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The Scholars

July 30, 2009

From The Fragment Torch: Writings 2001-2008
by DAVID SCHNEIDER

Friday, October 20, 2006
It occurs to me that, with the maturing of the internet, the educational system is due for a radical transformation. It’s been overdue for years, of course, but what I’m talking about is something totally different.

If you can really teach the idea of critical, comparative thinking to students by the time they’re seniors in high school – and give them something of an education in artistic taste – the Bachelors of Arts degree, so prohibitively expensive, could potentially become just an embossed seal. Meaning, it’s not worthless, but it’s just a mode of study that’s formalized. The internet means you can gain an informal Bachelor’s degree in virtually any subject other than highly skilled and technical disciplines – in all the subjects in a very short amount of time. Finding the nodal points: my understanding of politics, ancient civilizations, the progression of artistic movements, the interactions between politics, religion, social conditions, and artistic movements – has undergone a radical progress in just the last two years. I’m now, for the first time in a decade, surprising myself with what I can understand.

And if we can create a new type of media, one that speaks of these things, we can break the press that constantly looks toward the lowest common denominator, the entertainment press that focuses attention to the most commercial aspects of MySpace and other networking sites, and begins to think about what true networking really is. It’s not a business card in an inside jacket pocket, pal.

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