What Interests Me

May 16, 2006

On a planet far away they have universities. In those universities they have many of the same subjects we teach here, such as math, biology, philosophy, history, computer science, psychology, and literature. But although the subjects of the classes are the same, the contents are different. They teach a history class, but their history is different from ours. So are their biology and literature. I’m not interested in subjects where their content is different from ours.

In some classes, though, the content is the same. They’re teaching the same physics class (assuming they’re at the same level of understanding we’re at) and the same math classes (with a different base). In computer science most of what they teach is different, but their theory of computation is surely the same. Their biology is different, but their teaching of evolution is the same. Their philosophy is vastly different (think how different Eastern and Western philosophies are on earth), but their philosophy of science is probably very similar.

What else matches? Here’s a conjecture: Their microeconomics class is the same. Microeconomics teaches principles that apply to the spending behavior of species as different as humans and mice. (Although not as different as the French, according to statements I heard recently during their protests. No wonder they can’t get their economy together.) Surely they apply to alien races as well.

Studying anything else is too parochial. Studying earth history is like catching up on gossip. Who cares what happened here on earth? I want to learn fundamental principles of the universe, things that would be true even if earth had never existed.