Funny Article on Liberal Arts

<p>Well, funny to <em>me</em>, the author probably wasn't going for "funny."</p>

<p>What</a> Are Liberal Arts? - My College Guide</p>

<p>The funniest part is this:</p>

<p>
[quote]
If you're worried about competing against those with more "practical" or narrowly defined degrees, such as business or engineering, don't be. "Liberal arts majors are as competitive as any other student entering the job market," assures Williams. </p>

<p>Peter Osgood, director of admission at Harvey Mudd College (CA) says that one reason for this is that liberal arts disciplines require the student to think about, write about, and to understand a broad range of topics from many perspectives. "They have to come to some generalizations and realizations about the material they are studying, rather than simply learning how to do a specific task," says Osgood. "Since technology moves society along at a faster and faster pace, the more ‘practical' education is more likely to become obsolete sooner. Liberal arts disciplines better prepare the student for change."</p>

<p>As Osgood explains, 40 years ago few could not have anticipated a world in which the Internet existed or that one could use a portable device to call a friend, text or tweet (terms that did not exist). "The only place to watch a movie was in a cinema, not a cell phone," he says. "Now that my own children are in high school, they can't imagine what innovations will occur by the time they hit the middle of life. Rather than having my children focus their learning on something transitory, like how to use certain kinds of computer languages or communications strategies that may become obsolete, I am convinced that they will have longer, more productive careers by understanding people and adapting the technical skills to that knowledge."

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</p>

<p>Yup. I would like to draw your attention to the jewel in that second-to-last paragraph about liberal arts majors being better equipped to handle technological changes...........changes CREATED by STEM majors. Apparently us STEM morons are inside-the-box robots who can't emote or connect with our fellow human beings or even think beyond the narrow pre-programmed tracks laid out for us.</p>

<p>I think that STEM majors often create the technology, while liberal arts majors come up with ways that technology can be used in a changing world. STEM majors do this also, but I think people with a liberal arts education can do this in other ways that are important. Consider the internet - STEM major types created it, obviously, but liberal arts major types found ways to adapt and use it and create content for it (Not just liberal arts majors, obviously, but they are more suited to apply it in certain ways). </p>

<p>I do agree that perhaps what all of you STEM majors are learning now will certainly become obsolete probably relatively quickly. Some of you will be creating what comes next, but not all of you. Many STEM majors probably will have difficulties keeping up in their chosen fields, their educations becoming obsolete. But theories are taught in liberal arts classes today that will become obsolete and antiquated as well - some of those liberal arts majors will create the new theories and therefore not have problems, and some will be left behind. </p>

<p>In today's world I think the most successful creations are a blend of the scientific knowledge of STEM majors and the ways of applying it of liberal arts majors. Regardless of what anyone says, we need both groups, and a person who goes into one field is no better than a person who goes into another. Most of the white-collar jobs you find today are filled with the so-called "useless" majors - psychology and philosophy and maybe even gender studies. Work experience and internships, and to a lesser extent which school you went to and your grades, are many more times more important than your major in most cases.</p>

<p>STEM majors just have it a little easier when they go into the workforce because their path is more clearly defined, and it's almost always a lucrative one. For the rest of us, a diploma serves as society's stamp of preparedness for the professional workforce, and since there are more paths and more competition, it can be more difficult, and one may not be in the field they got their diploma in in the same way a STEM major might. But we will always need liberal arts majors, as they run a large part of society. Both groups are equally important, there's no such thing as a "hierarchy of majors" in my opinon.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I would like to draw your attention to the jewel in that second-to-last paragraph about liberal arts majors being better equipped to handle technological changes...........changes CREATED by STEM majors. Apparently us STEM morons are inside-the-box robots who can't emote or connect with our fellow human beings or even think beyond the narrow pre-programmed tracks laid out for us.

[/quote]

That's what I was thinking at first. Then I realized that the passage you quoted was written by the director of admissions at Harvey Mudd, which is an engineering school with a liberal arts approach. If his conclusion is that a combination of liberal arts and engineering (or other 'practical' subjects which will 'become obsolete sooner') makes students more versatile than engineering training alone, I am inclined to agree.</p>

<p>Boy... i sure hope math and physics don't become obsolete soon ...</p>

<p>... i mean, what are we learning? Specifically how to fix a Sony LCD TV and we're ****ed when its all LED?</p>

<p>I wish we could just live and let live and that people would stop fanning the flames in the nonexistent culture war between the liberal arts and STEM majors.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, the author of this article of guilty of doing this, even though it was probably unintentional. Ultimately, the student who is "best prepared for change" is the one who has received a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education. That same student also has to be innovative, open-minded and adaptive - we're not faceless constituents of our majors, after all, and your personal and professional success hinges on some of these qualities (but perhaps that's what the author was trying to put across)</p>

<p>I agree with Williams on just about every point. STEM people are great for grinding out the work. But, if you look at the decision making structure of a tech company, there's usually a liberal arts cohort at the top.</p>

<p>
[quote]
But, if you look at the decision making structure of a tech company, there's usually a liberal arts cohort at the top.

[/quote]

Can you back that up with a list of tech companies together with the undergraduate majors of their management team? I will start you off:</p>

<p>Google, Board of Directors and Executive Officers
Electrical Engineering: 5
Computer Science: 1
Chemistry: 1
Business Administration: 1
History: 1 (pre-law)
Bachelor of Science, major not specified: 1
degree not specified: 1</p>

<p>Google</a> management team</p>

<p>Sheer liberal arts magic at work here...</p>

<p>^ Just shows the lack of logical reasoning inherent in some of the more lackluster representatives from STEM majors...</p>

<ol>
<li>"Google"...enough said. </li>
<li>"Board of Directors and Executive Officers" does not correlate with most upper management. Most people will not be coming close to any of those positions - far too small of a sample size. </li>
<li>There have been enough studies proving that there is a healthy diversity of humanities majors, STEM majors, people without college degrees ,etc. who are leading companies. There also are a significant portion of STEM majors get a job and then are barely able to EVER get promoted because of the way things work (unless, say, they are at Facebook or something) - normally because of their arrogant attitudes, which makes their non-STEM managers annoyed at them, or even makes their more socially adept STEM managers see that they would not be good leadership material. </li>
</ol>

<p>/endthismoronicthread</p>

<p>The funny the thing is, after googling it, there's heaps of tech firms run by liberal arts grads. Just like the leadership at most universities that graduate engineers, it's not necessarily engineers in charge. </p>

<p>And, yeah, this thread is going south. The best case scenario is a mix of bright people putting their heads together.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The funny the thing is, after googling it, there's heaps of tech firms run by liberal arts grads.

[/quote]

Stop making empty claims and share your evidence. That's all I am asking for.</p>

<p>Liberal arts grads are only good for scrubbing the floor at McDonald's.</p>

<p>I mean I've always said there are two classes of people: STEM majors and ****ing retards.</p>

<p>
[quote]
^ Just shows the lack of logical reasoning inherent in some of the more lackluster representatives from STEM majors...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>An ad hominem attack usually shows that you don't have a substantive argument.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>hellojan made a claim, I stated an obvious counterexample to encourage him/her to defend his/her point.</p></li>
<li><p>Who would you say is making the decisions at the top of a company, if not the board of directors and executives? Yes, that's only a small subset of the leadership positions in a company, but I have the impression that that's the leadership positions hellojan was referring to. He/she may correct me if I misunderstood.</p></li>
<li><p>Where are your studies? Cite them, please. I am interested specifically in studies about technology companies, since those are the companies being discussed here. </p></li>
</ol>

<p>I would like to point out that I did not say that hellojan is wrong. All I have been asking for is some evidence to back up the claim.</p>

<p>And more seriously I find it bizarre that some STEM students - engineers especially - seem to feel the need to constantly talk about how stupid everyone else is for choosing not to major in the STEM fields. I mean what possible purpose is there to constantly berating the humanities? It reflects poorly on both the character and the intelligence of the people who think this way.</p>

<p>We really don't need another thread like this...</p>

<p>Hey, cormy, what's new?</p>

<p>Why do we have one of these every week?</p>

<p>This article is unadulterated tripe and the author is simply an uneducated, presumptuous lummox. </p>

<p>Liberal arts majors (well, all non STEM majors) do not learn any skills, so how could they possibly be better prepared for change? How does being able to write a 30 page paper about ancient Icelandic anthropology help you cope with obsolescence? STEM majors are more well-equipped with problem-solving skills, so learning how to deal with new challenges comes easily to them. </p>

<p>"Since technology moves society along at a faster and faster pace, the more ‘practical' education is more likely to become obsolete sooner." God, that's so STUPID</p>

<p>Here's a funny article on business majors: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/education/edlife/edl-17business-t.html?_r=2%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/education/edlife/edl-17business-t.html?_r=2&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I'm always surprised how business manages to avoid any fire in these threads.</p>

<p>

Ha...ummm...ha?It looks like you have a really sophisticated sense of humor because there is actually absolutely nothing funny in that article at all.</p>

<p>
[quote]
And more seriously I find it bizarre that some STEM students - engineers especially - seem to feel the need to constantly talk about how stupid everyone else is for choosing not to major in the STEM fields. I mean what possible purpose is there to constantly berating the humanities? It reflects poorly on both the character and the intelligence of the people who think this way.

[/quote]

If STEM majors are so awesome, why are they so insecure?</p>