Saturday, September 21, 2013

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 09/21/13

Here comes a late Saturday night sarcastic blast.  I saw some fun headlines that I just can't ignore.

BlackBerry's new phone is a sales dud and the company's overall numbers are horrible.  Last decade's must-have device at places like my previous employers is now unwanted.  Forget the "Market Ticker" rave reviews of the Z10.  Most smartphone users aren't hard core tech heads.  They don't need an engineer's dream product because they really only care about texting LOLcat pics to friends.

Harvard plans to raise a record amount for its endowment.  These things are planned years in advance but I can't help wonder about ulterior financial motives.  The student loan bubble is bound to burst and upper-income parents will eventually tire of paying full tuition so low-income students can receive merit-based subsidies.  Yes, folks, snobbery really does rule at these types of schools.  The Ivys and other elite schools need to move fast to digitize their best courses and brand them for online distribution because the MOOC revolution is going to destroy most colleges' business models.  The top-rung schools can survive if they focus on STEM laboratory work that can't be executed online.

The local tech community lends a hand to civic life through the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation.  It's cool that techies want to reinvigorate education but redesigning K-12 curriculum needs to accommodate the MOOC revolution.  See my rant about Harvard just above.  Otherwise, we'll end up with a bunch of unionized teachers sitting around on their larded posteriors while their motivated students zip ahead through self-paced online courseware.  Students can learn most of what they need online at home and commute to a magnet school once or twice a week to do STEM lab work.