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Topic: How to Be a Successful Human
Replies: 11   Last Post: Dec 13, 2012 8:20 PM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: How to Be a Successful Human
Posted: Dec 12, 2012 1:37 AM
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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:
> 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 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 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.

("Still Shoveling Away!")

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