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After the Second World War, the part of the city the Technical University of Berlin was in came under British administration.

They quickly passed a decree mandating classes in philosophy, politics, languages, and other social sciences to be required for every student–engineers, physicist, chemists etc.

The idea was that never again should a generation grow up with the power of scientific knowledge but none of the tools to judge the ethics of using that power.

Meaning: there are times where enjoying purely the wonders of technology is a luxury you can't afford. For HN, it doesn't mean a need to debate the Paris accords. But this community has quite a few people sitting at the levers of power, and where technology and politics/policy intersect, it can make a meaningful difference for people to know that the group of peers whose judgement they may value would, for example, applaud them for walking off the job instead of handing over the iPhone encryption keys.




But I doubt they mixed politics lectures into the physics course.

Of course politics is important. Doesn't mean Hacker News is the best place for a high quality discussion of politics.


HN is emphatically NOT a physics course imho. It's a social space, not a forum for content from authority.

Maybe the thing we need is a mechanism to "dose" on sharing of political thought every so often, without allowed it to overwhelm: A day of the week or a megathread, where we can then engage with our community in political convo of substance...


> we can then engage with our community in political convo of substance

This is damned optimistic. It's not as though politics doesn't show up on HN, and when it does the results are usually unpleasant and uninformative. I'm not opposed to politics-on-HN because it's a formal space, I'm opposed because historically the results have been inflammatory and useless.

I suppose its possible that structured exposure would work better than 'natural' discussions arising from politics-related links, but I"d intuitively expect the opposite. "Political threads" with no clear prompt are especially easy to derail, and I'm scared that any major experiment with this would damage HN.


That's strange because that's not how British universities work at all. Our education system from age approximately 14 onwards is concentrated on specialisation.


In the US, going for a baccalaureate usually requires "core classes" of math, sciences, arts, and politics. You're saying this is not the case in the UK?


Going for a baccalaureate in the UK you pick a subject and that's it really. The concept of majoring/minoring isn't common (possibly doesn't exist). You pick a course (e.g. CS, Law etc.) and that course will have a curriculum you follow. There may be times (usually in the latter part of the degree) where you can pick modules from various options but that generally involves even deeper specialisation (e.g. Law > Human Rights Law, CS > Machine Learning).


Specialization actually starts by the equivalent of the 12th and 13th grades of high school, fwiw.


Yes, because the British, so versed in politics, language and philosophy never created concentration camps, starved hundreds of thousands of innocents, carried out chemical warfare, did summary executions, ... /s

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_war_crimes [1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/worst-atrocit...




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