Today I spent the entire day sitting in a crowded room at the San Diego County office so I could get Medi-Cal health insurance. Spoiler: I still don’t have health insurance and I’m waiting for a supervisor to approve me sending further paper documents to Sacramento which may take more than a month. I will probably just get private insurance at this point.

Only reason I was there is because the case worker I was working with for over a month via email disappeared right before completing my application. My online application now in a state of limbo pending “further requirements” without any detail on what those requirements were.

You see a lot in 3.5 hours in the SD County Office. The anger, shouts against the “system”, $13/hour is not enough to raise a family, how people don’t want hire former veterans. A younger woman even shouted out: “If we don’t speak out now, then our children won’t have anything to eat”.

Since I knew the process would take a while, I brought a book with me. Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich — it’s a short book that talks about the issues of modern centralized institutions, in particular the modern education system. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff written by Nassim Taleb, Michael Goldstein and Saifedean Ammous where they echoed similar ideas that really resonated with me — here they are in writing.

I have issues with the healthcare system in the US but I’m no expert on it but I do consider myself knowledgeable enough about the education system to talk about its serious flaws.

TL;DR: Self education with the internet > Any university

Flaws of the Modern Educational System

The school system today performs the threefold function common to powerful churches through history. It is simultaneously the repository of society’s myths, the institutionalization of the myth’s contradictions, and the locus of the ritual which reproduces and veils the disparities between myth and reality — Ivan Illich in Deschooling Society


Centralized bureaucracies will have a hard time surviving the internet and will be replaced by cheaper and more efficient decentralized alternatives.

Bureaucrats → Engineers & Artists

Central banks → Bitcoin

Wall Street → Small scale VC

Pharmaceuticals → Exercise and Nutrition

Media → Social Media

Schools → Homeschooling

Homeschooling doesn’t mean you spend your entire day staring at a computer screen devoid of all human contact. You can still have peers you meet with regularly. Parents don’t have to inherit the burden of coaching all subjects and can draw experts from their social groups to help people learn specific skills like Programming, Trading, Cooking etc.. Homeschooling is not about eliminating social interaction, it’s about only keeping the meaningful ones.

School is the first bureaucracy that most people experience. While the prestige and credentials matter to get a high paying bureaucratic job today , it won’t matter too much when bureaucratic jobs will cease to exist.

Check out my book

My book the Robot Overlord Manual is a summary of many of things I’ve learnt over the past 1.5 years while I was figuring out how to build robots at home. In some sense, it’s the book I wish I had when I was getting started — my hope is that more people draw inspiration from my story and learn how to become researchers without going through bureaucratic institutions.

Robots will save us

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