Sunday School November 13th 2022
November 21, 2022 at 2:59 am #45756
Has American education ever been top draw?November 21, 2022 at 6:42 pm #45759November 21, 2022 at 6:47 pm #45760
I recognize the many fabulous engineering accomplishments that improve our lives daily. However, engineers are just as responsible for building things that have turned into disasters. They work, seemingly, in an ethics-free environment.
I certainly was not saying that engineering students were dumb. They were just out of their depth much as a philo or English or art history major would be if they took a basic engineering course where solving equations was a necessary skill.November 21, 2022 at 8:58 pm #45761
While it would be idea if we found definitive answers to questions like: what is knowledge, is it moral to buy a homeless man’s kidney, is “thought” a social construct etc. the value of exploring these questions is not just satisfying a human need to know these answers (something some people obviously care more about than others) as well as not just leaving it up to “religion” to provide these answers, but developing an extremely valuable set of tools while answering these questions. Finding an efficient way to build or administer something is quite different to deeply questioning everything, applying rigorous logic to it, questioning the limits of what we can know, degrees of certainty and evaluating which are the more reliable/useful systems of knowledge/answering-questions.
They also lead to so called “real world” by-products such as say, computing (symbolic logic), law (bio-ethics), art (film/literature that explores these issues), science faculty codes of practice/methodological scrutiny (philosophy of science), AI and psychology (neurophilosophy).
Critical thinking, symbolic logic, quick intuitive though etc are just three very such valuable tools. Philosophy graduates may not hit the career jackpot right away, but the average career level and salary say even a decade after they graduate is very high covering a huge array of industries, job types and roles. So no, it is not a bogus degree. I don’t know a single fellow graduate who, unless by choice or fuckupery, doesn’t have an extremely successful career now. There is no subject, in fact, studied at a university that is useless. Even if your degree were 14th Century Italian Poetry studies, trust me, the knowledge/skills gained from its study would be beneficial to a savy student and would find it’s way into your own home either via products, fashion, culture/television/literature/popular-history or something else. Engineering and Philosophy tackle very different things in very different ways. If one student enters the other field, even for a 1st year elective course, without flexibility/adaptability with an arrogant attitude, it’s a waste of time and their loss.
November 21, 2022 at 9:07 pm #45763
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Davis.
Has American education ever been top draw?
At a graduate level (MA and PhD) they are definitely top of the line. World class research institutes, MBA programs and prestigious institutions. As for primary and secondary school? Eeeek. What do you expect when so many states underfund most services, actively interfere with curriculums for ideological (as opposed to fact) based motives, have thousands of impoverished/dangerous neighbourhoods and don’t meaningfully incentivise teachers or officials to outperform others.November 21, 2022 at 10:22 pm #45764
Plus, success is relative to how the individual defines it. One might decide to help the homeless get off the street, for which the standard of success isn’t how much money one makes in doing so.November 22, 2022 at 4:23 am #45765
Au contraire. Engineering is where ethics gets applied. Do I design weapons (I decided not too)? How safe does an elevator need to be? You can wax poetic all day long about defining beauty, but it is the application of all the sciences and technology that has the most impact on people’s lives and every engineer knows it. Modern management itself comes from Engineering time-in-motion studies
Of course, every decent engineering school requires ethics courses. I had to take a general and an engineering specific course.
Technical knowledge has allowed us to expand in population, lifespan, logistics and quality of life to the point that would appear to be a world of magic to people just a few hundred years ago. Yes, and we do have new problems to solve…Are we and our machines smart enough to keep it all going?
Unfortunately, philosophy has allowed itself to become irrelevant; largely replaced by religion and sometimes by authoritarians and ideologs. Steadfast philosophies cause a lot of damage and suffering, no matter their source.
So don’t think because I can solve a triple integral to calculate the strength of a magnetic field across an irregular shaped volume or bias a transistor to amplify a signal from an electric guitar, any old humanities major is more qualified to form some sort of “valid opinion” on kidney donors or Mendelssohn concertos because they took some course. Ahh, face it, music is just the math of frequencies and their harmonics and their interaction with our brain.November 22, 2022 at 5:15 am #45766
People love to say, “money doesn’t buy you happiness”. That’s because they don’t have much. Plenty of money gets you more than basic shelter, food, and healthcare. It buys you time, freedom and peace of mind. I can’t imagine the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. It must be like a black cloud over your head.
Unfortunately, again the US education system does little in the way of helping folks with sound financial education. There is no reason why a median American should have much less than $1M at 65 years old. It’s relatively easy if you just don’t piss away your paycheck on stupid shit.November 22, 2022 at 5:18 am #45767
Tangent, but in Canada, engineering grads can undergo the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer during which they will be presented with an iron ring. The iron ring is worn as a reminder of the ethical obligations of engineers.
According to myth, the rings are made from the remains of a bridge that collapsed in the early 20th century due to engineering errors killing 75 workers in the process. While that is not the actual source of the metal for the rings (to the best of my knowledge), the myth does seem to fit the symbolism of the ring.November 22, 2022 at 5:38 am #45768
Plenty of money gets you more than basic shelter, food, and healthcare. It buys you time, freedom and peace of mind. I can’t imagine the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. It must be like a black cloud over your head.
Depends. I’ve been at the median and also more toward the higher side of middle of income (just clearing six figures), and I’ve recently taken a break and am working at a pizza place for min wage plus tips. (It’s worth noting that min wage in BC is $15.65). I could go into a lengthy explanation as to why, but I’m happier at my lower wage than I was at my higher wages. At my highest wage, career and earnings defined me much more, and even though I’d say the work was easier given my skill sets and abilities, the amount of utter fucking bullshit that came with it was way higher. Plus I was always worried about backsliding career-wise and financially. Or not even necessarily backsliding, but failing to progress fast enough. I both thought and stressed about money far more when I had more.
Granted, if I were facing severe instability in food and/ or housing, or if health care wasn’t covered under public insurance, I’d obviously be stressed beyond belief. And if I don’t restart my career eventually, I will never retire. Money is a variable in both health and happiness. However, the extent to which it affects happiness isn’t necessarily a strictly upward progression with increased wealth.
Perhaps money can create more fertile ground for happiness, but a lot of that will depend on your relationship with money and what it takes for you to get it. If I won one of those daily grand lottos, I don’t think the money would make me happy (or even what I could buy with it) so much as the knowledge that I may never have to worry about money again in my life.
(Worth noting I have no dependents, which changes the equation, I think).November 22, 2022 at 11:15 am #45770
Unfortunately, again the US education system does little in the way of helping folks with sound financial education.
There’s always Dave Ramsey! 😊 😂 😂 😂 😂November 22, 2022 at 7:45 pm #45774
What Dave Ramsey will never tell you is that you’ll get to “FREEEEDOOOOM!” at least 10 percent faster if you don”t pay tithes to religious money-pits promising “Pie-In-The-Sky-In-The-Sweet-Bye-And-Bye.”. 😁November 22, 2022 at 8:08 pm #45775
You’re taking a sidebar on a side trip.
You know, to those of us who do and enjoy doing philosophy, we all remember from our college days the student who was taking philo as a requirement and couldn’t pick up on what philosophy is all about.
I remember vividly a couple engineering students who had engineering “solutions” to philosophical problems which were clearly, to the rest of us, attempts at doing end runs to avoid facing up to the actual philosophical issues.
Your comical concentration on the “end of days scenario” and your attacking it for its practicalities is a reminder to me of those engineering students who bored us and wasted our time in our philosophical studies.
Thanks for the memories.
You were the one who brought up the “End-of-Days” scenario with just one Father and one 15-year-old Daughter bringing back mankind and repopulating the world. I just showed by simple Biology and Logistics how absurd that would be.
Steven Pinker has also pointed out how many of mankind’s moral dilemmas and problems have been better solved by Technologists than by Theologians or Philosophers.
One example that comes to my mind is that slavery could have been ended with little to no bloodshed in the U.S, and the Americas if Eli Whitney had automated, not only the cotton-ginning process, but also the cotton-planting, cotton-irrigation, cotton-cultivation, and yes, the whole cotton-picking process. 😉 And as automation spreads with Mecha-Electronics and AI, what Jefferson called “the execreble commerce where men and women are bought and sold” will eventually be a bad memory for all of Humanity.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling and emoji addendum
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