“It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.”
~ Nikola Tesla
Much if not all of the success of a community is linked to its ability to learn, to store and index knowledge from others, derive new sources of information, and to maintain necessary roles. But does this imply public education? – as anarchists, we immediately say “no”. The correct answer is more straightforward and resilient.
Parental Consent and Home Schooling
The age of consent, the age of adulthood, is a muddy topic in America and elsewhere. Only in the USA can a person be given a rifle and trained to kill – but can’t have a beer legally, let alone a “joint”. This is not a good venue for discussing what it “means” to be an adult, but we can say that parents should have, up to the age of “adulthood”, authoritative say in their children’s education. Not every parent is a great teacher on every subject, or might not have the time (single parent), but that, too, can be solved using voluntary co-op based education versus public or government schooling.
If parents/primary-care-givers within the community work together, sharing their skills and interests and expertise, it should be possible and desirable to establish voluntary co-op schools within the Resilient Communities. How this works is a function of creative problem solving, and not some top-down “Ministry of Education” approach. Over time, we hope to publish as part of this living document specific examples of what has been done, what seems to work. Right now, we are in the early stages of this endeavor (as of August 2017, this writing), and we cannot and must not pre-judge any approach.
Of course there are shared values and methods that liberty minded types and anarchists adhere to – and ample materials online to support single or co-op based home schooling.
It is our judgment that the next, logical, phase of education following home-schooling would be the apprenticeship or trade period of education. It is not relevant to pick years for this, but this period of education might begin as early as 16 or as late as the early to mid-20’s. The purpose of education is not to predetermine when a student is ready to learn, but to be available with useful knowledge and training WHEN the student is ready.
Crypto-apprenticeship and Ongoing Adult Education
The crypto-apprenticeship concept is based partly upon the blockchain, and partly upon the recognition that “universities” have failed the communities they seek to advance, and, ultimately, themselves. Universities are medieval leftovers, and their “core” areas of competence, being stressed, amounts to a lot of post-modern desiderata and other mock-worthy garbage.
These apprenticeship contracts might begin (probably begin) as smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. This information would combine unique public key components of a “trainer” or “educator” and the students own public key. Using “smart contracts”, we can allow the student “to take with them”, wherever they go, a private, secure, copy of their Curriculum Vitae – and as such an artifact more useful than any college diploma.
Our Resilient Ways crypto-apprenticeship programs may end up partnering with private universities and this would allow for credits to be gained from the apprenticeship experiences.
If 3rd parties exist, already, to support crypto-apprenticeship, as described, then we should seek these out and use these.
Shared Library and Ontology
We will use off-the-shelf open-source technologies (like Word Press and the LAMP stack) to deploy shared environments, websites, and repositories of knowledge. How this gets indexed does not require some committee or quasi-governmental organization. We would organize this information and index it on a voluntary and co-op basis. This applies to physical libraries as well.
It is quite possible that many, if not all, of your community would have their own private physical and electronic libraries. If the community decides, it can create a shared lending library, which can be 100% virtual, and this merely becomes an arrangement with a delivery service for outside the immediate community.
Ideally – the voluntary co-op libraries would also host small computer labs, and would allow for lending, voluntarily, of excess computing equipment. One of the advantages of a 100% Linux/open-source computing environment is that the useful lifetimes of various devices are extended. This is not to imply designed obsolescence in the native operating systems (or, is it?).
All of this information should be tied into the co-op ontology. The co-op ontology represents how, structurally, knowledge and issues, within the community, are resolved, and other forms of relevant practical knowledge. Articles by any community member are posted. Assumption is that this co-op ontology and its blog would be free and open speech and therefore parents would be expected to be responsible for what their kids view. One would also expect people to “tag” their articles, appropriately, so that the right audience is addressed.
The intra-community blog would be the central spoke around which the “shared knowledge” is grouped, on any and every subject, within the community. Any external access to this space would be determined by the community, although all the materials could easily be published elsewhere without repercussions. The knowledge that is shared is intended for public consumption – so a community might decide to make many if not all their materials available via some public facing blog hosted outside the DMZ of their community’s VPN.