Me [Sic], Robot

In an aptly titled essay in Inside Higher Education"Robots, Jobs, and the Liberal Arts," Joshua Kim argues that, "Our society needs less [sic] truck drivers and more care givers [sic]. Our economy needs less [sic] retail clerks and more artists, writers, and musicians." Thanks to automation, menial work is being obsoleted. As robots do more and more of the physical labor, educated human beings will be called upon to do steadily more intellectual work. So, therefore, "Anyone worried about the rise of the robots should be doing whatever it takes to extend a liberal arts education to anyone who wants one."

Indeed. Kim's argument misses something, however. 

Aside from a couple of nettlesome little grammatical issues--it's "caregiver" not "care giver," and it should be "fewer" not "less" in the above-cited passage (but in the future automated grammar checkers will catch these kinds of things)--the author's argument overlooks the real point about education in the so-called liberal arts today, simply by assuming there's still something worth calling a "liberal arts education" available to be had in our politically correct universities. For, thanks to pervasive political correctness, this sadly isn't true. And as long as Stalinoid pseudo-sensitivity training in the avoidance of imaginary "microaggressions" and so forth predominates in the the humanities classroom--as in one form and another it unfortunately does nowadays--our mental gulags will not be producing creative thinkers capable of doing things with words. Rather, it is the grossly illiberal "liberal arts" programs that are cranking out the real robots.

Kim thinks he's making an interesting argument for enrolling more, not fewer (note that I do not say "less"), liberal arts majors, when he concludes that, "The liberal arts graduates will create the good jobs of the future. The liberal arts graduates will create the companies of the future." Moreover, he emphasizes that, "The liberal arts graduates will create the wealth of the future" (italics in the original). But this will never be other than trivially true--insofar as businesses in an information economy need data workers who above all, politely, robotically, appreciate the value of "diversity" in all of its many-splendored and equally meaningless forms--so long as politically correct "multiculturalism" (viz. cultural relativism) is the mediocre baseline of an otherwise incoherent "liberal arts" education.

Robots of the world...!