Monday, December 20, 2010

How Education WILL Absolutely and Positively be Delivered

I spent a couple of hours yesterday linking through the online education site from Dan's link in the comment section to Kahn Academy.

Hoo-boy... once this breaks through to the education consuming public all hell is going to break lose in that market place.  COUNT ON IT.  Organizations like this are going to to do to the education industry what online news did to the print media (how research is conducted remains to be seen).  Anybody that pays $200k for just about ANY under-grad education (and this is going to wipe the floor with the high school system as well). is making an outrageous error (unless they are rich, that is). Come on!  Do we need to pay somebody $200k per year for 6 hours of work per week to repeat the same lecture over and over again?  Some guy with a 190 IQ from Bhopal, India will be happy to put up the lecture - complete with source documents and graphical explanation - for much, much less.  And once its there, we certainly don't need LEGIONS of these $200k-per-year-6-hour-work-week folks.  Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, Pythagorus, Euclid, et al did an awful lot of thinking for a great deal less compensation.

BTW... CEO's? Same drill as College Professors.

America's university system has evolved to serve the same purpose that speaking accents serve in the U.K. and photos on resumes served in places like Chile and Argentina (It was a way for the establishment families to distinguish their offspring from the working class).  Of course, greed and self-serving dealing always rear their ugly head and this has been the case in spades within the University system.

But there is something else going on here.  The rate of change in scientific breakthroughs has declined dramatically, today's pop artists are "sampling" the underlying musical progression of songs popular generations ago, symphonies are not being written at the rate of increase in the population, and we have all of the self-help DIY books that we are EVER GOING TO NEED.

How many more 3 chord rock n' roll songs does the population need?  (Here is a great link for us older folks... a beautiful collage of music and photography.  Enjoy.)

Perhaps we have reached "Peak Useful Data", or perhaps I should say the point of diminishing returns for useful data.


Anonymous said...

Awesome website...thanks!

Stephen B. said...

"But there is something else going on here. The rate of change in scientific breakthroughs has declined dramatically..."

You mean Mankind isn't going to be the beneficiary of a hyperbolic growth in scientific knowledge and capability aka known as The Singularity, where we're all to be transformed into gods within the next 50 years, living in energy and technological omnipotence forever more?

I *am* shocked!

Anonymous said...

Almost all of the basic physics behind all "modern" knowledge was done before 1920. Modern science has sliced and diced and rehashed the basic physics since then. A lot of inventions have come from this, but the basic foundation hasn't changed much. Perhaps the utility of things that can be derived from modern physics has been reached in today's economy. It looks like our economy will change, and drive science and technology to look in new directions. Maybe we've pretty much seen what there is to see without another advancement in our basic knowledge of the universe as dramatic as Einstein's.

What I've found in my career in electronics is that the difference between old and new text books is much less advanced knowledge as advanced bulls#!t. Newer texts feature new terminology and explanations that are efforts to obfuscate and confuse to the benefit of the author's ego, I'd suppose. Older texts tend to be much more readable, understandable and yet present the same information. It is a shame.


Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

Good article in today's (Mondays) Chicago Sun-Times (probably can get the article on their website too) about "Where Your (Federal) Tax Dollars Go"

A great oppportunity to see not all Federal spending is for Israel, illegal immigrants and waste, fraud and abuse.

Have a look ....

Anonymous said...

What you are seeing is "the future doesn't happen in America anymore". The tech is sold off and outsourced before there can be a societal payback.
The oligarchs will still need Harvard, Yale and Princeton to train their heirs in wealth preservation and oligarchic maintenance. The lesser Ivy Leagues will still serve as a very narrow feeder chute to the upper realms.
It's basically the old Anglo pre 1914 imperial system.
At it's height, only 10K Brits were needed to run India in the ICS. Most of that was done under a corporate entity, the East India Company, until they screwed it up so badly the Brit government took it over.
The Indian and Chinese elites of the 19th Century ceded their countries to Brit commercial interests. The Brit Empire ceded to the US commercial interests after WW2 and the US elites are in process of doing the same thing here, mostly to the Chinese.
Education won't be particularly necessary for good imperial subjects. Just a little basic reading and numbers.
Submission to authority is mostly what will be required and we have that down pretty good.
Rational Liberal

bureaucrat said...

It may be possible that we have indeed reached a "diminishing returns" plateau when it comes to the "engineering marvels" list. We've already come up with the light bulb, radio, TV, internal combustion, modern medicine, computers, railroads, etc. We may be nearing the limits of "new, good, cheap stuff" for humans (an Ipod is just a fancy Walkman). All I see on the horizon is biomedical/DNA advances.

This can also be seen in the TV show "Glee" on Fox that the kids like. Around 75% of the songs they use is from MY musical generation (1980s), like, God forbid, "Journey." New music is so bad, so filled with swear works and so infrequent that they cant even FIND good music to use on that cutting-edge young-peoples TV show.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


That sounds reasonable.... then it just doesn't compute at the end...

There are 2 places of ultimate meritocracy in America:

Tech and Securities trading.

The U.S. dominates the world in both, and there are a great many non-establishment types there (including yours truly).

bureaucrat said...

Ooops, forgot plastics :)

Anonymous said...


Tech is drifting East at a horrible pace. We are giving up our intellectual property away for next to nothing. It is ugly in the tech world.


Coal Guy

Dextred1 said...

Coal guy,

Don't worry about the drift, they say it is for our own good ;)

Dextred1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dextred1 said...

We should all be worried that those scumbags in office passed the agriculture bill last night, good bye small-middle sized rancher/farmer. Jefferson would be so sad. It's all good tyson has the our best interests at heart. Once the feds help big-ag destroy all the little guys, next comes the big price runups. oligarchs and plutocrats run this F*cked up mess. So we saved big pharma (healthcare bill), big labor(auto bailout), every damn major bank (tarp & tons of pump priming by the fed), Auto finance (tarp), insurance (Aig bailouts. Okay just got really pissed thinking about this.

Sieg Heil ~ coming soon to a friendly neighborhood near you. The sheeple sleep as the republic dies. How sad.

PioneerPreppy said...

Ya Dex

S 510 could be a real problem. As I understand it the powers it awards to the government and it's agencies are so open ended that the sky is the limit on what regulations they can (and I am sure will) put into place.

Perhaps the Tomato rebellion is coming.

Bill said...

Online learning is already being used extensively in high schools for credit recovery and to offer classes that are not viable locally.

The trend will grow.