Are the kids okay?

There’s an education trend growing over the past couple years: Zeducation — gen z (and below) doing the “bring your whole self to work” thing except with all aspects of everything.

Traditionally, education was modeled after solemn monastery-like environments where you have a VERY SERIOUS LEADER giving UNQUESTIONABLE WISDOM to a silent non-moving audience. but, what if like, education wasn’t that?

What if education involved personality and excitement1?

Over the years we’ve had forced up on us various pop sci educators like Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye and Carl Sagan and Neil deSass Tyson, but even with a veneer of entertainment, they clearly still represent THE VERY SERIOUS ESTABLISHMENT of received knowledge. but, what if like, they didn’t have to represent that?

busking some knowledge

a creator snarked they are “basically a high level busker” and it shows the kids are okay.

Zeducation is what happens when you mix knowledge, ambition to share knowledge, and creative media framing together in the service of making knowledge sharing maximally entertaining without sacrificing accuracy or needing to water down dumb down or moron-ify the actual content at all2.

Zeducation only has three requirements:

  • creator is younger than 25 (as of 2023)
  • creator is excessively passionate and animate3 about a narrow area of expertise
  • creator is the presenter and probably the video editor too (no actors or externally sourced scripts involved because people are sharing their own expertise and natural excitement)

Free Zeducation:

Already, this seems unnatural according to “classic formal education.” The concept of youth combined with expertise is an abomination. You are obviously only allowed to teach large audiences if you have suffered the same 10,000 hours of subservience at university as the previous Authorized Distributors of Serious Knowledge.

Zeducation is an offshoot of “knowledge for normies” which follows the same pattern (excessive expertise delivered casually), but Zeducation imbues an additional no-walls effortless “i am a living meme” symphonic personality complex.

An additional component of both Zeducation and “knowledge for normies:” the knowledge is typically only, at best, tangentially useful. Their presentations feel magical in how they combine niche expertise (read: likely not practical for the entire watching audience) with enough fore-looking creativity to captivate an audience about the lifecycle of the Arctic Gerry Moss for 40 minutes. The utility of their presentations is either 50/50 entertainment/knowledge or even skewed as high as 80/20 entertainment/knowledge4.

Examples of a more legacy “knowledge for normies” is things like 12tone:

and medlifecrisis:

and even puppet history:

and lots of fun ones in the plan-o-sphere:

plus always our infallible Internet Emeritus:

and others!

play me out

So, what happened? i dunno. my best guess is gen-z is the first generation to have lead-free parents. The boomers who birthed millennials grew up with lead poisoned brains, then millennials still had a dose of lead poisoning in their early years environments (plus formed by leaded gametes), but the children of the trace-lead-millennials are Pb-free humans for the first time in a hundred years (plus, let’s say, microplastics since kids hit puberty starting at 9 now and nobody is pinning down a reason).

much like how movies originally preferred to feature 50-70 year olds as leading actors for the first 80 years of big media, education also used to basically be controlled by “the education elite5” who grew their way to the top then took all widespread high status opportunities for themselves (or if not themselves, then only for those they deemed worthy who suffered the same replicated historical traumas as them).

but then the world changed. now you can’t be in a movie if you’re older than 35 (maybe up to 50 with plastic surgery or if you’re a nostalgia magnet).

and now education is changing. there’s tons of people in school and barely out of school making high quality “bring your whole self to work” education material since they don’t have to wait 30 more years to “earn their place” or be censored by “education etiquette editors” so now we have zelenials saying “YO LETS TALK ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGY YOU FUCK” and then they produce 80 hours a year of in-depth entertaining and educational archaeology videos.

the new Zeducation trend of pro-social, pro-education, pro-curiosity, pro-growth content can’t be stopped as long as widespread no-gatekeeper-approval-required media continues to be a profitable outlet for self expression framed under distribution+discovery mechanisms living together in unlimited ad-sponsored privacy-wrecking harmony.

welcome to the future. now go learn about archaeology you fuck.

  1. and sharing your knowledge in online video formats means you can be MAXIMALLY EXCITING and EXCESSIVELY WELL PLANNED when necessary because it’s a single presentation versus having to give the same talk 8 times a week in an actual lecture hall; which is somewhat related to concepts of movies vs. plays — movies can have more ambitious stunts than plays because plays are repetitive performances and you can’t have your actors pushing themselves to the breaking point twice a day for years at a time

  2. like when TV “education” shows have 7 minutes of content, then a dramatic outro for a 3 minute commercial, then when the show returns it repeats the previous 30 seconds so you “catch up” again, with the pattern of “details, slow down, pause, ad break, repeat details, continue,” 5 times throughout a show.

  3. or just outright unmedicated ADHD

  4. nobody wants a 30 minute meme tutorial on how to unclog your toilet, but a 45 minute video on how the garfield tunnel GOT IT DONE? yes please.

  5. in a practical sense of "people saving opportunities for their own in-group at the exclusion to others not like them," so before you know it, in 40 years all jobs are held by the children of people who had the high-society jobs before, but not (entirely?) in a weird fox news BUT THA ELITES!!!! sense