Context for non-Indonesians:
In Indonesia, high schools offer two tracks: natural science and social science. There is a prestige of taking the former and there is a stigma of taking the latter.
Oh, and there will be times when I shorten the terms into natsci and socsci, respectively. It is because the Indonesian terms are often shortened and because I want to be more efficient with space.
I graduated from high school ten years ago.
To this day, the scoffing targeted to students who took the scosci route is still ringing in my head. They always said scosci kids were dumb and lazy because the classes they took were considered simplistic and inferior.
I don’t know if the stigma has dwindled at schools in the last ten years. But, one thing for sure: the stigma still lingers in the minds of older people.
As a socsci kid myself, I definitely take the sneering personally. Believe it or not, socsci kids are also humans; natsci kids are not the only ones with feelings.
But, the sneering is also annoying because it is based on poor reasoning… or, if I don’t bother to be polite, those people are a bunch of fucktards.
I still don’t get why people take socscis lightly. As difficult as natural sciences are, the subject matters are always physically tangible and measurable.
In socscis, the subject matters tend to be intangible and the measurement must be done carefully to make sure the sample being used is representative. In humanities disciplines like philosophy, the subject matters are entirely tangible and measurement is impossible to implement. We have to be even more careful with our own biases.
(Note: I also have to mention humanities because them and socscis always crossover each other’s path. I became aware of that when I was a media studies student)
Everybody knows natural sciences’ contribution to mankind; applied sciences like medicine and engineering would not exist without them. But, many of us still doubt the contributions of socscis and humanities.
Without them, we would never ask why humans behave in certain ways and we would never realise how the behaviours we have been tolerating and upholding turn out to be social diseases that hold us back from becoming reasonable and civilised.
Without them, we would never ponder about the possible negative social effects of the development of STEM. Some STEM expert aren’t inclined to consider the possible effects of their works. Either that or they assume their knowledge is more than enough to comprehend human nature.
Obviously, it is an idiotic thinking. Neil deGrasse Tyson, a renowned astrophysicist, is a example that dispels the belief.
He created a controversy by pointing out how the mass shooting death rate was much lower than the death rates of medical errors, car accidents and individual shootings; he accused Americans of irrationality for being too obsessed with a relatively numerically small problem.
He was so obsessed with numbers, he became inconsiderate and consequentially compelled him to dismiss a glaringly deadly disease, not realising any social diseases always involve large numbers of people (the name’s self-explanatory), no matter how ‘small’ the diseases are.
I don’t know he was sincerely ignorant or pretended to be so. But, he should know many Americans are passionate about this problem because the ruling establishments always have excuses for their inactions. Different from other diseases which are still being paid attention to.
I also have to point out that many STEM experts don’t seem to know their disciplines are developed for humanity’s sake. If they know, they would have never invented weapons like the nuclear bombs and missile drones and they would have never invented privacy-invading apps.
Maybe they think abuse is the right way to uphold our sense of humanity.
I almost forgot talking about the so-called ‘intelligence’ of natsci kids and the reason why they took the route.
To this day, I still haven’t found evidences proving that natsci kids are a lot smarter than socsci kids. If anything, the more they brag about their beloved track, the more imbecile they get.
They seem smart because not only they needed to pass the entry test before taking the natsci track, they are also given an empty-headed privilege which allows them to take any majors they want in the universities.
Maybe, the majority of Indonesians are brainwashed into believing that studying natscis will definitely make one more intelligent.
If I ask them why they chose to study natscis, I am certain most of them would not answer ‘love of natscis’. I am sure they would give answers like ‘better education and job opportunities’ or ‘want to be smarter’.
Want to be smarter. Because of the arrogance I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, I am sure they just want to look smart. Deep down, they are aware of their own idiocy. They chose the natsci track (and arrogant personalities) because they want to hide their shame. Stupid people will definitely fall for such trickery.
I have been interested in natscis since I was young. If anything, my love of socscis started emerging when I almost finished middle school.
I chose the socsci track because natsci education in Indonesia is shit. In order to comprehend them, we must do laboratory exercises instead of just mere memorisation. Through my time studying in Indonesia, I only did lab exercises when I attended an international school.
Of course, socsci education here is also shit. But, the thing is it does not require laboratory practices. Hence, my frustration while studying scoscis isn’t as intense and I still cringe at the possibility of me learning natscis formally again.
My love of natscis still infect me to this day. I read writings and watch videos about them because I am truly interested about the inner workings of the universe and humanity’s place in it. I am not expecting anything in return.
And that’s why I am more knowledgeable in natscis than those who studied them for the prestige.
They are easily duped by fake news; the crazier the news, the more they believe them.
They are easily duped by ramblings about ‘alternative medicine’.
When it comes to foods and drugs, they don’t know the word ‘natural’ is hard to clearly define.
They don’t know how vaccines work.
They don’t know mental illnesses can only be cured medically and not by the ‘power of minds’.
They still think anecdotes make valid scientific evidences.
They still think scientific facts are absolute.
Why bother having lots of natsci kids in the country when we still pseudoscience-believing, unevolved apes living among us?
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