In writing (and rewriting, and rewriting) my book on Moore’s Law, I’m fascinated by industries that fight it with some success.
One way is by using the productivity of Moore’s Law to fuel a sort of arms race. That’s how the law does it. Lawyers are more productive, but they’re using the tools of infinite information to overwhelm the legal system.
Another way to do it is through credentialism, patent rights, and insurance bureaucracy. That’s how health care does it. That’s why the cost gap between the world that fights these evils, and the U.S., keeps increasing.
Bureaucracy is also successfully fighting Moore in college education. The number of non-teaching professionals working in colleges has risen five-fold since I was at Rice a half-century ago. The cost of going there has risen more than 20-fold. I don’t think their history majors are 20 times smarter.
Harvard estimates that for every employee it has working on academics, it now has 1.45 administrators.
Bureaucracy is the enemy of productivity
For teaching colleges, coursework should be standardized, and secondary activities (like sports) separated out. Only pay for intramurals. For everything else, here’s a foundation.
Research universities deliver innovation, not just graduates. But researchers are still building empires, and departments still refuse to cooperate for the common good.
These are problems that can be fixed, but it’s not a question of what’s taught or who’s running the show.
The problem is all anyone wants to talk about are power and curriculum. Until we realize that it’s people who cost money, and that productivity can be measured, Moore’s Law will keep leaving education behind.