Thursday, May 10, 2018

"STEAM": Academia Is Now Officially Beyond Parody

STEM fields getting a bunch of money, and the rest of us have to salivatingly watch that gravy train pass us by?
   Not enough women in STEM?
   There must be a way of skinning two cats with one stone...
   There is!
   Introducing "STEAM" = Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts (+ Design!), and Math!
   This is such a goddamned stupid idea that I refuse to even argue against it. If you made this up in a novel parodying academia, you'd be ridiculed. Utterly implausible! Cranky, artless, right-wing academia-bashing!
   Honestly, this is a reductio. If this bullshit "STEAM" thing doesn't trigger your intellectual gag reflex, then there's nothing I can do. There is no reductio more more obvious than the actual facts of this academic abomination. Res ipsa loquitur.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

Well, STEAM to me means video games, and they hire both artists and tech, so maybe...

7:34 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

If it were THAT Steam, I'd be all over this... Maybe there's a way to hijack it in that direction... It wouldn't make any less sense than it already does...

7:36 AM  
Anonymous rotgut said...

I await the new, more inclusive STEAM-ASS movement. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Anthropology, Sociology, and disciplines that end with "Studies."

10:42 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


I was trying to figure out how to get philosophy in on this scam, but so far I have:
PANTS:Philosophy, Art 'N' Technology and STEM

10:55 AM  
Blogger Pete Mack said...

I believe we have succesfully disproved your claim, that academia is beyond parody.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

We are on the cutting edge here at the institute

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a kindergartner, and he's been doing "STEAM" projects in his classes for a couple years now. In the context of early education, its a pretty effective approach to teaching a lot of areas at once, especially to little kids who benefit from concrete examples. The other day mine came home with a diagram he made of an ant's digestive system, and he spent like 20 minutes explaining how the drawing was done to scale, and what "to scale" meant. Pretty good; he clearly understands the math concept a lot better for having done the art project. Who cares if the kindergarten teachers need to have a new silly term for it?

Of course, at the college level, this is clearly some grant-proposal-level bullshit.* It's also another disturbing example of the collage students being treated like five year olds, along with the puppy rooms for being sad in, etc.

* That's the level one up from total bullshit.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I find nothing to disagree with in your comment, A.

Seems right on to me.

Though I *will* say: just about any part of a real education can help with just about any other part in some ways. "STEM" was never a really good category. Adding art to it is just the first step toward noticing that all kinds of different kinds of knowledge and abilities could be useful to scientists...just as knowing something about a science can help you in the quest for other kinds of we gonna recapitulate the idea of a liberal arts education *inside* STEM? STEMception? Or what?

I mean, at the college level.

Whatever gets kids drawing good ant digestion is alright with me.

10:19 PM  

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