The Truth About College:

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The Truth About College:


    College is a bunch of rooms where you sit for 2,000 hours or so and
    try to memorize things. The 2,000 hours are spread out over four
    years. You spend the rest of the time sleeping, partying, and trying to
    get dates.

    Basically, you learn two kinds of things in college:

    1. Things you will need to know in later life (two hours). 2. Things you
    will not need to know in later life (1,998 hours).

    The latter are the things you learn in classes whose names end in
    -ology, -osophy, -istry, -ics, and so on. The idea is you memorize
    these things, then write them down in little exam books, then forget
    them. If you fail to forget them, you become a professor and have to stay
    in college for the rest of your life.

    After you've been in college for a year or so, you're supposed to
    choose a major, which is the subject you intend to memorize and
    forget the most things about. Here is a very important piece of
    advice: Be sure to choose a major that does not involve Known Facts
    and Right Answers. This means you must not major in mathematics,
    physics, biology, chemistry, or geology because these subjects
    involve actual facts.

    If, for example, you major in mathematics, you're going to wander
    into class one day and the professor will say: "Define the cosine
    integer of the quadrant of a rhomboid binary axis, and extrapolate
    your result to five significant vertices." If you don't come up with
    exactly the answer the professor has in mind, you fail.

    The same is true of chemistry: If you write in your exam book that
    carbon and hydrogen combine to form oak, your professor will flunk
    you. He wants you to come up with the same answer he and all the
    other chemists have agreed on. Scientists are extremely snotty about

    So you should major in subjects like English, philosophy, psychology, and
    sociology - subjects in which nobody really understands what anybody else
    is talking about, and which involve virtually no actual facts.

    I attended classes in all these subjects, so I'll give you a quick
    overview of each:

    ENGLISH: This involves writing papers about long books you have read
    little snippets of just before class. Here is a tip on how to get good
    grades on your English papers: Never say anything about a book that
    anybody with any common sense would say. For example, suppose you are
    studying Moby Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say Moby Dick is
    a big white whale, since the characters in the book refer to it as a big
    white whale roughly 11,000 times. So in your paper, you say Moby Dick is
    actually the Republic of Ireland. Your professor, who is sick to death of
    reading papers and never liked Moby Dick anyway, will think you are
    enormously creative. If you can regularly come up with lunatic
    interpretations of simple stories, you should major in English.

    PHILOSOPHY: Basically, this involves sitting in a room and deciding
    there is no such thing as reality and then going to lunch. You should
    major in philosophy if you plan to take a lot of drugs.

    PSYCHOLOGY: This involves talking about rats and dreams.
    Psychologists are obsessed with rats and dreams. I once spent an
    entire semester training a rat to punch little buttons in a certain
    sequence, then training my roommate to do the same thing. The rat
    learned much faster. My roommate is now a doctor. If you like rats or
    dreams, and above all if you dream about rats, you should major in

    SOCIOLOGY: For sheer lack of intelligibility, sociology is far and
    away the number one subject. I sat through hundreds of hours of
    sociology courses, and read gobs of sociology writing, and I never
    once heard or read a coherent statement. This is because sociologists
    want to be considered scientists, so they spend most of their time
    translating simple, obvious observations into scientific-sounding code.
    If you plan to major in sociology, you'll have to learn to do the same
    thing. For example, suppose you have observed that children cry when they
    fall down. You should write: "Methodological observation of the
    sociometrical behavior tendencies of prematurated isolates indicates that
    a causal relationship exists between groundward tropism and lachrimatory
    behavior forms." If you can keep this up for 50 or 60 pages, you will get
    a large government grant.
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