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How free education could save the world.


Don’t be too hard on the English; a few years back when US citizens were asked 'Should America bomb Agrabah?' 30% said YES, 13% said NO and 57% said they were NOT SURE 0% knew Agrabah was the fictional setting of Disney’s 'Aladdin'.

Well recently the majority in the UK who voted to leave the EU mistook a marketing message over fact checked information. And now they are feeling the impact of their decisions. And there's no do-over people.

The message this majority were sending was yes our health system is in crisis and yes we're afraid of what mass migration might mean. This is a boon for anyone who trades in fear marketing.

For those in war or denied a vote there's a deep understanding of how important it is to be informed before acting. Many a charismatic leader with a manifesto has destroyed a society based on the ignorance of the population.

It appears there's a divide occurring across the world between the educated and the ill informed.Why? Is it because you're taught how to research and not to take things on face value? Or is it because you just know a bit more about economics,social capital and that nothing difficult has a simple solution without a downside? Either way having a tertiary education seems to be at the the core.

Both the educated and non-educated however, have equal access to decision making. If we want better decisions then surely we need more access to meaningful and engaging facts across our media and education systems. We need education facilities and businesses to be on all platforms and spreading knowledge to balance imbalanced marketing posing as facts or to replace good governance.

In this world of 120 character commentaries and 15 minute news cycles we need to consciously take time to get educated not just informed and to choose how we fact check claims if we're going to make the best informed decision into the future.

Laziness and an appetite for the sensation soundbites have allowed sexy catchphrases to replace informed decision-making (governance) and the merchants of poison who trade-off it.

Al Gore has outlined this perfect storm in his book The Future and in many other peer-reviewed papers. The question is do we want to turn our governments into corporations? Our societies into one monolithic marketplace where only those with purchasing power count in decision making? Do we want to work 50hrs. a week for a company that is eroding away the very values you oppose?

The Australian Broadcasting Authority was making an effort with Fact Check which checked all claims made by key leaders. This has recently been defunded. So where do we get balanced ,evidence based review of world affairs? They are called journalists. But it is essential that everyone knows how to validate with three peer reviewed sources. But that takes more than the time it does to swipe left or right.

This is my argument for free tertiary education for all. I think it's becoming an essential requirement for a civil and progressive and cohesive society into the future.