This sounds like the typical snobbery of a humanities devotee. Yes, humanities are worthwhile. But if we have a resource crunch and a money crunch, wouldn’t you rather educate people to learn skills they can apply to useful work, and encourage them to enjoy reading and learning on their own? Can’t they learn about life and love and humanity outside of a classroom, but devote their formal education to acquisition of skills that our society needs?
It’s pretty obnoxious to assume that if a student who can barely pay for community college has the choice between studying the humanities in a school and saving money by learning math, science, programming, design, engineering, and other in-demand disciplines online and through cheap skillshare classes that both options are equally valid. The people who write articles like this one seem to be stuck in their world of upper-middle and upper class citizens with lots of options and cushions to fall back on if their college education provided them with few skills but many ‘enlightened thoughts’.
Tell me this: If the deep study of humanities is so critical for creating an intelligent and informed citizenry, are those who have devoted more time to humanities “better” citizens? When you lament those who are unaware of history, isn’t it just as tragic when someone with little knowledge of actual science proclaims that global warming is made up and evolution isn’t real?
There is place for all subjects in an education, but for those who have opportunities to teach themselves skills and information, online resources are amazing and revolutionary. For those whose only other options are costly, or even for those are unsatisfied by the scope of the more traditional options, hacking their education is a useful and beneficial way to steer their future in a prosperous direction.