The entire concept of “Cyber City,” an idealized high-concept mecca of lifelong integrated learning, is an interesting idea…on paper. Dennis Gooler and Charles Stegman, the authors of the paper conceptualizing the technology-driven education-centric civilization known as “Cyber City,” raise some very interesting and pertinent points. The idea of integrating technology into all facets of learning makes absolute sense, and it completely inarguable, especially in today’s day and age when technology is progressing so quickly and as a result the entire construction of the social strata is changing constantly with it.
The only way for a person to continue learning (and even begin to remotely keep with up with the constantly progressing technology-driven cultural atmosphere) id by implementing technology into his/her everyday learning techniques. It is also perfectly reasonable that the process of learning be made ongoing throughout a person’s life, and in every facet of their social and working environments.
(TECHNICALLY, this is already the case regardless—it is human nature to constantly be learning, mentally absorbing the things around them and internalizing everything in order to better inform future activities and decisions—ask any sociologist, and all would agree that the learning process never stops, it just looks different and comes from different sources. However, to assume that a school-like atmosphere is the only one in which a person can receive a valuable education is more than just naive; it is insulting.
And no person could possibly deny without bias another human being’s right to learn, and have equal access to learning materials as all other people, giving everyone the same advantages and leveling the playing field. These are all excellent ideas. Not unlike the idea that all people should have equal shares in personal property and should be economically equal with no division in social status and thus no gaping discrepancy between the rich and poor.
That idea is called socialism, communism in its more violent form, and though it sounds good on paper in practice they just can’t seem to get it to work right. What Gooler and Stegman have introduced here is the idea of Utopia; might as well call it Heaven. Though it may be fun to extrapolate endlessly on the “wouldn’t-it-be-great-if”s, this kind of (albeit altruistic) daydreaming does not in itself beget a plan of action.
What the authors have effectively proven throughout this, their endless fantasizing of a perfect world, is that they have no real plan of action (the repeated refusal to outline a strategy as to how to raise the money for such a project and keep it afloat after the fact is a glaringly obvious testament as to just how unworkable this plan is). Their model seems to be based on the idea that if everyone got along and everyone pitched in and helped out and they all agreed to do this together then it would be great.
But there is so much emphasis on learning, and every area within this Cyber City is in some way sanctioned for additional learning, that authors/imaginers of this plan fail to account for the need this city will have to continue brining in revenue, and a great deal of it (which won’t happen if the workplace is forced to open its doors and arms to being a place of learning for all who desire to do so), not to mention even approaching the question of who is going to foot the bill for all these high-tech gadgets to increase learning abilities which would be made accessible to one and all!
Bottom line is: this is capitalism, not socialism, and it sounds like a great idea, really it does, but don’t come out with such a lengthy imagining of a perfect world without having some sort of workable plan of action to see it to fruition. And sorry, but you do need to address the money issue. You just can’t circle-speak your way around it.
So thank you for the lovely imaginings of a world so much better than our own, a world in which money doesn’t matter and people aren’t expected to do anything all day every day except learn, and in a completely non-structured learning environment at that, but please try to bring a little more substance into it next time. Thanks for playing.