Saturday, July 28, 2007

It seems like we're running headlong into the Dark Ages.

Certain Degrees Now Cost More at Public Universities
Published: July 29, 2007

School officials admit they are queasy about a practice that appears to value one discipline over another.

Article here

Now I happen to like the apprentice system for many fields of endeavor, but the modern educational system is based on the idea that education for it's own sake is a good
thing. You don't go to school to get a job, you go to school to learn. Of course, that idea, as so many others, has been co-opted by the Profit Motive (no I'm not a communist you simple minded label spewing fool).

I'm about to go back to school (really couldn't afford it the first go round [probably still can't]) and I know I am hyper sensitized to any cost. Now on top of all the other opportunity costs I have to weigh if my major is too (potentially) lucrative for me to afford to study it. Anybody besides me thinking of the Mascot chapter in the Autobiography of Malcolm X where Mr. Ostrowski says:

"Malcolm, one of life's first needs is for us to be realistic. Don't misunderstand me, now. We all here like you, you know that. But you've got to be realistic about being a nigger. A lawyer -- that's no realistic goal for a nigger. You need to think about something you 'can' be. You're good with your hands--making things. Everybody admires your carpentry shop work. Why don't you plan on carpentry? People like you as a person -- you'd get all kinds of work."

Now replace that word nigger with the phrase 'poor person'. In the good 'ol U. S. of A., where people used to come because they knew they'd be leaving the strict class structures of the Old World behind them, we now functionally limit not only what you can actually do by your resource access, but also what you can know.

All you need now is the ongoing collapse of 'Net Neutrality' to reach it's conclusion and then you'll have a system where you have to indenture yourself just to get the opportunity to better yourself by indenturing yourself some more. You remember how people who wanted to learn how to read had to basically join a monastery or be born into the nobility. I'll let you sit back and contemplate all the achievements during that period of history... 1... 2... 3... ok you're done.

It's easy to deride the phrase 'knowledge is power', but all throughout history the people 'in the know' ran everybody else. A flawed counter argument might run along the lines that scientists and other educated folk work for the people who have money. This is true, but keep going; ask and answer the question 'what is money'? It is a TOOL used to represent worth in trade. What does it represent? Well really, nothing. It used to at least be worth gold, which has always been pretty much tradeable to any non-starving non-thirsty human for something else, but it's not even that now. Now who controls the money? Not you, not me, not even the government, really. It's mostly rich people born into already wealthy families who have, over time LEARNED, how to manipulate the system and build a positive feedback cycle the sustains and enriches them. It sounds just like the concept of nobility, right? Bloodlines controlling massive conglomerations of capital. Meet your new princes and princesses. It's a nobility built on the understanding of shaping of finance, their knowledge empowered them.

How would knowledge help you here? A good question because at this point it would essentially take everyone turning their back on currency as we know it. Sounds easier to go along to get along, that's fine as long as you willingly choose to enrich others with your labor. You could go radical and go, 'off the grid', demand to be compensated in trade, or try to vote to get your country to take control of it's own finances. The thing is if enough people take any option other than the status quo the system would have to change, at very least forcing the vultures to learn new rules to manipulate. Even a minimalist cynic can see if properly manipulated this could be your window to break through to their side of the equation. That's real capitalism. King of the mountain being played and won by the hungriest and most capable, not this slow dance of upward accumulation to which we're all currently yoked.


natural muze said...

wow. very interesting blog. good thing i am in school to be a writer so they'll just assume i'm going to be a poor person for the rest of my life. lol.

but seriously, i've been saying this a lot lately, that it seems as though we're speeding backwards, and no one is seeming to notice. this is ridiculous...i can't even believe this is being allowed to happen.

oh, and thanks for the linkage! i'm going to have to add you...your blog is pretty awesome.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Going back to school? I've got a suggestion for you: Don't study in the United States! It's much more expensive. Did you know you can study in a French university for $800.00 (eight hundred dollars) per year, including national health care? So, why the hell would anyone study in the hyper skin color-aroused United States, paying ten or twenty times that much for tuition?

And, if you study in France, the French Government will pay 30% of your rent. Who's going to pay 30% of your rent in the United States?

Why do people pay twenty times as much tuition in the United States and still emerge from college monolingual?

I'm serious! If you enroll in a US college (to get access to student loans and grants), but then take those loans and grants overseas to a country where education is cheaper, then you might even be able to get educated with the tiny bit of financial aid the United States has to offer.

If you're careful, then any credits you earn overseas will apply to your degree in the United States.

For example, what if you spent a year in Brazil, earning language credits, etc. at a federal university? Since the minimum wage in Brazil is about $180 dollars per month, if you might feel rich there with three times that much to spend, or $540.00 per month, with only one mouth to feed. You can't even pay a month's rent with that money in the United States!

So, if you're looking for a way out of the rat race, that's my suggestion, based on personal experience. Get out!

I like your blog, and I've published your biographical essay and a link at the Francis L. Holland Blog.