About 7 minutes from my house on my bike is a repair shop with an old man in it. He should be retired, and could probably sell his shop for enough to retire on. But he and his wife, both in their 70’s, show up every day. They go slowly, but this guy can fix anything. You rarely find people like this. I like to hang around and talk to him while he fixes my bike. He doesn’t mind. He’s fast, and really good with his hands. A beautiful thing to watch. He loves his work, is my guess.
My bike is a little unusual. It is called a “recumbent”, because you kind of lay back on it. He had the tire off and replaced in a little over an hour, even though there are two gear switching systems; a 3-speed hub, and an 8-speed derailler, to make 24 gears in all.
Over at Freakonomics an interview with Rose George, author of The Big Necessity, about treating human waste, shows that for every dollar spent on sewage treatment, seven dollars in health care costs are saved. Truly, the best health care invention of the last 200 years is toilets.
Today, much of the value derived from the learning marketplace is based on an artificially imposed scarcity – a scarcity of seats in classrooms, a scarcity of credentialing agencies, and a scarcity of educational publications, for example. These scarcities will disappear as governments prefer to fund education directly, and at cost, rather than support such business models.
Government directly supporting learning and bypassing the “business models” of educational institutions. This will cause an incredible upheaval. I guess the best way to weather this change as a learning facilitator, or provider of “knol”s would be to sharpen delivery methods and make sure my content is valid, relevant, and reliable. This will be all about building a reputation and a community of followers, whom we used to call students. Hoo-boy, do most of us have our work cut out for us.