I studied Physics in college, and worked in Physics and engineering for many years. Learning any one of the hard science or engineering disciplines has a profound effect on one's ability to analyze situations. One's first such course has a much more profound effect on one's consciousness than the subsequent dozens of courses one may take in scientific fields. Studying science teaches you a way of thinking that it took the human race until about the 17th century to discover, and which enables you to analyze situations in such a way that you have some hope of getting the correct answer. When anyone thus trained hears people without such training try to opine about science, it is very, very apparent how profoundly they don't get it. In principle, an untrained person could come up with a correct answer to a scientific question, but the chances of someone recapituating millenia of human scientific development in his thinking are actually negligible. Formally learning science makes a tremendous change to your thinking and capacity for analysis.
Thank you Brandon.
Hopefully you can forgive me for being so ignorant and pretentious, but when i had finished the first term of my university education (I do an arts subject) and I had rapidly learned a lot of cultural/social/political ways of analysing the world I had a kind of 'epiphany'.
I suppose I grew new eyes, and fast, in my first term of university. The thing is with rapid development is that the beliefs don't really have time to mature or be critiqued. Anyway, I used to 'pity' (for lack of a better word) all the people I saw doing science degrees- sat in their classes learning dry facts whist I was learning about the way everything was constructed.
The fact that a lot of people on my facebook friends list are doing degrees in science at exeter or imperial or somewhere else quite credible, but had 'dirty dancing' or 'big momma's house 2' listed as their favorite movies verified the fact that they understood nothing about culture.
Now, obviously I realise this is a reflection of my layman's beliefs about science degrees being about 'learning facts'.
They say that you go to university to discover you don't know anything.
The more you know, the better you can gauge the size of the areas you don't know about. I think everyone, myself included, always underestimates.
Anyway, if you don't mind, could you or Walter who also mentioned his training, or anyone else, solicit an example of when this analysis has been useful.
Or when you've been in a situation with someone with no such training, and your insight has given you a wildly different perspective from them?
What does your insight then make you feel towards the person?