Friday, November 28, 2008

The Structure of Education is Crazy

Education generally and higher education in particular is deeply suffering from structural binding that is making it much less effective and far more labor intensive for both student and teacher than it needs to be and what is worse has no real path to understand the quality of the result, or even the satisfaction of the need either for the student or Society itself.

A. Graduation/certification is hazing not a measure of knowledge.
Because certification provides entry into a class system that does not neasure actual ability, immense extraneous expenses in time and money are added far beyond the actual information or skills imparted, and to justify this and compete in self perpetuation most of a schools actions and decisions have little or nothing to do with education. This is especially true the more the emphasis is anything other than educating the students.

B Education is lifelong and not always at the same speed
The facts of life, written more in the real structure than rules or common belief, is that education starts with young children until 18-24 tears old and then is cut off to the average person. Differences in ability, or much more often life events that cause one to lose ground can only very rarely be made up at all. And even if the knowledge/skill is acquired by alternative means the certification is not, and the ability to contribute is blocked

C. Technology has Changed.
Senior professors who lectures a class of hundreds with the same speech year after year in order to justify his salary is short changing both themselves and their students. Technology could produce a much more interesting "Lecture" to convey information that is one way, and a secondary system to provide feedback like a FAQ system for common questions and one or two layers of human support for the places where the question is odd or interesting enough to warrant it. BitTorrent and technical support for computer programs etc have necessarily had to deal with these issues and while some bad ideas exist there, there is much that can be applied to all education.

D Government Support and Management is Critical
Of all sources of power to make decisions, and means to spread costs that are not directly transactional only the Government can act in the public good and in support of the Commons, and as an honest broker in the certification of facts.

a. Certify Knowledge Like the old banks that printed their own money, education certification is also money negotiated with dubious and certainly variable value, but unlike the old bank notes each certification carries with it an inseparable human life, causing each of them to be treated in equally unfair variety.

By creating a standard series of tests, perhaps thousands of questions long, that could be taken any number of times, it would create a standard measure of knowledge that could even be graphed blue where knowledge was strong to red where it was weak, that would apply a much stronger certification, without demanding where the knowledge came from.

b.Create an Alternative Path- By providing a Government supplied efficient Internet structure where through great BBC like explanations from the best, the general information is imparted, and then Bittorrent like a tree of seed providers and peers could efficiently impart and spread that information in ways pioneered even by Meetup, and the Obama campaign, the teaching of the most knowledgeable could reach millions instead of hundreds, and not just once but over years.

This would not eliminate books, but would impart more knowledge faster and more deeply than was technologically possible even 20 years ago,

c. Place all critical knowledge and skills back into the Public Commons. This can only be done by financing the production of the product, but by compartmentalizing and privatizing knowledge, not only are those who could contribute prevented from doing so, those with the knowledge can manipulate false outcomes, but two people, each with half of a majior breakthrough might never know, or if they can each discover it than what do they posses that is special.

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One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come