i think the reason i dunk on STEM so much is because it's been prioritized by the vast majority of political figures and education professionals and even cultural figures in my life and everyone's still miserable

doesn't it make you uneasy that folks treat STEM like it'll fix everything when it's just been used to dehumanize you and make the world worse

yeah duh it's a tool and should be in the right hands etc etc. but STEM can't teach you how to be the right person and have the right hands

anyways science sucks* and bill nye can eat my ass i prefer to live in a world of shifting unknowable forms.

im against the ideology of STEM more than anything else

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@selontheweb
i’m a STEM major but honestly i’ve always been uncomfortable around most other STEM majors. their view of the world seems so simple, so cut-and-dried, not to mention the social problems rampant in STEM (sexism, homophobia, ...). the simple fact is that if you explore any of the sciences with enough passion, you run up against a wall of questions that can’t be answered with a scientific lens. these are the questions that remained in philosophy when the science formed

@jordyd super well put, thank you for this perspective yo!

@selontheweb
generally the sciences work with some set of philosophical assumptions that are never really analyzed explicitly. classical physics assumes an external, deterministic reality. math assumes a specific logical framework (whereas philosophy explores many). and all the sciences and math are compartmentalized and rarely examine ethical questions relating to their study and real-world impact

@selontheweb
i do wonder, tho, if this is a problem inherent in STEM or just the culture we’ve built up around it. the world is becoming more specialized, and it needs to be, because there’s simply too much to know, to much to study to gain a holistic viewpoint, and humans have neither the mental capacity nor the lifespan to do it all individually. so perhaps the answer lies in society itself. organize society such that experts in the humanities are more directly involved

@selontheweb
and the “soft” sciences, of course, though that adjective is imo a bit judgy

@jordyd i really can't help but feel that it's an ideology around STEM that we're fighting. i resist the idea that it's inherent to it because again it's a tool!

@selontheweb
that was the impression i got from what you were saying, and i think i agree tbh. i see STEM ideology, tho, as a consequence of like the greater ideology of capitalism, and its emphasis on technological advancement and entrepreneurship as the solution of all societal and economic problems, without consideration for the ramifications of giving the market and entrepreneurs that kind of influence on the world

@selontheweb
that is to say it’s not technology that’s the problem but the people who get to make the decisions as to how to use it

@selontheweb
and that’s a much bigger question, how to structure society such that these decisions are made with a holistic viewpoint

@jordyd @selontheweb I've been finding some compelling ideas about how to answer these questions in feminist econ writings. It's a great primer on the shadow-economy of labour that doesn't necessarily have a "price" in the strict sense, though it begs the question.

This is also why I don't fully agree with Marx (based on my current understanding which is incomplete)

@jordyd
@selontheweb I don't think maths is super restrictive as far as logical frameworks go. Mathematicians are pretty open about how weird things can get depending on which axioms you pick. Maybe this is just my experience though!

@jordyd
@selontheweb
Physics and Maths major here -- totally agree. I find that physics is particularly bad in this regard.

After a Quantum Mechanics lecture in third year where the lecturer dismissed a question offhand as "a question for philosophers", I began asking folks in my class a question. Over the next few weeks I asked "knowing what you know now, did you enter university physics because you were interested in physics questions, or because you were interested in philosophy questions". Almost everyone that I asked replied that the questions they were actually interested in as kids and teenagers were philosophy questions dressed up as physics questions.

@jordyd @selontheweb
The arrogance and hyper masculinity in physics was too much for me, to be honest. I hope that this doesn't come across as melodramatic, but I found that my entire way of talking at university changed once I finished with physics. I felt like I could talk softer, and more calmly and sincerely than when I was in physics. Of course, this has nothing to do with the subject itself, but rather the kind of persona I felt that I needed to have in order to feel remotely accepted in that school.

@selontheweb
"Science will save us!" is a flawed idea for the same reason that "Guns don't kill people!" is a nonsense statement. They are still only tools, the outcome is in the wielding. It's like saying that the hammer builds the house.

@Dayglochainsaw @selontheweb Who is to save us with science? Out-of-touch silicon valley execs? Fat fucking chance

@selontheweb I came to being a scientist the long way around (literature degree & short art career first) and yeah I basically agree with this

I think it's important to be able to manipulate the world at an atomic scale, but like any witchcraft you should be real careful with that kinda shit

personally, I know aspects of my current line of work could potentially be used for evil and it makes me awfully uncomfortable, but... I think that might be part of being a witch ♎

@morae i mean shit if we treated all STEM as witchcraft we'd be way better off! treating the sciences as a magic that humans are capable of manipulating but need a healthy respect for because it exists as an ambient force of natural reality is a WAY healthier perspective!

@morae then it's something that we're forced to reckon with as members of the natural world instead of as masters of it!!

@selontheweb yes, we are agents of nature! and we are very very powerful ones, with the ability to wrack a planet within a generation. and we pat ourselves on the back for that power as if it was a given, instead of living in awe of ourselves

@selontheweb all that said "STEM" is currently a metonym for the tech industry which is all abuzz with blockchain scams and deep learning phrenology so yeah fucking burn it down

@selontheweb I fucking live for chemistry, but it needs to be said: a STEM major who hates art, literature, history, etc is effectively a robot.

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