Monday, August 31, 2009

Math and Science: Dehumanizing?

An interesting article reviewing Harper's magazine (I tried to get to the original article, but no such luck without money, and I just so happen to be a student) article "Dehumanizing: When math and science rule the school" -- link to CJR, I got this via Symmetry Mag.

I have no problem with liberal arts studies -- in fact, I encourage them and enjoy them myself. The problem I have with the above is: In what way are the sciences dehumanizing? If the point is more to speak up in favor of a liberal arts education, I would be in full support. But it strikes me as particularly silly to claim that math and science are dehumanizing, setting them up as some sort of Human anti-Human dichotomous interaction where one or the other wins out, and we have to set out to find the mean between them. Was I always as interested in math and science as I currently am? Far from. But I was also a 19 year old wanna-be artist. I would expect someone in the humanities, whose grown up a bit, to realize that the conflict between the two isn't intrinsic to the subjects, but a skewing of national culture values being directed towards the things that have "Practical" value or economic returns, which is something that scientists also have to deal with.

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