I have a book review / essay up at the Boston Review. Titled “Silicon Valley to Liberal Arts Majors: We Want You” it is a review of two books: The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World by Scott Hartley and What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn.
If you are a student of the liberal arts, is there a place for you in our increasingly-digital world? Not really, according to many. Bill Gates thinks your programs should be cut in favor of STEM subjects, his fellow tech-billionaire Vinod Khosla says “little of the material taught in liberal arts programs today is relevant to the future,” and Marc Andreesen says you will end up working in a shoe store. Maybe you should just learn to code.
Tech billionaires claim that fuzzies—students of the liberal arts and social sciences—are doomed to working in shoe stores, but two new books pin the future of tech on them.
Or maybe not. Two new books make a case that the technology industry can no longer be driven purely by software engineer hackers, and that you have a critical … Continue reading