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> Hence, it's absolutely expected that any educated adult should have no problem writing in an unrelated humanities field, because they've already gone through the system.

It's also part of the reason most reporting on technical fields is so horrible.




> It's also part of the reason most reporting on technical fields is so horrible.

Indeed. Your humanities degree is enough to understand the basics of economics, politics, etc. — but not compilers.

Unfortunately, when technical people do the writing it rarely ends up much better (since most were never taught how to effectively synthesize ideas for a general audience). Hence why I wish more technical programs had larger disciplinary and liberal arts components.


I assume it's not enough to understand the basics of economics or politics either. Everyone I know who is an expert or professional says that mainstream journalism generally makes a mess of their field. As a computer programmer, I know this is true of for things like computer security. I have heard it's true from chemists, astronomers, educators, mathematicians, biologists, and even automobile hobbyists. I generally operate under the assumption that it's true for every field.


> I assume it's not enough to understand the basics of economics or politics either.

I have some background in econ (my college major) and most mainstream reporting is passable—it's not great, but it at least attempts to have some understanding, as opposed to the mainstream approach to technology (it's basically magic).

Econ, politics, etc. are still in the humanities and many journalism majors will have some GenEd requirements to take those courses. Yet there's zero expectation or requirement of basic technical literacy.

Yes, journalism usually lacks depth and experts from all fields will find something to quibble with. But the understanding gap is much worse in STEM fields because they're kept so far apart from the humanities.


> Unfortunately, when technical people do the writing it rarely ends up much better (since most were never taught how to effectively synthesize ideas for a general audience). Hence why I wish more technical programs had larger disciplinary and liberal arts components.

Complete agreement, but there's a paradox here. On the one hand, it would be nice to have journalists able to write for a general audience but also technically knowledgeable enough to avoid most of the common errors journalists make.

On the other is the fact that a student able to absorb technical material sufficient to make him or her a serious journalist, would be strongly motivated to change majors, because of the much higher status and rank of any technical major compared to journalism.

It's why there are so few technically adept college professors -- most who actually understand their subjects have long since jumped ship and are working for Google/Facebook/etc.




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