Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Low Tech Education Notes - The Cost of Education

I don't really enforce these rules and details, that would be too much of a buzz kill for a game. Still when I tinker, I am aware that the world view regarding the details that go into education and how we are able to think and process ideas and experience.

Being educated in Low Tech eras in GURPS is expensive. 
  • 3 points for being able to read and write, 
  • 5 points for being able to do arithmetic past single digits. 
  • 3 points to be able to speak and comprehend the lingua franca, and being skilled in the language of every major cultural and trading partner is another 2-3 points. 
  • If you study and practice your language skills you will need research and writing. 
  • Savoir-Faire at least 1 point for decent manners. 
  • When addressing a crowd or speaking in public, you may want to have Performance or Public Speaking. A low skill may show as lack of confidence (a lot of those who shake and are visibly nervous when speaking in public)
  • You have to be versed with all the religious practices and various superstitions of your people, like how many angels dance on the pin of a needle. Theology 1cp for the faithful with optional specialization as Devotee (all the stuff you have to take on faith). The purpose of deeper religious education is fulfillment in lives of Sacred people and their practices, as well as dogma and teachings. If your pragmatist, it becomes a Political Tool allowing you to manipulate interpretations to suit your purposes.  
  • You would be marked as an outsider if you don't know the legends, myths, and stories and histories of your people with Literature and History. 1pt is every wive's tale, as you reach 4pts you can recite verses of these epics (since they usually in a form of a song or poetry). It should allow allow you some history rolls OR storytelling public speaking rolls at minor default. Also many sayings and expressions will draw from this. 
  • If you are in court or dealing with a lot of high status people you will need to be versed with History (dynasties) and know all your relatives and feuds and alliances, and so many juicy gossip to entertain you hours without end. Heraldry could be an Optional Specialization of this kind of History. 
  • Sometimes you are taught law if your family and people follow Roman traditions or Something Equivalent, especially if you are of a High social status where you are expected to play judge. Norse, Gothe, and Ethnic Traditions of Law can be useful because its knowledge of precedents. Consider these ethnic laws and traditions as optional specializations.
  • If you're really lucky, you'd have a Science teacher, Aka Natural Philosophers, who will teach you philosophy of the great masters, Natural Philosophy (what passes for science), Geometry, and Naturalist. 
    • Socratic, Platonic, Aristotelian, Hipocratic system, Pythagoras, Stoicism, etc....
    • Arthashastra, Bhuddism, Moizm, Confucianizm, Legalism, Logicians, School of Diplomacy, etc...
  • This does not include the training expected of a Warrior. It it is anything like boot camp, about 4 hours a day 6 days a week with a teacher from 6-8  on wards. The hours and teaching can be up to 70cp at just 16 in Physical conditioning and skills. 
  • In the East you are required to learn Divination (Religious Ritual and Fortune telling), and you are required to know all the ancestors and all the legends and stories. Your mastery of this colors your mannerisms and tastes, and marks your status. This is an important skill, because legitimacy hangs on it - at least at levels of IQ+2.
  • Politics and Current Affairs Politics would a more refined art and more of a requirement as part of education since there are many many vassals and lords and relations. 
  • Administration, Accounting, and Merchant are important skills since management of estates and holdings keeps many noble families busy and shorthanded. The threat of Scholar Administrators deposing Noble families is always a contentious matter in court, and the Noble families have to outshine the common born scholars as well as rise to the heights of Kingship amids the weakening Zhou. 
  • If fortunate, the education is well rounded thanks to the Hundred Schools of thought that debate and compete to be the formost school of thought in Zhongguo. 
    • If you're lucky you would learn Logic with the Logicians, Geometry and Engineering with the Moists, Psychology and Diplomacy with the Confucians, Law and Administration with the Legalists, Farming with the Agriculturalists, The flow of Heaven from the Daoists, Natural Sciences with the Yinyangjian, and if you are really Lucky (unusual background) probably meet a strange man from the far South west and tales of Inner Peace etc... 
Your teacher counts as a Contact or Ally and you really don't stop consulting him and your fellow students, your fellow students are also Contacts or Allies, and you have to come from money to afford an education (unless your parent is the teacher, or you are a ward or a household vassal family). 
If you didn't invest in an education, you don't have the basic critical thinking skills of 5th grade level we take for-granted in the present day (assuming your education was not replaced with BS).

Note that Ignorance is a tool of the powerful.

In the Modern World much of these hours our built into our life style and by the Infrastructure laid down by wiser people. The infrastructure of Education serves to bring the cost of education down and make the pursuit of knowledge a natural part of our daily lives (see the internet). All these points are "free" in an era. In later Eras Healthcare (through augmentations) may also be "free" in the same way, so will the tools to make for a dignified existence (IMTU the gov't subsidizes ship creation for this purposes, everyone is part of a ship to participate in inter and intera stellar trade)
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