A special form of preanalysis

From Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge. The year is 2025. Ms. Chumlig is teaching a class in “Search and Analysis” at a San Diego high school:

“There are many different skills,” she was saying. “Sometimes it’s best to coordinate with lots of other people who together can make the answers.” The students nodded. Be a coordinator. That’s where the biggest and most famous money was. […]

[Ms. Chumlig continues after an interruption.] “This class is about search and analysis, the heart of the economy. We obviously need search and analysis as consumers. In almost all modern jobs, search and analysis are how we make our living. But in the end, we must also know something about something.”

“Meaning those courses we got C’s in, right?” That was a voice from the peanut gallery […]

Chumlig sighed. “Yes. Don’t let those skills die. You’ve been exposed to them. Use them. Improve on them. You can do it with a special form of preanalysis that I call `study.'”

Yeah, that’s where we’re going. You don’t believe it? It’s from the same guy who imagined the Internet long before Al Gore did.


Filed under books, teaching

2 responses to “A special form of preanalysis

  1. Allen Knutson

    It’s from the same guy who imagined the Internet long before Al Gore did.

    “True Names” is from 1981; Al Gore’s involvement with the Internet dates from the 1970s, according to Wikipedia. (Though the famous Gore bill is from 1991.)

  2. Allen – You’re right, I was indeed thinking of the “Gore bill.” I stand corrected. According to the sources that Wikipedia links to, Gore at least understood the importance of information technology quite early on, and acted accordingly. Whether he could have described the future Internet as Vinge did – who knows…