In what might be a useful exercise for any of us I decided to look at distilling Bastiat Free University into an extreme elevator speech - one sentence or one word. The sentence was easy, that would be some version of our university slogan: Re-engineering higher education -- BFU offers self directed distance learning for visionaries and entrepreneurs.
One word was a lot tougher. Someday the letters BFU will represent us -- just as your name, IBM, or AT&T are a representation and distillation of essence. For now the best I can do for Bastiat Free University is probably a two word set - perhaps as above re-engineering education or maybe educational disintermediationists; either is quite a mouthful.
Educational disintermediation, cutting out the intermediary or "middle guy" in schooling, is a two word phrase that reveals a source of most current disruptions. It is a reversal of a process that happened early in the industrial age. It recognizes that educational excellence is achieved due to the desires of a motivated student -- not by the rigorous hounding of an authoritarian hierarchy.
The following is a statement made before formal and institutionalized bureaucracies reigned in what has become a moribund educational industry.
"Whatever be the qualifications of your tutors, your improvement must chiefly depend on yourselves. They cannot think or labor for you, they can only put you in the best way of thinking and laboring for yourselves. If therefore you get knowledge you must acquire it by your own industry. You must form all conclusions and all maxims for yourselves, from premises and data collected and considered by yourself. And it is the great object of New College to remove every bias the mind may be under, and to give the greatest scope for true freedom of thinking." - Joseph Priestly, Dedication of New College, London, 1794.
The process brought on by technological empowerment of individuals is both liberating our lifestyles, and it is sucking the bloat out of industrial age bureaucracies like the education industry. Disintermediated students are returning to a learning process where the student is responsible for developing their own open mind and filling it with their own useful insights. With Bastiat Free University you can start today.
Let's make this exercise more personal, what sentence or word can sum up our thoughts of the last few years?
One long sentence that may cover almost everything I've written is -- "The one size fits most society is imploding; the big bang following the collapse will spawn the creative galaxy of the netcohort society."
If I had to sum up everything I've written recently into one word it could be disintermediation.
If it has to be even shorter, one word with a lot of meanings might do quite well. That one word expression of everything is -- Change