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December 27, 2005

Education and The End of Poverty

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During my plane flights back and forth to Minneapolis for the holidays I had a chance to dig a little deeper into Jeffrey Sachs' new book The End of Poverty. It's a remarkable study of the history of poverty and what we can do to end it in this generation. Here's a quote that I found particularly relevant to what we're doing here at LearnOutLoud:

I believe that the single most important reason why prosperity spread, and why it continues to spread, is the transmission of technologies and the ideas underlying them. Even more important than having specific resources in the ground, such as coal, was the ability to use modern, science-based ideas to organize production. The beauty of ideas is that they can be used over and over again, without ever being depleted.

I got goosebumps when I read that. The transmission of ideas is exactly what LearnOutLoud is all about. It's why I'm so excited for all of the cool stuff we're planning to roll out in 2006. And it's why I'm so incredibly passionate about bring the best audio and video educational content possible to as many people as I can.

I've been having some great discussion lately via e-mail with Wynn Williamson over at The Stingy Scholar blog (highly recommend by the way). Here's a snippet of a recent e-mail that he sent me to give you some flavor of what we've been chatting about:

Some of the best emails coming into Textbook Revolution and Stingy Scholar have been from people in countries like Papau New Guinea where there aren't textbooks to go around, let alone new and updated ones. Making these audio, video, and text materials available is a huge deal - not just because people can't afford to pay, but also because the openness makes translations possibility.

We've been discussing a lot of possibilities and I suggested to him that we bring the conversation out in the open and see if we could latch on a few other people to join us. So I'll keep this brief and we'll pick up the conversation in the forums. I'd love to hear from you so click the link below to join us. Through giving people increased access to ideas we will change the world. We would love it if you would want to be a part of that. :)