i am both humbled and excited
Eric would like to enroll in BFU.
First a quick diversion, did you know most American's will say they prefer their coffee strong and dark? If given taste tests however most will consistently chose coffee that is weak and milky.
If you had asked me yesterday who the target student was for Bastiat Free University I would have said "an independent businessman that has succeeded without formal schooling and now wants to acquire deeper learning and a college degree to prove it."
Our student base has been a great deal broader than that. We welcome and appreciate current high school students, WHAM - or work at home moms, ESL - English as second language students, budding Internet entrepreneurs with start up businesses, folks with Master's and Doctorate degrees who just want to learn more in an informal setting, etc.
We do not see the students - everyone is equal. In fact we are going to add a forum to BFU to enhance communication within the student body - but everyone will remain equal.
Yesterday I would have said I was thrilled. Today I got an e-mail from Eric in Ghana. I have now seen through a door that was standing open - and I am quite excited. In part:
> i will like to register for the distance laerning.
> i will you to send the information through
> thank you.
Eric is representative of the opportunities we have to reach and teach those that would not have had a chance to learn before. I do not know his situation, or even if he is real. What I do know is the world is full of real Erics that just want to improve their lives.
We are in a position to do that. You have heard of the "hundred dollar computer" that is being developed for governments to provide their citizens. Yes, it will probably cost more than that once it goes through government bureaucracies. Yes, many will be stolen or sold by corrupt officials - all governments are notorious for having 80% overhead and beyond - with just a tiny bit of their budget actually accomplishing something.
That is the point.
There was someone that posted a note that in effect asked "how could BFU want freedom when it would result in wage slavery to capitalists." I'll let a talking pencil answer that one - or Eric.
I don't want liberty for all nearly as much as Eric wants personal freedom.
Freedom is coming even if the inefficient and greedy central planners, and the capitalism haters, don't want it. It is individuals like Eric and you that will create it - empowered by technology.
The industrial age has been nothing but a few centuries of painful transition from the agricultural age to the Netcohort Society. It will one day be a historical footnote.
Too big, all centralized, industrial age decision making is ending. Instead of the information age or netcohort age we could welcome this new period of man's development as the age of the individual.
Eric is an individual - he could wait for ever lengthening centuries for someone else to help him - he prefers to get started now. With access to a computer and an Internet connection he is already learning.
Eric is our "taste test" target student.
The world is full of Erics. Bastiat Free University is just starting and not yet able to give Eric the full attention he deserves - but he doesn't want attention.
Eric wants to know. He wants actionable knowledge.
Next year we will possibly be able to snail mail the Erics some support and instructions - right now everything we are is on the Internet. That is okay with Eric - he just wants access to learning that can improve his life.
Eric and those like him will change the world.