$200 Textbook vs. Free. You Do the Math.

NSpirit posted this link in another thread.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08...e&ref=technology

I believe this brings up a lot of simultaneous issues which I think this micro-computer saturation revolution is bringing to a head.

What is the educational system really for?  I say part of its purpose is to help create and maintain a class structured society.  That way the well to do can afford better educations for their kids which helps them get better jobs and perpetuate that on to the next generation.  I won a National Merit Scholarship in high school.  So because I read LOTS of science fiction books (you may have noticed) I decided to apply to MIT because it was mentioned in so many books I read.  Caltech was mentioned a lot to.  I knew I couldn't afford it since I didn't have that big a scholarship but I wanted to see what would happen anyway.

So I got an interview.  It lasted about 20 minutes.  3 minutes into the interview I knew I wasn't going to get an offer.  This White man spent 20 minutes telling me what kind of boys got into MIT.  Sons of doctors and lawyers etc., etc.  So it was just 20 minutes of browbeating telling me I didn't belong.

But that article is another facet of the cybernetic saturation combined with over-priced bullshit that goes on in the name of education.   How do you like this price for a calculus book?

Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus Phillips Thompson

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33283/33283-pdf.pdf

That is the first, and so far, the only calculus book in Project Gutenberg.  It's FREE.  But that book is from 1914.  But Newton and Liebnitz invented calculus THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.  It makes absolutely no sense for a math book to be $200 unless it is some rarified, esoteric stuff that only professional mathematicians or cryptologists or fanatical math hobbyists would buy.  High school and undergraduate math books should probably sell for under $50 and probably not have changed for the last 30 years.

That brings up the issue of making education expensive and keeping the club as exclusive as possible.

But these cheap computers and the internet can blow all of that out of the water.  So a lot of professional educators could and probably should be worried about that significant possibility.

These $300 netbooks are more powerful than the mainframe my engineering college had when I started.  In fact they are more powerful than machines 10 years newer than that.  The IBM 3033 cost $3,000,000 in 1980 and I have tested a benchmark for that machine.  My pocket computer running 'C' that cost me $300 off ebay beats the 3033 running COBOL.  And it is 4 year old technology.  The last time I saw one on ebay it was $150.  But another issue is REAL EDUCATION.  Suppose some of the free books are better than the expensive books.  Suppose some kid's parents can afford the expensive books and schools.  But what if the kid uses the free books to do a better job of educating himself anyway?  The schools really just sell credentials.  But it could also mean that some kids coming form cheap schools are as well educated as kids from expensive schools.  So we could have a social/intellectual revolution in progress that cannot be seen on the surface.

So the world is on the brink of a possible information implosion and educational explosion.  It all comes down to what the human race decides with this stuff.  But of course some human beings are going to give others BAD INFORMATION.

"All warfare is based on DECEPTION." - Sun Tzu

Call me a conspiracy theorist all you want.  But the only reason I trust most White people to tell me the time of day is because it is so easy to check.  They can't even suggest that accounting be mandatory for EVERYBODY even though it is 700 years old.  But they don't tell us that either.  They just spread the idea that accounting is hard.  Like 300 year old calculus.  YEAH RIGHT!

Xum
Last edited by Xumbrarchist
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