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Clairvaux

Most of those offers have a big problem. Around five minutes ago, something you bought to learn a programming platform in exchange for 40 dollars was called, you know, a book. Books have a very good track record of making people wiser and more knowledgeable. Indeed, for the last five centuries or so, it’s thanks to books that people invented computing — and many other things.

Books have this advantage that they can be browsed, so you can get an idea of what’s inside, you can research who the author is, so you can avoid buying from a crook or an imbecile, you can read reviews by experts of the field in order not to pay for a piece of junk, you can keep the book for a lifetime, in order to look it up when you need to, and you can also, finally, sell it.

“Video conferences” are different. They are usually given by quasi-anonymous non-persons who have no track record of any kind, there are no free sample courses so you can make sure that the teacher is not an moron, the website doing the streaming could go bust tomorrow and you would be left with nothing, and finally it’s very doubtful that the quality of most of those products raises to the level of an average book ; not to mention to the amount of knowledge being provided.

I have bought one of those courses and I’m currently following it. I have a feeling that it’s one of the best such products available, and it avoids many of the above drawbacks. In spite of this, the equivalent book, if it existed, would be far superior. To begin with, you need to note practically everything the teacher says. There are no books to go with the course, and you’re not given an ebook or a video or something that you could keep and go back to.

Learning just does not happen that way. Let’s not mention that the publishers insult their customers’ intelligence by pretending that 2 000 dollars, or whatever the alleged list price that is advertised, is the actual value of the course. Of course nobody has ever paid that much money for it, and if they had they would be out of their minds. Not only the list price is totally disconnected from the value of the product, but the real, so-called “promoted” price is often way too high. After all, few books cost 40 dollars, and if you buy a 40 dollar book, you really expect to benefit from the lifetime experience of a world-class expert on a subject. Not so with “videos”.