A list of complaints against education: Section "Education is broken".
How to improve education? Simple:
- tax the fuck out of the rich people and companies: wealth tax and invest it in education
- invest intelligently as mentioned at what poor countries have to do to get richer:
- focus on fewer higher excellence schools that select the most promising poor students, rather than giving crappy average to everyone
- use OurBigBook.com
Once Ciro was at a University course practical session, and a graduate was around helping out. Ciro asked if what the graduate did anything specifically related to the course, and they replied they didn't. And they added that:
One has to put the bread on the table.Even though Ciro was already completely disillusioned by then, that still made an impression on him. Something is really wrong with this shit.
Other people that think that the educational system is currently bullshit as of 2020:
- Einstein, quoted in The New York Times, March 13 1949, p. 34:[ref]
It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.
- Ron Maimon
- Xavier Niel: fortune.com/2018/11/30/billionaire-xavier-niel/ "Want This Billionaire's Attention? Drop Out of School" (2018). He also created 42.
- Year On
- by Zach Caceres
- Anand Raja submission "Students and Universities": publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmdius/170/170ii.pdf, www.linkedin.com/in/anandraja/.
- xsrus.com/life-school-and-the-80-20-rule. Also GPA 2.0 linked from xsrus.com/ to xsrus.com/gpa-2.0 but down now
School rewards effort linearly [...]. Unlike school, the real world is nonlinear. By that, I mean most of what you do at work is a waste of time.
- A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf
- www.learningforreal.org/ by Mary Ruth McGinn, a K12 teacher in the USA.www.learningforreal.org/quotes/ quotes Elbert Hubbard:
School should not be preparation for life. School should BE life.She's somewhat focused on the performing arts, but what she says applies basically equally well to the natural sciences. A talk: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggYL9gQeVEk She talks about authentic learning.
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY Do schools kill creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson (2017)
Whenever Ciro Santilli walks in front of a school and sees the tall gates it makes him sad. Maybe 8 year olds need gates. But do we need to protect 15 year olds like that? Students should be going out to see the world, both good and evil not hiding from it! We should instead be guiding them to the world. But instead, we are locking them up in brainwashing centers.
Video "The Purpose of Education by Noam Chomsky (2012)" puts it well, education can be either be:
He has spoken about that infinitely, e.g. from when he was thin: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVqMAlgAnlo
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts7CEFQM2bE How Education Became Indoctrination: Dr Stephen Hicks (2021) Interview by www.youtube.com/c/KnowlandKnows Interesting channel. "Are you sick of woke-washing in education? Free speech distinguishes education from indoctrination" and "I taught at Eton college before I was fired because 'The Patriarchy Paradox' caused offence.".
See also: e-learning website.
If school weren't bullshit, 99% of students would be in gifted education for what they truly love and are good at.
What is sad about many programs is that they are exclusivist and non scalable, selecting people some how and non scalably educating them. We need a more "here's some projects let's do them whoever can" approach to things, maybe like Google Summer of Code.
Amazing self-directed learning direction:
The pupils have a parents' evening coming up but instead of their teachers giving an account of their progress, it is a "student-led conference" at which they must present a portfolio of their work, explain what they are most proud of and discuss where they need to put in more effort.
world.hey.com/gwyn/no-excuses-bc4152fb mentions that the founder was inspired by other schools: High Tech High and Expeditionary Learning.
Lots of focus on showcase student work.
The founder Gwyn ap Harri is quite dirty mouthed, which is also cool.
Ciro Santilli tried to contact them in 2021 at: twitter.com/cirosantilli/status/1448924419016036353 and on website contact form to see if we could do some project together, but no reply.
This one has students must have a flexible choice of what to learn on the name! Sounds interesting!
Many past students Ciro talked to however share a common frustration with the course: in the first 2 years at least, the "basic cycle", you have infinitely many courses, and no time to study, and no choice of what to study, it is only in the latter 2 years (the advanced cycle) that you get the choices.
Also, if you get low grades in a single subject, your out. And exams are useless of course.
Here's a Quora question in Portuguese about the course: pt.quora.com/Como-funciona-o-tal-do-curso-secreto-da-USP, the only decent answer so far being: pt.quora.com/Como-funciona-o-tal-do-curso-secreto-da-USP/answer/Victor-Soares-31. Very disappointing to hear.
On the advanced cycle, you have a lot of academic freedom. You are basically supposed to pick a research project with an advisor and go for it, with a small ammount of mandatory course hours. Ciro was told in 2022 that you can even have advisors from other universities or industry, and that it is perfectly feasible to take courses in another university and valiate the course hours later on. Fantastic!!!
Students from the entire University of São Paulo can apply to transfer to it only after joining the university, with the guarantee that they can go back to their original courses if they don't adapt to the new course, which is great!
Around 2007, they were in a really shady building of the University, but when Ciro checked in 2021, they had apparently moved to a shiny new entrepreneurship-focused building. Fantastic news!!!
No teachers, no courses, no tuition fees. Yes please!!! By Xavier Niel.
As of 2020, university has the following very important applications:
- meet an intelligent sexual partner (see also: Section "Sexual selection", Section "The main function of university is sexual selection") and or have fun and or come out of the closet
- get you in debt if you are from the United States
One major issue is that teachers don't have the right incentive to, nor are selected to, teach well. Thus the existence of Rate My Professors! But we can do better...
Ciro's university experiences are mentioned at: Ciro Santilli's formal education.
This is Ciro Santilli's ideal university system. It is a system that actually lives up to the name "Open University":
- no enrolment, no prerequisites. Exam as a service examination style, likely free to anyone who wants to take them, only to determine:
- no tuition fees: free gifted education
- school must offer free accomodation for students
- force teachers to publish their teaching material with an open license
- how to teach
- reallyopenuniversity.wordpress.com/what-is-the-rou/ Apparently Leeds based. Focused only on student fees seemingly, not how to solve it with tech/efficiency:
So far as of the early 2020's, the university that comes closest to some but not all of these principles is the University of the People. It's sad that it's such a crappy unknown thing, but it is what it is.
TODO is teaching material open or not?
You just have to spend a few minutes with students until they complain about the courses or teachers. And you just have to spend a few hours with teachers until they complain about the students or broader system.
University is broken, and everyone knows it. The only question now is finding a viable, "political cash flow positive" path, into something better.
The image of an university is basically their only real asset, which they extract money out of via undergraduate students in some countries like the USA, and by getting funding.
For this reason, universities will sacrifice basically any principle in order to give themselves a good image.
Although for profit companies also do this, it is simply on another level for universities.
As of 2020s and much earlier, Ciro Santilli believes that undergrad studies were fundamentally broken (considering the Information Age which completely changed what would be possible) because university had only two goals, with the exception of a few enlightened professors:
As a result, most students, who would not go on to do a PhD essentially do a simple trade: all their time, and possibly some money, in exchange for embuing themselves with the incredible name of a respected institution so they can get better jobs later on.
- rank students from worse to best so they can get into PhD programs.For regular jobs grades didn't even matter as much compared the prestige of your university (and therefore, university entry exam grades) and your ability to stand the stress of exams to get minimal passing grade.In particular, being able to rank requires setting the difficulty level at a point where you can see a Normal distribution in grades, and not have everyone at either 0 nor 100%.Also, this split could be caused by either shitty learning materials/conditions, or by mere volume. It doesn't matter.
- get money from the students. Of course, in countries where university is "free", this means reporting how many students you had to some government office so they can give you a corresponding budget. But you still have an incentive to enroll as many as possible.
Beauty, deep understanding, and learning awesome things comes basically as a second thought.
Besides of course sexual selection, considering in this section only "formal learning" activities.
Consider e.g. the 2020 University of Oxford, where many many people are taking courses without any laboratory work (and also without much use at all) like literature and history, and they are paying about 9k pounds/year for it: how much it costs to study at the University of Oxford?.
Basically all of this could be done online from books.
Laboratories are impossible however, because expendables of every experiment you do cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars, not to mention crazy upfront equipment costs.
For this reason, the brick and mortar aspect universities should focus exclusively on laboratories, and ensuring that the students with the most relevant knowledge (which can be readily obtained online) get access to those laboratories. Students should of course fully master every aspect of theory pertinent to their experiments. principal investigators should hand pick whichever criteria they want to select their students, possibly based partly on exam as a service if they find it a useful metric.
You can always learn pure theory later on for free or very cheap from books.
And above all, you can always learn software engineering later on for free, because the programming community is so much more open than any other so far, notably e.g. with Stack Overflow and GitHub, see also: Section "Ciro Santilli's Open Source Enlightenment (2012)". Ciro Santilli is trying to change that with OurBigBook.com, but don't hold your breath. But it is increasingly hard to understand why there isn't an university that forces teachers to publish all their notes and lecture videos (which should be mandatorily recorded) with a Creative Commons License, and then let anyone take whichever exams they want for a small fee or for free.
Actually, there is a good chance you will learn to program, like it or not, because chances are that you won't be able to find as decent a job doing anything else.
But there is one thing you cannot learn for free: laboratory work. Laboratory work is just too expensive to carry out outside of an institution.
Basically, if you don't do laboratory work in undergrad, you will very likely never be able to do so in your entire life.
Because laboratories are so rare and expensive, it is laboratories that put you in the best most unfair position at creating world changing deep tech startups, which is why when in doubt, choose the course that has the most experimental work. Yes, you won't be able to achieve those insanely concentrated equities of the early-Internet, as you will need more venture capital to run your company, but those days are over now, deal with it.
Any lectures must be recorded. But of course, text is cheaper than video.
Just fucking pay teachers a decent salary comparable to industry instead of basically requiring them to try and sell their knowledge to complement their income. They must get paid, and their knowledge must
We don't need that many teachers teaching the same subjects over and over. We just need a few good men and women who can truly teach the masses. And we must pay those men and women a decent wage.
The perfect platform for this will of course be OurBigBook.com ;-)
This is the actual main function of university for many people as of the 2020s. And it fulfills it quite well. A breeding ground.
In a closely related sense, university is simply a symbol of personal status. Not a place where you go to learn. And especially in the Anglophone world of fancy colleges, university also doubles down as a form of long term luxury hotel. Even if it ends up meaning debt.
For a critique/history of this insanity, see also: Section "Colleges of the University of Oxford".
Ciro Santilli's general feeling is that university should not own IP, it should belong to the researchers. Instead, university should help researchers make their startups, so they can become big, and then we can tax them and reinvest in the universities.
Of course, this goes through the nonprofit impact measurement difficulty. Maybe we could instead limit the IP to some reasonably small percentage, like 10%?
But still, as of 2020, if feels like universities are way too greedy.
- youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo?t=1406 Achieving Your Childhood Dreams by Randy Pausch (2007). At this timestamp he tells a story about how university IP issues almost ruined a collaboration he was passionate about.
These are the most evil examinations society has.
They mean that until you are 18, you have to study a bunch of generic crap you hate just to get into university. Rather than studying whatever it is that you truly love to become a God at it as fast as possible and have any chance of advancing the field.
And then, if you decide that you want to change, which is not unlikely since you haven't really try to study what you signed up for before then, it can be very hard and time consuming, leading to a bunch of adults with useless degress they will never use at work.
archive.ph/GpyQv#selection-925.340-925.495 Reagan's OMB Director David Stockman told congress:
students are "tax eaters... [and] a drain and drag on the American economy." Student aid "isn’t a proper obligation of the taxpayer,"and then:
In fact, voters were far more likely to punish lawmakers for raising taxes. Elected officials made the political calculus that it was safer politically to divert existing funds from discretionary costs to mandatory costs like health care, prisons and primary education, than raise taxes.
Near Los Angeles.
Harvard's e-learning thing. Weak. Related: The Purpose of Harvard is Not to Educate People by Sean Carroll (2008).
TODO where can all videos be found??
www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/ex-libris-universum/harvard-project-physics-role-history-science mentions that they have a special focus to the history of physics, as can be seen e.g. on The World Of Enrico Fermi by Harvard Project Physics (1970).
CC BY-NC-SA unfortunately.
Upload is actually optional, and it appears that teachers do retain their copyright: ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/global/MIT_OpenCourseWare_FAQs.pdf Hmmm, so how have they convinced so many teachers to do it?
Made huge advances in radar.
Notably, Isidor Isaac Rabi was a leading figure there, and later he was head at the Columbia University laboratory that carried out the crucial Lamb-Retherford experiment and the anomalous magnetic dipole moment of the electron published at the Magnetic Moment of the Electron by Kusch and Foley (1948) using related techniques.
Some points from math.mit.edu/classes/18.783/2022/LectureSlides1.pdf:
- definition of elliptic curves
The "Truth and Beauty" motto hugely coincides with Ciro Santilli's ideas.
Truth is easier somewhat as it is more subjective.
Beauty, like all arts, sometimes you achieve, sometimes you don't.
Searcing beauty is a painful thing. You just keep endlessly looking for that one new insight that will blow your mind.
The key missing point would be "usefulness". See also: Section "Art".
The heart of Silicon Valley.
Makes the E. Coli Whole Cell Model by Covert Lab.
Lead: Markus W. Covert.
Covert Lab lead.
Ciro Santilli really likes this dude, because Ciro really likes simulation.