Bill Gates solicits an answer on Linkedin

March 2, 2008

Out of a mouth-mind in Bablion…

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman of Microsoft, put a featured question to Linkedin professionals:

“How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?”

After two days, there were 2500+ and counting answers from leaders, managers and professionals from across the planet. Below is my published answer to Bill Gates and my many unknown colleagues at Linkedin:

Education

Reading C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, I came to the consideration that the moral relativism that accompanies modern math and science education in the West may have taken the life and spirit out of math and sciences.

Is it possible that we have alienated several generations from these disciplines because the young have an instinctive, unconscious rejection of a delusion with no value and affect?

The implicit philosophy of math and science is that all statements of value are merely subjective statements and tell us nothing truly about the object. On the contrary, we can know things as they are to some objective extent and our actions can be understood as objectively good or evil. Math and science have been misused as a deconstructive tool used to undermine human values and affections, confuse right from wrong and plunge those who self-examine… into nihilistic despair and the untrustworthy comfort of hedonism.

As Plato and Aristotle believed, Lewis reminds us that we must train the young to like and dislike what they ought, to love the good and hate the bad. Emotion and intuition must be integrated with intellect and perception (as Carl Jung suggests) or they will grow up into something strange, pursuing intellectual conclusions and technological solutions that are heartless OR pursuing what feels good without the capacity to discern which goods are truly good and which are temporarily pleasing.
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