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The Importance of the Humanities

Eric Berridge Talk on the Humanities Highlights the Need for Them

— May 3, 2018 — Keynote Trends
Eric Berridge is the co-founder of the IBM company Bluewolf and in a TED talk on the Humanities, he displays his vigorous advocacy and his sound arguments for the field of study as extremely important and worthwhile. The speaker begins with a real-life example of his own company that was nearly fired from a project due to a lack of interdisciplinary variation. Eric Berridge confesses that what in the end saved his software consulting firm was an excessively brilliant bartender Jeff who was a philosophy major drop-out.

In his talk on the Humanities, Eric stresses the ridiculous push and overemphasis on STEM Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). He criticizes that it is "all in our faces and [that it] is a colossal mistake." In 2009 there was a 43% in STEM Majors, while the Humanities stayed flat. Parental and governmental pressures direct the university applicant's perception that the future workforce will be dominated by STEM and as a result, a ridiculous amount of funding gets injected into these fields, while the others are neglected. Eric Berridge gives an accurate analogy that "it's like, the entire soccer team chases the ball into the corner because that's where the ball is."

In the remaining minutes of his talk on the Humanities, the speaker explains the importance of integrating critical thinkers with real-world experience within a company, especially one that deals with technological advancements. As our tech is beginning to be more and more intuitive, there is a vast need for the Humanities. At the end of the day, "the sciences teach us how to build things, [while] the Humanities [...] teach us what to build and why to build [it]."
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