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Ear to the Ground

The Terminator Turns to the Textbooks

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Posted on Jun 9, 2009
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Flickr / d_vdm

Schwarzy, back in the good old days, reading in a classroom.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to do away with textbooks in favor of online ones, because kids today “get their information from the Internet, downloaded onto their iPods, and in Twitter feeds to their cell phones.” The question remains what effect will this have on students who may not have access to all that technology, and what the switch may wind up saving—or costing—the state.

The Guardian:

In the first Terminator movie he tried to extinguish all human life. Now, as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make textbooks history in favour of digital formats.

Schwarzenegger, trying to plug a budget hole of $24.3bn (£15bn), thinks he can make savings by getting rid of what he decries as expensive textbooks. The governor is serious about an idea that might make Gutenberg turn in his grave. He appeared in class yesterday to push an idea he set out in the San Jose Mercury News newspaper.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, June 10, 2009 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

I fully agree with godistwaddle… the present-day “education” system is little else than a combo babysitting service/indoctrination program designed to produce cookie-cutter consumers.

But… technology moves on. Other than a little bullying, gossiping, “social interaction,” and perhaps sports, there’s little reason to actually transport all those chubby little bodies in great big expensive orange buses back and forth across the land every damned day. So give ‘em their laptops and internet and “teach” ‘em at home. Works for me!

The parents, of course, would never stand for it… the vast majority of them have as their first priority… GET THE KID(S) OUT OF MY HAIR FROM 8 TO 4 AT LEAST. It’s beyond me why so many decide to even have kids… and it’s for sure this planet doesn’t need them! It costs a fortune to raise them and for most families it’s non-stop WARFARE from age 10 to 20. Who needs it?

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knobcreekfarmer's avatar

By knobcreekfarmer, June 10, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

lets see, which is better…

Coal is burned to power the computers, servers, data lines and iPods 24/7 and will have to be maintained in order to gain “knowledge.” THen there are all the rare minerals/materials being used up to make all these things that end up in the land fill in three years -vs- cutting down hardwood trees (bleached white paper only comes from slow growing hardwoods), making paper (also pretty bad on the environment) and printing ink on them (which uses electricity too but only once).

Seems like the paper version might have a slightly lower carbon footprint and you can read your book by candle light when the power’s gone.

Sounds like someone has been offered a pile of tech stocks under the table…

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, June 10, 2009 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

As a retired teacher of English (30 years), I can say with conviction: it is the duty of public education in the U.S. to create mindless drones for capitalism.  Lack of books will do this well.

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By samosamo, June 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Prices, maybe, but books in general are a last part of information that will last longer than any ‘electronic’ information which, by the way, can be changed or altered by the time a person tries to access that information, IF it hasn’t ‘disappeared’ totally the next time that information is accessed.

Really, just a bit of common sense about this, when power is cut and batteries are drained, what happens to your information?

So arnold is playing right into the ‘ministry of truth’s’ hands.

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, June 9, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

The problem is the textbook prices, not the textbooks. Doesn’t the Bush family, and others, make a lot of money from textbooks?

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By Xntrk, June 9, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps the Guv should consider doing some writing for the Onion. This story sounds like the same guy wrote it as the clip about Obama’s reaction to a trip to Denny’s.

Long live our great politicians. They are as talented as the guys on the Comedy Network

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