Further my post dt. Dec 11, 2012 5:30 AM, at this thread, I believe the following might be useful:
Key to the issue of 'Science & technology' Vs. 'Humanities' (if "versus" is the appropriate word), the following passage from Kevin Cool should be emphasized: <snip> > > We need people who know how to write computer > code, build space rockets and perform heart > surgery. All of these are important and desirable > skills. What humanities education provides that > these don't, necessarily, is a handle on what we > value (philosophy), what mistakes we've learned > from (history), how to understand other cultures > (comparative literature) and how to interpret and > describe what we encounter from day to day > (English). You know, how to be a successful human. >
Even further emphasis might be useful with respect to 'the case for humanities':
- -- "a handle on what we value (philosophy)" - -- "what mistakes we've learned from (history)" - -- "how to understand other cultures (comparative literature)" - -- "how to interpret and describe what we encounter from day to day (English)" [English; US English; Indian English; Australian English; Hindi; Russian; whatever].
I observe that a fair bit of the above is, in the main, contrary to a number of the values that Haim has not unexpectedly expressed at http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7935323 and elsewhere. That is, Haim seems to be making the case that Kevin Cool has disposed of in the paragraphs quoted below: > > The case against studying the humanities is this, > boiled down: They're irrelevant. They're not > Useful. They won't get you a job that pays the > bills, including the bills you stacked up > learning them. > > Well, that's just not true, and Stanford faculty > have decided they're tired of hearing it. They > are on a mission to change these misconceptions > about humanities and oh, by the way, to point out > that Stanford has some of the best programs in > the humanities anywhere in the world. >
I observe that, despite the general vagueness and real ineffectiveness of many efforts made to convince a world sold on 'technology values' that the humanities are important to us, I, as a former 'science&technology specialist', claim:
The humanities are not just important, but ESSENTIAL to our emotional and intellectual well-being.
The tools described at the attachments to my message at http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 can help one convince him-/her-self that I am making a valid case. It can be demonstrated, for instance, that 'learning the humanities' will (if done effectively) in no way diminish one's skills and insights as a scientist/ technologist: in fact, such study of humanities might well enhance, very significantly indeed, one's scientific and technological skills.