Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Lawsuit
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:05:24 -0700

Leonard C. Porrello wrote:
> Kevin claimed, "All three of artsy-scholarship, science, and
> engineering, take place in the mind, but the latter two bring physical
> change into the world where you and I live."
> I think his view on this issue is myopic.
> While the impact of science and engineering on the world is enormous,
> both wonderful and monstrous, the impact of the ideas developed and
> propagated by "artsy-scholarship" (i.e., humanities) is far more
> profound.

Still, we'll debate them forever because they are not objectively true,
except as historical datapoints when one or another school of thought
has prevailed. Besides, while it is possible to separate science from
what is not science (the humanities are not science), saying it the
other way around is not possible--science is among the humanities,

The tension that erupts between hard science and humnaities is due to
academic politics, a most virulent form of politics. The scientific
method climbed up out of the ooze on the scaffold of philosophy, and
philosophy is the purest mental discipline of all academic disciplines.
But philosophy itself was taught out of the humanities department at my
school. So was math, econ, and computer science. My college degree has
science in the name, but my science professors were Doctors of
Philosophy. Actually, I can make nothing sensible of that, but it sounds
like irony and I find that promising.

> Warrant? Two words: Communist Manifesto. If that isn't enough,
> how about Christianity, Islam, Atheism, Materialism, German Idealism,
> Darwinism, Nazism, Socialism, Laissez-faire, and Capitalism? And we
> mustn't forget, "Those who forget history are destined to repeat it".
> On a social level, before science and engineering can truly help us to
> live better lives, we need humanities to tell us what "better" is. On a
> personal level, "the unexamined life is not worth living"; science and
> engineering have nothing to say to the three most profound questions in
> the heart of every person: "Who am I?", "Why am I here?", and "Where am
> I going?"

The dichotomy I saw as a college student was that Science, as it was
known to the Humanities, was packaged as the truth revealed by what is
possible to know with certainty, while humanities represented the
complete truth revealed through beauty. Humanities students felt the
supreme importance of that difference was obvious and inevitable.
Science students weren't troubled about it. I found it all impossible to
reconcile as a science major dating a poetry major, but now I know that
both are part of a great circle of life. The Lion King taught me that.

> If salary is any indication of respect, I think it is safe to say that
> the business world does not value or respect those educated in sciences
> and engineering more so than it does those educated in the humanities.

Where do the economists fit in anyway?

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

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RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit: From: Leonard C. Porrello

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