More Art than Science

While I was in school, there was a certain pride for those who did triple science. I was on that side of the team.

And there was also a certain sense of despair when people talk about studying the arts. I also happen to love the arts and humanities as well, so I did take those subjects. Unfortunately, there was a sense that those softer subjects are fluff because there’s no systematic way in which you can score well.

This lack of ‘scientific-ness’ to the approach of improving in arts and humanities makes it less clear what is the knowledge you are trying to grasp when you’re dealing with those subjects. It’s almost like I have no good way of telling why one of my essays happen to do better than another one. And to the system, that seem to be a problem even though the teachers were happy, the students were too.

But the joke of life is that reality is exactly that way. When we cannot pinpoint or figure an exact solution/answer, we say that such and such is more art than science. So is it really better to be good at sciences and think of the world in that manner all the time? The problem with overemphasising sciences at the expense of the arts is growing generations of people who seem to think that they can only live well in a world that is systematic, predictable and can be controlled. If most things that are really important in life, like how to manage your emotions, your relationships, even your own behaviours are complex and more like arts, why are we getting people to be less humans?

The whole snobbishness about scientific education needs to stop; and we must learn to appreciate the creatives more, both in our lives (as we learn to consume more artisanal stuff, and experience products). We may be skeptical and still prefer our mass produced, industrial stuff. But up to a certain point, we need to reconnect with craft, and the idea of it.