Monday, December 14, 2009

Imagine no universities

I know a university is a good thing. You meet your mentor, friends, and colleagues. It nurtures human knowledge, and updates and creates concepts for future generations.

On the other hand, a university is an institution. It harbors its members, while rejecting others. I know people whose lives have been crushed because they could not enter the universities they wished. There are the pompous and self-important types who just pride themselves on being or having been a member of a particular university. Since any institution has its elements of malice, and since we are living in the internet era, let's do what we can to promote the goodies and discourage the vices.

Imagine no universities. On the internet, you can access to endless sources of academic information. Do we really still need institutions whose members are limited, due to physical constraints, which have no significance in the internet era? Why don't we tell the kids that they can explore the universe of knowledge without necessarily belonging to a particular institution? Why don't we encourage the crushed people that they don't have to feel inferior because of some stupid entrance exams taken at the age of 18?

Why don't we say loud that knowledge is open, for everyone, for someone from the street, as well as for those in the "ivory tower"?

Imagine no universities.

You just need to know how.

The tools are here and now.


Anonymous said...

I fully concur.
>The tools are here and now.
Along these lines, I believe language capability (English in particular) is going to be one of our most important "tools" in accessing via cyberspace all the important, appropriate and updated knowledge and information in a timely manner. Conversely, any limitations on our part in doing so will help the Universities in Japan to remain as they are (if not degenerate) despite their loss of raisons d'etres from a global and universal perspective.

yuzu said...

I'm sure your wonderful professor

cosfeet said...

I think so.For 18' people who have not determine their own lives yet,passed through a sifter made by the prejudice has no sence.
The time when I have to choice my way is similar to being my left alone on the boat in vast night sea. In the darkness roaring,whistling and rumbling,if we don't have any ideas and skills,we can't live.Once upon a time the sailig had made us trained,drilled and built up to the explorers.
Exprolers are not only astrologers but also specialists in many fields which had been equal respected.
Now,a trip is simple.
I think that we should know the sailing and sailors better.
Good night.

(ma)gog said...

It is true that with internet we are free to access to any academic sources whenever we wish. Not only getting knowledge but also we can discuss or exchange our opinions through the network. Indeed, without universities, we can learn anything at anytime. It is wonderful for people like myself who don't have enough time to commute everyday, or for people who are not able to attend lectures because of their health conditions.

Nevertheless, I think eventually people will try to flock together because that's our part of nature and certainly there are cases where the problems can not be solved by just communicating through internet. So, even if there weren't any universities, there would always emerge some institutions which take over the position of current universities.

The problem is, the existence of the stupid social bias which makes you feel as if you were inferior just because you couldn't pass the entrance exam to a university. I find this tendency is much stronger in Japan than in Germany where I live. In Germany, people ask you what you have studied, not which university you have visited. On the other hand in Japan, the amazing thing is, certain people are categorized to a group where they regard themselves as superior beings because they are working for such and such companies!

We should teach our children to be strong enough to ignore these stupidities, and to be wise enough to judge their own values with confidence.

Anonymous said...

i am not sure whether my imagination is relevant for here or not, but i just like what is being saying in "Daigaku - The Great Learning"

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy.

Within this program, the step concerning the cultivation of the person (shu-shin) is a transitional link between what is more internal or personal and what is more external or social.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree that we should encourage everyone to seek knowledge and persevere in the face of setbacks and challenge. But what you said does not seem to be caused by the existence of has to do with culture and people's preconceived ideas. I do not think the internet will solve these problems by replacing physical universities. Each person has to come to the realization of what makes a person valuable, then voice and act on their beliefs. Thanks for the entry, it is an interesting idea.

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Anonymous said...


"Each person has to come to the realization of what makes a person valuable, then voice and act on their beliefs."

great. I heartedly concur.

and yes, actually I often have a preconceived image of what I hope to see.

Sinister-Star said...

Your idea encouraged me to change my way in the future.I had studied for entrance exams to enter a medical college for 2 years befere I became a pharmaceutical student. And, after I entered a pharmaceutical college in Kyoto,I sometimes thought "Is this the best way for me?" and "Should I become a M.D?".

However,I changed my mind by reading your book.I found that I didn't have to belong to a particular organization,the team "DOCTORS". I can contribute to the world in my own way.

I'd like to become a researcher studying about the handedness,brain and society.

I'm greatly interested in handedness because I felt left-handedness is a disadvantage in the CENTER exam(Perhaps i should call it "RIGHT" exam). I'd like to find out what the handedness is.