gender disparities

On the virtues of a balanced education

June 17, 2010: 8:18 AM ET

I got a lot of terrific responses to my column on reading Tuesday. The most interesting was from my old pal Phil Leigh, who runs a site called Inside Digital Media. If your business is on his topic or if you like to buy those kinds of stocks, you should pay Phil gobs of money and subscribe to his services. He's one smart cookie, a former stock broker and research analyst who calls it like he sees it.

He's so interesting, in fact, that I'm going to turn most of the rest of this column over to him, along with my commentary.

First, I agree that storytelling will never die. Even "going to the movies" is all about wanting to be told a story. However, the Internet's ability to mix media may change the way we tell stories. While it may not obsolete text any more than movies did, it is likely to provide new ways of telling stories. When possible, I try to include a story in my research papers.

No arguments there, Phil.

Second, you may be interested in the article from today's New York Times about Bloomsday and the value of a liberal arts education. I can see great value in the writer's points. But I also believe that too many with a liberal-arts-only education are just as likely to devalue the merits of a technical education. One reason you are successful, is because I assume you are an exception -- meaning that as a writer you welcome the opportunity to learn of new technologies as well as new ideas generally.

Wonderful article indeed. The fascinating bit to me was how these newly well-rounded men suddenly wanted to have a balanced life -- in other words, to enjoy the fruits of their educations -- and no longer were as willing to salute and do Ma Bell's bidding. As I told the flattering Phil by email, I took biology, physics, chemistry, and math too and in fact consider them part of a balanced education. More

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