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04/10/2005 Archived Entry: ""

Gordon P. comments on a story that caught Brad's interest a few days ago. In an earlier blog entry, Brad wrote of "four high-school students from Arizona -- undocumented Mexican immigrants -- who entered the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center's Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition. And won. At the college level. Against a team from MIT, among others." Gordon adds his own post-mortem analysis...

Gordon writes, Fascinating analyis by an MIT Grad of precisely why the MIT Team lost the ROV competition to a bunch of "illegal immigrants" from a AZ High School ESL class. Turns out, MIT lost for two reasons that the MIT Administration has known about for over 30 years, due to persistent complaints to them by their alumni and those who hire them: 1.) Poor communication and presentation skills; and, 2.) Zero contact with the skills and economic expectations required to either succeed in or take advantage of opportunities in a market economy based on division of labor.

The MIT Students were unable to effectively present their entry to the judges, and tended to "roll their own" and build things "in shop" even when cheaper and better "off the shelf" alternatives existed. As noted earlier, the MIT Administration has long been aware of these problems; however, the "MIT Curriculum" and the "MIT way of doing things" seem to have become so "institutionally entrenched" that adaptation of either one to the demands of a changing marketplace have become intractable to the point of virtual impossibility. Basically, MIT has become a lumbering dinosaur, unable to cope with the mammals nibbling away at the futures of its offspring, and in all probability likewise doomed to failure in any "practical" sense. And in some ways, this same metaphor applies to institutions and businesses all across the U.S. --- and to the FedGov in spades!

IMO, it's a good thing that these "illegal" immigrants are bringing fresh vigor, inspiration, and innovation into a stagnating U.S. --- in spite of every quixotic attempt by the fat and complacent majority and the xenophobicly paranoid minority to "shut down the borders" and keep them out...

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