Re: "Michael Gove is destroying our school system"
You're mistaking Steve Jobs for "most innovators".
Nope. Far from it. You are mistaking Steve Jobs for an innovator. I was talking about the spread of human history which has consistently shown that people given access to a broader range of knowledge find better ways to improve on specialist topics.
Specialists rarely (although, importantly, this is not the same as never) drive significant innovative change.
Do you think the guys who invented horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were generalists? Or were they specialists in physics, hydraulics, geology?
You might want to re-read that. Specialists in three areas are not "narrow focussed specialists."
These developments came by having people who understood physics and geology (for example), as well as having detailed specialists in physics and separate ones in geology. Without the underlying cross-over of knowledge in at least some of the group, the conjoined ideas will never find fertile ground.
What about the paper thin phones coming out soon? Were they invented by a team of sociologists? Didn't think so.
Its good that you can answer your own questions here, because this agrees with what I have said. A team of sociologists is the specialist I am saying we should avoid. Having people who under stand technology and art for example helps create breakthroughs in form and function.
Your claim is so absurd, bordering on unbelievable.
Yet you seem to prove it with each point you make. Thanks for that.
The world is shifting ever more into specialization. This is patently true, and observable. Even mathematicians studying different branches of maths don't understand each others' notation.
And the rate of innovative change decreases. In most areas now we drive evolutionary, "small step" changes until there are occasions where by a cross over appears and someone realises a way (for example) of tying mathematics into music to invent something new and unusual.
I disagree entirely. I don't live in the UK, you are right. I live in a country going through a similar issue, but one that is frankly starting off with a higher level of STEM education, but is slipping behind other countries. Nowhere in the debate is anyone trying to get kids to be generalists.
I dont think we have a common understanding of what a generalist is.
It is not someone with a below average understanding of everything. It is someone who has enough of an understanding of a variety of topics that they understand how things interconnect and can see the links between disciplines.
All education drives kids towards a general knowledge - we need this to function in society. We need to understand how society works so we can learn our place in it, we need to understand how our laws and history drive the behaviour of people today. None of this is less important than understanding how to code or how to wire up a motherboard, or even what use a Bose-Einstein Condensate is.
But the general trend is towards specialization.
But this does not mean it is the right thing to do. I agreed that this trend existed in education, but there is a greater need for people to have more general knowledge. We are provided with greater sources of information and expected to make informed decisions on a variety of things - all without understanding why it is important or what the long term impacts might be.
Psychology and sociology are obviously easier then STEM subjects, in that the subject matter isn't rigorous, definitions are vague, the conclusions from various "experiments" are absurd and offensive to anyone who thinks science is a rigorous discipline.
That is quite entertaining. Incorrect, but entertaining. You might want to look over your own cognitive bias over this - maybe a better understanding of the "soft" science would help you out.
In the modern world I find it disappointing that people are still pretending that all subjects were created equal, and knowledge of one subject is more or less as important as any other.
I agree to an extent. Any subject that isnt physics is simply a hobby and should never receive any funding. However, historians, chemists, biologists, artists and many, many others may disagree.
It is a trusim that the subject you enjoy and think is important should be viewed across the whole world as important because obviously nothing else is as good.
Sociologists and psychologists can explain why this happens, how to measure it, how to detect it in claims & assumptions and how to guard against it in your own activities.
Tell that to the Chemists.