t want to graduate
from high school and just start more businesses. After all, business is
only kind of interesting. I want to learn. I want to explore.
"Real Life University" – four years of reading and exploration,
guided by a "board of trustees" of advisors and mentors – became a real
idea I refined and held in my back pocket.
Here is the post, here is Ben’s blog. Here is Ben’s bio. Here is Ben on his GPA and why not every good college will take him. Tomorrow Ben will tell us where he will go in a year’s time. But should he spend four years of his life at a college?
Hire Ben, in a job with real possibilities; if need be give him a "pre doc" to just sit around. If need be, give him part of the year off.
Ben is a living test of whether college education signals the dedication of students to hard work. If Ben does not get or indeed even start his degree, does it mean he is undisciplined? And yes you can see a potential source of worry toward the end of his second paragraph from above.
I have met Ben and he is very nice. I have read Ben’s blog. I spent three minutes with Ben, but I will bet my reputation as a judge of talent that Ben will be a future star of some kind. He is already a star. And someday he will own you.
Hire Ben Casnocha, and test economic theory in the process. Contribute to building a data set for the economics of education.
I’ll give you all an update a year from now.
By the way: I have always thought that the peer effects of college were the
biggest problem with the idea; ideally the smart kids should be sent to
a college full of adult students, if only this were possible.