Bankruptcy of traditional education threatens notion of the value of the study
Nov 14, 2014
The traditional education is an agonizing dinosaur roaring to beg for food. Let’s iake it out of it misery.
The way the world generates and accumulates knowledge follows a model of just under a millennium. The mold of research is still based on an embryo that emerged from the darkness of the medieval Catholic Church. Empiricism and theory have condensed over the centuries to form the professionals who have flowed into today's market. Among the many things that the digital revolution has turned upside down is this model.
The logic applies to many areas, but in communication is where the cyclone is felt most devastatingly. The time it takes for research to be done, written, and published essentially invalidates it in practical terms. In practice, trends and rules of conduct age within weeks with the adoption of a new algorithm, a more streamlined script, the installation of a new module, or the switch to a new language, or all of these together. The relentlessness of digital will demand another research or the research itself will be left behind.
The university as a research center does not fulfill its function in communication that has been counting for a long time. Market and academia separate like oil and water and many of the errors and successes (not to say all) of digital evolution would never have seen the light if they depended on the agility with which knowledge is formulated within research centers. Technology companies, engineering firms, start-ups, and collaborative "collectives" (to use a term adopted by the neo-fascist militia Fora do Eixo) have contributed more - much more - to communication than the 'vintage' environment of universities, as obsessed with the pillars of mass communication as they are eager to hide behind a Mesozoic ideal with no relation to contemporary reality.
Basically, as always happens when technology decides to leap (as with Darwinian argumentation or with nuclear manipulation), humanity jumps headfirst into the darkness having only clues as guides for its actions, conduct that often leads to tragedies. Especially in a world like today, where the simplest recipe for gaining media exposure is in the use of sensationalist catchphrases (almost always loaded with atrocious stupidity), it is increasingly common to hear opinions, more or less famous, who attest to the definitive death of the university and the diploma.
The university as an institution is increasingly less linked to the avant-garde and openness to new ideas and increasingly connected to a bureaucratic image, to corporatist groups full of mediocre researchers who traffic influence and favors without any consideration for the nature of the initial study proposal. If it is true that (particularly in Brazil) a diploma has an inherent value close to or equal to zero, demagogic verbosity against study is, obviously, an irrational aberration. Countries that do not teach at least the official language and mathematics to their students are doomed to end up in an ocean of inequality and delay proportional to the intensity of their lack of action.
Education is still the only chance that humanity has to leave the barbarism and bestiality that today seem as ingrained as they seemed in the worst moments of the Middle Ages. But the university is doing nothing to help affirm the relevance of education or research. Communication is most likely the field in which research would need to be more synchronized with the market to shorten experimental cycles and enable the dissemination of effective ideas.
What happens is exactly the opposite, with vast amounts of resources being wasted on patchwork quilts sewn with phrases from renowned theorists. And so, every year, the market receives another batch of 40,000 newly graduated journalists (only in Brazil), of which only a fraction would pass a rigorous grammar test. Research evaluation methods are often biased and research lines of interest rarely meet the interests of society and almost always, meet those of the advisors.
In the darkness of the university galleys, the few students who want something beyond the title are sacrificed until they give up the audacity to question. Only a few of the world's richest companies get their hands dirty to take from an incompetent and irresponsible State the obligation to invest in research and education and, when they do, they usually do so with profit as the primary objective. Society would do well to start rethinking the role of the State as the holder of this obligation. It's obviously not working.