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23 April 2014


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My academic parent (stem graduate and immigrant) says the same about US kids and creativity. Sadly, says the STEM skills getting worse too. Administrators do not care about professor's or teacher' input. A racket.



You mean Ciber Command won't keep us safe? No surprise there. Some of us are missing the point? You started off with:

"This is a direct result of the denigration of science in the US by right wing interests." Now you are saying:

".... network engineers thwarting coordinated attacks on our electrical grid, hospitals, financial systems...."

There are plenty of people doing this now. They are employed by electric grid operators, hospitals, financial service companies. The reason private companies are doing this on private networks is " the denigration of science by right wing interests"?

No, sorry that isn't the cause of companies being responsible for their own networks. Perhaps you'd like congress to mandate all traffic go through government controlled networks? That would sure make NSA data collection easy. Good luck getting the left to support that.


This is related to the subject we are discussing:



The trend has been there for some time already: STEM in US has gotten steadily more formulaic over last 20-30 years, although the pressure seems to be for accelerating this trend even further. Good times. :(


It is worse than the theoretical being worshipped over the practical. In the truly "theoretical" disciplines with real merit, the natural sciences, no theory can trump evidence and data. (This is why creationism can never be "science" since they cannot specify, even hypothetically, what evidence would suffice to get them to abandon the "theory" of creationism.)

A lot of these "policy-oriented" soc sci types operate from a mindset more like creationists. They "believe in" X and denigrate contradictory evidence (and those who point them out). Like their creation science cousins, any "scientific" lingo they might use is in service to a dogma that cannot be questioned.

Having said that, I do have to wonder if it is quite appropriate to dump on the "theoreticians" too much. There are usually some good reasons why theories point in some direction or other and, if evidence contradicts them, that is something worth investigating. This is, after all, how a real science progresses, but only with the theory and the data (ie ppl who know the facts on the ground) collaborating in full knowledge of what value the other side is contributing and limits of their own way of thinking. Alas, this is not what is going on when soc sci tries to be "relevant."

William R. Cumming

ALL: Great post General Ali and wonderful comments! Many thanks!


I hear you on the ramifications of the wider world. That our non-stop meddling is perceived as such, and as a threat to many, just never occurs to a certain type of person. The system trains, teaches and creates its own. How can it change but with a concerted effort for a sort of 'counter-counter intellectual revolution', as the neoconservatives and neoliberals have successfully attempted over the past decades. I don't know. Too fanciful?

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