The decline of civilization...


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/books/25human.html?pagewanted=1
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Brilliant idea. The thing is, that no matter how much you amp up technology and other fields of study, to "produc[e] enough trained engineers and scientists [that are] essential to America’s economic vitality, national defense and health care," without the humanities it becomes a hollow movement. Ideas and innovations depend upon a student's experience in the humanities...

For example:
Albert Einstein....
"Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life." (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html)

Bill Gates...
"In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world's largest resources of visual information - a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe." (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/billg/bio.mspx)

Carl Sagan...
"A Pulitzer Prize winner for the book The Dragons of Eden: Speculations of the Evolution of Human Intelligence, Dr. Sagan was the author of many bestsellers, including Cosmos, which became the bestselling science book ever published in English. The accompanying Emmy and Peabody award-winning television series has been seen by a billion people in sixty countries. He received twenty-two honorary degrees from American colleges and universities for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment, and many awards for his work on the long-term consequences of nuclear war and reversing the nuclear arms race. His novel, Contact, is now a major motion picture." (http://www.carlsagan.com/)

My list could go on for a very long time, but I will leave us with this:
The fields of "vocation" -- as the New York Times article puts it -- have always been inextricably linked. Hundreds of years ago, literary pioneers moved from transcription by monks to the miracle of the printing press. It isn't so different from today...now, writers who might never have emerged out of the imagination of a dream of being published now use modern technology to publish online, provoking conversation and idea sharing that hasn't occurred since the heyday of the 17th/18th century coffee houses and salons.

Humanities are vital to our existence. Pass it on.

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