Over 400,000 people visited Farnam Street last month to learn how to make better decisions, create new ideas, and avoid stupid errors. With more than 100,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub. To learn more about what we do, start here.

Quit Your Technology Job and Get a Humanities Ph.D.

Should you quit your technology job and get a humanities degree? In this talk at Stanford University, serial entrepreneur Damon Horowitz argues that you should. Horowitz is a philosophy professor and recently joined Google as “In-House Philosopher / Director of Engineering, heading development of several initiatives involving social and search.”

I wanted to better understand what it was about how we were defining intelligence that was leading us astray: What were we failing to understand about the nature of thought in our attempts to build thinking machines?

And, slowly, I realized that the questions I was asking were philosophical questions—about the nature of thought, the structure of language, the grounds of meaning. So if I really hoped to make major progress in AI, the best place to do this wouldn't be another AI lab. If I really wanted to build a better thinker, I should go study philosophy.

Thus, about a decade ago, I quit my technology job to get a Ph.D. in philosophy. And that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Read the text of the talk.

(h/t Open Culture, Searching For Knowledge)