Column oversteps

By Christopher Paul Steiner

On Wednesday, Emma Claire Sohn wrote in her article “Have you hugged an art major today?” that art is a very important human endeavor that has potential for income. I have hugged an art major not too long ago – and I can’t agree with her more in these regards. On the other hand, Sohn clearly oversteps her bounds by claiming that left-brained knowledge in the math and sciences “… is rooted in a knowledge base almost universally obtainable,” and that these skills are “… easily outsourced to aptly educated individuals abroad.” I find these comments offensive.

Assuredly, anyone around the world can create talent over a period of years, but in the four years as a mathematics and economics student here, I can ascribe many failures of myself in obtaining knowledge in several mathematical theorems just on the level of difficulty. I have also watched many people struggle with mathematical concepts. Furthermore, proof and problem approach is more like an art than a science.

I would conjecture that for many students in the arts, mathematics is just as difficult for them as painting on canvas is for me. Furthermore, Sohn is diluted in her knowledge of outsourcing. When I was in Africa last year, pots, which artists traditionally made in Africa (I believe in Nigeria), were now being made in China. Clearly, art can be outsourced, too. Art consumers can select different designs from all over the world, effectively “outsourcing” the art to a different country.

Assuredly, her major of industrial design will mix parts of both left- and right-brain knowledge; it is worth emphasizing that people who will win in the economy of today are those who have both right- and left-brain knowledge.

An example would be commencement speaker Jawed Karim who combined his computer science knowledge with love of short film in his creation YouTube.

Christopher Paul Steiner

senior in LAS