Distilling the conversation with @bryan_caplan hosted by @tylercowen
1) There has been a traditional separation between:
+ "liberal education" for free men, (liber), who didn't work for a living, &
+"technical education", for those who labor.
2) For instance, mathematics as taught for "liberal" education, was theoretical mind exercise. Euclid's theorem was never used in building.
Meanwhile builders (parts of guilds with trade secrets) were using their own heuristic, richer, geometry. (see #Antifragile)
3) The Anglo-Saxon world conflated the two, with aristocrat-envy:
+ Education to be civilized. (Literature, philosophy, poetry, abstract math, history, stamp collecting, etc.)
+ Education to learn to do things. (Engineering, medicine, accounting, law, belly dancing, plumbing)