Look, most of us have met a celebrity, burbled something insanely stupid, and lived to regret it.
When I was a teenager, I met Mats Wilander and had the bright idea of giving him my autograph, instead of the other way around. That way he’d remember me. Cringe. Another time, in college, I met Umberto Eco and blurbled away to him about smoking for several minutes until the postgrads he was there to speak to managed to get a word in. Why, only last month, I was introduced to Alastair Darling and asked him if he’d ever been to DC.
Maybe that’s what happened to the girl from Reason.tv. In this video clip (spotted on BoingBoing a couple of days ago) Matt Damon responds to her assertion that he works hard because acting is insecure, therefore teachers would be better if their ‘incentives’ were similar. Coz it’s in their interest to, see?
Asking a man who financially never needs to work again to agree that the fear of not having a job is what motivates him/teachers is head-scratchingly silly.
By the by, in the BoingBoing comments, Cory Doctorow also makes a beautiful case for education as a public good:
“Education is a public good. It is best supplied and paid for by the group as a whole, because no individual or small collective can produce the overall social benefit that the nation can provision collectively.
Education doesn’t respond well to market forces because many of the social goods that arise from education—socialization, a grounding in civics, historical context, rational and systematic reasoning—are not goods or services demanded by a market, but rather they are the underlying substrate that allows people to intelligently conduct transactions in a marketplace as well as establishing and maintaining good governance.
There is a long and wide body of evidence that people with wide, solid educational foundations that transcend mere vocational skills produce societies that are more prosperous, more transparent, healthier, more democratic—that attain, in short, all the things we hope markets will attain for us.
… But functional democracies require that all people—not just those who are already wealthy—are given the foundational knowledge that allows them to prosper and participate in the full range of social activities that make nations great.”
Words to ponder.