Peter Thiel: We're in a Bubble and It's Not the Internet. It's Higher Education.

Sarah Lacy, TechCrunch, Apr 12, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The mythology is this: if you work hard and get into a good school, you'll be set for life. This myth supposes that it is the education that sets us up for life. But maybe what people are paying for isn't the education at all. "If Harvard were really the best education, if it makes that much of a difference, why not franchise it so more people can attend? Why not create 100 Harvard affiliates?" But in fact Harvard won't franchise, because Harvard isn't about access. "It's something about the scarcity and the status. In education your value depends on other people failing. Whenever Darwinism is invoked it's usually a justification for doing something mean. It's a way to ignore that people are falling through the cracks, because you pretend that if they could just go to Harvard, they'd be fine. Maybe that's not true." It's not true. Yes, education is valuable; I'd recommend it for everyone. But no, education doesn't guarantee financial security; you need political policies promoting social equity to do that. So instead of paying all this money paying for access to the rich-people's social club, why don't we open access to all, and see about minding that gap between rich and poor. See also dkernohan.
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