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The Neglected Virtue of Scholarship

This discussion has been largely philosophy-based, which is understandable given the site's focus. But are people interested in knowing something about many different fields? Below is my attempt at different levels of liberal arts education. I have been working on either taking a class or reading a textbook in each of these areas, preferably a textbook for the people that will be majoring in this subject (I have 3 more to do). Then if I can retain it, I can know the basic vocabulary to communicate with people in almost any field, and also look for common themes and fruitful areas at the margins of fields. The basic liberal arts education is one course in the four fundamental areas; the super liberal arts education is a course in all the fundamental fields; and the ultra liberal arts education is a course in the applied fields as well. I did not include the ludicrous liberal arts education, which would be a course in the minor fields, ones that there would be a department for somewhere.

Levels of Liberal Arts

Fundamental Areas

  1. Arts
  2. Humanities
  3. Social sciences
  4. Natural sciences

Fundamental fields: “Super Liberal Arts Education”

  1. Visual arts
  2. Performing arts
  3. Philosophy
  4. History
  5. Literature
  6. Writing
  7. Another language
  8. Religion
  9. Geography
  10. Anthropology
  11. Sociology
  12. Political Science
  13. Psychology
  14. Economics
  15. Biology
  16. Chemistry
  17. Physics
  18. Math

Trade/applied fields (Along with the Fundamental fields, these compose the “Ultra Liberal Arts Education”

  1. Law
  2. Journalism
  3. Business
  4. Finance
  5. Medicine
  6. Geology (might cover oceanography)
  7. Atmospheric science
  8. Chemical Engineering
  9. Civil Engineering (covers environmental engr)
  10. Computer science
  11. Electrical Engineering
  12. Mechanical Engineering
  13. Environmental science/studies
Scholarship: How to Do It Efficiently

There are three things I do that save hours a week each, giving me more time for scholarship: 1) voice-recognition software: most people can talk a lot faster than they can type, even including corrections 2) reading while riding a stationary recumbent bike: can transcribe highlighted sections later, or even read from a computer and copy and paste 3) phone headset: do housework or exercises on the phone

I also have a list of tips that save minutes a week each, if people are interested.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

I got a PhD in engineering, but I am interested in many fields, and I will post about my definition of super liberal arts education and ultra liberal arts education. I have an energy, environmental and global poverty background, but I am continuously searching for the most important areas to do research on and to give charity to. I now think this is existential risks, so I am developing a framework for quantifying this. I am an atheist, but I appreciate the community and intellectual discussion of the religion Unitarian Universalism, where many people are atheists. I'm not sure when I identified myself as a rationalist, but I have had many discussions and given many presentations that have provoked much disagreement from the emotional theists and environmentalists. I have been interested in trans-humanism since reading The Age of Spiritual Machines. I came to felicifia and this site through Alan Dawrst when I was researching cost-effectiveness of reducing animal suffering.