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Hacking Education
May 13, 2009 11:02 AM   Subscribe

A couple of months ago venture capital firm Union Square Ventures got together a bunch of smart folks to spend a day talking about how the education establishment in the US can be changed to make it more relevant and useful to many more kids. The results, as evidenced by the transcript, and the summaries by Union Square partners Brad Burnham and Fred Wilson indicate that there is no shortage of interesting ideas for how to do a better job preparing our kids for the future. The unanswered question is how to put any of this into action on a scale that will make a difference. A charter school here, charter school there, and a couple of million homeschoolers are changing the system at a glacial pace, at best.
posted by COD (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
A charter school here, charter school there, and a couple of million homeschoolers are changing the system at a glacial pace, at best.

huh?
posted by Jeff_Larson at 11:14 AM on May 13, 2009


What is it about a certain kind of American mindset that feels everything can be solved by the profit motives of the private sector? It seemed like a naive mentality ten years ago, but given the implosion of the economy over the past two years it's feeling downright pathological.
posted by ornate insect at 11:14 AM on May 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


Capitalism is to education as a pipe wrench is to watercolors.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:18 AM on May 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, who better then the guy who invested in twitter, tumbler, Disqus, bit.ly, and boxeeeee (etc) to tell us how to run education!

If only we could crank out more Web2.0 novelty apps for rich people to make money off of!

--

Erm anyway, people like Fried Wilson irritate me. every little thing is going to be awesome and transformative and if we just were able to harness all these ideas man it would be wonderful.

There is no lack of ideas in education. The problem is execution. You can apply all the radical new ideas you want, if you still have the same poor teachers, the same uninterested parents, etc it's not going to do much good.

Any educational idea worth listening too has to be something that's realistically implementable, in the real, messy world packed with interest groups. Everyone from teachers unions to parents who hate teaching their kids in new ways to people who hate paying taxes.

Until you can get broad buy-in all you're doing is wanking.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


ornate insect: "What is it about a certain kind of American mindset that feels everything can be solved by the profit motives of the private sector?"

You mean Obama's cap-and-trade proposal won't really solve global warming?
posted by Joe Beese at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


None of the participants have any experience in education, why should the input of a greedy venture capital company carry any weight in the education discussion?

Play this transcript off, Keyboard Cat.
posted by godisdad at 11:31 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ugh, and they called it "hacking" education.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on May 13, 2009


Next up: Transcripts from the faculty lounge of Midvale Elementary on the topic Re-Envisioning Venture Capitalism.
posted by Killick at 11:36 AM on May 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


You mean Obama's cap-and-trade proposal won't really solve global warming?

What does that even mean? The key word in cap and trade is cap. If CO2 emissions are capped then we will make progress toward returning to 1990 levels, which is all that anyone is proposing.

Private companies would make far more money if they had to pay less for energy, and with a cap, the cost of energy would go up. Other cap and trade systems have worked in the past for controlling other types of pollution.
posted by delmoi at 11:38 AM on May 13, 2009


why should the input of a greedy venture capital company carry any weight in the education discussion?

Because the greedy education establishment has shown itself to be either incapable or unwilling to address the deficiencies in the system?
posted by COD at 11:39 AM on May 13, 2009


What is it about a certain kind of American mindset that feels everything can be solved by the profit motives of the private sector? It seemed like a naive mentality ten years ago, but given the implosion of the economy over the past two years it's feeling downright pathological.

For the last 50 years, the mantra in the United States has been: "American industrial and commercial commitment can overcome any problem and improve life tenfold from anything you knew before". It has been repeated over and over and is such a part of the mindset you mention that it's no longer a mindset; the push toward the ultimate asset sheet an integral building block of everything we believe we could be capable of. Without profit—without soaring, streamlined towers of economy—we are clearly not achieving what we're worth. It is, almost literally, the only goal we know at this point, and by converting a system of equal and public schools into competitions of tuition and capital efficiency, we can model the successes of our financial captains before they've even lost their first million in the market crash and hung themselves in a dingy hotel bathroom after having a completely empty fucking life.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:40 AM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


maybe i should go outside and sit under a tree for a while
posted by Mikey-San at 11:42 AM on May 13, 2009


Because the greedy education establishment has shown itself to be either incapable or unwilling to address the deficiencies in the system?

Sure, and a bunch of wankers sitting on a stage talking to each other for an hour will surely shock them out of their complacency. I certainly don't see any kind of willingness to do anything other then yammer on offer from these VCs.
posted by delmoi at 11:53 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first thing I want to know, before I form any opinions about "fixing" education, is: is it really broken- and if so, how badly?

The "our schools are SOOO bad" meme usually comes from the right and is used to fund horrors like No Child Left Behind or vouchers. It seems like it's a combination of that and all those "principal vs scary bad school" movies from the 80s and 90s. And then on top of that, throw in some statistics about how other countries are "beating" us- even though many of these are countries where only the smartest even take the tests they're comparing, because the others get filtered out onto a technical/factory drone track.

I'm not saying everything's rosy, but it's hard to get a real handle on the situation. I know we need more funding and less emphasis on these ridiculous standardized tests, but I don't see any evidence that the way we educate in this country is fundamentally broken. If the fact that we give everyone a chance drives down our test scores compared to other countries, so be it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:56 AM on May 13, 2009


You mean Obama's cap-and-trade proposal won't really solve global warming?

Cap and trade is Gore and just about everyone else to, you know, not just Obama. And it's not an attempt to solve the problem using profit motive, it's an attempt to use markets to help distribute and minimize the financial burdens of increased regulatory controls.

/derail

I hate all this charter school and other public/private partnership nonsense. Our schools performed brilliantly for nearly a century before we started constantly meddling around with the structure of the classroom and our approaches to education.

It's like taking a watch apart and putting it back together with new parts, and then when it turns out to be running behind afterward, taking it apart and putting it back together again with new parts in a misguided attempt to get it to show the right time instead of just resetting it and letting it run.

Even back when I was in elementary school, when things were relatively stable, I can remember every time the policy-making reigns changed hands, a bunch of disruptive organizational changes would come down the pike and suddenly, the school day would be structured differently, or we'd all be in these giant classrooms full of 50 other kids for a few weeks, before they broke us up into smaller classes again, etc. It was chaos half the time!

That's been a big part of the problem for years now. Too much well intentioned meddling in what, by its very nature, needs to be a predictable and stable system.

Whenever education reforms are adopted they're seldom allowed to run their course for very long, and they usually end up soon being superseded by subsequent reforms drawn up by the latest batch of blowhards who got swept into office.

Support for school privatization through voucher programs and the expansion of charter school programs is one area where I disagree wholeheartedly with President Obama. The push toward privatization of public education will one day prove to have been a nasty rabbit trail we let ourselves be led down that wasted significant amounts of both time and public money that should have been spent shoring up and improving the public school systems we already have in more direct and tangible ways.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:58 AM on May 13, 2009


errm... "and just about everyone else to too..."
posted by saulgoodman at 11:59 AM on May 13, 2009


This was mostly silly.

If you want to read a book about how the American school system may well be forced to change, I encourage you to read Disrupting Class by Christensen, Johnson and Horn. They posit that, as online education improves and continues to offer parents more options, schools will either have to change to match those needs or totally transform to offer more than just content-based education.

I'm only about 70% sold on their argument, but it is fascinating reading. In addition, the authors actually did a comprehensive study of the subject at hand before writing this book. As opposed to, say, just showing up and talking out of their asses for an hour.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:09 PM on May 13, 2009


Sorry - "match those services" or "meet parents' needs," not "match those needs."
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:10 PM on May 13, 2009


I hate all this charter school and other public/private partnership nonsense. Our schools performed brilliantly for nearly a century before we started constantly meddling around with the structure of the classroom and our approaches to education. we needed very many intelligent people able to cope with modern technology.

Seriously, our educational system worked great at churning out people who could calculate spreadsheets by hand all day or work in factories. But even then most people didn't even graduate high school, much less go to college. Harry Truman didn't even have a highschool diploma. ("Computer" used to be a job title, needless to say, those jobs don't exist anymore)

The Flynn Effect shows that people have been getting smarter over time for many decades and that continues to this day.

It's not that education has somehow become worse, it's that the world has become more complicated. Do you think you could take someone graduating from a 1954 high school and plop them in front of excel and expect them to go?

Other countries are clearly doing better, but the idea that if we just went back to 1950s style education things would get better is absurd. look at the chart here (page 2) The percentage of people graduating from high school in 1950 was barely over 50%. Now it's 85%, and the percentage of people with bachelors degrees is continuing to rise.

How exactly is that "worse"?
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


How is this blog post still here?
posted by DU at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2009


How exactly is that "worse"?

Ummm...there are still teacher's unions and the private sector isn't running the show? I'm thinking that's at least part of the underlying motivation, anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:33 PM on May 13, 2009


20 years from now kids will all be taught by GoogleTM A.Is that will be able to provide individualized learning, rather then large classrooms.
posted by delmoi at 12:38 PM on May 13, 2009


20 years from now kids will all be taught by GoogleTM A.Is that will be able to provide individualized learning, rather then large classrooms.

Even if this technology comes to pass, the entrenched system will still require all the kids to show up at school and learn from the same Google AI, which of course will have to be turned on each morning by a certified teacher, and the kids will still have to pass some sort of state achievement test at the end of the year so that the state can collect it's share of the federal education pie.

And that is the crux of the problem with education. Government basically has a monopoly on it. Government is designed (with good cause) to not change quickly. So how exactly does public education react? As delmoi pointed out above, this ain't 1950 anymore, but the schools still operate like they did back them.
posted by COD at 12:52 PM on May 13, 2009


Harry Truman didn't even have a highschool diploma.

Truman graduated from high school but he was the last president to not have a college degree.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:17 PM on May 13, 2009


How about starting public school teachers out at $80k and giving them a little leeway in how they teach? When I got laid off last fall I thought about becoming a math and science teacher, but after talking to a couple of friends who teach, they said "As a parent of two kids with a stay-at-home spouse, you can't afford to be a teacher, and with your personality, the county system's bureaucracy would drive you insane."

So I took another corporate job. Sigh. Our society constantly sends the message that education isn't a valued profession.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2009


the state can collect it's share

Somebody needs to re-learn "its" vs. "it's"

Government basically has a monopoly on [education]

For better and worse, private education also exists. If investors are looking for novel ways to make a buck from K-12 education, why are they not just starting their own private schools? The answer is that there's not a lot of money to be made that way: the overheads (recruitment, administration, salaries, real estate and physical space) are prohibitive, and the returns are minimal at best. Investors thus traditionally tend to look to supplying schools (public and private) with their needs: books, computers, tutorial services, etc. It's a much better model long-term than running the show. I point this out to illustrate how there's currently nothing stopping investors from franchising private schools, if that model suits them. But I see no takers.

More importantly, I'm not sure why are you convinced public education is inherently flawed, or why the "free market" can do a better job. It just seems like an ideological canard based on the magic fairy dust of the free market, and not a real-world prescriptive.

If education is reduced entirely to a money-making venture, a zero-sum game like hedge funds or aerospace engineering, investors motivated solely by increasing profit margins will tend to undermine education in radical ways: they will tend to see teachers as corporate cogs, no better than wage slaves, and will tend to cut corners on anything that does not feed the model of education as commodity.

Since the only real motive for an investor is to make money, and since education is about harnessing something far more intangible (call it "intellectual capital"), I'm very, very weary about "solutions" that are framed entirely in terms of private investment. If philanthropists want to experiment, by all means. I'm not arguing that public education does not need to see real change, btw, but to just hand public education over to Wall Street, given their track record, would be a mistake.
posted by ornate insect at 1:31 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Flynn Effect shows that people have been getting smarter over time for many decades and that continues to this day.

These people are getting smarter?

Other countries are clearly doing better, but the idea that if we just went back to 1950s style education things would get better is absurd.

You're missing my point. I don't want to go back to anything. I just want the infrastructure of our education system to stay stable over time. It's not that I don't think curriculum and the associated teaching methods need and will continue to need updating over the years. It's that I think there has been and continues to be too much mindless "paradigm shifting" in our overall approaches to structuring the school systems and our classroom instruction in the last few decades.

When school officials and teachers spend most of their time dealing with the latest round of administrative changes and contending with all the mundane impacts of sweeping policy reforms, they're put under enormous additional strain. Even steps as simple as changing the organizational structure of a particular school's administration can be costly and have major disruptive effects. That's the kind of stuff we need to stop mucking up all the time.

It's like our school systems have become the rope in a never-ending game of tug of war between all the political hacks hoping to make a name for themselves in education reform. The focus of reform is all wrong.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2009


And what ornate insect said.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:40 PM on May 13, 2009


If education is reduced entirely to a money-making venture, a zero-sum game like hedge funds or aerospace engineering, investors motivated solely by increasing profit margins will tend to undermine education in radical ways: they will tend to see teachers as corporate cogs, no better than wage slaves, and will tend to cut corners on anything that does not feed the model of education as commodity.

Exactly. The point of education is not to make money. It's to create productive, informed citizens and help the progress of the human race.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2009


I never argued that education should be handed over to Wall Street. But the fact that ideas might be coming from Wall Street doesn't make them automatically invalid either. Our education system was designed way back in the early 1900s to get kids off the farm and train them to be productive factory workers. 100 years later and the system still works pretty much the same way. Herd 20-30 kids of the same age and usually the same socio-economic background into a room and try to teach the all the same thing at the same time while insisting that the ask permission before speaking, learn to eat lunch on a regimented schedule, and learn to do your assigned tasks at the assigned time every day. All important skills if you clock in at a factory, but not so relevant in 2009.

If the schools aren't meeting the needs of the businesses that need employees today, and they aren't meeting the needs of the kids, then who exactly are they serving?
posted by COD at 1:49 PM on May 13, 2009


COD: the education system is indeed often antiquated, though not nearly as antiquated as you make out, but putting that aside (also putting aside the reality that few businesses are even hiring at all), here's my nutshell point:

VCs are looking for return, fiscal quarter return: they are not looking to solve the long-term problems of education, or societal needs. I am arguing that there is a structural disconnect at work if one fails to see how the two motivations (making money vs. improving education) are at odds with one another.

I am not saying the business community should not be consulted, or should be disregarded entirely, but I am saying that we need to realize that public education can be changed from within: by taxpayer investment, by new incentives and programs, by better paid teachers, by more inventive and flexible curriculums and programs, and a whole host of improvements. It is not a lost cause.
posted by ornate insect at 2:02 PM on May 13, 2009


I am saying that we need to realize that public education can be changed from within

We are just going to have to agree to disagree then. I simply do not believe a huge entrenched bureaucracy such as the public school system can be changed without some sort of significant external influence. I'm not picking on the school system, resistant to change is a feature of large bureaucracies in general. I agree that Wall Street will probably not be the source of that external influence.
posted by COD at 2:17 PM on May 13, 2009



What is it about a certain kind of American mindset that feels everything can be solved by the profit motives of the private sector? It seemed like a naive mentality ten years ago, but given the implosion of the economy over the past two years it's feeling downright pathological.
posted by ornate insect at 2:14 PM on May 13


That same motive gave you google, the iphone, advanced medicines, etc. The alternative, where politicians decide how to solve things, has actually never worked.

And the economy didn't implode because of the profit motive. It's because in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, the government chose not to do its job. Ironic, considering that they are the only entity involved that does not operate according tothe profit motive.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:33 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, consider that the best universities and best high schools in the country are all private.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:36 PM on May 13, 2009


I simply do not believe a huge entrenched bureaucracy such as the public school system

Over time, I've come to believe that most of those who bemoan public sector "bureaucracy" are either people with little or no real-world experience administering complex business functions, or political opportunists who should probably know better but refuse to learn their lessons because the political advantages of appealing to vague populist sentiments against bureaucracy are too difficult to abandon even in the face of a contrary reality.

There's no monopoly on bureaucracy in the public sector. Ever try to lodge a complaint about the service you got with a major retailer or similar corporation? You'll quickly discover that corporate bureaucracy is every bit as dense and bewildering as anything the federal government could devise--in many cases, more so.

Why? Because bureaucracy is inevitable. Administrating complex business functions requires establishing and relying on complex administrative processes and procedures, whether we like that reality or not. Bureaucracy is required for managing complexity.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:44 PM on May 13, 2009


Also, consider that the best universities and best high schools in the country are all private.

No, they're not the best, because they aren't accessible to everyone equally regardless of socioeconomic circumstance.

And to the extent they offer better services, its only because they operate on the margins, parasitically skimming off the best student candidates.

There's no way to scale the private system up to replace the public system entirely because if you take away the exclusivity the private providers enjoy, their performance will ultimately be no better than the public school system.

It's obvious even to a guy with a half-rate public education like me that schools who only accept the most qualified and affluent students will have better outcomes than schools with a mandate to accept all comers.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:52 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


That same motive gave you google, the iphone, advanced medicines, etc. The alternative, where politicians decide how to solve things, has actually never worked.

This is just a false dichotomy that totally distorts my comments for the poster's own axe grinding.

My comments were specifically directed at the topic at hand (i.e. the question of education and how best to reform it), and were not meant to instigate a referendum on the relative merits or demerits of "Capitalism" or "Government" in some macro-ideological, big concept sense. I am not anti-capitalism. I'm just weary of capitalism's ability to solve all of society's problems: to pave roads or build schools. I was commenting within the context of education (ironically, fwiw, google started within that context too, at Stanford, and not at first as a profit motivated project).

And the economy didn't implode because of the profit motive. It's because in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, the government chose not to do its job. Ironic, considering that they are the only entity involved that does not operate according tothe profit motive.

Again, this heavy-handed "reading" of my comments will take some unpacking on my part, b/c it removes the entire context of my comments--the context of the question of education and how best to reform it (you know, what the post was about?)--and distorts my words in drastic ways.

If you insist on going off topic to debate what caused the financial crisis (note that I was not arguing what caused it: I was merely pointing out that perhaps Wall Street is not the most stable or trustworthy place to go to for education reform), I would say only that the notion that the financial sector is "heavily regulated" is a cruel joke: the entire hedge fund industry is largely unregulated, for instance.

If the "argument" is a vague Glenn Beck/Gover Norquist one that "the government does nothing right," I'm not about to get sucked into it: that's just chasing the phantoms of Ayn Rand round and round. It's tilting at rhetorical windmills.
posted by ornate insect at 3:13 PM on May 13, 2009


Here's a representative sample of the "great ideas" being bandied about in that discussion:

MR. BISCHKE: I think your point about
talent, I think that's an interesting story...
There's a company in Korea called... Study. And
what they do is, they're one of the... schools
industry in Korea, but their top teachers currently
make over a million dollars a year. They sell out
sports stadiums -- it's called "Megastudy."
And they sell out sports stadiums. Ten
thousand people will come and they'll watch these
rock star English teachers. And I think that one
of the things that we like to think about is, How
do you turn teachers into rock stars? How do you
give them the attention, the appreciation that a
Mick Jagger, a Tiger Woods -- and it sounds
ridiculous right now, but there're starting to be
examples of that.
And then what happens is that a kid in
Korea grows up and sees that teacher on a billboard
when he's driving on the freeway in Korea, and he
says, "I want to be like that guy someday, I want
to be like that girl someday."
MR. WILSON: Jimmy is gone, but he told
me he's got one guy who teaches a CFA course that
sells out every -- there's a waiting -- there's a
queue to get into that guy's class. It's like 600
people sitting, you know, in an online education
platform watching this guy teach, and he's a rock
star. He makes a lot of money.
Because -- and I think the reasons why
education -- hacking education is not going to be
any harder than hacking media business... it's
about information, it's about talent, it's about
getting... out there.
I think you can actually infect the
school system from within, from things like better
lessons. When you start putting the power in the
hands of the teachers, start collaborating around
lesson plans, and you start to create teachers who
are stars because they make the best lesson plans.
All of a sudden they say, "Hey, you
know what, I'm a star." And then they're going to
start doing whatever stars in the media business
do. They say, Screw you, school, I'm a star. I'm
getting paid.


Yes, that's right ... let's turn teachers into ROCK STARS! How cool would that be?

What a bunch of self-satisfied douchebags.
posted by jayder at 3:44 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


There's no monopoly on bureaucracy in the public sector

That is not what I said. I gave public schools as an example of a large entrenched bureaucracy while making it clear (so I thought) that my opinion held across all bureaucracies. That bureaucracy is inevitable in no way diminishes my point that they are generally resistant to change. And if bureaucracy is indeed inevitable to manage complex systems, we need to be looking at how to reduce the complexity of the education establishment to reduce to bureaucracy. But of course, the bureaucracy will resist that initiative, thus the need for some sort of dramatic external influence.
posted by COD at 3:56 PM on May 13, 2009


I support funding public education mainly because of how intensely I recoil at how the alternatives I've seen that actually work would like like today if they were scaled up. Thousands of quasi-madrassas explicitly supported by government money is a distant dream for some of this crowd. The other half I keep coming across leads us closer to an overtly corporate school, a sort of monetized Kindergarten of Phoenix deal, which would really exacerbate the divide between rich and poor, even more than I've seen growing up.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 5:15 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And if bureaucracy is indeed inevitable to manage complex systems

Not to split hairs, but to me this is a crucial distinction: it's complex functions that require complex bureaucratic systems to manage them.

That's why it took the advent of the highly regimented and rule-governed processes and procedures used in production assembly lines to usher in the era of mass production and large scale manufacturing. The underlying business functions drove the demand for rigorously systematized processes (which is essentially all that bureaucracy is).

IMO, the business functions required to provide high quality, uniform, and universally accessible public education inevitably require complex business processes (a.k.a. bureaucracy) to support them. No amount of private public partnership is going to change the fundamental underlying realities that drive the organic development of many of these bureaucratic processes. The best we can do is manage those processes as best as possible and eliminate unnecessary processes and redundancy where the redundancy doesn't provide some important ancillary benefit.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:44 PM on May 13, 2009


And that is the crux of the problem with education. Government basically has a monopoly on it. Government is designed (with good cause) to not change quickly. So how exactly does public education react? As delmoi pointed out above, this ain't 1950 anymore, but the schools still operate like they did back them. -- COD
"The government" doesn't run schools, local governments and school boards do. There is an enormous variation in how schools are run, and there is a ton of opportunity for experimentation and change, just not all at once. And there is a huge variation on outcomes. Rather then a nationwide pupil factory, there is actually lots of choice in schools, but parents have to move (and sometimes they do) to get kids into good schools.
Also, government doesn't have a monopoly on education, rather, they are able to provide a better service at a lower cost (free) then private competitors.
We are just going to have to agree to disagree then. I simply do not believe a huge entrenched bureaucracy such as the public school system can be changed without some sort of significant external influence -- COD
There is no huge entrenched bureaucracy, there are lots of small and medium sized bureaucracies, maybe of which perform better than some private schools. You have no idea how education in this country even works.
That same motive gave you google, the iphone, advanced medicines, etc. The alternative, where politicians decide how to solve things, has actually never worked. -- Pastabagel
Oh come on. You know that without the DARPA funded internet, the CERN created World Wide Web, etc, google and the iPhone wouldn't be very useful. The internet is actually a triumph of government innovation, although it's commercial application was largely an accident (and you get morons like Jay Rockafeller saying if they had it to do over again they never would have created it this way)
posted by delmoi at 12:26 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


None of the participants have any experience in education...

I certainly don't see any kind of willingness to do anything other then yammer on offer from these VCs.

What a bunch of self-satisfied douchebags.

Not one of these people is a VC/entrepreneur. They were all quoted directly in the second link. I wonder what this thread would have been like if COD hadn't mentioned the VC organizers or editorialized in the post.

I'm a larval educator, about to start a teaching position in the fall. I'm interested in discussions about how my job may become obsolete. I feel that certain parts of it should become obsolete. This yammering gives me new ideas I can work with and develop for myself in order to both foresee and effect change in my own little piece of "education." Thanks for the post, COD.
posted by whatnotever at 4:07 PM on May 14, 2009


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