- MOOCs don't usually have a project component where you'd get direct feedback from a TA (that's obviously due to the number of people registered). This is changing as peer-assessments are being used more and more as a way to handle project grading.
- the course in question wasn't directly related to what I'm doing in my day job. During university, a course you're taking is at least often useful as a prerequisite for the next one.
- I'm getting old and stupid. Maybe just smart enough to complete the course but not enough to retain it? I wonder how much more I'd have retained, say, 10 years ago.
Fictions - Borges
I, Robot - Asimov
Never Let Me Go - Ishiguro
France just had a hardcore capitalist president with Sarkozy for 5 years (succeeding Chirac who was from the same party), and even under Hollande, nothing has changed regarding the general system of government. Ultimately, there's not much room to maneuver system-wise in the EU anyway.
To get back on topic, just like in the US the French government gives incentives for innovation in various sectors, and in France, public research institutes (CNRS, INSERM, CIRAD, etc.) and public hospitals have indeed been at the forefront of many breakthroughs, some that have won Nobel prizes, again thanks to support from the government, not in spite of it.
With Oracle doing everything possible to kill Java, it's shocking that Java serializes.
We need to look beyond North America to find a system that works...
The economic/employment viewpoint is certainly a valid one, and I agree with you to a great extent, but it's good to look at the civic one as well. Ideally, maybe a great portion of the people out of high school should go to a vocational school first, then go work, make some money, gain some experience, and only then at some point spend some time at university to gain a better understanding of the world. With MOOCs now, this should be easier hopefully.