Drowning in Information

Twenty years ago, noted biologist and author E.O. Wilson wrote:

We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely. (Source: Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge)

I think this has only become more true over time. That's why all this debate about STEM vs. the humanities has been so exhausting to me. If we don't give students the opportunity to learn both, we end up with billionaires building rockets... to shoot their sports car into space.

Then there are studies like this one, that indicate STEM majors are less politically active:

An analysis that we conducted shows that college students studying STEM disciplines — that is, science, technology, engineering and mathematics — were among the least likely to vote. STEM students appear less interested in other forms of political and civic engagement, too. One study found that students who took more science and engineering courses were less likely to participate in politics by donating money to a campaign or attending a political meeting. Another found that engineering majors were less committed to social activism than their non-STEM peers.

As Fareed Zakaria wrote a couple years ago (emphasis mine):

This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future. The United States has led the world in economic dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to exactly the kind of teaching we are now told to defenestrate. A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization. Yes, science and technology are crucial components of this education, but so are English and philosophy.

Instead of such a singular focus on a relatively narrow field of topics, we should be spending our energy on how to integrate all the subjects that have been kept in such distinct silos for too long.