October 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm #1102
Hey all, seasteading progress is going along at an incredible rate in Singapore, so I was wondering, how many of you would be interested in a “Seasteading School” where you learn things like:
But within the context of a small seastead. How much would you be willing to pay? Would you be willing to spend a few months in a foreign land learning these things? What other areas should be included?October 30, 2009 at 9:02 am #8496
School, that is.
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 30, 2009 at 10:03 am #8497
Mike, you’d be one of the lecturers considering you’re supposed to be coming here to run stuff :p
King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.October 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm #8501
Well, to be honest I probably would not be interested, here’s why: I’m not exactly sure what the market for graduates with degrees in “seasteading” would be, at least until seasteading is actually implemented on a reasonable scale… this may happen within a few years, or maybe a decade, maybe more. Even if this did give me some marketability, there’s the question of how it would compare to any other school… for example, would attending a seasteading school and studying a little chemistry, EE, or naval architecture do me any better than just going to any other science/engineering school and majoring in one of the above? Probably not. Even the first seasteads would probably prefer experienced professionals from known, accredited schools, as opposed to someone who was one of the first graduates from the world’s first seasteading school, created while seasteading was still basically an idea.
However, I might consider it for the following more personal reasons: I have a horrid GPA and a terrible academic record (unrelated to intelligence or a bad work ethic, just a long series of misfortunes and fuck ups), which means no chance of getting into grad school, which means most of my life long dreams of being a scientist/engineer are pretty much wrecked. So if there was a school that offered any kind of graduate program in anything remotely related to the sciences and would actually take someone with my record and actually seemed to offer me some kind of future I would strongly consider it. The other thing is I’ve already been planning to move out of the country when I get my BSc (or maybe just to California, if they legalize pot in 2010), so moving to Singapore really wouldn’t be a huge change of plans for me.
My main point in posting though was to throw out an idea that I’d had. A major flaw in the post-secondary educational system here is that graduation is based around a bunch of bullshit requirements, and then they screw you over even worse by getting rid of 90% of previous credits when you transfer, make you retake things you already had an A in at a harder school, etc (I could go on all day about how much I hate school). Anyway, my point is this could all be solved quite simply by a few major changes, while saving a lot of money on overhead, and at the same time making the learning process much more efficient. Here’s my suggestions:
1) Make graduation and class credit skill and knowledge based. For more theoretical subjects (like math, history, etc.), students must take comprehensive exams and successfully answer/solve the vast majority of the material (like 80-90%, no 40 point curves… if they don’t actually need to know it then don’t waste their time with it). For more hands-on subjects (chem labs, EE labs, etc.) they must demonstrate an ability to perform the relevant tasks or procedures at an acceptable level. They can do this at any time, and should not be required to sit through x hrs of lectures just for the hell of it before being allowed to demonstrate competence. It would also greatly reduce the “study for the test then forget everything an hour later” phenomenon, since they would actually be required to having working knowledge of all the material.
2) Get rid of traditional classes. Pre-record lectures for the students and make relevant books available through a library, and allow students to learn the material at their own pace. Have professors available to answer questions and tutor students who are having difficulty. If enough students are having difficulty, the professor can make arrangements for a special session (i.e. class) to deal with the difficulties. From my observations (and personal experience), lectures are an extremely inefficient way to communicate information. After all, if I zone out while my prof is explaining something, I can’t rewind to hear what he said like I could if they were just pre-recorded. Not to mention that most people get way more out of reading the books than listening to the profs anyway.
These two changes alone would save massive amounts of money, student’s and professor’s time, create more competent graduates, drastically shorten the time to graduate, and raise graduation rates. I’d bet good money that a college/university operating under these changes would be able to rival any currently in existence, as far as the skill-level of the graduates is concerned.
Plus, on a more bitter note, if US universities operated this way I’d probably have graduated back in 2003.October 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm #8502
Well, I’m currently attending NYIT online and am very close to a B.S. finally at age 40-sumpthin’; planning to continue in the M.A. program. I recommend the distance-learning environment strongly.
And sure, I’d be happy to lecture/demonstrate anything I know about real-world stuff…though I may not be the best instructor in the world. Think more Donald Sutherland in “Animal House.”
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm #8503
@Mell; Speaking as an employer, I’d prefer the educated generalist over the qualified specialist. For instance, a marine engineer who didn’t understand biology would be useless to me. That would be the main pitch of the school. I’ve friends(who were faculty directors of tertiary institutes here) who are big advocates of industry endorsement over academics. The school(ANY school should IMO) have as much hands on, problem solving based curriculum as possible. Where only technical aspects of a given module/subject are taught in an in-depth lecture style environment.
I come from a place called Republic Polytechnic, that based it’s curriculum on a system called “Problem Based Learning” or PBL, which was more commonly used in med-school. The concept was nice, except for the fact that the management could never agree on how to conduct lessons for highly specialized diplomas. All of us ended up requiring disciplines from other faculties. I.e. Theatre & Stage Management students benefitted greatly from learning electrical engineering, character design, sculpture, mechanical engineering, physics and 2D & 3D design. Unfortunately, the system was such that you had only 8 hours to attain a daily grade. Of which there were 16 during the semester and the best 14 would count towards your GPA. You can imagine how hard it would be to learn all those things if every day, you were given a new task.
Anyway, I ramble. The point here is not to iron out a system of education. The question is; Do you want an education pertaining to seasteading. If so, which areas do you feel are missing from the list?
King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.October 31, 2009 at 2:15 am #8504
Gotcha, sorry for the unintended attempted thread hijacking (I get excited, so sue me).
It occurs now that perhaps I had the wrong idea in imagining this as a 2 or 4 year type school. A multi-year commitment or replacement for traditional education would be harder to sell, but I’d certainly be interested in some amount of time getting hands on practice in relevant skill sets (time and finances permitting). Perhaps you could offer sessions on the order of a couple of months, and mainly focus on practical, hands on skills that can’t be picked up at a local library (fishing, sailing, aquaculture, boat repair as opposed to chemistry, engineering, etc.). It could also be sold as an opportunity to be one of the first to actually live on a seastead (assuming this would all happen on a seastead), which would be a big pro in my book. Hey… this is sounding better all the time.
Also, don’t forget scuba!October 31, 2009 at 7:19 pm #8508
The American Boat and Yacht Council has some relevant education programs, for a few ideas: http://www.abycinc.org/educationprograms/certificationpgms.cfm
Of particular relevance to seasteaders would be Electrical, Electronics, Corrosion, and Refrigeration/AC.
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 31, 2009 at 7:21 pm #8509
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 31, 2009 at 11:40 pm #8510
I think you missed oceanography and fishing.
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