Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why do you need to go to school?

If I ask you why you go to school. Most of you will say to gain knowledge. I doubt that it is your honest intention. What you really want is the status as the educated class that will gives you a lot of privilege in society. You will gain access to the labor market, gain a personal status in society, and many other things. Knowledge, maybe some, but who really cares?

Self achievement for education has driven their cost to rise more than the rate of inflation. It is not because the demand to increase the quality of education. It is mainly because education is scarce, and people are willing to pay more to gain those limited resource. If knowledge is free, the access is not limited such as by entrance system, but can be gain freely and easily in public library or internet, price will not rise highly, because education has become a public good.

The culprit is the attribution of personal status by education in society. It is a continuation from the aristocracy. At that time, people get self respect because of the noble title they possessed. Nobility which can only be gained by birth become a scarce resource. If commoners can become noble, it will not be respected as high. The same logic can be used for education status. Educated class is the nobility of today. To make it a scarce resource, certain limitation must be put on: education cost, tiresome and sometimes ridiculous certification, state regulation, bookprice, copyright system, etc.

Education as a tool to free people from ignorance has been hijacked by the powerful group to serve their own intention. It is intentionally made to be scarce, limited to school and university. Once it is scarce, it becomes a commodity that can be priced.

The next writing is on health system, which is also hijacked.
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Reward for Achievement

Success in life has been the goal of most human being on earth. There is nothing wrong within success itself, but in the definition of success. Success mostly is define with material possession, fame or power. Most of us take it for granted, without trying to critically think about it.

We praise successful person because of his/her self achievement, which are probably benefit only him/herself. Why don't we praise someone who really cares for the humanity? Why success is so self-centered? Why altruism is never considered as a state of success? Those answer are not easy to answer. The reason is our lack of ability to project the longterm and broad based outcome. It is much easier to see a short term and personal outcome, which are mostly materialistic. A longterm outcome is usually abstract and can elude our perception. It is easier to see, for example, a material success of a business man compared to see the prosperity of region. A rich man can be seen by a luxurious house, state-of-art automobile, beautiful wife (maybe). A prosperous region might look so-so at the first glance. Only when we stay long enough we can see that they have enough food to eat, good health care, etc. Sometimes even what looks like a prosperous region can hide its dark side, such as the shanty house hidden behind the skyscraper.

I suspect that there are some hidden "power" that misguide us from the true objective of humanity. It leads us to look for personal achievement and thrown away the socialistic view. This kind of strive for personal achievement cannot give most benefit to society, but it can benefits certain group of people, a.k.a the powerful class. It is THEY who mislead us. They mislead us by putting reward for self achievement, while neglecting the social welfare.

Why self-centered is fostered? Self-centered can drive the sense of competition for resource, while selflessness will do the otherwise, the sharing of resource. Competition for resource will make the resource scarce, and will increase its price. The higher the price, the better for the people that hold that resource. One of the example is the rise of education cost which I will explain in the next writing.
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