“Whoa, nice,” I said as we rolled up to the school building. It didn’t look like what I think of when I think school building, like red bricks and stuff. It looked more like a small office building, with about 10 or 12 floors.
We rolled up to the doors and they opened automatically. Inside was a lobby and a reception desk, staffed by a telepresence robot with a woman’s face on the screen.
“May I help you?” she asked.
“Uh, I guess? I mean…” I didn’t actually know why we were there. I was just playing along.
But then the voice of the Guide took over:
WE’RE HERE FOR THE SELF-GUIDED TOUR.
“Alright,” said the woman with dark hair and glasses. “I’m authorizing the track right now. When you’re ready, we’ll switch you over to autopilot.”
“Okay. I’m ready,” I said. An icon appeared in the goggle display next to the word AUTOPILOT flashing in yellow.
“Enjoy!” she said.
“Yeah, thanks,” I said, trying to wave the controller around. But I guess I didn’t have any arms, cause nothing seemed to happen.
Then a track lit up on the floor, and my robot just followed it automatically. I didn’t mind taking a break from controlling it actually. It was cool, but this was all still a lot to get used to.
The track took us along a narrow hallway that like totally seemed specially designed for tours. We could see down into a bunch of different rooms and stuff. They were all filled with telepresence robots, each with a kid’s face in it.
THERE IS NO TEACHER IN THIS SCHOOL.
“What? That’s weird. But cool I guess,” I said.
IT’S TOTALLY COOL, IN FACT. YOU SEE, EACH STUDENT IS ENTRUSTED WITH 100 TRUTHCOINS WHEN THEY BEGIN THEIR STUDIES, REGARDLESS OF AGE. THE PURPOSE OF THESE COINS IS FOR THEIR OWNERS TO INVEST THEM IN THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS, WHICH IS A LITERAL MARKET HERE, AND TO EARN THE GREATEST RETURN POSSIBLE.
We rolled on past a giant electronic display that showed all the students names, and ranked them with a bunch of numbers and stuff.
THIS IS THE LEADERBOARD. HERE YOU CAN SEE WHICH STUDENTS ARE WINNING, HOW MANY TRUTHCOINS THEY HAVE AMASSED, AND SOME OTHER STATS.
“And this one?” I said as the track took us past another mega huge display, with like fifty different screens in it or something.
HERE NEWS RELATED TO THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS IS FEATURED, ALONG WITH RELEVANT TRADING DATA.
“Hm, like a stock market but for ideas. Totally cool. Can anybody play or is it just for students?”
ANY MEMBER WITH FULL PRIVILEGES MAY INVEST, OF COURSE.
We passed by another larger room, which had in it what looked like an assembly. The robots almost looked like they were swarming or something.
“What in heck’s going on here?”
THE STUDENTS ARE ENGAGED IN A VIRTUAL DEBATE WHICH HAS GONE VIRAL. THIS IS ONE OF THEIR FORUMS. A GREAT DEAL OF TRUTHCOINS HAVE BEEN STAKED.
PARTICIPANTS IN BOTH STUDENT OR PUBLIC FORUM DEBATES MUST STAKE TRUTHCOINS IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE. THE MEMBERS WHO ATTEND IRL AND REMOTELY ALSO MUST PUT UP A STAKE TO OBSERVE. THE STAKED AMOUNTS GO TO THE WINNING SIDE.
“How do you decide who wins?” I asked, genuinely curious. I thought it sounded awesome.
IT’S COMPLICATED, BUT THERE IS A BLOCKCHAIN-BASED CONSENSUS MECHANISM, ON WHICH TECHNICAL POINTS ARE AWARDED AND VOTES TALLIED. AN ALGORITHM USES THOSE INPUTS AND SOME OTHER PROPRIETARY DATA SOURCES TO DECLARE A WINNER.
“So, the computer decides?”
THE COMPUTER SIMPLY TALLIES AND APPLIES AN ALGORITHM. MANY FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED.
“Like what, for example?”
WELL, THE PRIMARY VALUATION WE PLACE ON IDEAS IS OF COURSE VIRALITY. THESE IDEAS BY VIRTUE OF POPULARITY, OF COURSE, ARE CONSIDERED TO BE MORE TRUE. FOR EXAMPLE, DO MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THEM OR LIKE THEM, OR AT LEAST REACT STRONGLY WHEN PRESENTED WITH THEM? DO MEMBERS WANT TO ENGAGE WITH THESE IDEAS, WHETHER NEGATIVELY OR POSITIVELY? IT IS QUITE AN EXACT SCIENCE, IN FACT.
“That actually sounds really smart,” I said, agreeing with them. “It sounds totally smart as hell.”
INDEED, MY DUDE. AND YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT ELSE…
THE IDEAS THEY INVEST IN AND TRADE ARE CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND ALTERNATIVE HISTORY.
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE MUST DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH. AND INSTEAD OF FORCING PEOPLE TO BELIEVE SOMETHING, OR LIKE WONDERING WHY DON’T THEY TEACH SUCH AND SUCH CONSPIRACY OR ALTERNATIVE HISTORY THING IN SCHOOL, WE DECIDED TO ONLY TEACH THOSE IN SCHOOL. AND IT’S GOING FRICKIN’ GREAT.
“Damn, that’s lit. Like, really innovative af. Wow, just wow. Holy cow…” My mind was seriously blown. “My mind is literally blown right now, hfs. You guys thought of everything.”
WE KNOW. IT’S TOTALLY CHILL. WAIT TIL YOU SEE THE REST.