Eliezer Yudkowsky at overcommingbias writes:
some young man or woman is sitting at a desk in a university, earnestly studying material they have no intention of ever using, and no interest in knowing for its own sake. They want a high-paying job, and the high-paying job requires a piece of paper, and the piece of paper requires a previous master's degree, and the master's degree requires a bachelor's degree, and the university that grants the bachelor's degree requires you to take a class in 12th-century knitting patterns to graduate. So they diligently study, intending to forget it all the moment the final exam is administered, but still seriously working away, because they want that piece of paper.
Some people will tell me that Cuba has better schools than the USA, so I ask do they live better. What is the purpose of schooling?
Do schooling and homework squeeze out learning, in net producing a less educated population? Alfie Kohn claims that homework does not help learning. Science and history are evidently fun to many people, as evidence see the success of the Discovery, History and Science channels. So does homework squeeze out learning, useful science?
Is school just a long test?