Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood

It's time to take a trip back to the old August-style posts when I ramble on and on about some random philosophical thought I've been having. 
Note: Some subjects are capitalized because they are just that- subjects in school, while others are not because while they are taught in school, I am referring to them more as professional fields instead of school-related things.

A friend (who I am sending this to- hi!) and I were discussing the point of English class last week, which was rather difficult to do well because his class is considerably different (in a bad way) from mine. 
I said that English classes of the type I'm in (although on paper it's the same as his) are designed to help us understand people. He said that was what psychology was for, which I couldn't really argue with at the time.
Now I can.

Psychology is the basic (in relative terms), most science-y way to understand people. It's all about chemicals causing emotions and the cause and effects of the actions of other people. From my limited knowledge about the field, that is, since I've only read the For Dummies book on the subject and haven't taken it in school.
Compare that with math: the most basic, logical rules of the universe.
Both of them explain primary principles about the way people/the universe work.

Now let's move up a level.
Meet English class, in which books are read and discussions are held on both the books and on other things. All other things done in the class are irrelevant to this topic. The primary principles laid out in psychology are applied in  ways that form INTERESTING things/phenomena/ideas/what-have-you that can be taken as both LARGE, ABSTRACT CONCEPTS and DAILY LIFE.
In the next lane, we have Physics. Once again, the primary principles laid out in math are applied to data to create INTERESTING theories/ideas/phenomena/what-have-you that can be LARGE, ABSTRACT CONCEPTS (Hi, String Theory!) and DAILY LIFE (computers function via quantum mechanics, plus there's even more obvious stuff like gravity).

Move up another level.
Rising above English is Social Studies-- a broad field full of subsidiary disciplines that focus on using the things discovered in English to fuel the machine of the human race (economics, for example). Psychology= existence, English = thought, and Social Studies = civilization.
From physics we get engineering-- a broad field full of subsidiary disciplines that focus on using the things discovered in physics to more literally fuel/build the machine of the human race. Math = existence, physics = thought, engineering = civilization.

On an existence-level, we need math and psychology. On an personal level, we need English and physics, and on a global level, we need Social Studies and engineering.

So you see, friend who may or may not want his name mentioned here and therefore I am not mentioning it, we are not so very different after all, just because I enjoy my English class and you hate yours. (Side note: I would hate yours as well, rest assured. I'm not that crazy.)
We're just getting to the same place on different paths.

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