As an unruly second grader I often endured the chalk-throwing rage of Mrs. Seaman (*giggle*). Not much fun, but at least I wasn’t being corporally punished by these “watchful robots that rap students on the head if they lose focus or act up.”

computopiaClass.jpg

This vision of the future, ominously entitled “The Rise of the Computerized School”, was illustrated by Shigeru Komatsuzaki for an article in a 1969 Shōnen Sunday magazine. The “Computopia” feature predicted that by 1989 our lives would be equal parts carefree and terrifying thanks to the pervasiveness of computers, telecommuting teachers, and pugilistic enforcer robots.

[via Pink Tentacle] [Thanks, Contorto!]

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


  • toolboy

    Excellent, can we get those at the next Maker Faire to keep the little ones captive in the Lego Gulag?

  • Kurt

    If you’ll notice, he’s getting a beatin’ not for misbehaving but for answering incorrectly.

    My guess is that he didn’t actually get it wrong but that it was a typo on his horribly small touch sensitive input pad.

  • Svenska

    This would have been our destiny if the 60s hadn’t made us so damn squishy… :) Computers Banzai!!

  • Anonymous

    check out the bigger head smackers suspended from the ceiling! Niiiiiiice…

  • craig

    WRONG! YOUR ANSWER IS IN ERROR! (whack, whack, whack)
    Wow, and that concept is from MY lifetime! Don’t get me wrong, some kids deserve a swat upside the head, but in school, by a teacher, by an enforcement machine? I was always a kid who took stuff apart, that robot would be 1st on my list. Of course having a hate list in school today is a crime, probably if the beating-bot is on it too.

  • erikotis

    To paraphrase the host of the “Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show,” “Your schools reward knowledge — we punish ignorance!”

  • craig

    Now wait a minute. I remember reading that Beethoven’s piano teacher used to beat him horribly for missing a note while playing. See how it helped him acheive. Perhaps if I’d been beaten by these machines, I’d be head engineer at NASA. Oops, I spelled achieve wrong… (whack, whack, whack!)