Margaret Morse on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 23:51:08 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> How a Library Saved My Life.

Dear Goran,
please excuse me for miscontruing your statement about change and  
thank you for clarifying it here.   I get hooked on posts from people  
who seem to me to be at the end of their rope.  I am glad you are far  
from giving up.

Far be it from me to compare degrees and kinds of suffering in various  
parts of the world; each kind requires a different solution.  I was  
thinking my own story was one less of poverty than of social and  
cultural starvation--but that I had learned what a meaningful life  
might be through reading. I doubt whether the US is still the richest  
country in the world and its wealth has always been maldistributed  
anyway and is getting even more concentrated in the highest percentile  
than ever.  We are a democracy (with caveats) that suffers under  
various kinds of economic exclusion and political repression.

I never thought you were speaking for yourself only re student loans.   
I think student loans in the US are widely regarded as a scandal and  
there have been some thoughtful political discussions on how to reform  
them.  Some ideas move away from the student loan per se in  
interesting ways. I was too lazy or incapable at that point to do the  
research on what, if anything has subsequently been achieved in this  
regard.  I have always thought many of my students were working way  
too hard to support themselves to really get the most out of their  
educations--and probably had onerous loans to pay back for the rest of  
their youth to boot.  I am completely on your page regarding this  
social problem.

You feel enslaved by the false promise of education in the US.   
Judging from the news reports, one source of the strength of the  
current chain of revolutions in the Middle East has to do with highly  
educated but unemployed youth cut off from a viable economic and  
social future by despotic and corrupt leadership.  In that context,  
being "overeducated" becomes a good thing since it not only creates  
contradicttions and discontent to the point of rage, but is a source  
of skills (such as social organizing and Twittering) and expectations  
that were used against oppressive and potentially genocidal  
governments.  I am thrilled at the bravery of these revolutions that  
also underline the ultimate value of an education.

Now, to repeat your question, what is being or can be done in regard  
to an unsustainable system of student loans?

Take care,
Margaret Morse

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