Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Andy writes:

The homeschool locals just sent out announcements for my two courses this fall: "Constitution and Government" and "Critical Thinking in Science". We'll see how many sign up. Classes are one day a week at a local church building, beginning in late September.

Personally, I don't see how institutional education can survive the internet long-term. Why travel to sit in an institution 5 days a week when you can get more done online? Why be stuck with the liberal courses imposed by a school when you can pick and choose among homeschooled ones? Apparently homeschooling is booming in St. Louis County now. It wouldn't surprise me if high-priced colleges eventually fall into disfavor.

The impact of the internet on many industries is just beginning. Some are saying that the recent collapse of the traditional airline carriers is partly due to the internet, which promotes brutal price competition and allows start-ups to flourish (see US Air declared bankruptcy, and now the news is saying United may file. American just announced layoffs of 7000, on top of the all the people it laid off for 9/11. I recently got a round-trip ticket to Tucson for only $220. I think I heard a steward say that one can fly from LA to SF for $19.

You are optimistic about the internet. It has always been the case that you could become well-educated just by reading books at the library, and some people do, but the vast majority of people are not able to learn without live teachers and fellow students.

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