"We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."
Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Sounds like he knew what was coming regarding Snowden/NSA and all that jazz. Don't think he was talking about people blowing themselves up with a microwave, the power he refers to is the elite who control everything and the ignorance being the people submitting to surveillance.
I think human civilization via capitalism has shown it's limits, we as apes are so poorly suited for where we need to go next and we've created the ultimate society where the manipulative and wealthy are able to run rampant and control our own government.
I don't necessarily know if this is also the limits of human civilization in all environments, Canada has some promise in science and the US is having happen to it what happened when Islam and the middle east got away from science, it's falling.
People like Bill Nye, Neil Degrasse Tyson and others have seen this and are crying murder, but it may be to late, it's hard to get much of anything done in America and we've lost our hold. Bill did his best at getting people interested in the wonders of what science is, but corporations thrive off the ignorant, and religion nails in the coffin. Sagan warned us about climate change among many other comings that most society ignored.
I wonder how much better off we would be if we had evolved from a species that wasn't a dumb monkey. If the human race survives long enough to evolve into another species we just may master the shortcomings and fact that only 1 out of 9 of us are actually intelligent people who can have great conversations. The rest are mindless drones re hashing out things they have to remember and then forget it all at 23. It also doesn't help that those of us who are intelligent are ridiculed by our peers as nerds, and a social autists. Perhaps if we didn't evolve as a social species we'd be different.
The rest of the intelligent took control and fed on the fact that people are inherently fucking retarded, and now they've killed off our hopes of educating the public.
Surely you aren't saying that it ISN'T beneficial for the general population to be educated at least to an (actual not the ameriburger) standard of science and mathematics are you? Or that civilization wouldn't benefit from more scientists and interest in things like space exploration?
>Surely you aren't saying that it ISN'T beneficial for the general population to be educated at least to an (actual not the ameriburger) standard of science and mathematics are you?
Not at all. But I _am_ saying that expecting everyone to have a functional grasp of all the areas of science and technology when the specialists themselves do not is a ludicrous notion. For example, molecular biologists spend all their time pursuing their own field without trying to tackle general technology beyond using the software related to their field and their smart phone.
A basic understand is nice, you don't necessarily need a basic understanding of all sub fields but the largest ones I think do need to be pushed more, a better educated public IS somewhat necessary.
>a better educated public IS somewhat necessary.
Why? Are you falling for the same foolish notion that everyone should have the same level of education when it is clearly not necessary or even beneficial as it will take away time and attention to pursuing more specialized fields? It isn't like a mathematician needs to understand the difference between a AMOLED or plasma or TFT. A lawyer doesn't need to understand the difference between Windows or Macintosh. An archeologist doesn't need t understand the difference between SSD or HDD. These are all basic understandings of technology that do not benefit them in their choosen field yet you assert that they should spend time to learn about things that are not important or directly relevant to their professional/specialized field?
The next piece of technology we create will be more sophisticated than the last.
Every human we create will always be at the same primitive level.
Its either teach everyone impossible amounts of knowledge accumulated over generations to understand everything, or make technology as accessible to primitive people as possible.
tl;dr: pic related
Well A. Knowing a basic difference of the things described could help them, especially since technology is a an integral part now.
But science is everywhere you go, and basic understandings of things that are affecting your life are beneficial. I'm not asserting that everyone needs to know the entire fossil record, just an understanding of it from school, to often being ignorant on subjects in tech or science can lead to a terrible consequence.
You assert the word specialized over and over, and that's the point you specialize in one field and then get a basic understanding of the broader fields, not necessarily every subfield, and then if you DO end up needing an understanding then you can go do some research online or otherwise. That's what I'm asserting.
Things like this can spike public interest in things like science fields and aid us in attaining more, and various people may find that they have an interest where previously they were unaware. This can lead in many innovations, and in the public being more supportive of government things like NASA, which is very beneficial. Instead of retards going I DONT GIVE A FUCK BOUT NO SPACE MISSION WE GOT THINGS 2 WURRY BOUT HERE or similarly they will be informed that hey! NASA is an important thing and space exploration and science in space has proven it's worth
In the end that's what I find it to be about. More people being aware that science DOES bring worth to society and does deserve funding. And can in most cases lead to a more enlightened life if that is what you desire as opposed to seeking out religion
It's not teach everyone impossible amounts of information, nice strawman.
It's teach everyone including the retards a standard level of education AND then make further education readily available for people like that.
The obvious hope is that teaching and informing more people would lead to them developing greater interests and then having more innovation
I don't think so. I'm optimistic in this sense, even with the whole shitstorm current going in the middle east.
HOWEVER, many people now use the tools, but don't know what they are. I think that's what sagan is trying to say. Just ask someone what is a computer or about the internet, and they will say anything but the correct answer.
I know, but at least they should have an idea of what is it. Just like everyone should know basic math.
Computers are really important so knowing what they really are (and not just "a monitor with a mouse and 2 speakers) is a must.
Well, things are going to go downhill fast, and it's pretty hilarious how it's happening. The American educational system is shit, plain and simple. Everyone knows it, but parents don't want to pay more in taxes so that their kid goes to a competent facility every day. Kids go to school and are taught "math and science are hard and you're awful at it for not getting it at a glance, so just memorize what I tell you and forget everything once you graduate", so these kids grow up with a stigma for math and science. It also doesn't help that parents typically believe that bad grades deserve some kind of punishment or the like (at least mine did), so these kids have to go tangle with a monster that they don't really understand every day, only for to be told how bad they are at it if they fail. Then we get to college, where depending on where you live in the US, it's more or less impossible for the average student to get a decent education without the assistance of their parents, which not everyone has. Now, there's scholarships/financial aid, but even still, if you want/need to live on your own (impossible on minimum wage without living in the ghetto or going on welfare) you'll need to work full time while going to school. Not a very good idea working full time while going to school full time for a STEM major, which brings us to the next joke, "WHY ARE STEM MAJORS DECLINING!!!?!?!?@!11?".
STEM/Business majors will likely pay much more for college than others, especially if they want to go for a Masters/PhD, which is money that these students don't have, and will set them back oodles. So you take the (arguably) most important upcoming students, give them the most difficult work, make them pay the most, while trying to get the less fortunate ones to support themselves, all with the fear of falling into massive debt in the situation that you fail, while doing all this? Bullshit. Smart men would stay far away from this shit. And the ones that do fight their way to any substantial degree? Cynics.
No, the way to do it is to do your own research on the subjects that actually interest you, and contribute to or start projects in the hopes of becoming significant and skillful enough to catch the eye of someone relevant, so that you can muscle out a degree (probably part time) without the risks involved with just going to school.
Stop making people hate STEM subjects, and maybe people will take an actual interest in them, and actually do their own research. Raise people to hate them and not only will hating the subjects become pop culture, but the few that do take interest in it will be cynical assholes with no passion for the subject
I don't expect, or even think it possible for every citizen to have an intimate understanding of every field of science and the details of every branch of technology. However, critical thinking, a proper understanding of the scientific method, a proper grasp of basic statistics, and an general appreciation for understanding the world would be healthy. A general, basic, knowledge of science and technology will follow. Beyond science and technology, those are our greatest tools for bettering ourselves, both as individuals and as a species.
They should have the basic grasp of how a computer is fundamentally a machine based on mathematical operations. Do they need a complete understanding of semiconductors, transistors, gates, Adders/flipflops/muxers, ALUs, CPUs, OP codes, and the abstractions of programming languages? No. But they shouldn't consider a computer some magic, inscrutable thing. It's not that I expect everyone to understand everything. I expect they they believe that everything is, given sufficient time, understandable. And if they really needed to, it is within their capacity to comprehend it.
I accept ignorance. I know very well how little I really know. That is fine, I always wish to learn new things, and each day I learn a little more. What is truly terrible is when someone stops trying to learn, forsakes understanding, and turns to dogma (of any sort, not simply religious).
Ancient India in a nutshell. They had only one class of people who were educated and were pretty advanced. But the rest of the population were blissfully uneducated because they were not expected to be anything else.
Look where they are now.
If you can't get assistance from your parents then you might have to take loans out. It's not the best option, but it means you can't fuck up. It's an investment that depends on how well you do in school. If you don't need to worry about working full time you can put all that time and effort into school getting excellent grades. After your 2nd year you can start applying to internships and make a decent wage ($15+/hr depending where you work).
It's going to kind of suck paying off those loans, but if you got good grades you should have qualified for scholarships, which reduces your tuition. If you make smart and sensible decisions, you should be able to pay it off within a few years. You'll still be able to live comfortably, but you can't spend your money recklessly. Once you pay off your loans your qualify of life will change a lot.
>Everyone knows it, but parents don't want to pay more in taxes so that their kid goes to a competent facility every day
The public school system is incredibly inefficient and ineffective. Throwing more money at it won't fix the problem. I lost track of how many schools piss away money at dumb shit like athletics and sports. Online schooling is the way to go if you care actual learning rather than treating school as some sort of fantasy world which isn't indicative of the real world. Khan Academy is one of the best ways to learn math (and other subjects) in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The funny thing is that it's completely free.
No, we'll make mistakes. We're only human.
However, we can collectively make fewer, and hopefully less costly ones. When we do, inevitably, make them we are better able to deal with the consequences and more likely to not repeat them.
Every last human would be better off if they understood the scientific method, basic statistics, formal arguments and logic, and empiricism. Just add in the two sparks of creativity and curiosity and you have a human who is well equipped for the world.
>Every last human would be better off if they understood the scientific method, basic statistics, formal arguments and logic, and empiricism.
Won't happen. Ever. Your fantasy is a fantasy.
>Just add in the two sparks of creativity and curiosity and you have a human who is well equipped for the world.
Nah not really.
And I can't tell you the number of dipshits I come across who have a better-than-average understanding of le science but have incredibly stupid opinions.
Will they? Maybe not. Will a majority? Hopefully. It doesn't change that any given human would be better off with those skills than without them.
Those tools don't miraculously make you always right or smart. Plenty of people believe some very dumb and weird things. However, I don't believe there is any better tool at our disposal to combat errors in understanding than the scientific method. The more widespread those tools the better able we, collectively, discard the wrong and identify the correct. It is though this continual advancement comes out success, it's a process we'll forever continue as a species.
>No I'm for it?
You disregard the part about technology (thus why I pointed out expressly "AND TECHNOLOGY").
>if you DO end up needing an understanding then you can go do some research online or otherwise.
This is arguing contrary to everyone having a minimum understanding as even without an understanding you can "go do some research online or otherwise."
I get conflicting messages from you. You assert aspects contrary to the OP's message yet claim you support the OP's message.
>I don't expect, or even think it possible for every citizen to have an intimate understanding of every field of science
>intimate understanding of every field of science
Straw man? Where has any argued or even presented an assertion that can be plausibly inferred to imply any sort of "intimate understanding" of anything other than their specialization? The point was about a "fundamental understanding" and how it takes time and resources contradictory to the progress of society benefiting from specialization.
>This is a prescription for disaster.
This is only the case because the science-illiterate majority is making decisions which require a knowledge of science. If we did away with this pesky democracy thing and had only intelligent and informed people who are experts in their field making decisions regarding science and tech, there would be no issue.
You're addressing academic issues in general, which was not the focus of my post. The focus of my post is that STEM education can be very difficult, depending on the field you get into, and they already come with a negative connotation, and to top it off, in the situation like you said, it's very high risk high reward. If someone can manage to take out a loan and be successful with it, great, but people don't KNOW what's going to happen. Shit happens in life, maybe something fucks with your education, next thing you know you have a huge pile of debt with nothing to show for it. Not to mention, the risk involved makes the less confident not even want to try. You might have been good at lower division and general ed classes, but can you succeed in upper division STEM classes? Often times you have no fucking clue until you give them a shot, and if you wind up failing halfway, you're essentially fucked.
>if you make smart sensible decisions
The smartest and most capable people I have ever known have rarely made "smart sensible decisions". What is sensible to you might not be to another.
>Throwing more money at it won't fix the problem
You're right. Fixing it requires actual problem solving. Which costs money. We can take a look at just about any other 1st world country and see what is and is not successful in earlier educational systems. What to do is not the issue, so much as it's "who's going to pay for it" and "who's going to actually get off their ass and do it".
you're over estimating the political skills of scientists.
I agree in general though that the "democracy" we have now is just fucking dumb.
I bet if people were forced to take a simple algebra test before voting, that would filter out 75% of the retards who vote.
>However, critical thinking, a proper understanding of the scientific method, a proper grasp of basic statistics, and an general appreciation for understanding the world would be healthy.
Even in university, philosophy subjects are frowned upon by a lot of the (potentially edgy) science-students, even when it is pretty relevant what with modern scientific methods.
>The focus of my post is that STEM education can be very difficult
No shit, STEM majors are the hard mode of university majors. Not everyone is going to be able to handle it. If you can't handle a first level Calculus class then you need to go back to make sure you have the proper mathematical foundation before you can move on. I used my summer break to cram two semesters worth of math through the means of Khan Academy.
>it's very high risk high reward
Just wait until you get a fucking job. If you can't handle school, how are you going to handle working in the real world? The company you work for is at stake for losing money because of your mistake(s). If you fuck them over enough you're getting fired.
>Shit happens in life, maybe something fucks with your education, next thing you know you have a huge pile of debt with nothing to show for it.
Define shit happens. I fail to see how you can't put in the time and effort into 16 credits a semester if you're not working. If you have bad time management skills that's your fault. If you can't handle being independent then you maybe shouldn't have gone to school yet. Get your shit together before you start school. I took two years off before I started working on my STEM major to prevent any headaches that could come along the way.
>Not to mention, the risk involved makes the less confident not even want to try.
The real world does not give a single shit about you. If you can't handle school then there's no way you're going to be able to handle solving real world problems under pressure.
> You might have been good at lower division and general ed classes, but can you succeed in upper division STEM classes?
Ironically, a lot of the "general ed" courses for STEM majors are core math, chemistry, and physics courses which could be considered "weed out" classes. Once you get to your third and fourth year, you're taking classes that are much more interesting and fun to learn. Granted they're not going to be easy, but if you're genuinely interested in it, you shouldn't have a problem overcoming the challenge.
>Often times you have no fucking clue until you give them a shot, and if you wind up failing halfway, you're essentially fucked.
You might not if you're lazy and don't bother to do research online. Look up a four year plan for your major, google the classes, read the syllabus's, find relevant books/lectures/anything else that would be beneficial to learning that subject. The fact that never occurred to you is quite indicative of your critical thinking skills.
>The smartest and most capable people I have ever known have rarely made "smart sensible decisions". What is sensible to you might not be to another.
That doesn't fucking matter. The point is that you should make smart ECONOMIC decisions. If you do, you are able to achieve financial stability and independence even through the hardships of loans.
>You're right. Fixing it requires actual problem solving. Which costs money.
Don't fucking steal my money via taxes and force me to spend money on something that incredibly inefficient. There are already solutions out there that exist and are very cost effective (Khan Academy).
You seem to lack the capabilities to have a debate without getting angry. You also clearly have no grasp what this argument is even about, so my time management skills are telling me to go to bed. Have fun in your little world run by uneducated retards.
I'm not angry at the debate. You're talking to someone who is currently working towards my BS in Computer Engineering. I'm angry at you for making excuses for not being responsible for yourself. Even if I am angry, that doesn't invalidate any of my points. You didn't refute anything I said. You sound like someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for your actions and can't take any criticism. That shit won't fly if you want to compete in the highly competitive job market.
Ultimately, it's your shitty attitude that is going to prevent you from being successful at life. You can be a big baby and get offended by what I said, but I'll be here making $70k+ a year after I graduate. I can use the skills and knowledge that I learned from my classes to startup my own business and create an additional source of income which can increase my yearly salary to $100k+ easily.
lol. I'm an EE major CS minor taking 16 units this semester, 17 next semester, while simultaneously self employed as an independent contractor making $18 an hour. I'm doing absolutely fucking fine. But this isn't about me. And this isn't about you. I don't need to refute your claims because they are completely fucking irrelevant to what I'm getting at. WE'RE not the subject of this argument, the issue is that the number of STEM majors is declining, you've hijacked this debate and turned it into an excuse to tell college students to "Man up or get out", but that's only going to have the OPPOSITE effect of getting more people interested in the subjects. Jesus, I get it, you're responsible enough to take care of yourself, but this thread is about making others more educated and interested in science, and you clearly only care about yourself and your struggles, so why are you here?
>And I can't tell you the number of dipshits I come across who have a better-than-average understanding of le science but have incredibly stupid opinions.
Such as yourself? Not only have you not given any counterargument to the things you quoted, you have also shown us just how ignorant you are.
No, we do it so they will have to educate themselves on how to install gentoo by searching for it. Hopefully that will teach them they could have just searched for their stupid question in the first place.