So while we were at Pix, following a lovely dinner at Bete Lukas, Matthew and I got into a little. . . discussion, as it were, about online education, which was precipitated by his wife telling us that her marketing professor had said, no doubt in the haughty tone of all morons who seek to reduce their betters, that in the future all PHDs would work in customer service, and all education would be online. The discussion didn’t really go anywhere, because Matthew wanted to talk about the ideal learning conditions for fantasy autodidacts, and I warned against the inevitable future in which teaching the children of poor parents would get you arrested. It was fun, but not very enlightening.
In the car on the way home, C (who is distinguished in this context by the fact that she cares more about how real people learn than she does about how hypothetical constructs do the same) said she had to not listen very closely to us, because the conversation made her sad. I had responded glibly to the quoted comment because it is, to me, patently idiotic. The problem is, in America we can do longer laugh off the patently idiotic, especially as it relates to education. As American’s increasingly find it more important to make sure others are worse off than to improve their own circumstances, educators and educational structures are so at risk that even the most moronic prediction may well prove prophetic.