Ciro Santilli is against affirmative action university entry quotas that reserve spaces e.g. for students from discriminated races or poor families. Instead, he believes that affirmative action should take place on earlier stages of education as described at: free gifted education.
Notably, Brazil has implemented a very heavy university entry quota system after Ciro had left university there: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23862676
This is of course easy for a white male from a privileged background to say, and infinite debate has already been had on this matter, but here goes again.
First, in defense to the personal attack, Ciro raises the fact that he has dedicated large chunks (all?) of his life to open source software and knowledge in general, which Ciro believes is the only way to actually make the world fairer to poor countries. His money (time) is where his mouth is.
One good argument in favor of the Brazilian quota system, is that the kids who enter university because of quotas do just as well as those who don't.
Ciro has actually believes that this is possible, and offers the following possible explanation: most of pre-university knowledge is useless, and university selection system is crap, and Ciro wants to destroy it with a system in which anyone can learn university stuff from home.
Both the top end of the quota and non-quota kids are basically equally capable of doing useful stuff therefore.
Only a tiny fraction of what you learn in high school is useful for university or your career.
And possibly more importantly than knowledge, Ciro saw many of his colleagues (basically all of which were from relatively privileged backgrounds) "do badly" in university, because of lack of motivation, because they had chosen a course only to find that they were not interested in it because the existing high school educational system is crap and does not help them find what they love and because it costs you several years of your life to change your choice in most universities (long live École Polytechnique).
Maybe the fact that poor kids know that they are fucked if they fail, and so they have to succeed at any cost, might also help with motivation. Which is a terrible terrible thing, because only those who have to leeway to take risks end up taking them and making the the next big thing.
Ciro believes instead that only once kids have learnt university level stuff in their area of interest for free on the Internet should they go through selection based on that specific and much more concentrated useful knowledge.
And this competition must only be used to distribute resources which you can't learn from fucking computers:
- laboratories. Actually, one of Ciro's most important advices to kids nowadays is: when in doubt, choose the course that has the most experimental work
- one to one mentorship on advanced master thesis/PhD level projects
Once this point knowledge is reached however, it starts to become unclear if a single "everyone takes the same test to avoid discrimination" test is feasible anymore, and we start entering the much more relevant (and potentially discriminatory) "I am a teacher trying to advance the state of the art, and I need a person mildly skilled in the art to do some slave labor for me", which is PhDs selection work.
If quota are in place, what will happen is that parents of the rich kids will start investing less in education, and possibly just put their kids in high schools, and do home schooling instead. This would therefore reduce the total investments the country makes in education!
Outside of the obvious technical evolution proposed, Ciro is a huge proponent of free gifted education. Or closely related, creating scholarships that focus on poor students. The entry requirements should be the same, but once you qualify, everyone should have enough money to lead a decent life during their studies.
Then let those kids pass exactly the same university entry exams, and watch them crush the average privileged kids.
This advice is similar to what is mentioned at: what poor countries have to do to get richer. When you don't have money to do everything, you must select a few good bets and focus on them. You can't pay a lot to every public school teacher, so you must select a few select places that need it the most. As those smart bets pay off, you start to have more and more money to expand the system further.