[ExI] sequestration, was: RE: standard form for creating a test, was: RE: humanities plus schmooze

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 21:30:54 UTC 2012

I could go on for pages re the defects in the current education system and
the coming revolution.  In my first year at Case, there was an orientation
where several students complained about the liberal arts requirement.  They
said they didn't want it and didn't need it.  They said they came to Case
to learn engineering, not English Lit.  There was no mistaking their point,
but back then, I always went along with what the grown-ups said was best,
so I supported the liberal arts requirements.

Looking back, and looking forward, I see that a engineering job-seeker,
career-seeker, profession-seeker, wants job/career/profession.  His
engineering employer wants someone who can do what the employer needs done
right now -- and very narrowly -- not someone with a classical education
who can write a term-paper about Emily Dickenson's role in American

If a person is smart -- most people are if they haven't been in school too
long -- and if his prospective employer is smart, assigning the person to
an apprenticeship, OJT sort of arrangement should -- my view, and I'm
willing to defend it -- be the most efficient way for both to achieve their
aims.  The apprentice studies from the top down, from free on- and off-line
materials, and hands on, at the side of fully-trained senior personnel and
with a very narrow focus, precisely those very specific skills his employer
needs from him.  Then on his own initiative, and in a very conducive
environment, he  naturally grows his capabilities in accord with his
smarts, ambition, and the needs of the workplace.   And if he enjoys
learning for its own sake, he'll no doubt get that classical education, and
in a form which reflects his/her own personal passions, not some
cookie-cutter liberal arts requirement.

The internet was made for the learning primate with the outsized neural
bulb.  I can't wait for the old system to wither and die.

Best, Jeff Davis

            I never let schooling stand in the way of my education."
                                                  Mark Twain

On Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 2:14 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
> ...
> >>... I took an artificial intelligence class from Stanford's Sebastian
> Thune  online last fall, and found it excellent.  So did many
> > thousands of others.
> >...I forget, were you on the advanced or basic track?  (I.e., graded or
> ungraded?)
> The very most basic track.  I was a casual student at best, but I got a lot
> out of that course, not necessarily in AI.  I have taken other online
> courses, but Thune's course caused me to recognize that in some important
> ways, viewing the course online is not just equivalent to actually being
> there, it is superior.  Reason: the AI course requires a number of complex
> diagrams.  If you are in the course, you probably need to wait as Thune
> draws them, but in video, it is done in stop motion fast forward.  So he
> could cover the material faster, and furthermore, you don't have a scroll
> bar in the meat world.  There were passages where I went back four or five
> times, listening carefully to a particular point.  If I had been in class,
> we would have one shot at that concept, then it is gone.  Class notes were
> already written out right there in video, so there was no need to break
> one's concentration copying diagrams.  So what Thune really taught me the
> best was that in some important ways, online learning is better than being
> there.
> But furthermore...
> If you actually go and live on campus, there are severe lifestyle
> compromises along with that wonderful un-reproducible-at-home learning
> environment: the total immersion in an alternate universe, for instance,
> not
> to mention pretty girls everywhere, most of them single.  There are along
> with this some severe compromises to the task of learning present at the
> university as well, such as pretty girls everywhere, most of them single.
> How the hell are we to concentrate when the testosterone pressure is
> threatening to blast our brains out?
> There is something else.  If you look at student housing, oy vey!  Locals,
> go check out Stanford, which is really nice, high-end student housing.  Oh
> my, it is expensive.  I look at the student housing I occupied in my own
> misspent youth.  The house I occupied in undergrad was a very dangerous
> pile
> of kindling, having been built in 1905, wiring added after the fact, cloth
> insulated wiring, heated by an ancient oil-burner, a catastrophic fire-trap
> in a dangerous neighborhood.  A brief stint in graduate school at the
> University of Washington was an even worse house in a still more dangerous
> neighborhood.  Fortunately I ran out of money and had to leave.
> Even then, you need to be already a good student and have access to
> financial resources to even get into these institutions of higher
> girl-chasing.
> All of that is swept away for those students who have the self-discipline
> to
> work the online free resources.  This will work well for some students.
> spike
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