Thursday, 31 December 2015

21st Century University

I absolutely love this. For the longest time in my own life I've wanted to redefine the education system and how it operates. This seems to be almost a perfect model for how I thought it should be. Bravo.
YouTube Comment 
This is the future. I would totally opt for this if it was available 7 years ago.
YouTube Comment

A few months back I posted on Abundant Education and how we will get there. This video illustrates my point exactly. We have a crisis in higher education both in the US and Europe (well in education as a whole). Costs are spiralling out of control and the quality is not what is used to be; the classic hallmark of socialism. The incorrect conclusion is that Universities make great workers/thinkers when in fact its the other way around. Great workers/thinkers go there because for Centuries it has been the only option. Now that monopoly is falling apart and better alternatives are being created by the free market. 

Consider the above example. You pay nothing up-front. You only pay dependant on the job you get once you graduate. This means the school has a massive incentive to ensure your employable so that you can maximise payments back to the school. They take around 25% of the first two years of your earnings and then that's it. Compare that with hundreds of thousands of University Graduates who have large debts and the universities don't care what you do after; its basically a pump and dump scheme funded by Government. Students end up paying for it years after they graduate. The worst part of it is people who decide not to enter into further education end up paying for others who do in the case of general taxation. The whole system is in desperate need of disruption.

Business models like this basically solve the crisis in higher education. Contrast my recent post of where a progressive believed she could carry on with the existing system and just give it more money, thus not actually fixing anything and not even having a credible solution to anything. Entrepreneurs in contrast, rather than moan about the current state of affairs go about solving problems they see. They don't beg for peoples money but rather disrupt the conventional wisdom and turn industries on their head. Higher Education is going to completely transform over the next few decades once people start to scale the above example. Theres many different schools all trying to disrupt the current model.

If I was 18 once more and these new concepts scale to where I live I wouldn't do University again I would enrol straight into one of these programs. Retrospectively I view my whole education as largely a waste of time, full of tests, theory and talk with no value. Wouldn't it be better if we got the youth to create value for society and learn new skills at the same time. If we instilled that culture of a can do attitude; one where real world problems were not to be shied away from but to be tacked head on. It seems our Governments and many people in society have become fixated with sending more and more people to traditional University thinking this is the way to create the minds of the future when in fact the minds of future just go there because its the de-facto option. No longer in the 21st Century will this be the case. In fact the future minds will shun University in favour of alternatives listed above. Bravo to the Universities of the 21st Century!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Broken Record of Socialism

Generations have always believed Socialism has all the answers to what they perceive as societies problems. Yet whenever it is implemented it not only fails to solve these so called problems but makes conditions far worse. Some of the below is extracted from the realities of life in Venezuela, a country that has tried and failed with Socialist policies. There's free food, free healthcare, the only catch that there is no food or healthcare when you need it. It can be added to the never ending list of Socialist failures.

Santiago Ortiz is lying, eyes closed, on the bed. He is no picture of repose. Above his jaundiced, swollen belly, his thin chest is pumping fast. His face twists into the pillow. An oxygen mask is strapped tight across his mouth and nose. Santiago is two years old and has acute myeloid leukaemia. What he does not have is adequate treatment. Inside his cramped room, on the 10th floor of the University Hospital of Caracas, his doctor, paediatric resident Joam Andrade, points to the cockroaches on the walls, and the sticky tape holding his oxygen tube together. But those are details. Santiago lacks medicine. "This is the third time since last year that he's relapsed and we've had to admit him," Dr Andrade says. "All we can do is try to control the pain." She writes in my notebook what she wants to prescribe, and cannot, because there is none in Venezuela: "Cladribine. 5-6 ampoules. 10mg."
It was against this wreckage, in a bare hospital lecture-room, that Dr Andrade joined a group of doctors, students and heads of department to talk to me about the state of the hospital. I had asked to speak to one or two. Over the course of an hour, more than 15 - I lost count - walked in, off shifts, off ward-rounds. They waited their turns and then listed their woes. No syringes. No operating equipment. Violence from patients' relatives, furious that the hospital management had assured them of high quality care. The paediatric emergency department closed for repair; the temporary site had, one student doctor told me, "no oxygen, no medicine for asthma, no antibiotics, no food".
But that is information Dr Machado imparts just as an aside. What matters to him is that his department has not been able to perform a single heart surgery in the past three weeks. "We have gone from 450 open heart surgeries a year to 20. And from 1,200 cardiac catheterisations per year, it's now at most 300. "I'm almost at the point where I have to say we need to close our department of cardiology, because it's not fair to make us just look at our patients, and see which way they are going to die." He and his colleagues have looked for answers. The BBC has seen a letter sent in June, by Dr Machado and other heads of medical departments to the government ombudsman explaining the depth of the crisis and suggesting "concrete steps".
They have received no reply.

Earlier this year this is what the leader of UK labour party had to say about the country.

Venezuela is seriously conquering poverty by emphatically rejecting the Neo Liberal policies of the world’s financial institutions. 
Success for radical policies in Venezuela is being achieved by providing for the poorest, liberating resources, but above all by popular education and involvement.

Socialism. I have discussed the moral issues in previous posts. Even overlooking this it always has one outcome. It always ends badly for everyone.