Sir Arthur C. Clarke's _July 20, 2019_

Posted by Psilocybin at 11:17pm Jul 20 '19
You must sign in to send Psilocybin a message

The day is here! Happy fiftieth anniversary (although no one on this board was alive then)!

In 1987, Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book titled July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century. The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing was chosen to mark the date in the future in which Sir Arthur speculated about what life would be like, well, today.

This book devoted chapters to thirteen different aspects of human life: the hospital; robotics; school; transportation; space travel; cinema; sports; the home; the office; psychiatry; sex; death; and war.

Of special interest to me is this book's chapter School Days. In it, Sir Arthur writes about "lifeschools" -- attending classes to learn new things over the course of one's entire life.

It includes the school credit transcript of a 37-year-old Millennial lad named John S. Stanton. John started out getting credits at Leprechaun Day School from 3 to 5, attended kindergarten from 5 to 6, attended elementary school from 6 to 11, attended Balsam Middle School from 11 to 14, attended Balsam High School and took the science track from 14 to 17 (where he got credits in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and Elementary Robotics), attended the University of Oregon from 17 to 21 (where he got a BA, mahoring in human expression and minoring in physics), attended General Dynamics Corp. Employee U. from 22 to 26 (where he got an MS in electrical engineering, specializing in low-gravity robotics), took a televideo course at the same school in lunar mining modules at 29, learned Elementary Chinese, Chinese Philosophy, and History of China at the McSchools program at 30, took a course on business with China at General Dynamics Corp. University of Lunapolis at 31, took a Principles of Submarine Robotics televideo course in General Dynamics Corp. Peking at 33, studied submersible engineering at MobilSchool from 35 to 36, and at 37 took at McSchool course called Underwater Fun with an Artificial Gill.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke writes that schools will exist by telepresence, instead of everyone being physically present in a classroom. Folks will be able to make themselves comfortable!

The author writes:

Traditional schools, kindergarten through high school, also will change because of new technologies. In fact, education's basis emphasis will shift. Our current educational system evolved to produce workers for the Industrial Revolution's factory-based economy, for work that requires patience, docility, and the ability to endure boredom. Students learned to sit in orderly rows, to absorb facts by rote, and to move as a group through the material regardless of individual differences in learning speed. But no factory jobs will be left in 2019. Except for a few technicians to watch over control panels, tomorrow's factories will be automatic, with computers directing robot workers.

Instead, the Prussian system is by and large still ominant today. This has gotten worse as Millennials entered school. Millennial teens still grouse about the authoritarian nature of school (including restrictions on when and how many times they can use the restroom!) and the very un-teen-like early starting hours for school, while Boomer, Joneser and Gen-X adults still mouth insistences that school needs to prepare kids for the "real world", and post-HS Millennials are still in shell shock from their bad experiences in K-12 schools. (And no, Millennials didn't turn into the deferential social authoritarians who like and are well adapted to the K-12 school system as Howe & Strauss predicted, either.) While adult education is an option, people don't really do lifeschooling -- yet.

My high school did offer a few Internet-based classes, along with three other high schools in its district and a number of schools in the double digits nationwide, though. It began when my class, the first Millennials, were in high school. If only all classes could be like this!

Here is one "How did the predictions do?" essay, written for this day:

There are 2 private posts in this thread. You need to sign in to read them.

You currently have read-only access to this board. You must request an account to join the conversation.

Why Join 4thKingdom?

Note that there are no ads here. Just intelligent and friendly conversation. We keep the spam out, the trolls out, the advertisers out… 4K is just a low-key, old-fashioned site with members from around the world.
This community began in 1998, and we continue to accept new members today.

Hot Discussion Topics: