Education: Necessity Style and Ambitious Style

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright July 2017


In the 2050's education is going to divide sharply into two general categories: Education for those who will be leading Necessity lifestyles and education for those who will be leading Ambitious lifestyles. What students will be experiencing in these two formats will be quite different.

Necessity Education

Most of what Necessity students will be learning in their schooling, entertainment and recreation is urban legend. Why not? It is comfortable and it won't effect their well-being very much because cyber is controlling the material, service and transportation functions.

What will this lead to?

It can lead to education being used primarily for learning how to master the tools used for emotion manipulating. This will take the place of the 2010's goal of learning to master tools that will help in employment at jobs that make our world a physically more prosperous place. (Again, cyber will be handling that in the 2050's, and they will be assisted by Ambitious Class people who are learning very different skills than Necessity Class people are.)

If manipulating emotion is the core of what Necessity style education teaches then what kinds of emotion manipulating will be valuable to learn? The two most influential categories will be praising and shaming.

Praising is learning how to pump up your buddies so they try even harder and do even better at those activities they care about -- these will be mostly dilettante activities such as sports and entertainment.

Shaming is about social censure. There will be lots of social shaming in Necessity lifestyle environments. Shaming is likely to be a major time and attention consumer in Necessity Folk circles -- gossip will experience a strong revival.

Praising and shaming will be the core activities that Necessity education will be teaching, and surrounding these will be lots of comfortable urban legend. This urban legend part will show up as the tendency for human teachers to editorialize on their subject matter. This tendency is going to be even stronger than it is in the 2010's. It will run rampant in the soft disciplines such as history and psychology, and it will also be strong in the hard sciences because people have hopes and dreams in those disciplines as well. A recent example I encountered of this wishing and hoping in hard science was several news articles in which quantum entanglement was being described as teleportation. Sadly for the wishers and dreamers they are not the same. The source of the excitement was a rocket ship launched into space that was demonstrating quantum entanglement with a lab on Earth.

Ambitious Education

The counter to this urban legend trend will show up in the education of the Ambitious class. These are people who are being educated to make a difference in the real world, so it is real helpful if they are taught how the real world really works.

This aspiration to know how the real world really works will favor cyber-oriented education. The cyber teachers will find it easier to stay analytic and dispassionate about what is learned and how it is taught. The challenge is going to be finding humans who want to pay attention to this style of education. Again, they will be ambitious young people, but they must feel that their ambition is being well served by paying attention to these teachers who will seem boring to most students.

One device that will help students stay interested in being ambitious is wearables. The "more interest in learning boring stuff" is an emotion the third generation wearables will be able to help keep strong.

Is interest in doing homework an emotion? I recall as a child being very fussy about what I wanted to spend time on learning, and moaning and groaning when I had to spend time on the boring stuff. The more learning is an emotion the more wearables should be able to influence it. The more it is an emotion the more wearables can become a substitute for learning the skill of self-discipline in study endeavors. It is possible that in the future we will be able to dial up an interest in finishing homework. That will help those who want to be ambitious and learn about how the real world works.


If learning urban legend satisfies the educational needs for most people it is going to spread widely because it is so comfortable. Most human teachers will teach the urban legends they are passionate about. They can do this because prosperity will be largely divorced from what humans learn.

If a person wants to be ambitious and shake up their real world, they will do most of their learning from cyber teachers. These cyber teachers will be the ones teaching rational, analytic-oriented learning.

How much wearables will be able to assist will be an interesting question. The more learning "boring" analytic learning processes is emotion-based, the more wearables will be able to help by modifying the emotions a person feels.



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