Monday, August 11, 2008

Arts or Science ? Economics or Literature ?

Over lunch with friends, I was surprised to hear that students still look down on certain areas of study like translation studies, comparative literature and the like. That too, kids of the computer age (by kids, I mean just out of school) who have been educated in good schools, well-conversant in atleast three languages and are so confident about themselves. The usual rhetoric that we are used to is Science Vs Arts. Therfore, it came as a surprise that within the wide gamut of arts itself there is this comparison of which stream is better.

Today, where we can excel in any field that we choose to be, a question like "What would you do with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature?" to me, either shows ignorance or arrogance. I would like to think of it as the former. Still, Attitude is something ?? . An attitude of belittling someone who thinks and does something different from you is worrying. Why don't we as students of the internet age see different vocations in a totally different light - why not look at what is good and different about it and try to learn from it ?

Does the stream we pick always have to be glamorous ? Or does it have to give a fat pay package ? Or should it always sound difficult and out of reach ? Why can't we pick a stream because we love it or are passionate about it ? There are so many examples of people who have made it a success in streams once untouched, who have left their glamourous or high paid jobs to make a difference, for themselves and their brethren; who followed their heart, to do something they loved and had the passion for.

Einstein said, "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music."


Leonardo said...

I couldn't agree more. Let people do whatever they want. Freedom!

Nice to see you blogging my friend. I am subscribing your RSS feed.

Cheers from Trento!

Freakie! said...


Your blog is pretty cool!


I totally agree with you...we have to follow what we really wanna do.

I tried to do Engineering but it was not what I really wanted to do. A few years later, I decided to do Linguistics and now I'm really enjoying!


Asha said...

Great Going Sapna! You r abs right.Science has an edge over Arts unless u can prove urself and be supra successful.

sharmila said...

well i am glad to see the topic u chose to put forward!!!
however being a social scientist i have been engaging myself with the question many times with so-called 'science students' in recent past. and i have found it is just a sheer mistake in arguing science VERSUS arts. Leonardo is right saying 'freedom'. nonetheless we need to be SENSITIVE and SENSIBLE enough to all disciplines (not vocation as u have written!)and recognize. the way you at the lunch table told manila that you don't get head and tail of my research after a point! so we have to culture more tolerance the way i have to have for computer science or astrology or psychology in that case!not Arts OR SCIENCE, BUT arts and science!!!!
keep the spirit up.


Sapna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sapna said...

Well Sharmila,

The point is that any area is as fascinating and complex as the other, be it arts or science. For me, disciplines other than mine and some parts of computer science itself are so complex (I don't understand head or tail of it!!!!) that it makes it interesting and fascinating. It gives me the opportunity to dwell a little deeper. Maybe I will not understand much but helps me move one step closer.

Sasidhar Reddy K M said...

I found myself in a different field which my father had thought of. My father urged me to choose engineering after my +2. The real fact, Thanks to my dad's patience, I love him so much, He accepted to join me in Arts for my heart's wish after a big fight with him.

I was a programer by interest but my dad wanted me to join software engineering, God! I hate studying computers. It's better to learn to use them rather learning them. So i am in finance domain now and enjoying my life with programming as my hobby.

Sorry to say! My dad still worry's about my pay as it is comparitively less to some of his friends' sons.

Excuse me for posting my personal story here, but i have got it to my mind immediately after reading your post.