17 things every graduate should know.

What everyone should be forced to learn was the title of a recent thread on the Chronicle of Higher Education forums. I think the discussion os still going on, but last week I noted 17 things which appeared on that thread in some form.

  1. Basic probability and statistics.
  2. Basic social psychology principles, enough not to get suckered by con artists and manipulative politicians.
  3. Basic micro and macro economics
  4. Basic understanding of American government
  5. Understanding of the scientific method, error and uncertainty.
  6. The work of Elvis Costello
  7. How credit works, how to make a budget, and basic financial planning skills.
  8. Where food actually comes from and how to get it yourself.
  9. A course in Decision Theory
  10. Etiquette.
  11. Pass the test to grant citizenship to foreign nationals
  12. be able to read and understand a semi-literate news magazine cover to cover (i.e. Time; Newsweek)
  13. Understand the basics of world geography
  14. Change tyres and oil on car
  15. Basic first aid
  16. Basic chemistry (not be taken in by claims about water and skin creams).
  17. A second language
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