Thursday, August 27, 2009

An appeal from my Alma Mater

Category: Issue 15

UCSD has asked me to “share my UCSD story” with the California State legislature in an effort to get them to make all Californians pay a bit more to keep UCSD alive.  Is that neighborly?  Here’s what I wrote back, along with an invitation to respond to my critique:

I have come to appreciate the state’s funding of my UCSD education in the same way that the wife of a mobster appreciates the store owners whose stores her husband “protects”.  I am actually ashamed that I benefited so much from the tax burden that my state and my country loaded onto my fellow citizens.  There were plenty of people who recognized my potential enough to help put me through college, but they didn’t bother, because my governments (state and federal) were busy forcing others to do it instead.  It is not a model I now see value in.  When I feel selfish and belligerent and disgusted with my fellow citizens, then I can think back to how they were bullied into supporting my education (K-UCSD BS!) for a bit of comfort.  But like all vengeful feelings, the pleasure in it dies quickly and then smells bad.

Why don’t you present MY website, litmocracy.com, to the students in the literature department?  They can submit, judge, and comment on each others’ writing.  Couple this with the latent talent in the psychology department and the business schools, and we will be able to produce three or four best selling novels a year.  This is how citizens who care, like I do, support higher education:  We provide students with opportunities to learn or, if they already have the knowledge and skill, to earn.

I am already the business partner of another writer and we are working on projects to create great writing - his writing as well as that of others - and to educate people.  We believe that education comes from doing hard work in the real world, rather than academics.  Despite the choke-hold that indoctrination (which you call “education”) has on important industries like medicine, legal counsel, and even teaching itself, it is still the case that those who put their work into earning a living rather than a college degree end up with the lion’s share of practical knowledge.  To be perfectly honest, I was lost when I graduated from UCSD.

I suspect that these ideas are at odds with your outlook because the higher education system in this country has strong roots in the empty promise of socialism.  It will not work in the long run, and you see it falling apart now because it’s no longer working in the short run.  If you would like your enterprise to free itself of financial problems, shrink it until it is profitable, and then expand it only in ways that maintain or increase that profit.  Argue against more legislation.  Argue against diplomas as legal requirements for professionals.  Make the education be something that is actually valuable, rather than something whose value relies so heavily on regulations.  This is happening already, and those who understand it are advancing.  Will you join us, or get left behind?

Posted by Dave Scotese on 08/27 at 10:54 PM | Permalink
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