16 July 2012

Anti-College, Pro-Education?

I could have written this, but I didn't:

It’s odd how many people take my skepticism about college and try to twist it into an opposition to learning. But like the quote often attributed to Mark Twain, “I never let schooling interfere with my education.”

Here’s a radical idea worth contemplating: that school is not the best way to learn . . . And out of this factory comes a lobotomized economic and financial ruling class.  Theanthropoi, godmen, who walk the earth having been apotheosized in the best schools, with power over trillions of dollars and hundreds of millions of people,  but who don’t have a clue about matters slightly outside their area of specialization.
And . . . 

Traditional school is obsolete. It is a dead man walking. The knowledge which is available for free, or nearly free on the web is so large and abundant that for all practical purposes it might as well be infinite. For thousands of years knowledge was scarce, expensive and hoarded in a few geographically specified locations.  In our lifetime, knowledge has gone from overly scarce to overly abundant. It has gone from expensive to nearly free. My friend Rich Karlgaard‘s cheap revolution is about to destroy the reigning higher education model. The new skill set is finding needles in haystacks using Boolean algebra; the old skill set was eating haystacks. The old emotional state was compliant credulity with students in the role of baby birds gulping predigested chunks of knowledge. The new emotional state must be critical thinking, filtering, and discernment. No longer “What do I have to learn to get a diploma?”, but now “How do I know what you are saying is true?” And “Can I get this same thing someplace else for free?”

More here at Forbes.com.

And from one of the links in the excerpt above:

*Self-learning rules. We are at the beginning of the Death of Credentialism. The ROI for a majority of college educations will be negative. 

You're not likely to hear much about this from "Big Academia" or professional educators who are wedded to the old "hoarding" model - they've got skin in the game.

Agree? Disagree?

*The technical name for a "Self-learner" or a "self-taught" person is an "autodidact", which is what I've called myself for a number of years. It is, I believe, the wave of the future - you see that wave manifesting itself in the homeschooling movement, distance learning via the internet, and the overall explosion of information available via the internet.



13thBama said...

It makes me wonder if, at some point, the pointy headed will not turn against the free access to the Internet for these very reasons. And surely they will claim that it is to prevent everyone from getting "faulty" data. Yeah, to prevent them from getting the wrong faulty data.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I think that is, in part, what was behind the "net neutrality" regs. Those people are all about control - they are the ultimate control freaks. They frequently reveal themselves, as one academic once suggested (on a popular CW blog) that those who disagree with a particular aspect of the "orthodox" view of the WBTS be charged criminally.