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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


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Allan Wallace Lensography

You've read my rants and opinionated claptrap; but perhaps you want to know how I really feel.

My Squidoo lenses have allowed me to weigh in on a number of subjects, notably:

1) enabling sharing

2) seeking cures for the common education

3) social interaction while retaining personal identity

4) acquiring and protecting property (money)

There is also a catchall section for etcetera, etcetera, & etcetera.

All of these have been compiled into a new lens; a Squidoo lensography of my ideals, aspirations, and passing fancies. It is up to you to decide if it is a body of work -- or just an intellectual corpse.

Allan Wallace Lensography

enjoy,

Allan

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Samuel Adams - This Beer's For You

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!" - Samuel Adams

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can. "
Samuel Adams

The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. - Samuel Adams

"The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule." - Samuel Adams

"We cannot make events. Our business is wisely to improve them." - Samuel Adams





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Thursday, April 24, 2008

BFU Quarterly Update

This week we've sent out a new update, I'll let it tell its own story:

Greetings,

This will be more of an update on salient resources than a "state of the college" report.

For those of you that have not kept up with the blog, there have been a couple of specifically useful ideas presented within the BFU Weekly Journal pages

1) How To Create A College Degree Substitute: http://bfuniv.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-create-college-degree-substitute.html

2) A new Higher Education Model: http://bfuniv.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-higher-education-model.html

I have found that blogs have a limited life on their entries, I may eventually put these ideas into a Squiddo lens. A fine post on the high achiever, Dr. Pereyda, has almost disappeared in Google's eyes, while in a lens it would continue to attract the attention she deserves. http://bfuniv.blogspot.com/2008/02/dr-margarita-pereyda.html

In fact here are several lenses that have growing popularity and maintain their google edge.

1) Start Your Own Business Ideas: http://www.squidoo.com/mybusinessideas

2) The Importance of Education (it may be different than you thought): http://www.squidoo.com/educationalimportance

3) How to raise money for charity: http://www.squidoo.com/askformoney

And the newest lens, just a couple of days old; Visionary Leaders - inspiring and leading change: http://www.squidoo.com/visionaryleaders

These will all be a potential learning experience - enjoy.

Sincerely,

Allan

Allan Wallace, Rector
Bastiat Free University
www.BFuniv.net


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Visionary Leadership

I've just created a new lens on Visionary Leadership.

Like most new creations I am not happy with it, yet. I will be working on it, you can help by taking a look and giving me your ideas.

The basic format is contrasting what is not leadership with what is truly visionary leadership. This may not be the best approach. We could instead start with the foundations of visionary leadership and progress through the stages of growth. You may have another idea for the presentation I have not considered. If you think yours is a great idea - create your own Squidoo lens or blog post and I'll link to it.

What is not good leadership is easy - we have examples everywhere around us. Defining visionary leadership is harder; there are many components that need to be operating in congruence.
Starting at the foundations of leadership and progressing through those components is probably more than a one page lens can handle.

Take a look at Visionary Leaders - inspiring and leading change and give me your opinion. I promise you will discover the foundation of true visionary leadership before you are done.


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Monday, April 14, 2008

don't think - don't become

"We become what we think about" - Earl Nightingale

How could we become anything else?

You will find this reflected in powerful texts, wonderful works of art, and in the lives of the successful.

In fact in the Bible's Proverbs 23: 6-8 we get a warning of what happens if we let others (news, politicians, professors, and TV?) do our thinking for us.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

As he thinketh in his heart, so is he ...

We need to be proactive - searching out the best and seeking to understand. Think, don't just follow.

We don't have time to dwell on the negative - that will make us increasingly negative also.

Goals alone are not enough. We must constantly redirect our own thoughts toward apprehending our full potential.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Leadership or Gamesmanship

There are two types of leaders.

The first is most common and includes almost all politicians.

These are the folks that want and use power over others. Their methods may vary, but are always self-serving and uncaring of those they wish to rule. Their primary characteristic is that they are always seeking to present an image of action, rather than actually create solutions. You end up with two main categories.

The first is those who try to anticipate what current ruling powers want and provide it before asked -- or those who try to see which direction the crowd is headed, then run to get in front of the crowd. Their drive is to do whatever is necessary to advance.

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?" - Thomas Jefferson

There is a second style, more benign, but equally focused on control. These are the gamesmen. They learn the rules of the game, then maximize their efforts at winning. You find them in bureaucratic (regulated) businesses more than politics, as they advance they adapt quickly to more difficult levels of rules. Most discover, and some use, "game cheats" to get closer to victory.

There is a third, minuscule, minority. These are those that see a need and realize they can galvanize others to assist them in meeting that need. This is what politicians claim to do as they run to get in front of the crowd so they can personally profit.

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster - 1782-1852

The quality of tools used to achieve a goal are important.

The goal itself is also important. There are several hot issues currently debated where leaders on both sides know the truth, but one side is willing to back lies and slander so they can profit over the short term.
The crowd may be wrong, but leading the crowd is highly profitable. In the long term almost everyone will finally realize they have been bilked.

A true leader is someone that creates an opportunity for many to assist in positively changing the future; and then empowers their efforts. True leaders realize it is better to fight a difficult battle that will eventually see victory than lead a powerful movement that is doomed to fail.

You can be a true leader.


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Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Essence Of The Netcohort

Let's start with trends.

When I was in college many of those looking for a job believed the best situation would be IBM. Good pay, lifelong employment, lots of status, and a good retirement - the downside was forced moves and a company that owned your life. That idea is now gone, IBM will layoff employees, and they are just one big company of many.

Today many college graduates seek to work for the government; forget good pay and status, but there are still good benefit packages, life long employment, and a guaranteed retirement. The downside of being owned for life now has the added cost of a brain numbing work environment. See the previous journal post to understand where I think that will be headed.

Technology has changed the equation by empowering individuals. Bureaucracies are shrinking, imploding, or at least becoming less profitable as individuals seek to have their specific needs met, bypassing marketed packaging for assumed uniform masses. As a result, no job has security, no well run business will keep you a single day beyond profitability. Everyone that has a job rather than a personal business should be looking for a new job all the time.

Enter the Netcohort.

Lets say you make a widget or two to enhance existing software. You meet someone else in the same space doing similar things and collaborate on some widgets where your skills and knowledge complement each other. While chatting you brainstorm a new idea, but it will take skills and knowledge neither of you yet has to make it a reality. You pull in some friends, make contact with some people referred by other friends - you now have a team. You may add a few freelancers for specific and limited tasks.

This team will probably just last for one project. At the end of the project you will not just have a better widget, you will have a group of potential future partners where you know their capabilities -- and their strengths and weaknesses. Just as they will know yours. A netcohort team's referral structure is centered in reputation.

That is your local Netcohort circle. In the future you will pull folks from this netcohort circle, and seek referrals from their circles as you work on new projects. As an individual you will be at the center of your circle; forming or joining new teams as opportunities arise.

You are the basis of a new middle and upper class - one that will replace the unskilled union laborer and industrial business executives. The old middle class will vanish, just as they replaced the middle class of skilled guild workers. Of course we still have agriculture long after the agriculture age is past, so we will have industry long after the industrial age fails.

In reality, The Netcohort Society is already here, those widget makers are already collaborating.

Will you join them?


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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Since We Won't Change, what will follow dystopia?

I seldom stray to the political in this journal, but perhaps it is appropriate today.

The following is from the in-depth intro to BFU philosophy (as opposed to the simple intro to Bastiat free University). Neither the intro nor the text is overtly political - but it presents a powerful parallel to where the western world is headed.



- In finance there is a rule of thumb for large investors. If they own a great deal of stock in a company and notice the company has not, and will not, repair a flawed business plan; they sell their stock to protect themselves. They will then sell short more stock to profit from the collapse they think is coming. Their sales may alert others to look for problems and the stock may start it's decline.

I believe as the netcohort society takes hold our traditional, inefficient, expensive, snobbish, government supported and regulated universities must change. They have a flawed business plan for an information society. That finance rule of thumb? If something is going to fall, it should to be pushed.

Innovation by the entrepreneur, argued Schumpeter, led to gales of "creative destruction" as innovations caused old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question, as Schumpeter saw it, was not "how capitalism administers existing structures,... [but] how it creates and destroys them." This creative destruction, he believed, caused continuous progress and improved standards of living for everyone.

Bastiat Free University is creating an alternative learning system; cost appropriate distance learning customized by and for the individual. As Oscar Wilde said “an idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”



So what brings this to mind from a political perspective?

America, two hundred years ago a bastion of freedom, is becoming progressively more tyrannical. Anyone who cares to look will see freedom vanishing. In like manner the free markets that gave America its wealth and influence have been decaying for over a century. We are devouring our inheritance.

Since the federal reserve (owned by private banks) was created in 1910 and ratified in 1913 the currency of America has lost most of its value. (a dollar in 1913 is worth less than a nickel now - even as measured by self-serving government statistics).

Much as the Patriot Act stripped Americans of privacy and dignity; so the new financial bailout is set to strip Americans (those not important enough to connect with government) of their savings and their hope for a better future.

The same
non-government federal reserve (fed) that destroyed the dollar is to be put in charge of controlling all markets, the same markets that have been interfered with covertly for decades. You can not find out who owns the "fed" except by inference - which banks got to bail out LTCM or buy Bear Stearns with government guarantees of assured profit? Those are the likely backers of a new program where the fed will bail out everyone - again to guaranteed profit and increased power of a select few.

The American Revolution started by Franklin, Washington, Madison, Adams,
et al is over -- we lost.

There
is good news. We are in the end game.

Last century a dollar taken from taxpayers and spent by government would bring close to a dollars GDP growth - less than in the taxpayer's hands - but its benefits controlled by government.

Now they are spending the lifestyles of our children by borrowing trillions of dollars just to gain a little until after the elections.

Soon they will begin slipping down hill, no matter how much of your depreciating money they throw around. It is going to be verrry messy.

That is the reason for this journal entry - the poverty that is soon to impact the world will effect all - except those that are already living at a subsistence level or below.

This then is a warning.

Do what you can to prepare
. If I am wrong, preparation will cost little, if I am right it may save your life and the lives of those you love.


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