Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh noes, I'm obsolete!

Apparently Peter Theil & Moore's law are going to kill the species professorus tenuris!

At least according to James Miller of Smith.

Theil famously paid 20 kids $100,000 to not go to college. Not sure how big of a dent that will put in demand, even if he spend $100,000,000 every year to keep 1,000 kids out of our clutches, but Miller is worried.

On the supply side, Moore's law means that "20 years from now computers will likely be around a million times more powerful than they are today".

Apparently online education is "Halo" and I am "Pong".

Interestingly, Miller's article doesn't even mention what I think are the biggest real threats to my species; the proliferation of adjunt/non-tenure track/low paying positions and the explosion of high paying administrative positions.

KPC pal and uber-blogger Mark Perry is excellent on these points.


Tom said...

Tenure is not obsolete; it was not a good idea ever. But don't fret Angus; I have proof that people value your expository skills. Yes, people with lives of their own take time to read KPC. Maybe you and M should get ads for the site.

Michael said...

It's worse than you think Angus, Halo has been around for a decade now.

Angus said...

LOL, I got Halo from the article, but you are right that I have no idea how old it is!

My favorite video game is "Galaga". On the big stand-alone machines.

Jay said...

Wow... a Thiel reference that doesn't mention he also invented Paypal (in part with the goal of challenging banks' hegemony over currency in mind)... wild.

I haven't looked at any numbers, but I buy the idea that administration costs are a bigger problem than tenure. So someone should probably create some technology to push paper as quickly and efficiently as administrators do, for a tiny fraction of the cost.

Having said that, digital education can either be incorporated into our education systems (like books were brought into schools at one point - much to the chagrin of the status quo) or people can say "screw universities, i'm going to learn on my own and from other people."

Because, frankly, our Schools are losing the battle against Entertainment, and part of the reason for that is a failure to recognize that digital technology is as important for schools of the future as books were to schools of the past.

I mean, why should I pay to hear the average professor lecture, when I can go online and hear the best professors lecture with really cool animations to go with it?