Comrade PhysioProffe‘s post last week on Thomas Friedman’s puffery of MOOCs calls out MOOCs as a “class warfare scam,” and makes an interesting comparison of mass-produced MOOC education to mass-produced poor quality chain restaurant food:
The children of the wealthy will never, ever be subject to MOOC-based education, and the elite institutions they attend–who are perfectly happy to publish some courses on-line for free viewing by the public–will never, ever allow their students to take MOOCs for course credit. (Or if they do, they will be *extremely* restricted in the total number of MOOC credits they allow to count for major and graduation.) These kids are being prepared to be leaders and bosses of the poor mooks who are gonna be subject to MOOCs, so they need real education.
Just like the Tom Friedmans of the world don’t eat cheap greasy fattening nutrient-poor corporate swill at Denny’s, they don’t allow their kids to be subject to shitteasse greasy educational corporate swill like MOOCs.
Compare this to a speech by the resurrected William Howard Taft in Taft 2012, by Jason Heller, pp. 186-87:
And just as no man, woman, or child in this country is truly healthy if his neighbor is not, so it goes with two of mankind’s most basic needs: sustenance and education. Trust me, I am well acquainted with both. And I also know, in the essential matters of food and schools, that quantity and quality are not interchangeable. What’s that saying you have these days? ‘Garbage in, garbage out?’ For too long, I have come to understand, America has been content to let those in power–the would-be dictators of both the public and private sectors–feed you garbage. This garbage is presented in many forms: lower wages for public school teachers. Political and corporate pressures on curricula. Reckless agribusiness. Relaxed standards and regulations of the food industry. And then there’s the intersection of the two problems: the toxic crossroads we call student lunch. It may seem a small thing, granted, in the grand scheme of this vast nation. But if you want to look at one of the major roots of the lack of self-reliance and the lack of self-regard in this country look no further.
Elites know what’s truly nourishing. Elites know how education works. (Taft was a Yalie, a Bonesman.) They know that both quality food and quality education take time and money. Why do middle-class people buy into the scam that they (or their poorer neighbors) can get something for nothing?
The shame is that it’s so easy to fool people. It’s so relatively inexpensive to nourish people well in body and mind compared to the costs of institutionalizing them in prisons.