Humanities and STEM Can and Should Get Along Better

In my lit and writing classes, I regularly encounter STEM students who are frustrated because I won’t deliver a lecture that tells them “what the poem means” and then give them points for spitting back the “correct answer.” Likewise, when I teach a math unit in my journalism class, I regularly encounter word-oriented students who are frustrated by the specificity of numbers. Truth be told, some of my “your petty…

When Perception Trumps Reality: Republicans aren’t nearly as rich as Democrats estimate. Democrats aren’t nearly as gay or atheistic as Republicans estimate.

Democrats wildly over-estimate the percentage of Republicans who make over 250k a year (estimated: 44%; actual: 2%).  Republicans are almost as bad when it comes to predicting the percentage of Democrats who are LBG (estimated: 38%; actual: 6%) and atheist/agnostic (estimated: 36%; actual: 9%). Both groups were a little closer to the mark when asked to estimate details about their own parties, but the perception they are acting on is…

Image: Part of a graduation lineup.

Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering

We learned that though a degree made a big difference in the success of an entrepreneur, the field it was in and the school that it was from were not significant factors. YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki, for instance, majored in history and literature; Slack founder Stewart Butterfield in English; Airbnb founder Brian Chesky in the fine arts. And, in China, Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma has a bachelor’s in English. Steve Jobs…

My Father’s Day adventure included replacing the family gaming computer (a 2011 Mac Mini… don’t judge)

One of the benefits of working at Seton Hill is they provide me with a MacBook Air and an iPad. I turn them in every few years for an upgrade. The computer the kids use for gaming is a Mac Mini that I bought in 2011, with a virtual machine that runs Windows. It has served us well, but like most Mac devices, it’s not very upgradeable. The boy had been been…

Uneasy Lies the Head — Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power

John Stubbs reviews Stephen Grenblatt’s Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power The psychology and spectacle of villainy and the intoxicating nature of power clearly preoccupied Shakespeare. The grandeur, amoral freedom of action and sheer theatrical potential of tyrants must have moved and excited him. The case of a confirmed murderous dictator, after all, especially one with the charisma, merciless intelligence and twisted charm Shakespeare bestows on Richard III, gave unequalled scope for…

Small child propped on her elbows, using laptop computer.

Kids Whose Parents Limit Screen Time Do Worse in College, New Study Shows

  “Parents normally set these rules to promote their children’s scholastic development and to make sure that they invest enough time in schoolwork. But that evidently can also backfire,” commented Hargittai. But why exactly? The study can’t say definitively, but I emailed Hargattai to see what hypotheses she might have. “One possibility would be that such parents also create other rules or different contexts for their children while they are home…