When one looks at the current state of higher education and the cost associated with it one must question if this is the most profitable business move in the 21st century when information is more widely accessible, available and easier than ever before. When I put our ability to gather information within the context of easy, I am acknowledging the fact that the internet has shifted the paradigm entirely as it relates to research and the exchanging idea
When I was a youth growing up in East Oakland two blocks away from mills college, we had in our families living room a book shelf with an entire collection of Britannica encyclopedias. What this did was to expand within our minds an ability to seek out information to generate facts through research, a tedious task using this method. What we were able to gather from these pre-internet experiences was the value of knowledge and how it was acquired i.e. through books.
My father held a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from CSU East Bay which prompted him to advocated having this space available within our home, what it did for my brother and sister was gave us something to aspire to as it relates to the impact of higher education. If we were to go to school and graduate from college it would be for us to adopt a similar mentality as it relates to establishing a educational space in our homes that promotes learning.
In 2019 that educational space would be a computer with access to WIFI, how much has change over the last twenty years is nothing less then a phenomenon. The informational paradigm has shifted faster than human interaction and it shows by way of how humans with cell phones with 24 hour access to WIFI interacting with each other, or better yet how they do not.
So the question that prevails is, Is college absolutely necessary to advance in the digital age? and my answer is no. What is necessary, is for humans to be able to interact and engage with one another in harmony that brings about a peaceful state of affairs. Secondly it is important for students of universe cities to use knowledge in a way that allows them to put it in formation (read again if needed). The role that universities have played in the past is quickly vanishing with the ushering in of the information age which brings about the end of the expert. What was once information essential for a doctor to have is now accessible to the nutritionist, the lawyers information is now accessible to the community activist and it is happening in front of our eyes.
Is college a scam? one would have to ask themselves when has the hoarding of information to deliver it to a special group by way of gate keeper not been a scam? College and Universities as we know them today is a social construct that has served as a way of making intelligent synonyms with the rite of passage of higher learning. What is needed is the removal of the one size fit all model of education as we know it and a deeper exploration of the nine areas of intelligence that is practiced through out nature.
Robert Smith is not the norm in society, he is far from it, what he represents is a small fraction of a fraction that has the potential to force us to think about the current state of educational discourse and the cost associated with it. He has created a radical win fro the culture and I am not sure whether he could have done it without access to prestigious universities like Columbia and Cornell University. If the past is any indication of the future than these places of higher learning are mere battlefields of intellectual insights that serve the individual's journey towards validation and legitimacy and challenge their ability to selflessly serve the collective.