31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Homo Laborans and Homo Faber

Homo Laborans sails in the sea of “making things” where work is an end in itself, and is dictated by the needs imposed by technology. Subjected to technology or pleasantly attracted by it, we are ‘Animal laborans’, as Arendt would say, being enslaved to the tasks we are immersed in by the will of technology. Our doing is comparable to the manual work of past industrial revolutions. Think, for example, of the smartest machines, which can alert their human handlers when they will need m...
Folksonomies: two cultures
Folksonomies: two cultures
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03 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Liberal Arts Majors in Technical Professions

While we’ve hired many computer-science majors that have been critical team members, It’s noncomputer science degree holders who can see the forest through the trees. For example, our chief operating officer is a brilliant, self-­taught engineer with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has risen above the code to lead a team that is competitive globally. His determination and critical-thinking skills empower him to leverage the power of technology without getting bo...
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Reminds me of my own career graduating with an English Degree and going into Computer Programming.

01 SEP 2014 by ideonexus

 Consider Eliminating the Humanities

To stop teaching literature and the other arts on the grounds that they're bad for us would be like refusing to study diseases because they're bad for us. However, maybe there should be a moratorium on requiring those who don't really want to, to take courses in the "humanities." We first have to figure out where we are. Then if we decide that every college student should be exposed to the "humanities," let us also insist that every one of them be exposed to the sciences, social sciences, and...
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Why must all college students study the humanities, but are given a free pass for the sciences?

22 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Other Disciplines Mistake Scientists as having No Imagina...

The whole question of imagination in science is often misunderstood by people in other disciplines. They try to test our imagination in the following way. They say, "Here is a picture of some people in a situation. What do you imagine will happen next?" When we say, 'I can't imagine,' they may think we have a weak imagination. They overlook the fact that whatever we are allowed to imagine in science must be consistent with everything else we know, that the electric fields and the waves we tal...
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When, in reality, they are not allowed to imagine beyond what is reality.

11 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 The Problem with English Teaching

Midway through her 9 a.m. Intro to American Literature course Thursday, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Elizabeth Mabrey suddenly realized that her students would accept, without question, literally any words that came out of her mouth as absolute, incontrovertible fact, sources confirmed. “I could say that On the Road was an overt metaphor for the Vietnam War and they would jot it down in their notebooks without any hesitation whatsoever,” said Mabrey, adding that, come midter...
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This is satire, but the subjective nature of the subject makes this a real problem for students.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Conversation is the Nemesis of Scientific Thinking

The archenemy of scientific thinking is conversation, as in typical human conversational discourse, much of which is BS. I have become rather fed up with talking to people. Seriously, it is something of a problem. Fact is, folks are prone to getting pet opinions into their heads and thinking they’re true to the point of obstinacy, even when they have little or no idea of what they’re talking about in the first place. We all do it. It’s part of how the sloppy mind-generating piece of mea...
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Gregory Paul on how conversations are prone to falshoods and equating opinions with facts.

20 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Revolt Against Science

One response to the loss of control, for example, is a revulsion against intelligence. Science first gave man a sense of mastery over his environment, and hence over the future. By making the future seem malleable, instead of immutable, it shattered the opiate religions that preached passivity and mysticism. Today, mounting evidence that society is out of control breeds disillusionment with science. In consequence, we witness a garish revival of mysticism. Suddenly astrology is the rage. Zen,...
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Nostalgia and pseudo-science are a revolt against what they perceive as the strict rules of science and central planning, but the lack of rules and planning results in putting people at the whims of chaos, which is even more limiting.

10 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Humanities are About "Inwardness"

It is the irreducible reality of inwardness, and its autonomy as a category of understanding, over which Pinker, in his delirium of empirical research, rides roughshod. The humanities are the study of the many expressions of that inwardness. Pinker’s condescension to the humanities is endless. He proposes for the humanities “a consilience with science,” but the only apparent beneficiary of such an arrangement would be the humanities, since they have nothing much to offer the sciences, w...
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Argument for why they cannot be reconciled with science.

10 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 How Science Can Progress the Humanities

Diagnoses of the malaise of the humanities rightly point to anti-intellectual trends in our culture and to the commercialization of our universities. But an honest appraisal would have to acknowledge that some of the damage is self-inflicted. The humanities have yet to recover from the disaster of postmodernism, with its defiant obscurantism, dogmatic relativism, and suffocating political correctness. And they have failed to define a progressive agenda. Several university presidents and provo...
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Science has many tools for looking deeper into texts and providing new perspectives and insights.

10 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Scientific Worldview

The term “scientism” is anything but clear, more of a boo-word than a label for any coherent doctrine. Sometimes it is equated with lunatic positions, such as that “science is all that matters” or that “scientists should be entrusted to solve all problems.” Sometimes it is clarified with adjectives like “simplistic,” “naïve,” and “vulgar.” The definitional vacuum allows me to replicate gay activists’ flaunting of “queer” and appropriate the pejorative for a posi...
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Steven Pinker defends the "scientism" against critics in the humanities.