“Only 8 percent of U.S. college graduates now receive degrees in the humanities, about 110,000 students. Between 1970 and 2001, bachelor’s degrees in English declined from 7.6 percent to 4 percent, as did degrees in foreign languages (2.4 percent to 1 percent), mathematics (3 percent to 1 percent), social science and history (18.4 percent to 10 percent). Bachelor’s degrees in business, which promise the accumulation of wealth, have skyrocketed. Business majors since 1970-1971 have risen from 13.6 percent of the graduation population to 21.7 percent. Business has now replaced education, which has fallen from 21 percent to 8.2 percent, as the most popular major.” (source)
Now, I don’t have anything against business majors or think that majoring in business is something to frown upon because it’s clear how important money is in our world. Rather, my problem is that society’s obsession with being wealthy is at a destructive and detrimental level. A society that only focuses on money, loses its morals and forgets the other aspects of life that are just as important and fulfilling. When I realized I knew more about Lindsay Lohan’s love life than the people who invented many of the everyday devices I regularly take for granted, I knew something was amiss.
The more time I spent away from the TV, the more attention I gave to the people around me. I started to realize just how incredible all of us are. We’re all 99.9% the same, genetically speaking, yet that 0.1% of difference creates the cultural and physical differences we see from Kyoto to Kentucky. Our interests, jobs, lifestyles, personalities, and past experiences vary and give us our unique perspectives on life. This not only prevents life from being boring, but is also cleverly ironic. Exploring, understanding, and savoring these differences is what this website is all about.
What lies at the heart of Everythingology is the concept of communal knowledge. I find it’s one of the best things about human relationships. When we’re able to teach, learn, and question each other on issues of mutual interest, it allows for a more complete connection, and for new understandings to be made. We’re all here trying to make sense of this unique and complicated world, so wouldn’t it be valuable to connect our different paths into one information highway?
Just by being alive, you have something important and interesting to share. Learn as much as you can, voice your opinion, follow your ideas, and be active! Here are some encouraging words from Mae Jemison, the first black woman to go into space:
“My high school physics teacher used to hold up a ball and she would say that this ball has potential energy. But nothing will happen until I drop it and it changes states. I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They’re really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.”
From Rachel Durston:
“I love the idea. I feel like these are the communities I purposely and sometimes subconsciously cultivate among friends. But having something centrally located, website, newletter, I like that. I don’t sell jeans to people all day.. instead I sell the idea of liking math and learning to 11-year-olds who would rather run around or jump on the boy next to them and then slap them in the face (…hormones…). So when I come home and make lesson plans and grade papers, I can’t really unwind by reading a dense article. But photos and videos can be a way I can stay invested in this more often – so that people can be involved to whatever extent they want to/are able to. I was also thinking that information is not just communicated through words (written or spoken). Spending my life creating art/theatre, I’ve been looking for other ways we can reach people. Words are awesome, but they reach only some people and only certain parts of our brain. I’ve got a video I made about my trip to Sierra Norte (when I lived in rural Mexico and learned how to put on roofs and build eco-friendly bathrooms for people who would thank us by making us delicious food) and I think it’s certainly as powerful if not more than any paper I could write on it. So, that would certainly be something I would like to share. Anyway… just some thoughts.”
You can view Rachel’s videos here
From Megan MacGillivray:
“Thanks for the e-mail it was very interesting. I had no idea Time Warner owned so many companies… that is pretty crazy, not to mention disturbing considering media basically rules society :S I guess you know first handedly the negative implications of the media…
I think you have a really good point, its so important to learn about everything, including history and the lives of others, but society seems to put that constraint on us… Perhaps we have some exposure to ‘everything’ in grade school, but by the time I was in high school, I was already narrowing down the variety of courses (of course cutting out the humanities), and as I become ‘more educated’ I feel less educated about everything but the one little topic I’m studying in school… Its frustrating, and I’ve also discovered there is a limited role for the humanities within ‘science’ research. That is the one thing I really dislike about the school bubble, its really hard to burst… When you’re studying something so narrowed, its especially hard to learn about other things… It really takes a lot of effort to break the bubble, and to focus on and understand the importance of everything going on in the world that is not part of the tiny school bubble.
I really like your motivation to share people’s experiences rather than the misfortunes that so interestingly draw our attention (FML ring a bell?)… We are inherently curious about other people, especially to their misfortunes, but it is very important that we strive to learn from others… I think that is a phenomenon that has never quite caught on in the genuine sense…. (Ie. facebook… an exceptional networking/ communication tool with so much room for misuse it has a lot of similarities to tabloids.)”
From Ashley Weissberg:
“This is incredible! Thank you for sharing [...] I think your ideas and insights are bang on! Our culture is not so much a culture as it is a race to live life at everyone else’s speed but our own. That goes for me especially as I find that I am most myself when I pursue activities and friends who share in the natural wonders we miss out on too often…sunshine! playing outdoors and spending time with loved ones. I know that our culture is so focused on fb [Facebook] now that is undeniably the new mode of communication and maybe it would be easier for people to post their videos, projects, papers via fb if that was a possibility because it would add a new element to the application option that is not nonsensical or time wasting but rather a way to connect with people around the world, friends and strangers who have similar ideas to your own. [...] And I will definitely keep my mind wide open to what I can contribute. At the moment I know I have lots to share in terms of perspective but nothing on paper as of yet. Will definitely keep it all in mind and please keep me posted as I think this is an excellent way to reach out to the community especially to those who are keen on seeing what is really out there ”