11 Answers

  1. First, the humanist's brain doesn't shut down when he tries to understand an integral or a quantum computer. Well, or, in any case, American IT companies do not think so. But, for example, the dean of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University (USA) explains how techies perceive the humanities:

    “The very formulation of the question, as it is being put now, contains a false dichotomy: science and technology or art and humanitarian knowledge. But they are not mutually exclusive. Not only are the arts and humanities central in their own right, but the truth is that science and technology can learn a lot from them in terms of how the learning structure in these areas is structured.”

    You can read more about its arguments at the link above. So I would say that there is no “techies vs. humanities” problem. There is the problem of “people who want to get a comprehensive education and a complete picture of the world”. people who are too lazy to learn something new.” With a certain desire and diligence ,the “humanist” is quite capable of understanding the integral, and the” technician ” – Nietzsche. Moreover, in some humanities, for example, in history, there is no place without mathematics at all.

    Of course, the specialization has not been canceled, and a specialist in Nietzsche will not design rockets, and an engineer, if he does not receive a specialized philosophical education, will not be able to write an adequate monograph on Nietzsche, because the depth of understanding determined by knowledge of the context is not enough. Also, for a historian, mathematics is just a tool; a historian will not try to solve one of the “millennium problems” (however, neither will a physicist, chemist, biologist, engineer, etc.). Well, a specialist in low-temperature physics is unlikely to undertake to write a monograph on evolutionary biology. But this does not prevent physicists from understanding the whole idea of the theory of evolution, and biologists-basic physics.

  2. In neither case does the brain switch off – it works constantly without interruptions and disconnections, even when you are asleep – it works. Even when you were given a pumpkin and you passed out-the brain works. Always.

    It's just that when a humanist tries to understand the integral, he also thinks about the underpants of some Froska Burlakova.

    Well, when a tech guy listens to Kafka's arguments about underpants , he simultaneously solves some three-body problem in celestial mechanics. That's all the difference

  3. I'm a tech guy, and there's no boom-boom in the humanities. and my wife wrote sticks, and very good ones. She's not a great poet, but I've always been surprised by her ability to express facts, feelings, relationships, and other things in a few words at once. I can't do that. You can't help but respect them. As well as humanitarians in general.

    What the hell do humanitarians care about math if they don't like it?

    Once I asked an Estonian about something, he hesitated like all of them, and gave a short four-meaning answer. And in essence, and the attitude expressed, and joked. I liked it very much. And I wished him to become a great Estonian poet.

  4. The brain shuts down because these difficult questions are incompetently explained by people and teachers who even manage to explain the simple ones in a muddy and confusing way….such a huge majority…

    Masters of explanation are very rare people.

  5. As our dean used to say ,” any nuclear physicist can be taught philosophy, but no philosopher can be taught nuclear physics.” And this is the sad truth: an analytical mindset allows you to speed up the analysis of any information, be it physics or philosophy. So when reading philosophical treatises, the “tech guy” will understand them.
    But here the problem is different, and how do you distinguish a humanitarian from a promiscuous tech guy?

  6. Probably the author believes that the world is divided into “humanities” and “techies”, who are supposedly incredibly stupid, stupid and incompetent in any field of science from birth. Adherents of this theory often forget about biologists, bioengineers, chemists, geologists, etc., who are difficult to classify as ” gum “or”techies”.

    There is a phrase in the question: “The humanist's brain shuts down when he tries to understand an integral or a quantum computer.” How do you think the integral can be “understood”? It's just a concept. It's like saying ,” I tried to understand multiplication, but my brain broke.” This is absurd! You need to understand not the concept, but its essence.

    What is the problem with reading Kafka? Does the presence of a mathematical / engineering mindset (which does not imply incompetence and stupidity in the field of philology or text analysis) interfere with simple reading comprehension? In the works of the authors listed in the question, there are no terribly complex abstractions such as Hilbert space (which, by the way, cannot be realized due to its infinity).

    If you already answer the question, then the brain of the” tech guy ” is aware of what he has read. Exactly the same as after reading “Harry Potter”(as a series of books, not the author, of course), Homer, Max Tegmark and any other writer who writes arthouse and abstractions that are loved and understood by not everyone, regardless of their mindset.

  7. OK, I'll try to explain. The brain of a dude who is well-versed in technology and natural sciences, when he is faced with a rather complex humanitarian knowledge, tries to see in it a clear system with causal relationships and logic. But humanitarian concepts are much more difficult to define rigidly, and instead you get long and lengthy arguments that seem to the reader just meaningless chatter, it seems to him that he himself could catch up with something like this if he tried.

    In the natural sciences, much less attention can be paid to the personality of the scientist and directly to his works, all natural science laws and concepts exist by themselves. Newton's laws can be written in one paragraph and two formulas, which can then be discussed and analyzed for a long time, but Nietzsche's philosophy cannot be written down in this way. Natural science knowledge can be tested in practice and applied in technology, but with humanities it is not so easy. There are no basic laws that are generally accepted for all, one philosopher can say something opposite to another, but in order to understand something, they both need to be studied and analyzed.

    In general, the brain of our imaginary tech guy feels frustration, the lack of rigid logic, the impossibility of experimental verification, and as a result, the feeling that he is being loaded with something that he will never need.

  8. The construction “the brain turns off when the brain is tried to turn on” is not only a stamp that does not paint the humanities, but also a lie. As well as the fact that the humanities understand Nietzsche en masse (Smulyansky explains Heidegger's explanation of why this is so in this lecture) or Kafka or Dante. As elsewhere, there is some division in the sphere of professional interests – not every Mandelstam scholar can comment on Shakespearean treatises, just as not every nuclear physicist will understand applied mathematical problems.�

    “Tech Guy” has its roots in vulgar Soviet Marxism with its dialect, where engineers had a clear surplus value, and ” humanitarians “outside of the propaganda and ideological key do not have any obvious” for everyone ” application. Humanitarians in such a dichtomy are those who “cost factories”, and their choice is associated with laziness, lack of education and other deadly sins of socialism. Such suspicions, of course, are not empty, but the University of Humanities is not to blame for this. “Humanitarians” are sometimes dwarfs, sometimes Zarathustra animals, who have an “attitude” to knowledge, while the ” tech guy “has only an alienated attitude of” benefit ” for a particular project (no one says that they are always right).

    When a” tech guy “is confronted with humanitarian knowledge (or” knowledge of the humanities”), there are problems of utilitarianism, as Dmitry Razorenov has already written. Most of the modern humanitarian “knowledge” is deeply archival and / or bureaucratic work (the work of ideology is always behind the back), and is far from the “great philosophers”. It is difficult for” techies “to understand the goals of research, for example, why they are looking for evidence of feminism in Sparta, or the presence of the Jewish population in modern Poland in the 11th century, or highlighting the palette of genders among a single and indivisible complex gender, or questions of the”atheist”/” believer “dichotomy,”moral”/” immoral”,” consumer society “/” communism”,”techies”/” humanities ” and other examples of obvious resentment in the form of figs behind their backs.

  9. The question has several problems

    First, not all techies understand quantum computers and mathematical theory above the level that is necessary to work with something like an engineering calculator or something similar, because they work in completely different areas where they are required to have different qualities and skills.

    Second, I may be too much of a humanist, but I don't understand how and why to try to understand the quantum computer and the integral.

    Third, what Kafka and Dante wrote is not the most difficult reading material. It is much simpler than, for example, the Lord of the Rings and the Name of the Rose, full of references to various cultural and historical images, metaphors and subtexts. Nietzsche was generally a very peculiar dude, who can hardly be called a philosopher in the full sense, and even the most lost tech guy will find it difficult to understand him.

    Here the pulp is in another. The community of techies in this context (if I understand correctly) is quite homogeneous – it consists of people who are interested in technical innovations, engineering solutions, technical, exact and information sciences to the detriment of philosophy, ethics, history and other things that cannot be counted or touched, i.e. what is usually referred to as the sphere of ideas.

    But in this case, the community of humanitarians is very heterogeneous. Sociologists will inevitably clash with religious scholars, historians with political scientists, and so on. With philosophy in general, it turns out very difficult: supporters of dialectical materialism and positivism will find it physically difficult to read about alchemy, Primordial Tradition, metaphysics and other traditionalist problems.

    At the same time, almost all humanitarians are more or less interested in technical innovations and often use mathematical methods. And techies often have political preferences, certain sympathies in history and philosophy.

    Therefore, it is more correct (and even easier) to speak not about the contradiction between humanists and technicians, but between supporters of different directions in the framework of humanitarian thought, because the material is objective in its essence, and the ideal will always be subjective to some extent.

  10. Techies read books.
    So, for example, there is an opinion that the Strugatskys ' work was popular among workers of Soviet research institutes. Again, solid fiction is by definition in demand among techies.
    Kafka's work is not something out of the ordinary at all. This isn't Joyce, or even Proust. His novels are very simple and accessible to everyone. Another thing is that not everyone likes “Kin-dza-dza”, Tarkovsky's films and Dostoevsky's novels, for example.

  11. A strange and sometimes very offensive misconception of our time. Who deduced that people fall into two categories? What about Leonardo da Vinci? He was good at both, as they say. In general, since earlier science and culture were less developed (in terms of the amount of information, the number of sciences, and so on), really talented scientists wrote poetic treatises and dissected frogs.�

    Russian schools, for example, annually graduate stobalniks and gold medalists, which tells us that they can also solve humanitarian and technical problems.�

    Of course, I, as a philologist, do not immediately understand the quantum computer, but this does not mean that “my brain turns off” when I solve mathematical problems. Perhaps the problem is that humanitarians and techies think in different categories. The first ones are more figurative, the second ones are more specific. That's probably all. And the fact that some people don't understand others is a myth. This, by the way, can be proved at least by the example that now there are sciences at the junction, for example, neurolinguistics, sociopsychology, and so on.�

    And yes, maybe some of the techies or humanitarians are just too lazy to strain their brains once again to understand something from the “foreign” sphere, and then because of this, everyone is slandered. Don't do that.

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