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2101 - Nothing New Under the Sun Chapter Three Education

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Author's Notes

"This is Chapter Three. More to follow. The preceding story is 2101 - Nothing New Under the Sun Chapter Two"



Most individuals and families enjoy a self directed education.  As far as academic requirements, the purpose of our 18th and 19th century education is nearly defunct.  Education programs are more designed to learn how to survive in the 22nd century with significant emphasis on socialization and appropriate means of personal interactions.  The need to prepare youth for the working world is no longer needed.  There is still a significant effort to ensure education focuses on socialization, how to learn, how to think, and how to evaluate the information one gathers. 

For me, the edegrees, while to late to be helpful during the late 20th and early 21st centuries has had the most significant impact on higher education and the expense to seek higher education.  Without the social reorganization of 2082, I don’t think the FREE, Foundation Regarding Electronic Education, would have been successful.


There is not a single easy to reproduce article or articles to cover what has happened in recent history.  Therefore, I have attempted to sum up what I believe to be the most significant educational decisions and changes of the last 150 years.

I believe four things have had the most impact on education over the last 150 years.  In historical order was racial integration beginning in 1954 with Brown vs the Board of Education.  Of course it took the next 70 years to become significantly integrated.  The next significant event was in 2041 when several states formally went to year around school.  This set in motion a number of events and eventually all states by 2050 had adopted year around school.  The next was in 2072 with the acceptance of the HEM, Human Electronic Memory.  The HEM is direct information storage to an external memory device plugged into the human brain.  The last was the ruling in 2083 by the U.S. Confederation of Universities that edegrees would be accepted and sanctioned. 

Of course nothing happens in a vacuum and neither did the changes in education.  The medical advances, computer artificial intelligence, financing of living expenses each played a significant role in the education changes particularly the HEM.   The HEM was a significant portion of the transhumanism movement.  It has provided other benefits to quality of life and moving toward the ultimate transhuman as well as its benefit to education.  However, the HEM didn’t turn out as many thought it may.

Many early researchers envisioned simply a computer as an extension of the brain.  Information could be loaded in the computer and become part of the brain.  In some ways this worked, but the most effective use of an external memory device, external to the brain but within the cranium or at least under the skin, was to load information through the brain where the HEM would store information and turned out to be easier to retrieve then through memories stored in one’s own brain.  Loading information directly in the device caused the brain to not be able to easily retrieve that information.  This came about through trying to provide memory abilities to aging individuals.  Once an interface was created in the early 2050’s, the HEM went through various adaptations until a HEM interface was determined to be acceptable medically.  Then it turned to the sphere of education.  Now the rest is history.

I tried this myself and found it to be cumbersome.  Two of my great grand children were also provided with this option.  While they did much better than I, they preferred not to use it.  I use it on occasion when I am receiving a lot of information quickly as it is more reliable storage and retrieval than my own brain.  There is a large number of individuals using it and find it extremely useful.

But the real impact on my life was the edegrees.  I have spent hours in a day for weeks on end engaging in gaining material and information.  When younger, we would call this engagement as in reading or watching videos.  However, with electronic individuality and virtual interactions it is called engagement.  The engagements fill my time and provides me great personnel satisfaction.  Since our last VGC, virtual group cast, where we meet in the flesh last year, I have mostly been reviewing history and current articles about as many aspects of life as I can manage.

It was the FREE, Foundation Regarding Electronic Education, that in 2083 argued successful to allow awarding of recognized education from free engagements on line.  Going into the details of the ruling would be immensely complex, but the idea is that through engagements and demonstrating understanding of those engagements of which many exist, there would be recognized achievement similar to Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD’s degrees.  The electronic or edegrees would be based on hours awarded for engagements and demonstrated understanding of what was engaged.  Most engagement media have now been assigned an educational value of “engagement hours” in appropriate disciplines.  By engaging 3000 hours on a selected topic/discipline one would be awarded an eBA or eBS degree.  For an additional 1500 hours of selected engagements an eMA or eMS.  And then with an additional 1500 engagement hours an ePhD.

With the social reorganization of 2082, there became a means of support for living and large blocks of free time.  Travel, education, home grown or citizen science, tactile entertainment, and the arts have come to fill that void left because so few are now required for the custodial force.  What we call the custodial force used to be called the labor force and tracked using unemployment data. 


With such a rich volume of information, the future of education remains with teaching our youth how to interact within our ever changing society.  Colleges have become social organizations where their outcomes are more related to “teachers” having discussions with “students”.   Teachers are there more so due to intellectual pursuit then to provide for their financial needs.  Thus “classes” are organized by interest and less to meet a specific degree requirement.  Degrees are bestowed more for ones’ ability to demonstrate they can answer a set of questions or challenges.  This would be somewhat similar to what we used to call standard tests such as an ACT or SAT except using all aspects of technology to demonstrate competence.  Instead of giving grades, education is more like discussions and since there is little need to prepare for a vocation, what we now call education is more for personal insight than preparation for vocational purposes.  

However, to begin ones “education” one must interact with a formal educational entity from age three until one becomes a teenager.  During these early years one is provided social norms, opportunity to understand societal “rules”, and discover how to interact with other people, intelligent entities, and use of the tools of the 22nd century.  

Society over the last couple of decades has moved away from groupings based on age back to a more family orientation where two individuals, still likely one male and one female, live with their offspring.  These “family” units provide a richer life for both the adults and the youth.  Extended “family” units have again begun to be rediscovered as useful to all involved.

I can’t finish with education without noting the advancements made with the HEM and other external modes of accessing information.  Combinations of artificial intelligence and other direct neural connections may soon demand significant changes to how we learn, manipulate, and document “knowledge”.  This area is still a political topic of central control and individual free will.  As one of a rapidly shrinking pure human, I believe free will will one day fall to central control just as the great social reorganization of 2082 changed how we finance basic living expenses. 



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