Re: virus: truth, science, and the American way

D. H. Rosdeitcher (
02 Apr 97 20:37:32 EST

Lee D.C. wrote:

>What's wrong with apprenticeships? Virtual classrooms? Voluntary
>mutual education collectives? Advertising-sponsored learning?

There won't be any need to abolish universities since they will collapse under
their own weight if they are faced with competition from alternatives. I
recently read of a study which showed that students using virtual classrooms and
videos learn better than students in a traditional lecture format. And
prodigies get bored at universities. Did Edison or Mozart learn to invent or
compose anything from university training?

>Perhaps some good things happen at traditional universities as well,
>but we must learn from their failures and perverse incentives and
>create better ways.

Good things do sometimes happen at universities because universities have
stood out as a centralized place for gaining knowledge, meeting like-minded
people, etc. But, education does not need to cost so much, have a centralized
location, or get regulated by a government sponsor.
Universities provide a great example of dependence on the verb "to be". The
authoritarian structure rests on the notion that the professor IS a PhD, the
student IS an undergraduate, etc. But, just like on an internet mailing list
like CoV, ideas that do not correspond with objective reality get wiped out by
ideas that do. For instance, let's say you have cancer. Suppose a team of
doctors who have "proper" credentials from the FDA, and AMA, offered a cure that
didn't work that well, while another team--a group of self-educated
privately-funded researchers offered not just a cure, but a way to clone body
parts to make you better, stronger, faster. Who would you turn to for help?