The Liberal Arts Are the Future

I think you’re right about this. Nevertheless, the woke mob have managed to capture some incredibly important real estate in academia and mass media. In this sense, the battle may not be lost but it is indeed a furious battle… to a large degree, the woke have captured the heights of the academy and media… and so, the masses beneath must at least be put on guard against the superior weaponry of the woke, even if their numbers are inferior.

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I actually think the battle is just beginning. Woke is out in the open now, they’ve taken the gloves off. A lot of people didn’t notice it before, but they’re starting to now.

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" Unfortunately, the rise of STEM has come at the expense of the liberal arts."

Assumes facts not in evidence.

“It is apparently not enough to offer pathways to potential engineers and scientists and encourage them in their pursuits—those who want to continue their liberal arts education are frequently derided for selecting a worthless pursuit.”

Classical liberal arts programs are worthwhile - however many are left. Woke studies certainly are worse-than-worthless pursuits. And the drops in humanities enrolments in recent years confirms this.

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That’s good perspective. I guess sometimes “everything looks like a nail”. And I hope you’re right.

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Although I agree with some of your conclusions, I am impelled to respond to a number of remarkable and IMO unwarranted assertions.

"They might have had hard skills in the hard sciences, but that hardness made them inflexible in a rapidly changing environment.

Those who reject the liberal arts never learn how to be independent.

Almost by necessity, they adopt what Friedrich Nietzsche termed a ‘slave morality’—they need a master to employ them, lead them, and think for them.

They don’t create, they merely operate in what’s already been created.

In many ways, this is easier than continually asking difficult questions and developing complex answers."

Such beliefs suggest a fundamental inability to recognize or understand scientific and mathematical creativity and originality. These fields were not developed by rote automatons. They are the result of profoundly original, complex, highly flexible thinking.

Not that there are any examples of nations that “exclusively prioritize STEM,” yet you continue with assertions about them.

"Nations that exclusively prioritize STEM end up with unimaginative, conformist cultures led by unimaginative, conformist oligarchs.

They may be materially wealthier, but they are also morally and spiritually impoverished.

The impulses to participate, contemplate, innovate, create, celebrate, or procreate are smothered by an illiberal education that turns human beings into human capital."

Representing someone gifted in STEM as “… the person who can only follow directions” requires that one overlook some of the deepest work in philosophy throughout civilization. Einstein, Popper, the Greek mathematicians/philosophers, Russell, come immediately to mind but a cursory search would turn up many counter-examples.

Darwin was one of the greatest, and he is an example of someone who had the broad education you recommend. “The Voyage of the Beagle” is a remarkable, reflective, beautifully written book. Read the last few pages to understand how thoroughly Darwin is misrepresented, by simplistic thinkers who have probably never read his original works.

I do not find STEM people to be any more or less rigid, flexible, creative, rote, than liberal arts majors. I do believe it is easier for a STEM person to recognize creativity in the liberal arts than it is for a liberal arts person to recognize STEM creativity.

I do not see STEM and liberal arts as opposed. I love the arts. My grad degree is in art, after a Physics undergrad degree. Most artists and liberal arts people, I regret to share, are as derivative and rote in their thinking as any among us. I will put my originality and creativity up against anyone’s, yet I happen to be mathematically gifted, too. They are not mutually exclusive.

Education in math did not turn me into the inflexible, unimaginative, conformist, morally and spiritually impoverished robot you represent, and arts education did not relieve me of any tendencies toward those characteristics.

I was a flexible and original thinker in the first place, which is what makes me good at math and art. It was not learning about art or the humanities that made me flexible and original. IMO, you put too much emphasis on the questionable ability of education to inculcate thinking abilities, rather than to provide information and social skills with which to apply those abilities.

I agree that the liberal arts have merit. Your unsupported negative assumptions about STEM culture is not a persuasive way to present that argument. Do you encourage your students to make unsupported assertions, in your own classes?

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Perhaps that is your issue with STEM. I have a maths degree but I’d read widely way before entering college.

Novels (non-fiction) are the heart of humanity, expressed by authors of mostly good intent, or at least self-authentic intent.

Well yes, STEM subjects are absolutely required for the sustainence of our society.

Your life literally depends on science.

Ermmm, I think this attitude is coming out of the liberal arts. Critical theory in all its new forms.

Let me give you an example. Critical Race Theory suggests that the empirical (yes science, statistical) difference in outcomes between “African Americans” as in descendents of former slaves, and white Americans is due to racism. This is called systemic racism. The scientific observation is that there is a different outcome between demographic groups in the USA.

For apology I have no skin in this game - I’m a dark skinned person who was born in Africa and has lived most of my life here.

Now liberal arts students, with no understanding of statistics claim that police in the USA are shooting black people a lot.

I use the term “a lot” deliberately here. Like a lot compared to what? To police shooting white people? No, police shoot more white people than black people every year. So, more by capita? Yes, police shoot way more black people per capita than white people.

Ok, maybe we have a case here for defunding the police.

As you, the author, very well know, defunding the police has resulted in substantial statistically valid increase of black homicide victims.

What was wrong with our analysis? Yes police kill black people more often than white people per capita. Surely eliminating the police would reduce black homicide?

So, STEM comes to the rescue. Stats. Most black people in the USA are killed by fellow black people. Most violent crime, yes more than 50%, is committed by black people. The victims are majority black people. Non-hispanic, non-asian black Americans constitute about 15% of the USA population. Yes I include “first nation” people because their level of violent crime is similar to that of the ex-slave black American population.

The reason that the USA police kill more black people per capita than white people is purely due to the incidence of police involvement in mostly violent crime situations.

The problem is not the police. The problem is black American society.

So why is liberal arts important? Well yes, this has all been written about before. The ancient texts or even medieval texts were wise from a personal perspective if not a statistical perspective.

Liberal arts is a good education as long as you teach humility and self-reflection which is really the “scientific method”.

Instead it seems most liberal arts degrees are conferred on those that are most fragile and narcissistic. That’s ok, it was always thus.

The real problem here is that most of your students find jobs in what used to be journalism and what now is self-obsessed posing, aka opinion pieces.

There needs to be a balance. Most techies I work with are not well read. However pretty much all ex liberal arts students have really fundamental misunderstanding of the world they inhabit, and what gives the their ability, not right, to exist.

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Compelled, unless you are a circular automaton,

Lovely response. Should have read it before my poor attempt.

Here is the thing with science. Without creativity there is nothing to test. Without the formal “scientific method” there is no useful creativity.

Creativity in and of itself is useful, only for emotional humans.

Scientific creativity on the other hand with rigourous self-checking, is the path to useful technology.

So, where and why did the scientific method evolve? Empirically for some reason in western Europe.

For sure we used mathematics and technology from past cultures or civilisations.

However, western European science and tech has proven far more powerful than anything that came before.

Why? I don’t know. Western Europeans were running around in bear skins when the Indus, Egyptian and later Arab cultures were strong.

It makes no sense, but western European colonialism of the world does make sense.

When homo sapiens existence is defined by who owns the best tech, which it always has been, western Europeans dominated.

We see that as bad nowadays and only because the world’s population is flourishing because of western European technology, notably large-scale agriculture and modern (western) medicine.

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In the United States where I live, the humanities, and academia in general, are politically biased. The political skew among the humanities is laughably absurd. A paper in Econ Journal Watch showed that in history departments, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 33 to 1. Overall, academia is getting worse. The Democratic:Republican ratio among the oldest professors (over age 65) is a “mere” 10 to 1, but among the youngest professors (under age 36), it is nearly 23 to 1.

Taken together, the collapse of the humanities should have been foreseen. If you’re a parent, why would you encourage your child to be indoctrinated with a skewed worldview? If you’re a student, why would you voluntarily sign up for a major that demonstrably has poorer job and earnings prospects but the same mountain of debt?

The tragedy in all this is that the humanities are important. But we’re watching as an entire academic discipline digs its own grave, but doesn’t know why it’s digging it. – American Council on Science and Health

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In the United States, the quality of education has been declining since the 60s. The college level of student uproar and organized rebellion taught the Elite a lesson. The lession was that “education” had to be controlled and manipulated less the common people become “educated” to the point that they might over through the Elite and their “rulers”.

In the past, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, virtually all American intellectuals publicly adhered to, if not espoused, a socialist utopia based on egalitarianism, i.e. the egalitarian fiction. And many demonstrated their party loyalty by enforcing the fiction in myriad small ways in their academic routine, say, by off-handedly dismissing racial differences in intelligence as “a racist claim, of course,” criticizing authors for “blaming the victim,” or discouraging students and colleagues from doing “sensitive” research. An eminent editor, after asking an author to soften the discussion in his article, recently published the revised paper with an editorial postscript admonishing scientists in the field to find a “balance” between the need for free exchange of research results on intelligence(IQ) and the (presumably comparable) “need” that “no segment of our society…feel threatened” by it. Enforcement of the egalitarian fiction is not a moral or scientific imperative; it is merely political . It is terribly short-sighted, for it corrupts both science and society.

American colleges and universities today have become a place where too many immature young people hide from the Grownup World. The professors prefer to do intellectual battle with children every semester. Intellectual diversity is what most colleges’ value least. Instead, it is only diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation that rules the day in higher education. This agenda dominates most US institutions of higher education in faculty hiring, student admissions, curricula, student life programs and virtually every other aspect of college life. Typical academics have internalized the attitudes that have come to dominate the Western intellectual scene. There’s no question that it’s a herd mentality.

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You allude, if not downright accuse the USA media et al, of skewing the facts of race and crime in the USA. If so, I agree.

In reality, a nation is defined as a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

Multi-ethnic democracies like the current USA are always tiered, undemocratic societies because it is impossible for them to be other than tiered, undemocratic societies. Such societies are always undemocratic because the diverse peoples making up the society have nothing in common to serve as the foundation for the society’s laws — no common mythology, no common language, no common culture, no common history, and most important no common vision of the society’s future. Therefore, the laws of the society are always unpopular with many of the society’s subjects, who would certainly either take over the society’s government, or set up their own new nation on a portion of the country if they could do so democratically. Therefore, the people must be denied democracy in order to hold the society together and force must be used to keep the resulting undemocratic and unpopular government in power. Multi-ethnic societies are necessarily tiered because a certain group or groups must be given special privileges to enlist their support in the subjugation of the other groups. The more groups a society has, the more tiers it will have. Empires have laws, of course, but they’re a facade, and massed behind the facade and ever ready to smash the inevitable rebellions of the empire’s subjects are the appropriate military formations — the Pretorian Guard of ancient Rome, the Royal British Navy, Hitler’s Waffen SS, the KGB and MVD internal security forces of Russia, and whatever band of mercenary thugs that will be charged with binding Imperial America together. The cynicism that always accompanies undemocratic, imperial governments promotes corruption, social tiering, militarism, racism, tribalism, and intolerance of all conceivable varieties. Few geopolitical entities can be neatly described as entirely democratic or imperial, and most exist at some point in the spectrum between the two. Chiefly because of our ongoing multi-ethnic and multicultural demographic transformation, America is now drifting from the democratic, nation-like end of the spectrum towards the undemocratic, racist and empire-like end of the spectrum. This ongoing transition has been accompanied by social upheaval and violence, and the future necessarily holds increasing levels of both, which could easily culminate in an all-out civil war. This erosion of democracy due to our ongoing demographic transformation into an imperial state is becoming the focus of separatist groups.

just a quote bro thats all