When visiting Boston a couple weeks, an old friend of mine remarked that he thought that the humanities should be “the pinnacle of human achievement”. I wasn’t sure what he meant at the time, but the phrase has been rattling around in my head. In between working on a conference presentation, attending a law conference and reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, I think I’ve come up with an explanation that makes sense (at least for me):

Science and technology, for all their towering achievements, are concerned with improving and extending human existence. By contrast, the humanities, (and I think also the arts) should inform and improve how humans live.

Shun the non-believers

From the ever-insightful Seth Godin:

There will always be someone telling you that you’re not hip enough, famous enough, edgy enough or whatever enough. That’s their agenda. What’s yours?

Shun the non-believers.

And it’s not just for expert chefs. It’s for hackers, artists, writers, even students. Anyone who makes things, does things and wants to make a mark on the world. And that means all of us.