MOOCs are, and will be, big business, and the way that their makers see profitability at the end of the tunnel is what gives them their particular shape. … the MOOCs which are now being developed by Silicon Valley startups … aim to do exactly the same thing that traditional courses have always done -transfer course content from expert to student - only to do so massively more cheaply and on a much larger scale. … MOOCs are simply a new way of maintaining the status quo, of re-institutionalizing higher education in an era of budget cuts, skyrocketing tuition, and unemployed college graduates burdened by student debt. … the California legislature proposes to solve a real systemic crisis - collapsing public resources, diminishing affordability, and falling completion rates in the state’s higher education system - by sending its students to MOOCs. … If this bill passes, the winners will be Silicon Valley and the austerity hawks in the California legislature … To put it quite bluntly, MOOCs are a speculative bubble, a product being pumped up and overvalued by pro-business government support and a lot of hot air in the media. Like all speculative bubbles—especially those that originate in Silicon Valley—it will eventually burst.