Price of Knowledge

I came across a quote from Richard Buckminster Fuller, and by came across I mean people put the quote as a caption which is called a "meme" by people who have no idea about memetics and put it up on their social media whatever to be shared and make them seem insightful
We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

Wow.  This is advocating flat out mooching.  Let's take his "fact" that one in ten thousand of us could make a breakthrough that could support everyone else.  Why should they?  If a system is in place that people are taken care of then what is the point to doing something or really anything?  Fuller had this notion that we'd all be better off if we were left to ponder things without all the hassle of actually having to do things.  Of course he was a philosopher of sorts so his idea of a solution to the problems of the world will be what his specialty is.

What does his idea of a solution lead to?

Life doesn't work the way Fuller seems to think it does.  Necessity is the mother of invention, but desparation is the father.  You have to have drive to make things happen.  Just look at the homeless guy who when given a choice between $100 and lessons on how to write code made the smart choice.   This guy showed dedication because he knew that $100 goes fast but learning a valuable skill can keep you fed much longer.  People in general love accomplishing goals having experiences along the journeys of our lives.  Thinking is important, but we can't let it stop us from doing and living.

We do have to think, and we do need a proper education.  You have to know and understand the world around you so that you can make good decisions.  Unfortunately, we've run into a bit of a problem with our education system.  High school level and below seem to be struggling to find its feet in the best ways to educate our young people and there's a nearly fanatical push to go to college.  College isn't a bad thing but it isn't for everyone, especially at today's rates.

I like Henry Rollins, and while I don't totally agree with everything he said in this video he makes some excellent points.  First and foremost that the debt young people incur from going to college is way too high.  It is ridicuous.  Rollins goes on to say that if we want to succeed as a nation that we need to make college either free or really cheap.

Let's go with cheap, because knowledge is a valuable commodity and anything valuable has price.

Education does not just come from schools.  We can receive it from many different sources if we keep our eyes open.  College is not a must have anymore, and the myth that it is preparing to evaporate.  We've got great stuff like Mike Rowe Works which is really worth everyone's time to go in and check out.

We need a balance between Rollins and Rowe, and if we get that, look out world.  Affordable college and plenty of alternatives to close the skills gap?  That's a hell of a combo.

But then some people may ask, "Why no just make these things free?"

I teach Karate.  I don't make a lot of money at it.  In fact, most of the time I'm probably doing it a financial loss.  I still charge my students a nominal fee.  My time and the knowledge I'm imparting are worth something.  I worked hard to gain the knowledge and experience that I'm passing on.  Just like any teacher in any school.  I'd love to have more students, and I was once asked "why don't you just make the lessons free?" since I really am in it for the love of the art and if it was free there's a notion I'd probably get more students.

The reality is I'd likely get less students and the one's I have may not be that great.  Same with college.  If we made college free, sure there would be young people who really benefited, but there'd also be young people when faced with the choice getting a job and goofing off in a classroom for free will take the latter.  Those kids in those college classes work hard.  Why?  Because that class cost a whole lot of money so they better get something out of it.  Charging puts that blockade up that weeds out slackers and admits serious students.

There's also the sweat and pain that comes into a Karate class in which students must learn a technique, put the work in to do it well, so they can learn the next technique.  Same with any type of learning.  You learn your basics.  Put in that work.  Do your homework.  Then move on to learn more.  You put in that sweat equity.  I spent a couple of weeks limping just from one workout in which I learned a very good and very brutal technique.  People asked what happened.

"Its the price of knowledge."

You don't start off knowing everything.  You don't even know everything after going to school.  That's one of the reasons I get irked by fast food workers demanding $15 an hour.  That's a starter job.  That's where you learn how to run a register, and make sure your drawer comes out right.  That's where you learn how to make quick things on demand.  You get a big order from a hungry family and you have to quickly assemble what they want.  That's a skill.  That's a useful skill that you are being paid to develope.  Not mention the customer service skills you gain.

You can take those skills and work you way up the fast food chain to manager and eventually franchise owner, or you can take those skills, put them on your resumé and hunt for another job that pays better.

And people complain that its not a living wage.  Its not supposed to be.  They are entry level.  That's where you start.  Once you start you're supposed to go somewhere.

Hopefully we'll get Governemnt out of throwing money around and suckering kids into debt and hopefully our society will wake up and realize that there's more to learning then just sitting in a classroom.  Thinking is important.  Learning is important.  But without working and doing you're going nowhere.

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