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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 63092  
Subject: Re: Restructure Academia Date: 4/28/2009 10:30 PM
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"Because of the way the brain is designed, it is actually very, very beneficial to have that good, old-fashioned, well-rounded education."

Most people get what they need in high school. Or at least they used to...I'm not sure what PC crap they teach these days..probably six years of global warming religion taught as 'science', English classics studying things like 'American AGression in teh World', and history studying things like "American Aggression the WOrld" and "Suppression of Civil Rights by the Majority" and similar.

"The brain is, to make it very simple, is designed like a tree, with a trunk and many branches. Each new thing someone learns creates or strengthens a branch of the tree."

Yes, that is simple minded and not very good. By the time you get to college, your brain is already well formed if you bothered to study and learn in high school.

"This is not to say that specialization is a bad thing. The world definitely needs nerds! We need engineers, mathematicians, musicians, doctors, writers, etc."

So, what are you trying to say out of both sides of your mouth? Can't have it both ways, Either 90% of a program is to 'specialize' or it isn't.

"But an engineer who learns to read and love literature might discover Jules Verne or Arthur C. Clarke who popularized or even invented certain technologies."

Geez, every high school geek probably read them, and way back when read Heinlein from A to Z, and ate up all the sci -fi writers. YOu don't need a college course in Sci Fi....total waste of time UNLESS, of course, you are a writer learning the techniques of how to write good science fiction....... No engineer needs a course in science fiction lit.


" Jules Verne: diving gear, video phones and plenty of other cool stuff.
"

YOu can learn all about Jules Verne by watching movies late night on TV. Around the Earth in 80 days...... Journey to the Moon and Back.....JOurney to the Center of the Earth...etc....


"Arthur C. Clarke: the gravity slingshot, artificial intelligence, nanofibers, etc."

YOu forgot geosynchronous satellites. Read a book - a few hours. You don't need a college course on sci fi. or English classics......


"Without any actual proof I would speculate that those ideas sparked the imagination of people who later made them into realities."

IN HIGH SCHOOL>.....not in college!....unless, of course, high school s so dumbed down these days folks aren't even asked to read books?????

"On the flip side, so much of today's cool science fiction literature is guided and informed by what is happening in the world of science."

It's always been that way. Nothing new. But now it is all touchy feely PC stuff for the most part.....

"Mathematics can be a "pure" discipline, with no practical application, but isn't mathematics really designed to be useful in the real world? "

Some times yes, sometimes no.....some mathematicians spent a life time trying to prove a single theorum......totally theoretical. No practical application.

" Isn't finance based on accounting and statistics and other mathematical models?"

I assume if you get a college degree in finance , you learn more than a little bit of statistics.

"The great philosphers guided the decisions of our great political leaders, who then built countries and societies and promoted ideas as fantastic as space travel."

I don't think too many philosophers promoted space travel. Nor built countries. Or societies. I doubt whether Roosevelt consulted philosphers when the Japs invaded Pearl Harbor, nor did Hitler when he built his 'country' and 'society' or Stalin or Mao. Or Chavez or Castro. Other than Marx and Lenin...both of whom you probably have not read a single word, right?


t.
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