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I should say, however, that I think the deep thinkers in the philosophy department at San Jose State are probably correct in their last fear:  the burgeoning of free, online education will likely lead to the dismantling of many aspects of the current educational dispensation, private as well as public.

The open letter to Prof. Sandel was full of sanctimonious professions of allegiance to high educational goals, the importance of student-teacher interaction, etc.  But the mask slipped briefly in this passage: “Professors who care about public education should not produce products that will replace professors, dismantle departments and provide a diminished education for student in public universities.”

“Products that will replace professors.”  We can’t have that, surely!

The letter to Prof. Sandel is almost quaint in its fecklessness. There is more than a faint aroma of desperation about it. But it’s too late lads.  Like Belshazzar at that famous feast, you must see that the writing is on the wall. Whining open letter or no whining open letter, the news is Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin: in plain English, the higher education bubble is about to burst. Get used to it.