Well, It Wasn’t the Bar Exam

September 20, 2014

[Send to classmates after an exam in statistics]

I am sure it was not the bar exam.  I am familiar with the bar exam.

The bar exam is an exam that continues for hours on end, that poses difficult and indeterminate questions, that leaves you wondering how badly you screwed up.

But that’s not why this was not the bar exam.

The bar exam is written by people who have enormous knowledge of things so surpassingly tedious that you cannot imagine yourself ever reaching their depths of exactitude.  The bar exam explores your ability to parse utterly precise nuances — to such a point that, if you do begin to master them, you may even take a perverse pride in your insight into things that will almost never matter, to almost anyone you will ever know.

Again, however, that’s not why this was not the bar exam.

The bar exam is the last major hurdle before you proceed into a highly lucrative profession — one in which your familiarity with the truth, or your ability to inquire into the true state of affairs, will not be remotely as important as your skill in making reality appear to be whatever your client needs it to be.

That’s why I’m sure this was not the bar exam.

.

(This item was previously posted in my ideas blog.)

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