"not technical enough"

Subject: "not technical enough"
From: Bill Burns <bburns -at- scriptorium -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 08:55:07 -0600

I agree with most of the responses concerning knowledge of technologies, but I have to take exception to something written in response to this post.

"4. You will have better research skills. (I hate to admit it, but it
is true that the exact sciences graduates simply have better reasoning, organizational
and research skills than the social sciences and liberal arts majors. It has to do
with training, not intelligence.)"

This would be an example of a sweeping generalization, recognizable by anyone who had paid attention and learned anything in a basic logic class (typically taught in philosophy departments, which as I recall, is one of the liberal arts). I'm not sure where "library sciences" fit into this scheme, but I doubt that it falls anywhere close to the same kind of rigor that hard sciences demand in methodology. I guess it's the type of research that would distinguish the two: one is empirical, the other more textual. I don't think that means people schooled in the hard sciences have better research skills. They're just trained to employ empirical methods in their research, which doesn't necessarily help them if they have to gather large amounts of poorly written information, process it, and organize it into a coherent piece. I think the same goes for organizational skills. It all depends on what is being organized.

Beyond this, what programs in the hard sciences teach vs. those in liberal arts teach has little to do with the quality of the student. That, I think, needs to count for something. I know very methodical, empirical-minded people trained in the liberal arts. This isn't a sciences vs. arts thing. Good students take from whatever experiences they encounter. That's what a well-rounded education is about.

Bill Burns - bburns -at- scriptorium -dot- com - 208.484.4459
Senior Technical Consultant
Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. - http://www.scriptorium.com

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