Technology isn’t just computer science, just like how militarized sciences aren’t just jingoist patriots at computers.

We already agreed on that. The point which you keep dodging is where the primary rate of growth comes from, and why. The biggest portion of the rate of growth of “T”, expressed in job creation over the last fifty years is primarily in private sector computer technology, not public sector. There is a military component in THAT, of course, but that fact does not logically back a contention that the military is the primary cause of the growth in “T” education and professions.

Sure. What’s the ratio of participation?

Doesn’t matter.

It most certainly does. If you’re going to contend that the military is the primary driving force behind something, you have to show that they are actually influencing all those high school HTML programmers, somehow. You have yet to connect those dots.

What matters is that there’s a huge budget for national security and defense. The biggest budget in the world.

Actually, THAT doesn’t matter at all. The largest portion of military spending is on human wages, and the largest component of THAT is low tech infantrymen. Remember, what you’re contending is that the military is driving the emphasis on STEM; just putting two things next to each other (the emphasis on STEM and the military budget) standing back and saying “SEE?” is not a proof of causality. That’s like the Christian fundamentalists who reference the increase in crime in the 60’s AND the banning of prayer in the schools and then claim B caused A, without offering any proof of causality.

(Reading Ahead) Let’s cut to the chase, here:

Students do not choose courses of study in a “this is what I like to do” vacuum. They make those choices based on certain factors, which include (a) personal satisfaction, (b) sufficient financial reward, (c ) job security, and (d) workload. The balance between those factors drives the choice of one’s major.

What you’re suggesting here is that somehow, the military is ingratiating itself into that decision process and causing people who would otherwise choose something outside of STEM to choose STEM.

That’s fine if you wish to suggest that; but in order for that to make sense, you have to show the mechanism on how that occurs. Here’s how it does NOT occur, though:

  1. Because some government program funded a few math teachers to teach generic math.
  2. ROTC programs
  3. Pledges of Allegiance
  4. Flags in classrooms.

(If you want to suggest that those last three things make a military career more commonplace and palatable to the average student, I wouldn’t object; however, that’s a long way from showing that the military is driving STEM.)

Simply put, based on the economic needs of the nation, the jobs that provide the best financial reward and job security are in STEM; and there are plenty of options which allow students to choose one that meets their workload preferences. That’s the simplest explanation to the prevalence of STEM, certainly simpler than some insiduous propaganda campaign waged by the military-industrial complex, and thus prevails unless proven to be false.

Now, how would you prove that to be false?

Well, you’d have to show that the military is (a) propagandizing students to choose STEM to the point that a nontrivial number of students would admit that they would have chosen something other than STEM had it not been for the propaganda, (b) providing financial rewards over and above the private sector, (c ) providing job security over and above the private sector, and/or (d) providing workload advantages over the private sector.

You seem to be taking the position that if you can find ONE student that has shifted their interests due to military symbology or intervention, then you’ve proved your point. Well, you can easily find ONE (ROTC, for example, makes promises that address some of that), but in order to prove the more global point you made (which is that the current emphasis on STEM was caused by the military) you’d need a rather large critical mass to admit that they shifted majors due to some sort of military-funded program.

As I said, good luck with that. It’s an interesting theory, but without hard data, ends up classified as conspiratorial.

“Not military.”

Still militarized. If you grew up in a low-income community of color, you’d get it.

A military is a national institution that wages war against other national entities. A police force enforces local law. Two entirely different things. If you wish to contend that growing up in a low income community of color influences you to confuse apples with oranges, I’ll accept that, but because you perceive something to be a certain way does not mean that it’s true.

I don’t understand why you bring up language when the focal point of my work concerns social change and contextual analysis of the world at hand.

Because it’s unusual to skate through math and science and struggle, as you say you have, through textual material. I’m just the reverse, which is more typical.

Capitalism is inherently unsustainable.

Well, its been unsustainable for some millenia, now. :-)

Hopefully “another day” comes relatively quickly; economists can’t run away from the built-in contradictions of capitalism for too long.

I’m sure it will all break down in another few centuries. From time to time, the economic authoritarians raise up their heads (as they’re doing today on the Left) and try to sell another plan. They never last long.

For someone who prefers a wide range of choices, you’re awfully-complicit in the status quo; loans this, loans that. The problem is that loans exist in the first place; do something about it. There’s no point in complaining about monthly payments if you’re going to let them exist.

It’s a reality that has to be dealt with. I could take my daughter to live on a farm, I suppose, but I’d be limiting her, and that’s not how I roll.

The point is that we need to improve our educational system on multiple fronts so that we can get more low-income children of color through school and into college, so that we don’t have to argue about whether humanities or STEM is “better” or “more ethical.”


If you’re going to be occupying my precious time continuing this argument, let’s at least talk about something relevant, not something that you nitpicked from a side detail in another comment.

I have no idea what that means. My view is that that the growth of STEM education and careers is caused by the demands of the economy, not the military, and the wages they are paying are the primary reason why students are choosing those careers. ERGO, the $$ issue may be a side issue to YOU, but it’s not to me.

Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.

Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.