Law in the Internet Society

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SuperPeopleandUnderPeople 7 - 05 Oct 2011 - Main.ThomasHou
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Food for thought from the NYT. It's a powerful point about equity. But, note the implicit assumption of a zero-sum game, that investment of "intellectual capital" at top schools means underinvestment at less prestigious schools. In a zero marginal cost world, however, at least with respect to knowledge, that proposition is false: if we write once, we can read everywhere.
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 Part of this is branding, but part of the scarcity also comes from laws and regulations that limit accreditation and professional licensing, or which control subsidies, and increasingly through copyright laws. Even if MIT Courseware is an exception for now, the future probably belongs to the Disney-fication of education (the brand could be called Yale, or even Disney): the fusion of brands and copyright delivering educational products to consumers who are practically denied other alternatives, whether it's because those alternatives are explicitly illegal or implicitly excluded from mainstream and elite society / economy.

-- BahradSokhansanj - 03 Oct 2011


Although I agree with the comments above about the continued viability of traditional, college education, I think the recent economic times have paved way for virtual education to play a more significant role. Currently, there are job openings and even scarcities for a particular subset of jobseekers: high-skilled workers, often with training in technical or sciences backgrounds. Now, there are many educational programs growing across the country that train people who want to return to hit the books: community colleges, continuing adult education classes, nonprofits, and universities. Given the obvious demand for classes that are open to a breadth of the population, education suppliers such as universities have incentives to invest in programs that are not tied to a traditional degree program. And with zero marginal cost delivery of education increasingly practical today, universities do not want to get left behind. They have their brand names still, and why shouldn't they not exploit the opportunity to jump into the virtual education market?

-- ThomasHou - 05 Oct 2011


Revision 7r7 - 05 Oct 2011 - 01:15:03 - ThomasHou
Revision 6r6 - 03 Oct 2011 - 18:08:20 - BahradSokhansanj
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