Giving Everyone a Million Dollar Education

By a million dollar education I mean the quality of education that would be obtainable if students had a million dollars to spend on conventional text books. The internet now allows books and journal articles to be downloaded for free using file sharing sites and the conversion of paper format documents into electronic format documents using scanners with optical character recognition software, so that later they can be searched electronically. Thus an educational revolution becomes possible whereby students around the world, with access to the internet can educate themselves by use of their own electronic libraries, that they can download for themselves and store on  mass storage hard drives.

The only obstacle to this educational revolution  is the opposition  of the “Pluddites” (the paper luddites) who are leftovers from the paper era, in which they placed copyrights on the  paper products (books and journal articles) they  packaged and distributed. In the paper era, they performed a valuable service and the modern  scientifically dominated world owes its existence to the paper publishers. But in today’s internet world with its cheap scanners, the copyrighted book or journal article is an albatross. Billions of people are now asking “Why should anyone be forced to pay $50 for a single paper book, when they can download 50,000 such books for free from the internet?” The days of the Pluddite are numbered. Paper is dying. People can put a small library (e.g. 1000 books) on their iPads, and  annotate  them very effectively with the appropriate software. Very soon, they will be able to cross reference such e-books and e-articles at speed, instead of having  to carry around a pile of heavy paper books.

The “globacators” (global educators) who are dedicated to  providing free education  to the planet (thus  creating a world wide educated middle class, which then pushes for democracy in dictatorial countries, and since advanced democracies do not go to  war with each other, a globacated world would be a war free world) are severely handicapped in achieving their goal by the Pluddites, and are impatient to see them go bankrupt as paper products disappear,  and  hopefully  the copyrights that accompany them.

Millions of FIMmers (members of the Free Information Movement) are waging a quiet war  (the “Paper War”) against  the Pluddites, by buying scanners and scanning books and journal articles and then uploading them to file sharing sites for other students to benefit  from. The FIMmers do not  feel “guilty” about breaking copyright in  this fashion, a logic they reject as belonging  to a bygone era – they feel they are on  a moral  crusade, in causing the bankruptcy of the Pluddites, who are seen as “keeping the world ignorant,  and hence at war”. To the FIMmers, the cost-benefit argument is very strong. There will obviously be a cost to the Pluddites, namely their bankruptcy, so they will lose their livelihood, but the benefit to billions of people, by allowing them to obtain a high quality free education, is even more obvious. To the FIMmers, the Pluddites are criminals, who “imprison knowledge” and should be eliminated, by causing their companies to go bankrupt. With millions of FIMmers scanning paper documents into the global “educational library” there is no  way the Pluddites can survive. Their demise is only a question of time.

Once the copyright system has disappeared, future academic authors will need to publish themselves and not depend on publishing companies to do it for them. This will not be much of a change for them in financial terms (unless they write blockbuster 101 economic texts and the like) because most academic authors make very little money with their royalties, probably only a few hundred dollars per book and nothing at all on journal articles. I speak from my own experience here. An academic work, usually only sells a few thousand copies at best, so, unlike creators of pop music, movies, or journalistic articles, the loss of only a few  hundred dollars will not phase the academics very much, and hence make the transition to free knowledge easier.

A strong moral value will come  into being that information should be free, so that  the planet can educate itself to a high degree, giving all students a “million dollar education.”

There are some two billion “hungry minds” who will benefit from such an education, so once they get the idea into their heads that the only thing preventing them from pulling themselves out of their “impoverished shithole” via free globacation is the copyright system on paper publications, they will become a “force of nature” i.e. unstoppable,  in  their global political opposition towards and hatred of the Pluddites. No politician could withstand their pressure, despise the howls of the Pluddites, whose death knell will be tolled.

The principal near future task of politicians around the world will be to foster globacation, because it will soon be seen as the essential means to raise peoples standard of living. Getting a good education is usually the quickest way to pull oneself out of an inferior economic situation into a middle class life style. Within a decade, billions of people will be clamoring for free globacation, so the politicians worldwide will have to listen, and the Pluddites, if they have any sense at all, will read the writing on the wall, and get out of their dying immoral profession, especially if they are relatively young.

9 Responses

  1. Free access is nice, but there’s one big nonsense here – people DO NOT care about those papers – except a handful of them.

    Giving a man who’s not intellectually gifted a book in Computer Architectures or in Biochemistry want make her smarter, or giving someone a book in music theory won’t make her a musician.

    * No, there aren’t 2 billions of people who are willing to read scientific papers, in original.

    * Yes, possibly there are 1000 or 10000 or who knows how many times less, most of them researchers, who are willing to read tiny little superficial digests from “Science Daily”, “Popular Mechanics” etc. from time to time. Well, probably many more read the scientific and technological columns in the electronic newspapers, which are reprinting the same news all around the world.

    It’s almost impossible to make University students, even ones who are supposed to be very curious, to read and understand just one or two original papers, even if it’s regarding so advanced stuff such as Artificial General Intelligence, I have tried, with my students in the world first AGI University courses in 2010 and 2011.

    Nevertheless – it’s hard to make researchers read a particular paper, there are too many already, why read precisely yours? Who are you?

    PhD students read papers, because they “have to”, and very few of the most curious and gifted minds and other researchers.

    Average people don’t even care, that’s not a job for every one, and free access won’t give them the intelligence and interests that are required.

    Another issue is that the most of the contents of each paper is filling and “dead weight”, and the abstracts may give you the data you needed – unless you want to do additional research on the very specifics in the paper. However, if you do, you may be accused for “plagiarism”.

  2. Pluddites are on the outs in education and for good reasons. It is just plain inefficient to learn with paper books!!!

  3. I think H+, that there is actually a way to make it so that neither those who are plagiarizing the copyrighted material and the authors themselves can both win.
    I am not certain what it is just now.

    Just kidding. I know only that while I am writing I often have used numerous art works that belong to others. Whenever possible I would write, or message them to let me know that I was borrowing it for a blog or poem or…what have you….posting a link of my work to them in case they did not feel that my work would compliment or agree with their own. I have never heard back from the people’s that I messaged, so I am thinking one of two things. that either they have become so busy that they do not go to their sites anymore, or they checked it out and are, or were OK with it.

    How could that help here?
    I think that one of the important things is that the authors be given the chance to determine how their material or works are being used. I do not know what KIND of literature is being used…sorry, haven’t checked it out yet….

    but I know that if anybody wanted to use a bulk portion of my work I would want to know how it is being used and if it is abhorrent to my beliefs and feelings.
    I think that the first step, although the Gladiators may already have done this, is to seek out the authors attention and see if there is anyway that they can plagiarize with the authors permission.
    Just a thought.

    Scholarly works. That is what it said. And with the scholarly works there could be stuff that would not need to be shared, at least in the authors opinion, with the general public, at least not with the assurance that their ethics were high enough to insure proper care be given to the works. But more than ethics, I think is that, even though a person, a student thinks that they understand what it is they KNOW that they can do, I know that it is highly possible, and more than likely that they do not have the insight that the original scholar who wrote the book.

    I think that I just made an argument against myself.!!

    I may sound like I am totally disputing the right to everybody to have the same education, or the opportunity to the same (=?) education. I am not, this is actually a lot of what have been advocating for in my notes of school and education.

    But realistically, and I will give you an example

    Here. Imagine if everybody in the world were to be able to do this…yes, I see the benefits , which are actually connected to that which the people are seeking to recover from the CIA, but…to just throw fhis scientific ability to do the things that he was doing out there, are we ready to possibly bury those who get it wrong? !!, and:)

  4. bryan says:

    Wow almost as cool as the digital selection at my local library.

  5. Fred says:

    The BIG PROBLEM I see with giving away books for free is the resulting lack of incentive to innovate or write books.

    A case example: The software industry. “Open Source” software, where the source code is free, is very cool and chic. However, small developers cannot make money off it. Revenue on open source software comes from customization (developers building specialized systems, usually for large companies) but mostly support services (tech support, installation, consultancy.)

    The developer himself doesn’t make money off it (unless he’s working for a company that provides the support services, which selects against smaller companies which are more likely to be development-oriented.) There’s no motive for the developer to write better, or more efficient code. Especially if he’s working for a company who makes more money supporting the software than providing a quality product.

    This is what happens when you give things away: they turn into shit.

    Now, proprietary systems aren’t necessarily better (see; MS windows). But really great stuff like Ableton Live and photoshop didn’t cost $600 a seat, it would suck.

  6. the problem that I see with the getting rid of all books though is that we do NOt know what may occur in the future. Although I myself LOve the ease of my kindle books I still know that if I like to keep a few of my collectors books. so, the idea of a nice journal should be to make it like a collectors book. something that will be wonderful hands on for our future generations, unless there is a great fire that takes it all out of course, but, you know what i’m saying. Also, one of the problems that has come to my attention is that young people are beginning to feel that writing with a pen or pencil, or even Learning to write with a pen or pencil is a waste of time. However I have found, and it has been documented at one time, that the use of the pen or pencil…or crayons, using the muscles in the fingers and hands also tends to stimulate the brain in ways in which it would not otherwise be stimulated. I think moving away from books and paper completely, especially in writing, stands the chance of changing our brains and the fine muscles of our brains, thus shutting those parts of our brains down completely.

  1. June 25, 2013

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