Saturday, January 07, 2012

Organizing the Academy

Eli, being a well known ear sucker, has cast a brain cell or two to the organization of knowledge, the sort of thing where there is STEM and NOKESENCE (No Other Knowledge etc.) and come up with the Six Fold Way that does a lot better than the usual Colleges of Mish and Mosh. Deans and Provosts, Rabett Run is open for consulting. The Rabett accepts VISA and PayPal.



UPDATE:??


25 comments:

carrot eater said...

You'd put the mathematics faculty in the same college as fine arts?

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty picture, and it gets some things right. In particular, don't mind seeing mathematics where it is, though it's obviously useful and important in other places too. But these taxonomies are always going to be in dispute. Philosophy used to be the core discipline for 'substance' studies-- and it's still a major venue for study of scientific method and (more abstractly) the aims and evaluation of scientific theories. And studies of logic, broadly understood, probably have a role across the board (since all these disciplines depend on reasoning at some level)...

Bryson Brown

Belette said...

Speaking as someone with a Mathematics BA, I see you've got it right :-)

rp^2 said...

Check out Jean Hertzberg's course on Flow Visualization, http://www.colorado.edu/MCEN/flowvis/

guthrie said...

Not bad at all. I think though that it would be nice if esthetics could overlap with education, since they are kind of related.

(Hey, I'm a science graduate, what do I know?)

I'm not sure why chemical engineering goes in environment though, surely it is part of substance, at least in my limited experience of the field.
Anyway, it is all moot as you are obviously anti-american and will be deported shortly, since you didn't put the profit motive in anywhere.

Michael Tobis said...

The complete absence of physics is rather notable. I think it is clear that the triumphs of classical physics really have had too much influence on our practical epistemology, but on the other hand, we still need someone to teach the stuff to those who are wi

Perhaps it ought not to be the fellows who obsess about quarks and bosons anymore, though.

Hank Roberts said...

Decades ago, I knew the chairman of an architecture dep't at a fairly well known state university. He taught the structures course and gave only two grades -- A or F. And it was a tough course; apparently most of those who got through the department had to take it several times.

His comment: that's reality. The building stays up, or doesn't. So, more to it than esthetics. I suppose you could argue that's engineering; I also knew an engineering teacher at a military college who had a bit to say about the difference between civil and military engineers, as far as structures staying up. For civil, it's the goal....

Pinko Punko said...

I would guess Physics would be under Natural Sciences?

Sou said...

I'm used to mathematics being grouped with humanities (where it is placed at my Alma Mater).

On the other hand, it's interesting that you put social work with 'ethics' but put medicine and nursing etc with 'well-being'.

Another thought - what about re-labelling 'ethics' as 'philosophy' (with ethics as a topic area in philosophy). And putting the 'philosophy' circle so that it touches all the other circles.

Hank Roberts said...

I think you need to edge all the circles slightly outward, and label the void at the center.

I'd suggest "Greed/Sociopathy"

http://mikethemadbiologist.com/2012/01/05/meet-the-new-boss-the-sociopath-as-banker/

Charles said...

I guess business/commerce has been kicked out of the academy? I also second the comment that well being appears to leave out mental and spiritual well being, although I appreciate the overlap between the well being and ethics circles. I'd think education was somehow connected to all the other circles.

TheTracker said...

Cool chart. I might suggest we look for another title for the healing professions, since the rest of the circles would all argue strongly for their own contributions to well-being.

Also, I don't think most of the people in the "esthetics" category are going to be happy. Take the "Humanities" category. Fields like History, and even Literature, are about more than just beauty; they are also ways to understand people and the world. They are accounts, micro and macro, of the stuff that happens to people, and how we deal with it. They reflect where we've been and, just as importantly, they are an account of eternal problems and joys that come up over and over again and collectively constitute the human experience.

Nick Barnes said...

MT: Physics is a NatSci. For instance http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/natsci/
Not sure why NatSci is exploding out from 'substance' into 'environment' but hey.
And maths is under esthetics, where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

One is missing; a large circling encompassing all the others - blogging!

EliRabett said...

Believe it or not business and economics fits under ethics, because they are optimizations of an ethical value function (at least in theory:). C conversation with the weasel a while back about how to set discount rates.

Anonymous said...

Would this be better represented by an octahedron?

Imagine two stacked bcc or CsCl unit cells with Ethics and Education at vertex coordinates "1/2, 1/2, 1/2" and "-1/2, -1/2, -1/2" and those vertices' mutual square-base vertices locating the other "disciplines".

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not [Ripley] business and economics fits under ethics.

They might fit better under "environment".

After all, it's pretty common to talk of the "business environment" and "economic environment" (and we all know that economists publish in E&E)

And to say that economics "maximizes an ethical value function" is just, well, humorous, at least with regard to Wall Street.

OTOH, perhaps that claim works if you just put an "un" before the ethical...


~@:>

David B. Benson said...

Is this the Standard Model or is it the Theory of Everything?

Anonymous said...

Bryson Brown above relegates philosophy:
"Philosophy used to be the core discipline for 'substance' studies-- and it's still a major venue for study of scientific method and (more abstractly) the aims and evaluation of scientific theories."

This makes an interesting cultural contrast to Why Latin America calls on philosophers.

Pete Dunkelberg

John said...

Eli:

I noticed that the buzzwords on the grey pool-balls in the middle all start with the letter "E", with only two exceptions: "well-being" and "substance".

What the hell, let's make them ALL start with the letter E.
Replace "well-being" with "equanimity". Sorta the same thing.
Then the sole buzzword remaining is "substance". Why not "exact sciences" or "engineering and science"?

And you need a snappy title for the Figure: Let's go with...

Eli exhibits exactitude & expertise, exports exoskelteon, expects equilibrium, w/ ease (E's) !!

And, folks, that's just the letter E, which is only one of The Big Twenty-Six!!

Sou said...

John, if Eli spelt aesthetics properly, and put ethics under philosophy, where it would fit better, rather than on top, it would lessen the problem :D

Hank Roberts said...

Business and economics fits under ethics -- for humans.

Most business and economics are done by corporations, which have no ethics.

The link above documents use of psychological testing in employment being used to find and hire sociopaths, intentionally.

So it's possible to find humans lacking ethics, comparable to the lack characteristic of a corporation.

Perhaps you need to move the whole 'Academy' bubble-pile off to one side of the stage? As an academy-centered view it's right; but look at it from the outside. It's missing the void.

Heck, if aliens meant to acquire controlling ownership of this planet (assuming they by their own rules had to do so under this planet's own economic rules) -- this is how they'd be doing it, before revealing themselves and introducing us to our neighbors and putting us in our place in their universe.

The cruel dork intellects own center stage now, "minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic."

Anonymous said...

But Hank note the source and recall Shock as Indescribablyoverhyped overhypes something.

Pete
Dunkelberg

Sou said...

Adding psych under health is probably a good move.

I still don't understand why 'ethics' is a higher level category. It's normally considered a subset of philosophy - which is a broader study involving much more than consideration of ethics.

I definitely don't see Law or Social Work or Economics coming under ethics. Sure they have an ethical component and decisions should be guided by the accepted ethical code of the day/society - but then so should everything we do and study. Divinity is a subset of philosophy as well, not of ethics.

One way around it might be to change the label 'ethics' to 'society'. It would then make more sense to include social work (which is really a 'health and well-being' subject area), law, divinity (if it has to be included), even economics if you like. Philosophy and its various subsets including ethics could also be grouped under 'society'. As could social studies, anthropology etc.

The demarcation between Substance and Environment isn't that clear to me either. (Why is engineering in substance? From the name I thought 'substance' would be basic physics and chemistry in the main - meaning the definition and description of what makes 'substance'.)

It's an interesting topic to consider just the same. Even though I don't see things quite the same way that Eli does.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...

Proponents of homeopathy would plonk it with 'Health', where it most certainly doesn't belong. The Rabbet's paradigm would put it diametrically opposite on the organisational stucture, in 'æsthetics, where it is most appropriately located.

Works for me at least...


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq. (with lashings of whipped cream)