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Florida needs more philosophy majors. Here’s proof | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
A marble statues of ancient Greek philosopher Plato is seen on a plinth in front of the Athens Academy, as the Greek flag flies. Greece's illustrious ancient thinkers built the foundations of Western scholarship. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A marble statues of ancient Greek philosopher Plato is seen on a plinth in front of the Athens Academy, as the Greek flag flies. Greece's illustrious ancient thinkers built the foundations of Western scholarship. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) [ PETROS GIANNAKOURIS | AP ]
Published Jun. 3

A matter of philosophy

Valedictorians and salutatorians | June 2

As a university professor, I’d like to congratulate this year’s high school graduates, including Pinellas County’s valedictorians and salutatorians. It was fascinating to see their incoming majors, but I did notice that no one plans to major in philosophy. That makes sense since philosophy regrettably is not part of mainstream public education and therefore student exposure to philosophy is quite limited. Yet, majoring in philosophy is incredibly beneficial.

According to PayScale.com, philosophy majors at mid-career earn more than students who major in biology, business administration, or nursing. Moreover, philosophy majors score higher on the LSAT than pre-law majors, higher on the GMAT than business majors, higher on the GRE than all the other humanities, and have a higher acceptance rate to med school than any other major. All this in addition to undertaking the noble pursuit of the good life! I wish the best to all students joining higher education in the fall, but I do hope they will take some philosophy classes or pick up a double major. It may be more valuable than they can imagine.

Peter Westmoreland, St. Petersburg

Together, against cyberattacks

Meatpacking cyberattack | June 2

The world’s largest meat processor, JBS, was hacked with ransomware similar to what happened to Colonial Pipeline last month. However, it appears that JBS will not pay any ransom as their backup servers were not affected. Translation: They caught the ransomware before the backup servers were compromised. Today, we all live in a worldwide cyber village. As such, we need to look out for one another and share how, what, when and where each time a cyber-attack happens, whether it succeeds or not. For instance, Colonial Pipeline has yet to provide any specifics on the ransomware that was introduced into their network and systems last month. Embarrassment, reputation, stock prices, shareholder confidence and cyber insurance are major factors that keep companies and organizations silent. Unfortunately, these are also the same reasons that hackers are so successful. By sharing this information, the entire cyber village will benefit and in doing so be able to blunt or avoid altogether most future exploitation attacks.

Mark Khan, Tampa

A lesson in civics

You can weigh in on how Florida teaches civics | June 2

I think that Gov. Ron DeSantis should take the course on civics himself. Then he would learn about the social contract in a civilized society which prioritizes the health and welfare of the society sometimes over the the rights of the individuals. This would involve things such as wearing masks, requiring proof of vaccinations and sensible gun laws, among others.

Michael Lang, Seminole

Real-world civics

You can weigh in on how Florida teaches civics | June 2

All indications are that the new school civics curriculum is based on fantasy. Will it cover Florida’s ever-shrinking process for citizen referendums? Will it cover the Legislature’s resistance to implementing referendums? Or the increasingly-complex process Florida’s citizens must endure to cast ballots? Or Tallahassee’s flaunting disregard for constitutionality when it comes to funding private, segregated and religious schools? Will it feature lessons on gerrymandering, and other means of limiting the influence of political opponents and minorities in elections? My guess: Nope.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg