Our corner of Twitter was recently seized with a very stupid discourse about whether we ought to Go To College, or whether we ought to Become Plumbers. It’s a stupid discourse because a) the world is not divided between “college jobs” and “trade jobs”, b) there are obviously both kinds of people, and c) it’s not obvious that either of those options moves the ball politically.
Excellent distillation! Points worth emphasizing:
1. Local scale wins. They're trying to force centralized social credit in you? Circumvent by developing genuine social credit in your town: deep relationships with neighbors and active participation in keystone institutions (emergency preparedness groups, faith organizations, food pantries, etc.) Digital networks are a stopgap for pointers on how to achieve the former in meatspace; nothing more or less.
2. Those three skill divisions are good, but it is killer to develop expertise at the intersection. Good at building things? Learn to manage other tradesman. Good at coding? Learn to sell products to smaller businesses. And so on.
3. Excellent work differentiating between value-creation and value-capture. Pointless to create a ton of value if your enemies capture most of it, e.g., FAANG L7 that has $700K in company stock. The other way is typical commissar parasitism: capturing value that you have no idea how to produce. Owner-operator is about mastering both the creation *and* the capture.
4. For the love of God, stop pretending that there is One True Path™ for everyone (i.e., the one that you took) and that you are an unabashed hero for choosing it.
Excellent advice. Here’s a follow-up. If your kid is college material, what is your take on choosing a college? I grew up working class, so our approach was go wherever is cheapest. My upper-middle class peers generally take the approach of go to the best school you got into. The “cheapest” approach does work well. But UMC parents have a wider worldview and see how higher status institutions can have a longer impact on your career. (E.g., successful Flagship State U graduate will do well, but Harvard Graduate might dorm w a future president/CEO.) So, if you had the choice between affordable quality Flagship State U or take out loans to go to prestigious school, what would you do? (I understand “mileage may vary.”)