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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  434 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

Speaking as a twice-optioned screenwriter with an engineering degree, the divide is this:

The mathematically inclined - STEM-heads - know what something is. They function on the quantifiable and defendable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which data and facts and evidence hold the greatest sway.

The romantically inclined - liberal arts majors - know what something should be. They function on the desirable and intuitable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which concensus and persuasion allow us to achieve great things.

An engineer understands that the engines canna take much more of this, captain. The speed of light in a vacuum is an absolute. You can't fit ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. And they also know that all the hope in the world won't change that.

A poet understands that dammit, Scotty, we're counting on you. Laws are meant to be broken. You can be all that and a bag of chips. And they know that the bumblebee flies anyway.

We cannot function as a society without both aspects. We cannot function as humans without both aspects. HOWEVER

- Human Resources departments are never crewed by engineers.

- Boardrooms have few engineers in them.

- Lawyers are rarely engineers.

The tribe is led by liberal arts twits. They'd lead us all into the wasteland without people who understand double-blind testing but they'd still lead us there because your average stem-head generally believes that people should follow the evidence, not the leader.

But we don't.

It's an unfair stereotype to say that sciences majors are incapable of relating to liberal arts majors. However, it's an accurate stereotype to say that sciences majors do not relate to liberal arts majors as well as liberal arts majors relate to themselves, and it's fair to say that STEM-heads benefit from learning to meet the liberal arts majors where they live, if for no other reason than the parties tend to be less awkward.

That said, it's drearily routine for any liberal arts class inflicted on STEM majors to be seen as "humanizing" but any science class inflicted on liberal arts majors to be "degrading." "When am I ever going to use algebra again?" "How is the ideal gas law at all relevant to my future as a corporate raider?" "zeroth law? Can't you nerds even count to three?"

The STEM guys are far more likely to have a job, though.

lil  ·  434 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a fine bit of writing kb!!

I think artsies should be blasted with science through and through. The thing in itself, the earth, the cosmos are all mind-numbingly beautiful and poetic. And language, what a beautiful scientific invention that is. The separation of art and science is a FALSE DUALISM. And as we've discussed here before OftenBen Reject the binary, all dualisms are delusional.

rjw  ·  433 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Exactly! A knowledge of the liberal arts is also essential to understanding how people relate to STEM. I would say that it is essential, unless you want to become someone stuck in a back office receiving requirements by email and passing back code through a small window. Fortunately the number of people I've actually met who actually conform to this stereotype is very low! But it doesn't hurt to learn a little bit more, and a lot of pain has been caused by developing technology with no regard to how society functions.

A more general view: the development of technology affects the development of culture and vice versa. I think that if you only understand one side of this picture, the future is guaranteed to catch you by surprise.

Devac  ·  432 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I gave more thought to your post, hence a delayed response. Thank you. I don't think that I'm even close to start developing any semblance of balancing both sides myself, but damn it I'll try. Seems like it's worth the effort.

Thing is, despite being rather pragmatic and literal-minded I do have many idealised assumptions and purposes. Rules can't be broken, but there's a possibility to exploit and optimise in ways that we don't know as of yet. Models are simplified by necessity, but I would not feel like myself if I didn't at least try to add another factor into it to get it all sorts of complex and wacky. And while I will likely never overcome my problems with disciplines like poetry I do know many other things worth of my appreciation. A well-made proof is likely causing me the same types of thoughts than a fine piece of art does to many others. Just appreciating one makes you look like a complete dork unless you are channelling Brian Cox.

I'm not going to be a leader, barring maybe student's physics club and even that it's mainly because I'm actually giving enough of a fuck about its mission. I already started to develop distaste to HR and I am not going to hide that I will likely always be more lenient toward like-minded people and much harsher toward liberal-arts majors and similar people. Will I overcome this bias? I don't know. I hope so, but it doesn't look promising.

Again, I want to thank you for this post. On top of everything, I have to say that references to Star Trek TOS speak more than a thousand pictures. ;)

    meet the liberal arts majors where they live, if for no other reason than the parties tend to be less awkward

That's so far the only thing with which I can't seem to agree. No doubt we have different experiences and I'm not really a party-goer on top of it, but so far my sample shows the exact opposite. Even the only two liberal arts people that I know well prefer to party with the techs. :D

kleinbl00  ·  432 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're color blind, right? Doesn't mean you can't appreciate beauty. It means that you're more likely to appreciate things for texture and tonality than for vividness. The question is - do you try to get others to see the beauty that you do?

You're a passionate person. You feel things deeply. Unfortunately, vehemence is not compelling, nor is it endearing (take it from me). In order to get others to see the beauty that you do, you must convince them - which means getting people who see color to appreciate the virtues of grayscale.

I link to this a lot. The long and the short of it is that internet debate is pretty much about who has the facts (logos rhetoric). Persuasive speech, on the other hand, is about logos, pathos (emotion) and ethos (reputation). STEM insists on logos. Liberal arts actually deprecates logos in favor of pathos and ethos because the liberal arts are those that do not appeal to fact.

You've probably met lots of interesting people in your life. You will continue to do so. Some of them will be about facts but lots of them won't. As a passionate person with a lot of knowledge, it's to the benefit of OTHERS that you learn to communicate what you know to those that don't more so to those who don't respect facts the way you do.

lil is literally trying to teach people to do that.

Here's the thing. Society is unavoidable, and society is not empirical. The value of facts is absolute in the physical world, but in the human sphere they're just a factor. Victory belongs to whomever can get their "facts" to dominate, whether or not they're accurate, valid or relevant. It's not enough to possess them. You have to give them to others and have them take them gladly.

I'm disappointed in the liberal arts majors of Poland.

Devac  ·  432 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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