“Arts or Science?” “Science, of course!”
“What job would you get if you studied the arts? Except for a career in education and maybe, the media, what options would you have?”
“I am not dumb – why one earth would I want to study Humanities?”
“Studying Humanities is completely impractical – there is no application to everyday life!”
All of us must have heard such views at some time or the other. A few of us may even be holding the same views as well. And those of us who don’t may have had a tough time making people around us appreciate, value and support our interest in a Humanities education.
This is because we live in a world where science, technology, engineering and math are supreme and the arts have been relegated to the backseat. The Humanities are discounted – as being elitist, irrelevant and insignificant in daily life.
But, what would our world be like if the arts and the humanities did not exist? Try and imagine a society with no music, no art, no literature. There would be no religion or philosophy, the study of history would be redundant. Intelligent debate would be an unknown phenomenon. Would not such a society be dry and rather incomplete?
Many people feel that ‘dry’ and ‘incomplete’ are poor arguments to push the cause of a stream of study that can never provide cures for disease, nor can give birth to new technology. So, does that make the Humanities redundant?
We will look at this debate from various angles in the next few weeks. For today, we will leave you with what one of the greatest icons of our time – the person responsible for creating technology that can truly be described as ‘beautiful’ – said. Steve Jobs always spoke about the intersection of technology and the humanities which also included the arts. While introducing the iPad in 2010, he said – “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”