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Technological Agorism Part III: AI & the Agora

There are two types of artificial intelligence: the rules-based, & the neural network-based approach. To illustrate the differences, I'll borrow an example from AI blogger Janelle Shane's book, You Look Like A Thing & I Love You, & pretend we're training an AI to recognize dogs.



Using a rules-based approach, we’d create parameters which the AI would then use to determine whether or not the thing it’s looking at, is in fact a dog. Our rules would include things like “must have four legs” & “must have tail,” etc. When all of our conditions have been satisfied, the AI will recognize a dog.

With a neural network-based approach, we show the AI images of dogs & it learns to recognize patterns. The more pictures of dogs we show it, the more accurate the AI becomes. Nowadays, this is usually the preferred approach & will be the subject of this article.

The interesting thing about the neural-network approach to AI - as we’ve already noted, is its reliance …

How to Survive College as a Poor Agorist





So you've found yourself trapped between not being able to afford private school's cost--driven up by government cartelization--and needing to get a college degree because of unnatural competition in employment--driven by mandatory compensation laws. You'd like to not pay the government, but really you're stuck between a government made rock and a government made hard place.


One thing to consider is simply not going to college. Despite what those government teachers have told you all your life, college is not for everyone. Economically speaking, your competitive advantage might not be in higher education. In laymen's terms, you might just be more productive (and make more money) going to trade school. This sounds like an insult--it is not. Trade School has been largely stigmatized in our society; in no small part by the government that just happens to have a aggressive cartel over the substitute. In reality, trade school is a very viable alternative with low cost and low risk. With an average cost of $33,000--compared to college's $127,000--trade school has an obviously lower cost. It also has lower risk compared to college. The market will demand electricians, plumbers, and mechanics; whereas the market for college-educated jobs is over-saturated by government subsidizing higher education.

However, maybe your competitive advantage is just simply in higher-educated related jobs. Here are some tips to paying the outrageous, unnatural cost.

1. Seek scholarships. Seeking and taking scholarships is not un-agorist, in fact it's just the opposite! By seeking out private charities who voluntarily give out money to help with education, you are actively practicing counter-economics. You are seeking alternatives to the government handouts that statist say are necessary to help the less fortunate among us. Prove those statist wrong and go for that voluntary charity!


2. Take Grants. Wait but aren't you taking money stolen by innocent people? Yes. Taxation is theft, even when it benefits you. However, this money is stolen from you and you family through income tax, tariffs, fines, and inflation. One way to see this is just as a tax-return; and you probably don't feel bad about that. Still call for the end of government grants, still call taxation theft, but you're in a situation where you just simply cannot avoid getting on the government's tit. Taking grants is comparable to driving on government roads. Avoid them if you can--there's a reason scholarships is number one--but sometimes you're just getting your tax money back.

3. Sell Your Meal Plan. Many colleges require you to purchase their own currency in order to "make sure you're eating." This is often a mandatory fee even if you're living at home. The baptist (moral) argument is usually muddled by the university's contracts with bootlegger (companies benefiting from regulation) food service companies. How can you avoid this fee though? You can think about it as a sunk cost--you're not going to be able to avoid it. But think positively, you now have X amount of food at your disposal! One thing you can do is offer your friends and family half off food that the university sells. For instance if your campus has a pizza place that you can use the college's currency at, you can buy pizzas and then deliver it to people at 50-80% the normal cost of a pie.

4. Make Campus Bookstores compete. One of your biggest cost is probably textbooks. How can this be so expensive? Courses often nominally require the most up-to-date edition of a text book. Don't take your syllabus at its word. Do you really need the 17th edition, or will a 15th or 12th edition work just fine? Ask your professor before you go buy a text book, and even then take their words with a grain of salt. I have even had a professor--no surprise it was an economics professor--provide different reading syllabi for different editions so that I didn't have to get the bookstore-offered version. Check Amazon, Chegg, and Ebay for other versions or even used current-versions.



5. Avoid Parking Fees.  College loves to tact on additional fees. One of the biggest is a fee for a parking. One way to avoid this is to simply park in another lot close to campus. I bought two passes before realizing that there was another company a lot LESS walking distance from my class. If you choose to do this, though, remember to actually buy from the other business. The lots in front of stores are usually privately built and maintained by the company or companies surrounding it. Don't be a free rider, go in a buy a bag of candy or a drink every once in a while. NEVER park in the university's lot if you don't have a pass though--these lots are regularly patrolled by parking-enforcement of campus police.

Should government-run education be abolished? Of course. However some people have found themselves with very little options besides going to these schools. This doesn't mean you can't use voluntary principles like private charity and competition to bring down your cost and avoiding paying the state as much as possible.



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