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* BFU Weekly Journal *
documenting creation of a
Visionaries Learning Center

Bastiat Free University offers internationally accessible and actionable student-directed learning to visionaries and entrepreneurs.
Your BFU resources are now available without cost.

Start Today
Rediscover the pleasures found in self directed learning.

BFUniv, BFU college, self-directed e-learning, Bastiat Free University


Friday, July 28, 2006

Is Bastiat Free University Better Than South Harmon Institute Of Technology?

The following was a preview of the movie Accepted at South Harmon Institute Of Technology. You can read it to discover more about our guesses on the movie; and to see how close we came. Then you can go see how similar you think BFU is to South Harmon. I have edited this post to add this intro, video clips, and some links.

enjoy your life,

Allan


We are going to have to see the movie
Accepted to find out more about South Harmon Institute Of Technology.

Accepted will open August 18, 2006 at a theater near you.

This should be fun.

All this time Bastiat Free University has been making fun of the industrial age colleges - but in a serious way. Lets get rid of serious - and have a comedy movie make some of our points for us. (YouTube video)

Accepted the movie may be a Toto and pull back the curtains that are hiding the little man pulling the levers. South Harmon Institute Of Technology is a college created by a rejected student, rejected by eight colleges in fact. He sees his disappointed and angry college parents and devices a plan.

Acquiring an abandoned psychiatric hospital, and appointing
comedian Lewis Black as dean set up the standard Hollywood ploy - lies to cover lies - until a final lie makes everything ok. Perhaps this time it will be different.

Accepted looks like it may be a mashup of Nerds and Animal House - which just might end up being very entertaining. Student-directed learning makes sense, it should also make a good movie.

In a prior post we compared Bastiat Free University and the top ranked Thunderbird, Garvin School Of International Business. Here we will do a brief comparison of Bastiat Free University and the fictional South Harmon Institute Of Technology.

Bastiat Free University and South Harmon Institute of Technology have more in common than BFuniv.com and Thunderbird.

Both BFU and SHIoT were created as a frustrated response to archaic educational bureaucracies. But I have the feeling that the poor saps at South Harmon will end up returning to a Hollywood ending that will not insult educators too much.

The common wisdom about the value of a diploma is too deeply ingrained to be easily ignored. Few will confront the fact that college degrees are losing value as they become common and as bureaucracies shrink with the ending of the industrial age. Students need to make themselves more valuable as the value of a college diploma shrinks. The world is changing even if education isn't.

BFU however is happy to either insult or ignore bureaucratic educators and their increasingly out of date and out of touch institutions. "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

The funny part here is that the heroes of the movie seem just the sort of student that Bastiat Free University was created to serve - creative and action oriented team members of the Netcohort.
They need to pick up their BFU student id card.

Then they can start creating their own college courses.

If you can identify with the students from Accepted at South Harmon Institute Of Technology - come take a close look at



an unschool for adults
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Homeschool Helps

If you are homeschooling your kiddos, congratulations - they will likely be far ahead of those that lack this educational advantage.

I'll answer the primary objection I hear to homeschooling - the homeschool kids will not be socially prepared for life if they have not had all the "advantages" of public school social interaction.

I find it telling that the primary homeschool objection has nothing to do with learning. It is a given that most homeschooled kids do better on tests than most public school kids. A further indication is that the most disillusioned of the public school kids drop out - and are not even included in testing results.

Parents subject their children to eighteen plus years of indentured servitude on the theory that while they will learn less - they will be socially balanced. I think just a look at an average teenager should dispel that myth.

The advantages of the public school social interaction are many.

  • The student is taught to both obey and resent authority - any authority
  • The student is taught to play structured games
  • The student is taught to segregate knowledge into discrete subjects
  • The student is taught to only spend a short time on one subject or idea before moving on
  • The student is taught to seek rewards for assigned accomplishment rather than the reward of enlightenment
  • There is no play in work
  • there is no work allowed in play - except as punishment
  • reading is a task - not a pleasure
  • knowledge is distributed - not discovered


These and other advantages of public schooling create obedient and compliant industrial and service workers - and citizens that are easily controlled.

There are difficulties in raising a homeschool kid - but the resulting adult will be far more flexible in dealing with life. Homeschool graduates will also have a far better understanding of how to discover what they want or need to know.

If you did not have the benefit of a homeschooling education, you can unschool yourself.

Rediscover the pleasures of self-directed homeschool learning - as an adult. Bastiat Free University may be regard as a homeschool facilitator for adults.

Homeschool Helps


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Monday, July 24, 2006

Bastiat Free University & Thunderbird

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Anecdotal evidence allows us to mention the Thunderbird, Garvin School Of International Management and
Bastiat Free University in the same sentence.

They are obviously very different establishments.

For one thing Thunderbird lost 5.6 million dollars last year. Don't worry about Thunderbird disappearing - they received several nice donations - for only 60 million dollars Sam Garvin, chairman of the Continental Promotion Group, got his name tied to the school.

Bastiat Free University has survived and grown based on few (very) small college donations contributed by those that support our philosophy of learning.

Thunderbird is one of the highest regarded graduate schools for international business - if not the highest.

Bastiat Free University is just beginning - and making lots of mistakes along the way.

This proves nothing - but it does allow me to point out one salient fact about disruptive innovations like
Bastiat Free University.

When a new technology emerges, for a while the old technology remains superior. Steam cars were better than internal combustion, for a while. An abacus or a slide rule was faster for complex problems in the hands of a skilled user than early calculators. A rapid firing longbow with arrows was superior to a cumbersome match lock muzzle loader - in many situations.

As the best of industrial age education the Thunderbird, Garvin School Of International Management is far better at what it does than
Bastiat Free University is at what we are starting to do.

But there is a huge difference in approach.
Bastiat Free University does not have to be great - it is the visionary BFU student who is already great that constitutes the promise of self-directed learning.

Industrial age schools such as Thunderbird have taken highly qualified and already successful individuals and applied economy of scale training techniques so they can stamp out homogeneous graduates with top bureaucratic skills.

The future does not belong to bureaucrats. Eventually self-directed students that use empowering technologies to individualize solutions will be needed to facilitate a self-tailored society. These entrepreneurs will use creativity and coalesced personal knowledge to redefine our lives.

Bastiat Free University exists to provide structural pieces that the Netcohort can use to establish whatever framework they desire. Student-directed learning such as BFU is just that, the student is in charge, taking only what they need, wherever they can find it.

Thunderbird is a great institution - it will be missed when huge impersonal organizations implode - something that may not happen for many decades.

(I would love to ride in a Stanley Steamer automobile -- Jay Leno has two Stanleys, I wonder if he reads this journal). The ending of an era is just as interesting as the beginning of a new era.

Bastiat Free University will exist as long as we are willing to innovate and provide access to visionary learning tools. Our combined impact should continue for many centuries. To the degree we succeed, BFU will not need to be replaced by other, better, disruptive learning technologies.

If at any time within the next few millennia we become the increasingly irrelevant husks that most current schools represent; I anticipate we will be caught up in a fresh wind of innovation and blown away. That would be wonderful.

Until then we will provide students with tools to learn how to make a positive impact on all of our lives. Our students will shape our netcohort future based on reputation and relationships. The degree of influence they exert will be due to their particular genius and efforts, and their partnership with those of us that support them.


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Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Do You Want To Escape?

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Some can set their goals based on something wonderful they want to accomplish.

For many others the first priority in their life is to escape.

This is not bad, it is just a reflection of the fact that until we escape from limiting personal factors we have little hope of success.

If your first need is too escape - set a date.

Start working toward changing your circumstances to enable a transition to a better place.

A year from now you can be in a different city that better reflects your values. You can be in different relationships that empower you rather than hold you down. You can find a better job, a school that teaches what you need to learn, or develop a skill that can travel with you.

If you can see no way to accomplish great things where you are -- imagine where you would need to be to accomplish what will satisfy you.

Now you can just stay where you are.

Or you can write down that destination, with a date to be there, and start the process of change.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

An Educational Alternative.

Bastiat Free University is not for everyone.

The vast majority of those that look at BFU today will click on by.

Most think that life will continue to progress along the roads it has already traveled.

"
Where we are going we don't need roads."

That quote from Back To The Future was spoken just before the car leapt into the air - and traveled forward in time. In the not too distant future you will be able to leap into success without the bureaucracies that tie you down now. Technology will free you from the form and regulation of life as usual.

Many of you reading this have a sly smile playing across your lips - you already live in that future.

It's a reality where what you learn, what you know, the integrity with which you act, the willingness you have to share success - each of these attributes increases your success. A degree is not required - a diploma may still carry a hint of its former cachet - but it is no longer a requirement -- or a meal ticket.

If you have your own business this is not news. Some of the bloated organizations you deal with may prefer your having a degree, but it does not enhance performance. You are most frequently selected by your performance and reputation. These attributes are within your control.

That leaves you the reader with three choices.

1) You can find the best brick and mortar college you can afford - and use it as an entry ticket to a bureaucratic job.

2) You can start your own business and use resources such as Bastiat Free University to learn what you need to know to grow your business - and expand you horizons.

3) You can start your own business, use self-selected tools - books, e-books, audio books and tapes, motivational and inspirational CDs and DVDs, and a host of other tools to keep you going and growing.

Most of you will use a blended learning approach.

If you do not see radical change coming in the workplace - you may pursue #1 and perhaps add a bit of #3 to keep yourself going.

BFU students will probably pull from all three.

Some of you will use a primarily #3 approach, and perhaps acquire a degree from BFU in the future when it suits you.

You know your personality - do what is best for you.

If you have read our interview of Ross Rayburn, he still uses #3 to power his business success. He is always reading books - listening to tapes in his car - he is learning all the time.

If #3 is your style, embrace it. If you ever feel the need for a diploma - Bastiat Free University will still be here - together we can help you earn that college degree.

If not - just keep on enjoying the drive to success.

Allan

P.S. Here is one way to acquire all that resource material an embracer of the #3 style of educational approach appreciates. Visit and consider this self-directed educational site:



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Monday, July 10, 2006

Are you a person of accomplishment?

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"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." -- Leonardo da Vinci



Do you even want to be a person of accomplishment?

A first step to accomplishment may be to develop a vision of the future. Visionaries often see opportunities that are not apparent to those trapped with a world view shaped by current perceptions.

The world has already changed. Even greater change is coming - very quickly.

If you have a business, or are planning on creating a business, consider creating new operations that target what will be valued in the future. Profits may come from what is valued now - however growth may be spectacular with a bit of applied vision.

We all need to spend time considering alternatives, thinking about what things may happen and how we can best prepare for them.

Then we need to go out and happen to those things.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Marketing - Sales -Business Lesson

This is a free e-book.

The subject matter is a vertically optimized internet business, the marketing implications are valuable for any business.

It is worth the read not only for content - but for how that content was organized.

If you have your own business, or you are considering starting a business, there is a great deal to be learned by studying this short e-book.

The fellow that wrote this book took his target audience and the benefits of his product as an outline for the presentation.

The product is good - you will notice right off that I bought into it. Of interest here is that you can get a good marketing lesson by deconstructing the organization used to move you through David's presentation.

Your assignment is to take this e-book and decide how to use the well executed style in the most effective way to enhance your own business.

The test is to track your results.


Seven Super Strategies
- by David MacGregor


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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another Server Switch

This will probably be the last one for quite a while.

It will take a few days for the new nameserver to spread fully. Expect to be able to access our main learning site within a couple of days.

We are also playing within the Docebo LMS itself. Somehow several documents disappeared. If you notice something missing please let us know - I don't think it is a worm - but it is strange.

We have also added a phantom registration - if you don't want to register but want to view the courses and their materials. Give it a try in a day or two, this is a trial it may not last long.

If you have not noticed we have also changed our top banner again - perhaps for the last time. We wanted to eliminate the dozens of phrases we were using to describe the benefits of attending Bastiat Free University.

The new summation of those benefits - and a description to use in your links, is:



Bastiat Free University - self directed learning for visionaries



Enjoy life,

Allan
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Sunday, July 02, 2006

World e-Book Library

I have not yet explored the World e-Book Library Consortia in depth.


Their affiliation with Project Gutenberg does raise expectations however.

To see Hamlet, Peter Rabbit, and Beowulf on the same opening page is quite enticing.

This is not a free library in the self educated Andrew Carnegie mold, it currently costs US $8.95 per year to access more great reading than even a bibliophile like myself will ever read through - currently over a quarter million books.

Project Gutenberg is free, but also has less than twenty thousand books to download - when you are dependent on the generosity of strangers options are limited. The Project Gutenberg materials are selected for enduring quality - Peter Rabbit is probably not represented. They do have over two million e-books downloaded each month.

If Sherlock Holmes is on your "to read" list, a good place to look would be the World e_Book Library, at $8.95 a year the cost is equal to one used book - and you will be helping build the library for yourself and others. Even if you do not plan on reading these books, I'm sure a sign up would be appreciated.

Carnegie gave away great wealth to build libraries and schools around the world - a token gift to special projects is a great way to emulate a man that was once the world's richest man. Carnegie showed what power there is in private, self-directed learning.

The option is that some government bureaucrat will decide to build such a library. That will probably cost hundreds of dollars per person - every year - involuntarily.


Only voluntary actions have virtue.

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"Free" University or Church defined



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