The Difference Between People Who Study Engineering And People Who Study Humanities

presentation, engineers, civil workers, great depression

Photo: The Library Of Congress via Flickr

Billionaire Facebook investor, former PayPal CEO, and Palantir cofounder Peter Thiel taught a class at Stanford this Spring.We’re going through one student’s notes today and posting the most interesting things we learn.

Here’s the latest:

Thiel says the purpose of his class is to eliminate some of the differences between humanities students and engineering students:

We might describe our world as having retail sanity, but wholesale madness. Details are well understood; the big picture remains unclear. A fundamental challenge—in business as in life—is to integrate the micro and macro such that all things make sense.

Humanities majors may well learn a great deal about the world. But they don’t really learn career skills through their studies. Engineering majors, conversely, learn in great technical detail. But they might not learn why, how, or where they should apply their skills in the workforce. The best students, workers, and thinkers will integrate these questions into a cohesive narrative. This course aims to facilitate that process.

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