Fata morgana II, or don't you just hate it when you come up with an idea and a title and then discover you need an introduction which keeps swelling so eventually you're stuck publishing it as a stand-alone and now you're stuck because it used up your title? I do.
This obviously is a continuation to the earlier Fata morgana, or the mirage of a free and open market piece. Let's set the stage with a little bit of Paul Graham, from back when his brain still workedi (How to Be Sillicon Valley) :
The exciting thing is, all you need are the people. If you could attract a critical mass of nerds and investors to live somewhere, you could reproduce Silicon Valley. And both groups are highly mobile. They'll go where life is good. So what makes a place good to them?
What nerds like is other nerds. Smart people will go wherever other smart people are. And in particular, to great universities. In theory there could be other ways to attract them, but so far universities seem to be indispensable. Within the US, there are no technology hubs without first-rate universities-- or at least, first-rate computer science departments.
So if you want to make a silicon valley, you not only need a university, but one of the top handful in the world. It has to be good enough to act as a magnet, drawing the best people from thousands of miles away. And that means it has to stand up to existing magnets like MIT and Stanford.
This sounds hard. Actually it might be easy. My professor friends, when they're deciding where they'd like to work, consider one thing above all: the quality of the other faculty. What attracts professors is good colleagues. So if you managed to recruit, en masse, a significant number of the best young researchers, you could create a first-rate university from nothing overnight. And you could do that for surprisingly little. If you paid 200 people hiring bonuses of $3 million apiece, you could put together a faculty that would bear comparison with any in the world. And from that point the chain reaction would be self-sustaining. So whatever it costs to establish a mediocre university, for an additional half billion or so you could have a great one.
Sounds hard, but it might be easy ? Definitely. Here's how you do it :
I. No sexual policy of any kind. So the students want to fuck the teachers, or the teachers want to fuck the students ? Great, let them. If they have fun together it's none of your business, and if they don't it's still none of your business. A group wants to do their seminars on precopernican astronomy or quantum entanglement or early Greek economy and finance in the nude ? More power to them, just make sure they don't get the hall with the plush seats.
As "insane" or "outlandish" this may seem to you, it is in fact both the historical norm and the only way university life can work at all. This is why the Sorbonne delivered and Oxford never did, in spite of spending a lot more money and a lot more effort on it. So some losers will whine about how this or that slut got better marks than she deserves because she's blowing the teacher ? Well guess what! They do that anyway. That's what they do, that's why they're losers in the first place : because instead of putting the effort into changing themselves, they put the effort into whining about outside factors supposedly "not within their control". If they want better grades through fellatio let them learn to fellate and compete in an open market. If they don't then why do they care in the first place ?
II. No speech policy of any kind. Better teachers can put up with their students telling them they're fucktarded during full attendance courses, in the sense that they can seize on the opportunity to instruct and educate so presented. Better students must, whether they can or they can't, put up with anything - absolutely anything - their teacher says. "You're a fat, disgusting cow" is perfectly acceptable academic discourse, and not only legitimate but necessary out of the mouth of the teacher confronted with a fat, disgusting cow. Or, to quote a meanwhile deleted article of Greenspun's :
My first week as an electrical engineering and computer science graduate student I asked a professor for help with a problem. He talked to me for a bit and then said "You're having trouble with this problem because you don't know anything and you're not working very hard."
III. No social policy, of any kind. So there are no black kids making it in the rolls any given year ? The only reasonable conclusion is that black kids were mentally retarded that year, probably because their disgusting, VD riddled crackhead mothers didn't try very hard. Try harder! Don't be a loser VD riddled crackhead mother of a retarded black child next year! Do something with your life!
IV. Free admission. That's right. It doesn't cost anything to study there. You just have to make it through the examinations. These work like normal job interviews (in the Megadittaii) :
Basically, all the teachers that will be stuck with the young head of cattle interview him, in person, to establish if they can or can't put up with his idiotic presence for four years running, and can or can't tolerate his offensive smell befouling their campus. Plain as day. If the kid has anything to say in his defense he'd better be snappy with it.
So how is this thing financed then, you wish to know ? Why, exactly like all other top universities in the world are financed, exactly the way Bitcoin taxation works : by voluntary contributions from alumni. The thing being that this particular model will so far outperform any competition that in just a few short decades anyone with any resources will definitely have come from here. So no, financing it would be the least of my worries.
And you will definitely not have any trouble attracting the best teaching talent out there, even if you don't pay salaries at all. Most university teachers whose brains still work aren't motivated by pay, they don't get to spend it anyway, as long as you provide nice accommodations, free fine dining and a well manicured lawn they'll be perfectly happy to work there. Because the #1 problem they face now is the daily fear that one of the fucktarded kids that shouldn't have made it into the collegeiii will harass them with "sexual harassment" pretenses, as if, and with assorted derpage about how what they said in class could be construed to be interpreted to mean that they may believe on some level that black kids are fucking retarded, smell bad and can't stop jacking off. As if!
Once freed from any possibility of that nonsense, nobody'll be able to say no to you. And by nobody I definitely mean nobody of any import or value, which is the beauty of this scheme : all the pseudo-academics throwing a hissy fit about it are a) landed fishes surviving on government life support anyway, and so entirely a self-limiting problem and b) entirely worthless intellectually anyway. Nothing to worry about, just do your thing uncompromisingly well, and in half a century nobody will even remember that there once existed a university-press complex somewhere north of Tenochtitlan.
- It's a fascinating thing that happens to the brains of people as they age. Zimmerman for instance started by publishing the PGP code on a piece of paper to break down the absurd notions of the US Gov't re munitions, and twenty years later he's making statements about how "he's not using PGP anymore", because "he's lost his key", and moreover creates braindamaged-by-design pseudoservices like centralised encrypted webmail (!) and pseudo-encrypted voice terminals (the "darkphone", which is anything but dark). Schneier started by writing an excellent textbook on cryptography, and meanwhile managed to completely squander any semblance of credit. The related phenomena of great bands making great music early on, then "selling out" and coming up with the most unaudible elevator muzak is not even beginning to do justice to the sort of intellectual and moral fall these people experience, it's straight out of Brave New World this thing. [↩]
- Text to go with that image :
NARRATORE: Tanti anni fa, Fantozzi fu assunto nella mega ditta con la qualifica di spugnetta per francobolli. Riuscì nell'impresa perché all'esame attitudinale, dietro soffiata di un capo usciere corrotto, rispose così a due strane domande del Presidente della commissione.
PROFESSOR GUIDOBALDO MARIA RICCARDELLI: Le piace il cinema espressionista tedesco?
FANTOZZI: Io... io... È il grande amore della mia vita. E voglio in questa sede ricordare i grandi maestri Murnau e Robert Wiene, di cui tutti noi non possiamo fare a meno dell'irrinuciabile capolavoro "Das Cabinet der Doktor Caligarisss".
RICCARDELLI: E chi è David Llewelyn Wark Griffith?
FANTOZZI: Non s... non sento.
FANTOZZI: Griffith! Griffith è il padre del cinema americano. Io lo adoro, è come se fosse mio padre, sa, dottore?
RICCARDELLI: Bene, giovanotto. Lei è dei nostri.
NARRATORE: Il potentissimo professor Guidobaldo Maria Riccardelli era un fanatico cultore del cinema d'arte. Una volta la settimana obbligava dipendenti e famiglie a terrificanti visioni dei classici del cinema. In vent'anni Fantozzi ha veduto e riveduto: "Dies irae", di Carlo Teodoro Dreyer, sei ore! "L'uomo di Aran", di Flaherty, nove tempi"! Ma soprattutto il più classico dei classici: "La corazzata Kotiomkin". Diciotto bobine, di cui il professor Riccardelli possedeva una rarissima copia personale.
- Using this term in its ancient, and therefore correct sense. Look it up. [↩]