Unit Two Assignment One – Sam Van Horn

Evaluate Principe’s closing remarks about the disconnect between modern science and the wider culture (see the bottom of p. 134). Is his pessimism exaggerated? What is the role of the humanities, if any, in fixing the problem?

Personally, after reading this passage and discussing my thoughts with others, I find Principe’s take on the lack of thought and curiosity behind modern scientific work rather strongly pessimistic indeed. He tears into the entire basis of our modern day work where we have made grand, innovative technological solutions whether to help people in the medical field, navigate their way in a new city, or design skyscrapers. His only positive remark was one sentence which was precedented by claiming our inventions as a “disappointment” in what could have been. It’s completely disrespectful to overlook our scientific community based on the justification that our ideas don’t have the same “mindset” as our “more driven” predecessors. Yes, I understand that we are a generation that wants information quick, a generation that requires answers in the moment, and for that, it’s understandable to not go back to ancient texts to find answers, or delve into our broad history for all the answers. It simply isn’t possible with how we’ve evolved. The answers simply can’t be found in an ancient textbook. As we’ve grown, we’ve created our own history, just as the generations to come will make theirs, and we will be forgotten. It’s selfish on his part to make these claims and not see the other side. As for the humanities, it’s our job to listen and react. We must continue to accept new and creative ways at looking at things, and see them for what they are, not tarnish them for being unlike that of the past.

Question: How does artificial intelligence play a part for the meaning of Principe’s “tightly interconnected cosmos” and will it positively or negatively impact our future generation’s ability to engage with our deep-rooted history for answers?

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