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
Original Post
American education started to go down hill the very instant they began to run our education systems as a business and education in American was taken out of the control of educators and placed in the hands of politicians and their corporate interests.  

Not only is it unnecessary and dishonest for textbook publishers to charge so much of educational textbooks, it is just criminal that colleges and universities all over the country will actually change the textbook requirements in order to make students have to purchase new books every year or two; with the new books having the exact same thing in them as the prior ones, sometimes verbatim (which is done to keep siblings, friends, etc., from passing down textbooks that would cost nothing to the student receiving them).

Also, it should be against the law for campus bookstores to pay pennies on the dollar for used books and turn around and re-sell these books for pennies off the original sticker price.
Netbooks normally come with 160 GigaByte drives.  I wonder how many people really understand how big that is?  If the software that comes with the system takes up 10 gig then 150 should be free.

A 500 page paperback book is about ONE MEGABYTE.  So 1000 of those books would be a gigabyte.  So 150,000 of those books could be stored on the hard drive.  Actually that is wrong because computers use 1024 instead of 1000 but it's close enough.

So strictly speaking for less than the price of one expensive book a netbook could be loaded with the entire curriculum from kindergarten through high school with all of the different optional courses.  And probably still leave 100 gig of empty space.

So our real problem as a society is figuring out what to do with and how to implement this technology.  Because from a purely technological perspective education is a piece of cake.  But I assume some people don't really want some other people educated.  But they don't want to admit that.  They just want to create expensive obstructions.

Xum
Xum, I heard something about Google and Verizon pairing up to charge higher fees for different levels of information on the internet.  Have you heard anything about it?  This effectively kills net neutrality right?  Why aren't people protesting that like hell?  INstead of nodding as lawmakers discuss this proposition as if it's legitimate for Google and Verizon to have a damn sayso about how we get/pay for our information.


Verizon is a moneypit scam if ever there was one.  I am a verizon wireless customer.  They don't give a damn about customer service...just sucking up your money and jacking up fees.


people don't care if that happens to the internet?  


I feel like what we'll end up with is poor folks will have a sort of low rent basic internet filled with ads, celebrity gossip, maybe wikipedia, and a whole lot of gobbledy-gook.


i thought Google used to be about open transparent flow of information?  Those young upstarts are turning into ruthless middleaged capitalists
Reference:
Xum, I heard something about Google and Verizon pairing up to charge higher fees for different levels of information on the internet. Have you heard anything about it?
No, but it would not surprise me.

What do you expect from INSTITUTIONS?  What kind of people do you think gravitate to the top of and take control of INSTITUTIONS over time?  Even if the founder was a wild eyed idealist institutions institutionalize themselves.  It is regarded as smart and good business.

I try to do more of a grass roots spread of good information but people seem to prefer to listen to institutions.  Gotta listen to those InstitutionaLIES!

When IBM introduced the Datamaster 23 to replace the 5100 I tested both of them myself.  The old machine was close to twice as fast as the new machine.  I never saw that information on any IBM documentation.  In fact I never saw or heard the terms benchmark or von Neumann machine.  But benchmarking is how you test von Neumann machines and that is what all of the computers I was trained on were.

I trust palefaces to hide good information more often than I expect them to distribute it. 

So when are we going to ACCEPT THAT and start DEALING WITH IT?

Xum

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