Why tech needs the humanities – and why we should provide business with it

Eric Berridge is an entrepreneur. A humanist, to be more precise. He thinks we are obsessed with STEM and technology, and that this is biasing our kids’ judgement in choosing their life path.

In his brilliant talk, he recalls the experience in which his company – a computer programming consulting firm – was literally rescued right before being fired by a bartender with a major in philosophy. Why is that? Because humanities help seeing a broader context, and this does not mean to lose perception of the details whatsoever.

We tend to think that a degree in a technical subject will be more appealing to the labour market. Actually, the opposite is true most of the times: people with a degree in humanities can make great leaders. So what will be the message to the students who just started their courses at university? Choose a path you like, walk on it, enjoy every step.

Life can be hard sometimes, but passion makes the burden much lighter.
Enjoy the new year, and make the most of every opportunity.

 

The viable progress

tim-cook-commencement.jpgI’m not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans. I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers without values or compassion, without concern for consequences. That is what we need you to help us guard against. Because if science is a search in the darkness, then the humanities are a candle that shows us where we’ve been and the danger that lies ahead.

This is how Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed MIT graduates a couple of weeks ago, in his commencement speech. The full transcript of the speech is available here. A profound and heartfelt reflexion upon the impact of technology in our lives.

What is the border between being social online and being alienated from the real world? What is the one between being well informed and misinformed due to fake news? What is the ultimate purpose of all this? Continue reading