[iDC] Hackademia as New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

Blake Stimson blakestimson at gmail.com
Tue Jul 26 22:35:15 UTC 2011

Dear colleagues,

I have been following this exchange only sporadically so please accept my apologies if I am repeating something that has already been said.

In addition to the generative potential of concepts like DIY higher ed, digital humanities, and hacking academia, it is also important to address the ways in which it is being  aggressively pursued by various business interests. These range from the seemingly mixed, such as Bill Gates's sponsorship and repeated strong personal endorsements of Salman Khan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM95HHI4gLk) to Peter Theil's paid dropouts (http://www.fastcompany.com/1755089/legendary-investor-peter-thiel-names-dream-team-of-whiz-kids) to Jonathan Lebed's truly scary effort to bring crisis-capitalist profiteering to higher ed as a way to pilage college savings accounts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE). Accelerating the privatization of higher ed through a DIY model is not yet an official part of the Republican platform as far as I know, but it is certainly on their radar and it seems reasonable to expect that it will get significantly more play soon, perhaps in the coming election (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/18/pawlenty-daily-show_n_617766.html). 

Blake Stimson

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