Beyond qualifications

There was a time when information and knowledge are scarce. And misinformation is rife because there are people who are uneducated and ready to believe in those who might appear more knowledgeable. And then qualifications and credentials started to make a bit of a difference because it helps to refine the signal a bit and tell the noise apart.

Yet when more and more people get qualified and the pool of unqualified people shrinks (eg. More people have gone through mass education), scammers begin to pray on the ones who are slightly knowledgeable or even the worldly-wise. It is better to know nothing and hence choose not to engage with a scammer than to know a little and get led on.

At the same time, the signal starts getting mixed up with much more noises. For example, you could have passed an exam because you memorised solutions rather than really knowing how solutions work and solving them at the exam. You can think of more situation of such noises crowding out the genuine signal.

Since a college degree is more common, it is harder to justify paying a college graduate more. And then brand name colleges starts to get prized even more and we’ve an unhealthy dynamic going for us.

So we are back to fundamentals, where we try to make learning and education democratic, where it is less about paper qualifications. And we try to make the formal systems less about exams but more about proving oneself. We see big tech firms requiring talents looking to provide training themselves and picking talents in a whole new space. It’s almost like when Sabermetrics was first discovered and undervalued players were being picked up more.

Better to start creating new games to play than merely just figuring out rules of others’ games.