The Growing Tide of Anti-Intellectualism
The issues raised about education are particularly relevant to this blog. State cutbacks of funding to universities send a message about what’s valued and what’s not. CS departments in state schools (and elsewhere) are facing enormous increases in enrollment, and without additional resources, are going to be imposing caps — which will serve to reduce the diversity of computing, as it did in the 1980’s. Where we place our resources indicates our values.
There is an undeniable, politically-supported growth of denial — and even hatred — of learning, facts, and the educated. Greed (and, most likely, fear of minorities) feeds demagoguery. Demagoguery can lead to harmful policies and thereafter to mob actions.
I’ve written on this topic here before. I also have cited an excellent essay from Scientific American about how the rising tide of anti-intellectualism threatens our democracy and future (you should read it).
What prompts this post is a recent article about a thinly-veiled political probe of the National Science Foundation, combined with the pending national election in the US. (Some of these issues apply elsewhere in the world, but this is a US-centric post.)
This view is also reinforced by my current experience — I am on a combined speaking tour and family vacation in Poland. I recently visited a memorial to the Katyn massacre, remembering when Soviet…
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