“What people in 1900 thought the year 2000 would look like,” today’s Wonkblog at the Washington Post, highlights a series of French paintings from around 1900, collectively titled, “France in the Year 2000.”

Looking back at past predictions is always fascinating. So many ideas centered on machinery for communication, transportation and basic household chores. (Even The Jetsons had FaceTime and Roomba figured out.)

But the one that caught my eye today was the painting depicting a schoolroom. The teacher and his assistant are putting books into a churn that apparently delivers the information directly into the students’ heads. It’s the view of education as disembodied, abstract knowledge, consumed rather than constructed.