Iqbal Quadir:

The UN should empower the people, not empower their governments. And if they cannot empower the people they can just shut it off. My point is that helping the wrong side is harmful. So if they cannot help the right side they should at least not help the wrong side.

Of course, the UN is nothing but a collection of governments, so it is intrinsically on the wrong side.

The Quadir quote comes from Seth Roberts, who draws the analogy with colleges and universities. Implicitly, Roberts is saying that aid to the institution (such as state support or alumni contributions) is harmful, because it goes to the wrong side, not to the student/consumer.

Via Ben Casnocha.

The closer we get to the date where our high school senior must choose a college, the more angry my wife becomes about the quality-cost ratio of the choices.

I carry around an entrepreneurial idea of an American equivalent of the “gap year,” which would be a year of education in between high school and college. This year would involve finding a part-time job, living in and cleaning an apartment, learning to cook one’s own meals (and pick out fresh ingredients to go into that cooking), learning personal finance, learning something about household wiring and plumbing, and taking courses in philosophy and mathematics. I have not found a single person who doubts that this would be better for young people than the typical college freshman experience.