20. If you took every single job in the U.S. today and shipped it to China . . .
21. China would still have a labor surplus.
Nobody really knows if this is true or false. The American work force is around 146 million. The CIA says "From 100 million to 150 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time, low-paying jobs," and that seems as good a guess as any. So it could be true in the abstract. But even if it is, what impression is that supposed to leave on the reader? If China still has over 20% unemployment after this decade or so of massive growth, that's not impressive. That's scary.
29. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . .
30. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
31. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . .
32. Using technologies that haven’t been invented . . .
33. In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.
Retail salespersons Registered nurses
Customer service representatives
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
Waiters and waitresses
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food
Home health aides
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
General and operations managers
Local government educational services
Local government, excluding education and hospitals
Offices of physicians
General medical and surgical hospitals, private
Limited-service eating places
Home health care services
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, private
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
These are all jobs that exist, that solve problems and provide services that won't be going away any time soon.
This one is probably my favorite:
40. In 2002 alone Nintendo invested more than $140 million in research and development.
41. The U.S. Federal Government spent less than half as much on Research and Innovation in Education.
Karl picked that up from David Warlick, whose original quote is as follows:
In 2002, Nintendo alone invested more than $140,000,000 (USD) in research and development. That same year, the U.S. Federal Government spent less than half that much on Research & Innovation.David provides this cryptic attribution:
“FY 2004 Budget for the United States Government” U.S. Department of Education U.S. Department of Education. 27 Apr. 2003 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/index.html>
The fact that Karl narrowed the scope from all research and innovation to just research and innovation "in education" indicates that he realized there was a problem with David's quote. The NSF alone spent 4.8 billion in 2002, or over 30 times what Nintendo spent. Even in education, the Ed Department budget shows $385 million in "State Grants for Innovative Programs" . Frankly, I can't figure out where Karl and David got their numbers. David's footnote is not very helpful.
65. Predictions are that e-paper will be cheaper than real paper.
"Predictions are?" They just are? This one, quite frankly, is a good test at the end to see just how much you've managed to suspend disbelief. The idea that a sheet of e-paper (that is, a lightweight, flexible electronic display) would be cheaper than a piece of regular paper is absurd. Wouldn't whatever nano-tech magic you're imagining would produce the e-paper be able to make regular paper even more cheaply? Plus, it defies basic economics. E-paper would always cost more because people would be willing to pay more for it.
I could go on, but I don't want to seem completely obsessive, and I do have other things I could be doing with my time.
What is particularly disturbing is that this piece has been so unquestionably picked up and promoted by people who spend a significant chunk of their time preaching about "information literacy" and such.