26 August 2010

The Democratization Of Academia . . .

is already here.

"Centuries ago, being a Renaissance man was a pursuit preserved solely for the well to-do. It was only the upper-classes who could afford private tutors and expensive books. Today, happily, the spread of technology has placed the goal of being a true polymath within any person's reach. A citizen of the modern age can spend a lifetime educating himself on everything from philosophy and religion to cooking and music, all without ever spending a dime. In fact, Bill Gates recently predicted that in five years, people will be able to get a better college education online for free than at a traditional university." 

I actually think Mr. Gates is five years behind the times.

More here


David Rhoads said...

Actually, something along these lines has been available to most Americans for generations now in the form of public libraries.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Not exactly. First of all, in many rural areas of the nation, public libraries, if they even existed, did not have near the volume of books and information now available online and via other electronic formats. Moreover, even in large metropolitan areas, shelf space and budget concerns limited what could be purchased and made available to citizens. Those restrictions are all but gone with the advent of the web and other options - DVD's, CD's, etc. Also, most public libraries did not have university level lectures and classes available for the masses.

Though I personally prefer the feel of actually holding a book in my hands when I read/study, the content and information now available is literally unfathomable compared to what was available just 20 years ago. There is no comparison.

Vince said...

For example, the most comprehensive, professionally-done lecture/broadcast Civil War survey is Yale's "The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877" taught by....Prof. David Blight :)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I would prefer lectures and commentary from Professor James I. Robertson, Jr., whom many consider the most distinguished WBTS scholar alive today. I would be in that number.



Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

More here: