If information is power, then education makes you powerful. That’s never been truer than now, in 2050, when education is the most valuable commodity a person can own – a measure not just of social social status and earning potential but often the likelihood of simply surviving.

Consequently, education is also expensive to obtain. Nations cannot afford a common education policy or public schools anymore but there are still several avenues available to those who want to learn.

At street level, the most common way of getting an education beyond what can be picked up from your peers and elders is to enrol in a virtual school or college. With the advent of common, cheap, VR technology such methods have become very sophisticated, but are also very expensive. A single college credit can easily cost an entire years earning for a working-class Dole. That means that many take an easier route – install a chipsocket and “plug in” datachips with the knowledge they need. Some basic educational tutor chips are available, but many are of questionable quality.

For Proles, the corporate wage-slaves of 2050, education is something their corporation provides. Schools and colleges in the corporate arcologies use a mix of real live teachers and virtual teaching methods. They have high standards and expectations – so high many students crack and commit suicide – although they tend towards technical subjects. Also, corporate education is awash with propaganda and outright brainwashing designed to create company loyalty and unquestioning obedience. And the costs become part of a young adult’s debt to the company, ensuring he or she will have to work hard for several years just to clear his childhood debts.

The Elite, as ever, have the best of everything. Their private educational facilities are in picturesque locations far from the hoi-polloi and from pollution, are equpped and manned to the very highest standrads and are guarded by expensive security at all times. A child from a Golden family can also expect a far wider and less biased education than a corporate one and a choice of career paths that include science and the arts even if their parents would prefer they joined one of the family’s shareheld assets as a junior executive.


Edgerunners Langy Langy