Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), are nothing new. 10 years ago we called it auditing a class and it is still called such today. The difference today is that you are able to both audit and receive — in many cases — a Certificate of Achievement should you wish to pay the fees. MOOCs are everywhere today. One of the biggest outfits running them is edX and Open edX. Where I generally go to peruse through the List of Lists, is Open Culture. Now, many of you whom read Foreclosurepedia and are Clients have gone to conventional colleges and universities. And twenty something years ago, that Path probably worked well for you in pursuit of your MBAs and such. Today, though, the reality is that we are a global society, without borders, and the three years of bullshit to finally get to the one year of actual applicable coursework in a Bachelor of Science Degree is the epitome of madness. And do not even get me started on the debt.
During the month of April, Foreclosurepedia will be pursuing four MOOC Certificates. The first is in International Law at the University of Louvain in Belgium. I will additionally studying The Past, Present and Future of the Federal Reserve at The George Washington University. It is moderated by Frank Sesno whom is director of the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) at The George Washington University and former anchor and Washington Bureau Chief for CNN. I shift gears just a bit and pick up a course entitled Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story from the University of London. And finally, Cryptography I, out of Stanford.
The real epiphany; the realization that came to me six or seven years ago while I was at a Hackerspace in Europe. The reality is that American and European Cultures are night and day. Education is a primary example. While here in the States we are all about the entrenched bureaucracy of Common Core and a failed Educational System, the reality is that Europe is a Mecca for Higher Learning. MOOCs, albeit not known by that acronym, have been around for centuries. When the European Union (EU) finally came on the scene, knowledge began to flow as rapidly amongst the common people as the Eurail moves between the Nation States of the EU.
I have a very low threshold for bullshit. What I mean is that while I do not buy suits at the same clothiers as those in the Mortgage Field Services Industry — those whom have met me will tell you I wear jeans, an Anonymous T Shirt, a NIN Hoodie and a pair of steel toe boots — I have yet to find anyone whom comes close to being able to match wits with me. It is not ego; it is simply a salient fact.
With my low threshold for bullshit comes a very cynical outlook upon my fellow man — most especially in this Industry. My interpersonal skill sets are marginal at best — simply look at the last outing I had and the damage I caused to both parties involved. What I do have, though, is a very unique set of skills which I have honed over the past two decades and have served myself, my government and my Clients well.
Education is the game changer. Let me give you an example: When Blue Collared Labor attempts to mingle with White Collared Management, it rarely, if ever, works. The reason being is that from the stereotypical point-of-view, Members of Labor are concerned with whom is going to make the NFL Draft; the price of the season tickets at Yankee Stadium; and perhaps whether or not they will have enough for their daughter or son to buy his or her first car. The discussions are generally pedestrian in nature and physical altercations are generally the most expedient way to settle differences. Management — and I want to be clear that probably less than ten percent of all National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) Members whom own businesses would qualify as having the label of Management — generally understand how the micro impacts the macro cycle. Their conversations revolve around geopolitical issues as those impact the financial sector both domestically and internationally. Diplomacy is the soup du jour when it comes to settling issues and as opposed to opening a Miller Lite at the end of the day, many of the heavyweights pop another round of Provigil — yes, I have been known to dabble with it myself — and pour four fingers of Glenlivet while working late into the night.
I am prolific observer of the Industry scene and have written voluminously upon it. I do not care whom you are in this Industry, if I have not met you or spoken to you, the reality is that I have a file on you — both Labor and Management are stored in the tomes of the ISTAR Clear Base. I am a melange of Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh; more on point, though, Companies rise and fall with the stroke of my keyboard. Oft times I feel like I am living the Warren Zevon song which goes something like,
Send lawyers, guns and money the shit has hit the fan.
The reality, though, is that what has given me the edge is education. For example: Several months ago, I went down to South Carolina to do some Consulting for my Client. Now, I am not the quintessential NAMFS Consultant. I travel with an EMS 4700 cubic inch Ascent Mountaineering Pack; jeans, steel toe boots and the hoodie. I generally have working accouterments on board like gloves and such as my pack functions as a Bolt Bag which traces its roots all the way back to when I was on a Rapid Deployment footing with a civilian firm years ago. So, the Client picks me up and had a load that needed to go to the dump — a small load mind you — and no sooner than we pull out on the highway, the State Police pull us over for a minor issue. Then, when we head over to meet up with a roofer, the roofer is AWOL for the day. As opposed to letting the work be late, I scaled the 2 1/2 story building and using a hand saw to cut the plywood, we secure the mission.
The reason that story is important is to communicate the fact that a Consultant cannot simply roam around in an Armani and knock down Scotch while adjusting their cuff links. The reality is that in today’s Industry, Management and Labor are one in the same with respect to those running a W2 setting. I have always advocated and predicted the fact that the successful business model in our Industry will be the W2 Model and that Model will control a state or a section of a state depending how large the state is. In fact, we are there now.
The reality is that Asset Management Services (AMS) — now a part of the AMS MCS Subholdings LLC racket — was a brilliant idea. I applaud Ernie Stefkovic, the former owner and founder of AMS, for what he put together. The postmortem I conducted on AMS left me in awe. The only problem, sans Lee Mertins and his ilk, was the fact that AMS was before its time. I want that to sink in a moment. You see, today, the W2 Model is that which most Members of Labor, whom are not ma and pa shops, are aspiring to be. And lo and behold, it has the blessing and support of both the Portfolio Holders and the Financial Institutions.
Therein, you see, lies the irony. While the hierarchy of NAMFS is attacking its own Membership for even speaking to me at a personal level, the reality is that unlike how NAMFS follows trends, Foreclosurepedia SETS THE TRENDS. And I’ll call out those punk bitches here and now. If you have a problem with me and this includes Eric Miller, you name the date, time and place. Let’s find out precisely how bad you people think you are. All of you have my phone number; all of you have my email. Are all of you that terrified of me you cannot pick up the phone or send an email? I mean how do you people crawl into bed at night with your wives — I guess I answered that myself, you crawl. What all of you are is a bunch of punk ass, scared little bitches. You see, unlike the man you sweated at the NAMFS Leadership Summit whom is a diplomatic and stalwart gentleman, I am not. I am extremely rough behind the edges and I neither clean up nor play well with others.
The ability to discuss Supply Side Economics in the Reagan Administration; the discernment between the bouquet which a wine presents with — not to be confused with the varietal and vinous aromas as bouquet is tertiary in nature — and how that might compliment meat, poultry or seafood; or simply the ability to get down in the trenches Jimmy Hoffa style, in defense of Labor, are all the hallmarks of that which Foreclosurepedia does. The true sign of Leadership is not the creation of Followers, it is the creation of more Leaders. As 2015 continues to play out according to predictions made as early as Q4FY2013 by myself, I have no doubt that Labor and Management will begin to come to an accord pertaining to the Industry no later than Q4FY2015.