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Statement to the Intergalactic Board of Education (#1)

M31 (Andromeda Galaxy)

M31 Andromeda Galaxy by astrorom, some rights reserved


From UNN–The Universal News Network. 56,000,000,000 galaxies, 300,000,000,000,000,000 sentient beings, a googolplex of lifeforms, but only ONE source for news.

The following is a transcript of Mr. Sean Clancy’s letter to the Intergalactic Board of Education with regard to the future of the class known as CIS 0835, or “Cyberspace & Society”. Please bear in mind that the views expressed within are entirely his own and do not reflect those of UNN.




Where to begin. I must say it came as a bit of a shock to me when I received my summons to testify before the IBE. There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which was that before that, no one on Earth knew we were even subject to the rulings of the IBE, or for that matter that we were not alone in the universe. It came as a bit of a shock to the President, the United Nations, and I must say mankind in general that the first thing these sentient alien beings wanted to discuss with us was the fate of Cyberspace & Society.  It was probably an even greater shock that you wanted to hear my views on the matter. All though I petitioned your spokesman somewhat vigorously for transportation to appear in person, he mentioned that the budget of the IBE was rather small. Already I can see some common threads between us humans and your multitude of species. Also there were other trivial concerns like me “not being able to comprehend interstellar travel” and “everything I know and love being gone on my return”. But on to the heart of the matter.

If you read like me, which is to say that in situations where someone is using many words to answer a “yes” or “no” question, then you scan paragraphs quickly to see if their opinion can be easily extracted from those paragraphs or if it lies buried deep within the catacombs of tedious reading. I would not burden you with the latter, so let me begin by saying yes, I believe CIS 0835 should be continued.

The IT revolution that has taken place on Earth has made dramatic changes to our human society. It is a change among changes, looming large amidst a backdrop of unending progress. So it goes without saying that such a thing requires study, not just by those engaged in higher education but by all of society to some degree. This course is one vehicle for such study, particularly with regard to the Internet, perhaps the most important and easily accessible component of this revolution.

It is not an uncommon theme in education to study the lives and dreams of pioneers, people who changed the world because they dared to dream. We have been trained our whole lives to admire such people, though regrettably society exerts great pressure on us to not emulate them. Be that as it may, those pioneers who dreamed of things like computer technology and the Internet deserve the same kind of admiration.That is one of the biggest things I took from this course.

I also found the experience of self-examination rewarding. When analyzing the Internet in the present-tense in the middle part of the course, I found that there were no right answers to be found so to speak, only my own reality. The examination of one’s own reality is fertile ground for useful thought. The same can be said of predicting the future.

All that being said, that does not mean I have no recommendations for improvement of the course. For one thing, since it is nominally a science class, I would like to see at least slightly more hard science explained or taught, even at a layman’s level. And while I find ds106 a good thing in principle, I cannot help but feel it gives an unfair advantage to hobbyists in specific fields (though I feel this was mostly alleviated by the requirement change in the last section).

I am but a simple human, humbled to share my thoughts with the board. But I must ask, gentlemen, that you heed my words. Thank you.


One Comment
  1. For a simple human being, you made a pretty persuasive case. I hope the board will choose to see it your way.

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