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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.

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Rediscover the pleasures found in self directed learning.

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


Thursday, May 29, 2008

an anti-bureaucratic manifesto

Sixteen realities of this new era.

This started as a module in my Bureaucrat Tipping lens, but seems too cumbersome to remain there. I'm loath to throw it out without putting it somewhere we can find it, so it will sit in the archives of the BFU Weekly Journal.


Unless of course it gets enough comments to justify working on it some more.

A week later I've decided to build a Squidoo lens around this idea; go ahead and visit Netcohort Manifesto.

an anti-bureaucratic manifesto
  1. Humanity is composed of individuals.
  2. Every functioning individual is better equipped to determine what is best for themselves than any other person.
  3. The "one size fits many" bureaucratic age is over - it ain't coming back.
  4. the world is still full of bureaucratic age misfits believing it is their calling to run the lives of others. Their world is shrinking, and in some cases imploding.
  5. The technologically empowering age of the individual has begun; individuals are starting to self-tailor their own lives.
  6. The social axiom with the greatest potential -- Do as you wish; without harming others and their rights to do as they wish.
  7. If you so tailor your life so as to optimize opportunities for yourself and those you love, everyone benefits.
  8. A life well lived is a disruptive technology.
  9. Any exchange of loyalties is an ongoing negotiation. Individuals can choose where and why to direct their loyalty, and when to remove it.
  10. Loyalty is now born of respect, not of position. If you are posturing for position, any loyalty perceived as gained is ephemeral.
  11. Respect, or lack thereof, is reciprocal. Now is the time to change the equilibrium point with those important to you.
  12. Institutions that seek quality relationships with their constituents are destined to find like measure to what they uniquely offer.
  13. Too big -- a balloon waiting for a pin.
  14. Too small -- the first step to success. Creative "too small" organizations and individuals are a pin box.
  15. In fast paced technology environments what you know is far more important than where you learned it.
  16. Your capabilities and character are becoming far more important than organizational position or certificates.
This was a good start, do you have an idea to add to the list?

Perhaps some speculative fiction showing human rights hacktivism will better portray these ideas?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Seeking A Cure For The Common Education

A frontal assault on wealthy and entrenched educational bureaucrats is not the answer.

As a side note there is encouraging news, some of those education industry bureaucrats have noticed us and started to snipe. These may just be scouts or pickets taking a random shot, but we have made some wary and dangerous. Good.

No, a frontal assault is not yet within our power. As awareness increases of the dysfunctional education system our numbers are increasing - there is no need for covert action. What we need to do is flank institutional education's Maginot line fortifications. Approved formal institutions and their supporting ramparts are all intimidation, mono-directional, and with no sustainable depth.

Here are a few of the salients we have introduced while searching for routes around open conflict.

Teach yourself and learn more
. (Renaissance learning)

Develop peer to peer tools for accelerated learning - P2Pedu
. (Netcohort Institute)

And an acknowledgment of how little we really know
. (we be ignorant)

"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge." - Mark Twain

The days of common education, where boredom and authority are used to create wage slaves, are almost over. The days when being a wage slave had any value have already started to fade into memory. You are the vanguard of a new movement, and you are proceeding for your own good and the good of those you love.

Perhaps we need a William Shakespeare style, Henry V Agincourt speech:


Enter the KING

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Creating an Internet Presence

Squidoo has been putting together some interesting tools. I've been doing most of my writing over there. The Squidoo pages don't seem to suffer from aging as much as web posts, and they are easier to keep up-to-date.

Squidoo now has a voting widget that might just allow me to show off what I have there. If this works you will be able to look at a list of my Squidoo pages and vote individual pages up or down.



The pages with material most like what you have found here will be scattered throughout the list (seeking a cure for the common education, that kind of stuff). Read the titles and the brief summary and pick what you would like to review. Read it and then vote.

Your vote on any connected page should show in all locations that have "grabbed" my list.


I will soon be adding more pages to the list, called a plexo, and they should also be added to the list available here. If you haven't given squidoo a try, it's both easy and fun - especially once you get used to their module page construction tools. They keep trying creative ideas - that keeps it interesting. It also has a web 2.0 community type of feel.

Here is an invite to try Squidoo.

Squidoo is better than free - they have an ad share program that kicks back a small amount of money on each page.
If you make $15.00 there we both get another $5.00 (mine goes to Bastiat Free University). They use Paypal - if your country does not, you will need to find a work-around.

From the looks of it, well done mature lenses currently average a bit less than a dollar a month in ads alone. Some better individual lenses bringing around $10.00 a month; that amount seems to be rising. Many lensmasters have also found significant affiliate income using the site -- some saying Squidoo works well with Clickbank.

Squidoo also shares Google love well - links from there will help your other web sites and blogs. Link your "squidoo lenses," together and multiply the effects.

Click through to see the plexo

There are quite a few nicely presented learning and education lenses - read them and then vote.

Best,

Allan

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Renaissance Education

There has been a page about reviving Renaissance Education over at the main Bastiat Free University site for quite a while. It is an overview of what makes the BFU approach different from bureaucratic age education.

There is now a new Squidoo lens that details what is encompassed by the label of modern renaissance education. There are techniques, books, and ideas that can help you self-educate in the classics. This will be a fine guideline as you pursue wisdom and understanding.

There is also the start of a Top 100 classic Books List that you can add to.

Renaissance Education: understanding, wisdom, and a keen eye for logic can be developed by anyone willing to put in the effort required.

You will enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.


.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Visions and Views - The Bureaucratic Age

You've heard me talk about how the Industrial age is over, and the Netcohort Age has begun.

Sometimes I'm a bit slow.

I have spent a great deal of time explaining that industrial age bureaucracies were not just in industry, but in all of the too bigs: government, education, religions, unions, etc. I then spent time explaining a rational for economies of scale and how that lent itself to a one size fits most society.

I had not considered that some prefer to use the industrial age moniker as a way to misdirect attention from where it belongs. Those that want to blame capitalism for all the worlds ills for one, others that don't want you looking at unjust too big governments as arising from the same family business as industry. There are others.

It is similar to how governments have recently changed the debate on every one's right to privacy into a witch hunt of private companies that have weak privacy policies. That leaves government free to be as intrusive as they wish. As
recently as President Johnson privacy was an acknowledged universal right: "Every man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private." - Lyndon B. Johnson

Laws were passed to require "privacy," from business intrusions while all other bureaucracies assumed an open policy. Those same laws had many loopholes to allow big business to join into the mining of your private life. The result? All bureaucrats can use what was recently our discretionary property.

So we see that industry is blamed for any ills of the last few hundred years while governments and other bureaucrats claim to have created the benefits.


As you can guess from the title of this journal post, I think it is time to acknowledge the source of much of mankind's current woes - bureaucracies. We are leaving The Bureaucratic Age, nee industrial age.

Yes, there were great advances made under bureaucratic umbrellas - but most were due to individuals that heroically fought inertial resistance and persevered.

"People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We'll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name of protecting us." - Joseph Sobran

Mankind has always seemed to be on the cusp of disaster.

It is only in innovation, made possible by
individual visionaries, that we will be able to maintain the progression of civilization. It is time the Bureaucratic age ended. We need the self-tailored society being created by the Netcohort.

There ain't no rules around here!
We're trying to accomplish something
.

Thomas Edison

I will try to remember to call it the bureaucratic age in my future writings.

If something evil is about to fall -- it should be pushed!


.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Peer To Peer Education - The Netcohort Institute

It's time to turn the page.

The Netcohort Institute does not just require a better user interface than BFU - it requires a whole new approach to education. The time spent developing the current platform was not wasted, we successfully found many approaches that will not work.

Lets start from bare ground and put out a few ideas of what we think is needed.

A way for creative project teams to form, self-regulate, and manage reputation for future projects. To really have value we need a web 2.0 approach - let the students develop the courses they need - let all students vote their projects up or down.

What we need is

  • An open system like Wikipedia or Mozilla

  • A community / communications organization like an online poker room with a general lounge and breakout rooms

  • A reputation measurement similar to what e-bay had

  • A voting system like Digg employs

and a lot of stuff we haven't thought through yet. Maybe that is your job also.

You have the audacious dreams - you can make them come true.

What sort of resources can a P2P educational network offer? As a start look at this Squidoo lens on the Royalton Raid created by Evelyn Saenz as a course for unschoolers. While not college level, it sure is interesting, and provides a compelling picture. To adjust to a college level course you could take the frame work at the BFU lens under the heading Create Your Own College Course.

In fact Squidoo is a resource we may want to use for course creation. It is easy, enjoyable, and you can actually earn a little money with it.

Think of thousands of students creating courses, thousands of students voting on what is most valuable, you deciding on what is most valuable to you.

Then think of thousands of students joining on project teams and creating value for all of us.

The rest of the institute will not be so easy - it will take visionary volunteers that want to shape the future of education.

This is just the start, the reputation you build within your teams will qualify you for inclusion in serious start up projects - within a Netcort Institute incubator, or on your own.


Want a first assignment?

Make a lens, Put a BFU or Netcohort stub onto Wikipedia - or add to one already there. Put a comment here, or on Evelyn's lens.

This is too big and too important for just me, The Netcohort Institute needs all of us.


Allan

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