« prev   random   next »


Don't Want a Robot to Replace You? Study Tolstoy.

By Feux Follets following x   2018 Feb 22, 12:53am 522 views   8 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

Economist Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University, and his colleague, literary critic and Slavic studies scholar Saul Morson, argue that—contrary to popular belief—studying the humanities is the key to not getting outsourced.

Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University, is an economist. Gary Saul Morson, his colleague, does close readings of Tolstoy.

Together they teach a course on what economists can learn from the humanities and have co-authored a book, Cents and Sensibility, on the same theme. In the following conversation, they offer insights on how students can get ahead in the job market, what universities are for, why economists should read great novels, and more.

Lynn Parramore: You argue that economists need to know what makes human beings tick and they need to understand ethics, culture and narrative. Why do you feel so strongly about this?

Morton Schapiro: Economists do a good job applying our theories and tools to subjects that are normally associated with other fields, such as the cycle of poverty, individual behavior, and so on. But there’s evidence in citations and surveys that economists approach other fields in a more imperialistic way than they probably should.

Saul points out that there’s an idea that other fields have the great questions and economists have the all the answers. Economics brings a lot to these other fields, but these other fields could bring a lot more to economics. One that’s far-flung from what economists usually think of as a basis for useful knowledge is literature.

Saul Morson: Some things can only be explained by stories, like great novels. Ethical questions can be endlessly complex, which is a central theme of great authors like George Eliot.

The realistic model of people you get in literature is a lot closer to what people really are like than what you often find in economics.

By the very nature of needing to mathematicize their theories, economists can’t account for some things.

You can’t mathematicize culture. A lot of theories covertly smuggle in certain cultural assumptions, like the notion that everybody is like an American. But everybody is not.

What looks like an economic model turns out to be a cultural model, and cultures really do differ.

LP: Why is studying literature and culture crucial to the undergraduate experience?

Saul Morson: I really believe in the liberal arts education that American colleges specialize in. In most places, education at the advanced level is purely in a single discipline.

But in America, you take classes in different fields. Each field is not just different subject matter—it’s a different way of understanding the world.

Literature is particularly important because you identify with people very much unlike yourself, from different cultures, genders, backgrounds.

You learn to empathize and get out of the natural narrowness and egoism of thinking everybody is like yourself. You get constant practice at it.

There’s no way to read Tolstoy without extending empathy on page after page with one character or another. You learn to turn your critical intelligence on your own favorite assumptions. That’s what higher education needs to include

More: https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/dont-want-a-robot-to-replace-you-study-tolstoy

Also at: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/02/dont-want-robot-replace-study-tolstoy.html

#Education #STEM #Humanities #Robots #Employment

1   Quigley   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 22, 7:54am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Yes, this is probably the reason economists get it wrong so consistently. They misunderstand that economics is the OUTPUT of human endeavor and culture, not the programming language. To understand what the output of culture will be, you have to understand the culture itself. This requires mad amounts of cultural research (often conducted with fiction, philosophy, religion, etc) which prepares one to understand the underlying language with which culture is programmed!

To put it simply, you need to understand people to predict what they’ll do. And economics is just forward prediction of human behavior.
2   HEYYOU   ignore (13)   2018 Feb 22, 9:27am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Is it still economics when the system is rigged?

TBTF,allowing an entity to not fail because of it's economic failure.
Bailouts make the economic system fair,balanced & transparent?
Algorithm trading controls the market where an individual or their broker can't buy or sell a stock at a price, as fast as the Machine.How many times can the price change before one can buy or sell?
Borrowing money that can't be paid back-no problem.
Printing pretty fiat that has no support except for the simpleminded.

Those that can't take care business should not be in business.
What we have today can not be describes by "economy".

George Carlin: "You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls."
3   NuttBoxer   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 22, 11:12am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This has been an Austrian tenement for decades, nothing new here. The compartmentalization of our education has created experts who can't correlate their knowledge to real world success(at least not lasting), because they don't understand the big picture, so they never see what's coming.
4   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 22, 11:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Economics is not only not a science, it's probably the least useful or predictive of all the Social Sciences.
5   drB6   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 22, 3:20pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Social Sciences

saying "social" and "sciences" in one sentence really triggers me
6   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 22, 3:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This concept goes beyond those who have economic majors, well beyond.
7   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 22, 3:56pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Theories don't covertly smuggle "Everyone is an American" Almost all economic textbooks and thinking revolves around Homo Economicus, the fictional being who only looks at raw earnings, and never peer pressure, honor, aesthetics, etc. The only actual people like Homo Economicus are psychopaths who are a fraction of the population.

Yet it's key to Economics.
8   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 22, 4:03pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Having spent a life time working with STEM graduates and similar the dearth of their exposure to the humanities they bring to the table is awe inspiring to watch as the need for interaction between individuals and groups unlike themselves increases and they are unable to successfully deliver.

The Housing Trap
You're being set up to spend your life paying off a debt you don't need to take on, for a house that costs far more than it should. The conspirators are all around you, smiling to lure you in, carefully choosing their words and watching your reactions as they push your buttons, anxiously waiting for the moment when you sign the papers that will trap you and guarantee their payoff. Don't be just another victim of the housing market. Use this book to defend your freedom and defeat their schemes. You can win the game, but first you have to learn how to play it.
115 pages, $12.50

Kindle version available

about   best comments   contact   one year ago   suggestions