Rational Gaze wrote:
Even most of the maths students I know have already geared themselves towards the finance sector. It’s sad, since maths is one of the most pure things that mankind possesses.
Yes, but you have to remember that most students aren’t going to go into research. Even if they’re reasonably interested in maths, they’re doing the degree to get a good job. But it would be nice if they were all passionate about learning pure mathematics.
It’s up to the department to give the students opportunity to study these things, instead of just doing loads of statistics (which gets more funding in the UK).
Unfortunately for us as a society, the greatest practical advances come only after significant theoretical advances–which requires time and money to be put into theoretical research. There are many examples of this, not the least of which is the development of modern electronics. It’s hard to imagine any of it happening without the serious advances of theoretical physics, to say nothing of all the serious advances of mathematics required to get those.
So, sadly, as a culture we value pragmatic advances and put little if any time into theoretical work, not realizing that the former depends on the latter.
Of course people need jobs, so they go were the money is, but that’s the point–as a culture we don’t allocate money effectively, despite what our capitalist friends on this form think. It’s clear what the last two revolutions in physics–Newtons and the revelation of the early twentieth century–gave us, just think what the next revolution will yield. [/quote]
I think that if we are to evaluate the the failings of our culture, our pragmatic bent would be a long way down the list If all we were guilty of was under-appreciation of the theoretical I believe that we would make a reasonably happy society.
Although it is a little discouraging that we think finding new and interesting ways to blow each other up is a more pursuit than trying to advance our fundamental knowledge of the universe. If only social change advanced in as concrete a fashion as physics did…