Re: [wccusdtalk] Fw: Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to college-Profiting For The Billionaires
- Sorry I don't live in Richmond, so I might vote for you. You're the only person
who's responded substantially to what I offer.
I'm not dismayed. I run for school board here in Berkeley, although it's pretty
fruitless. People hear Democrat, Republican, Peace and Freedom Party and make
their decisions. People - too bad about most.
What I'm trying to get people to urge is moving away from the school structure,
to labor intensive activity - supplemented of course by machinery where it's
mentally ecologically etc useful. For example.
Many people should farm together - be out with their hands in the dirt for a few
hours a week, reducing machine use to the barest minimum, considering reasonable
planting - no monocropping, integrated pest management - varied plants together
for pleasure and protection - our pleasure, their protection. We in the fields
- small fields, that have been nourished by proper handling including passing
food-animals over them for a while, to feed and drop nutrients; many of us in
the fields, talking and singing together - with bows in our hair - It's a report
from pre-revolutionary Tibet - where those serf-slaves couldn't - wear bows in
their hair, sing and talk together, while doing the monasteries' and feudal
lords' work. ...humanized labor, that we can enjoy, that promotes sharing
ideas, or thining up new ideas, asking questions finding ways to study to answer
them that work - research - is not about making innovative product in order to
sell it but because it integrally relates to our living, our work our enjoyment
So, where this kind of thing relates to people of whatever age - in with the
doctors, doctors who clean up the examining room after each patient - no
stratification of work, no greater reward for doing one job or another; work
taking as little or as much time as feels good, as is necessary - not in order
to get paid for it, not in order to accumulate more than a neighbor,
And in order for all of us - our progeny - to enjoy the job time - not to have
to do it in isolated circumstances; the best example - the teacher, or the
So what I want is for us to recognize that our Owners' institutions result in
our oppression: church, marriage, school, the way health care is done, the way
housing is laid out, the kind of work we do,
all need to be challenged and re-fit for our enjoyment comfort security unto our
These need to be thought about in our governments... talked about ... It's the
only way we'll cut loose from self-oppression. School, capitalism - can't be
reformed. They're structured to do what they do.
From: Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@...>
Sent: Mon, May 30, 2011 4:48:35 PM
Subject: [wccusdtalk] Fw: Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to
college-Profiting For The Billionaires
To Norma: Is this what you had in mind, minus the financial incentive...
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Steve Zeltzer <lvpsf@...>
Sent: Mon, May 30, 2011 11:07:55 AM
Subject: Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to college-Profiting For The
Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to college-Profiting For The Billionaires
Tech mogul pays bright minds not to go to college
By Marcus Wohlsen
Posted: 05/29/2011 11:47:50 AM PDT
Updated: 05/29/2011 09:50:12 PM PDT
SAN FRANCISCO -- Instead of paying attention in high school, Nick Cammarata
preferred to read books on whatever interested him. He also has a gift for
coding that got him into Carnegie Mellon University's esteemed computer science
program despite his grades.
But the 18-year-old programmer won't be going to college this fall. Or maybe
Cammarata is one of two dozen winners of a scholarship just awarded by San
Francisco tech tycoon Peter Thiel that comes with a unique catch: The recipients
are being paid not to go to college.
Instead, these teenagers and 20-year-olds are getting $100,000 each to chase
their entrepreneurial dreams for the next two years.
"It seems like the perfect point in our lives to pursue this kind of project,"
says Cammarata of Newburyport, Mass., who along with 17-year-old David Merfield
will be working on software to upend the standard approach to teaching in high
Merfield, the valedictorian of his Princeton, N.J., high school class, is
turning down a chance to go to Princeton University to take the fellowship.
Thiel himself hand-picked the winners based on the potential of their proposed
projects to change the world.
All the proposals have a high technology angle but otherwise span many
One winner wants to create a mobile banking system for the developing world.
Another is working to create cheaper biofuels. One wants to build robots that
help out around the house.
The prizes come at a time when debate in the United States over the value of
higher education has become heated. New graduates mired in student-loan debt are
encountering one of the toughest job markets in decades. Rising tuitions and
diminishing prospects have led many to ask whether college is actually worth the
time and money.
"Turning people into debt slaves when they're college students is really not how
we end up building a better society," Thiel says.
Thiel made his fortune as a co-founder of online payment service PayPal shortly
after graduating from Stanford Law School. He then became the first major
investor in Facebook. In conversation and as a philanthropist, Thiel pushes his
strong belief that innovation has stagnated in the United States and that
radical solutions are needed to push civilization forward.
The "20 Under 20" fellowship is one such effort. Thiel believes the best young
minds can contribute more to society by skipping college and taking their ideas
straight to the real world.
And he has the shining example of Facebook to back up his claim. Thiel's faith
in the world-changing potential of Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg's idea led
him to invest $500,000 in the company, a stake that is now worth billions.
Still, the Zuckerbergs of the tech industry are famous because they are the
exceptions. Silicon Valley is littered with decades-worth of failed tech
Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at Duke University's Center for
Entrepreneurship and a writer for TechCrunch and Bloomberg Businessweek, has
assailed Thiel's program for sending what he sees as the message that anyone can
be Mark Zuckerberg.
"Silicon Valley lives in its own bubble. It sees the world through its own
prism. It's got a distorted view," Wadhwa says.
"All the people who are making a fuss are highly educated. They're rich
themselves. They've achieved success because of their education. There's no way
in hell we would have heard about Peter Thiel if he hadn't graduated from
Stanford," he says.
Thiel says the "20 Under 20" program shouldn't be judged on the basis of his own
educational background or even the merits of his critique of higher education.
He urges his critics to wait and see what the fellows achieve over the next two
According to data compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and
the Workforce, workers with college degrees were laid off during the Great
Recession at a much lower rate than workers without degrees. College graduates
also were more likely to be rehired.
But for fellowship recipients such as John Burnham, 18, such concerns pale next
to the idealism of youth. At his prep school in western Massachusetts, Burnham
started an alternative newspaper to compete with the school's official
The entrepreneurial experience of creating something out of nothing captured his
imagination. Now his ambitions have grown.
Burnham believes that the world's growing population will put an unsustainable
strain on the planet's natural resources. That's why he's looking to other
worlds to meet humanity's needs.
Specifically, he believes that mining operations on asteroids could hold the
key. For the next two years, he'll be studying rocket propulsion technology and
puzzling through the economics of interplanetary resource extraction.
"This fellowship is so much of a better fit for my personality than I think
college would be," Burnham says. "When you get an opportunity of the magnitude
of this fellowship, I couldn't see myself being able to wait."
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