Having proselytized aggressively and lucratively for privatized online education (as it were), California supergenius and headset aficionado Sebastian Thrun is now engaged in a quietly massive rhetorical walking-back of those efforts. In one respect, good on him: It would be gratifying to see Wall Street execs do the same now that the Great Recession is limping off into the distance. On the other hand, the way bigger hand, Thrun’s maneuver is infuriatingly meek and selfish. As Rebecca Schuman, fan-object of this blog, points out on Slate, his position boils down to: My shitty product was shitty mainly because its potential consumers were shitty, not because it was a shambling, pointless, greedy waste of human capital. Seriously now, just look at the photo atop the Fast Company story. As many a person on many a bar stool would say, Fuckin’ guy . . . .
Still, if nothing else, the hyperlink wormhole which ensued after I read Schuman’s piece led me to Tech In Translation, which turns out to be the witty, sane work of Amanda Krauss, whom you might know from her former blog-incarnation as Worst Professor Ever, which she wrote after telling the Classics department at Vanderbilt, where she was on the tenure track, to go fuck itself.
Anyway, back to waiting to see how Dr. Thrun gets that horse back into the barn.