Thursday, August 20, 2015


I went from an elementary student myself on Tuesday to principal of an elementary school on Wednesday. That is a time warp that will give you whiplash.  So where today?

August 20, 2050.  My great-great-great grandson will start school today.  Of course brick-and-mortar, steel-and-glass schools exist only in the memories of a very few and dwindling number of people alive today. Books are remembered primarily as resource-wasting cumbersome items that required more storage space than the archaic and now useless knowledge contained in them merited. Of course, too, people had functional limbs called "legs" which enabled them to move from place to place.  Imagine that.  Well, how silly, and again wasteful of resources when all sustenance can so easily be piped into the cell in which this youngster lives; all waste and detritus piped out.  Knowledge, learning, lore: piped in through the ether.

Now imagine the first day of school.  It cannot be done.  Our history and understanding will not allow us to comprehend the world in which our progeny will live a mere three decades down the road.  Doubt me?  Think back three decades.  Do you have 1985 fixed in your mind? Now how does today look compared to that time?  Recognition through memory only and today's children cannot conceive of the primitive lifestyles we practiced a mere thirty and forty years ago, nor can we imagine the world of the really quite near future.

Of course, blessedly I won't be here to see 2050.


Word of the day: progeny.


Lin said...

Things are soooo different. Em is buying books on her e-reader and they still cost the same as a bound hard-cover version. Many of her professors make the mandatory class book their personally penned "expert" cover of said class/topic of study. It's such a scam.

Have you seen the class supply lists that you are expected to send with your kid the first day of school now? It's no wonder they hold "meet the teachers" night the very first week so that the parents can haul the truck load of stuff in.

It's VERY different times indeed.

vanilla said...

Lin, yours is exactly the kind of response I hoped to evoke. In thinking about the future a look at the past can be instructive. If nothing else it tells us we cannot guess the future. No, I have not seen the lists because I stay away from school stuff for the most part. I know the tykes look like little pack animals as they trudge to their workday.

Professors writing books and scamming the students by utilizing them as primary texts is not new though. I encountered it in the sixties.

Vee said...

We can only hope that change facilitates learning. I have my doubts.

Secondary Roads said...

If that future unfolds as you suggest it might, it is a good thing that we won't be here to see it.

I recently browsed through the textbook section of an online book seller. The cost of those books is shocking.

vanilla said...

Chuck, books, an outrage, and as Lin suggests, no cheaper in digital format. As for time travel, peeking into the past interests me, but I have never had a desire to travel to the future. I want to get there one day at a time

vanilla said...

Vee, I sometimes honestly believe you were cut from the same cloth as I.

Sharkbytes said...

Some days I'm not at all sad that I have no bio progeny and no grand-progeny at all.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, I understand. Something else you do not have to worry about.