The Random University
Inspired by that Paul Graham quote I went off on a tangent. This is maybe a story idea or an utopian view of a possible future. Imagine our way of "finding a job" worked differently...
[update: I have started to write some scenes for a story to illustrate this idea. Scrolldown in the post to see links]
Here's how it might work:
- Professions are not choosen, but handed out randomly.
- After a relatively short period of introduction, apperentices are tested for "interest". "Could you imagine to find passion in this profession?". If they don't pass this test, they re-enter the lottery and move on.
- The apperentices are then trained at the profession. Masters have one major test or goal in mind: can the apperentice learn to love this profession? All teaching and training aims for one thing: to produce professionals that do their job well because they love what they are doing.
- Apperentices are "tested" in regular intervals for their passion at their profession. Should they fail the tests, they re-enter the lottery for another profession to be assigned to them.
- Apperentices are paid enough during training to sustain themselves, but not much more. Only passing the final "Test Of Passion" grants them full status and income as a professional.
My idea is based on the following asumptions:
- One needs to love what one is doing to do it well
- Without prior knowledge of the subject, we can't really decide if we might love something
- Passion for a subject can be passed on and be fostered. (Just as surely as we all know the oposite: a teacher ruining a subject for lifetime by giving a gruesome class)
- Skill will follow passion. A dedicated man will most likely do a good job.
- And this might be the most problematic: Given the right introduction most anybody can be warmed for most anything.
One obvious consequence of such a system would that much of the "success" of a profession relies on the passion of the teachers/masters. Initial introduction decides much of the passion a apperentice might find for a given field.
Also this "lottery" will be "weighted". Professions with a higher number of "free slots" are more likely to come up in the drawing.
I'd love to hear others thoughts about this!
Here are some short fiction scenes I'm writing to illustrate this idea:
- Scene I
- (there was more planned but it hasn't happened yet)
More thoughts on the idea in revisiting the Random University.
- The Random University (Scene I)
- cracking the reluctant volunteer effect
- first, second and n-th level creativity
- revisiting the Random University
alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors