More on Biological Determinism and Useless Degrees

From the New York Times: Among the Disrupted

This passage stood out:

And even as technologism, which is not the same as technology, asserts itself over more and more precincts of human life, so too does scientism, which is not the same as science. The notion that the nonmaterial dimensions of life must be explained in terms of the material dimensions, and that nonscientific understandings must be translated into scientific understandings if they are to qualify as knowledge, is increasingly popular inside and outside the university, where the humanities are disparaged as soft and impractical and insufficiently new.

He is right about the theme, but wrong to be pessimistic about it or oppose this direction society is headed. Biological determinism means millions of people are simply not smart enough to participate in the strong economic recovery. That’s just the inescapable reality of the post-2008 era we find ourselves in. As part of the post-2008 HBD insurgence or what some call social Darwinism 2.0, lay people and academics alike are perhaps becoming more receptive to biological explanations for socioeconomic problems because nurture-based explanations have fallen short. The war on poverty has failed as entitlement spending keeps growing, and that’s because politicians are trying to fix a problem that is biological in nature with a non-biological based solutions. Now millions of inquisitive people are waking up from the stupor of political correctness and asking, ‘Why are we wasting all this taxpayer money on programs that yield no results?’

Any degree from Caltech, MIT, or the Ivy League or a degree in STEM, economics, finance, literature, history or philosophy is worthy of respect, but the rest are pretty much crap. People with worthless degrees are disparaged, and rightfully so. The humanities, like millennials, are not homogeneous; there is a hierarchy with worldly subjects like philosophy, history, and literature residing at the top and detritus like ‘child development’ at the bottom.

MBA majors, not exactly being paragons of intelligence and because they use jargon like ‘results oriented’, are also frequent targets of derision by the smartest generation, who value intelligence and authenticity, as epitomized by STEM (and finance and economics), highly. But because the post-2008 era also celebrates wealth, an MBA major who makes a lot of money does gain some respect. This presents some complications that could be addressed in a future article.