Artists vs Scientists – A Matter of Degrees

I recently read that Debra Messing, 47, and a person with some serious degrees, said, “You know, I’m a public person and if I put myself out on a platform like Twitter, I’m basically saying you’re allowed to express your opinion about me or my position politically, socially, whatever, but that does not extend to children. If she’s experiencing [shaming], then I support her.” “

I cannot begin to tell you how much I, as a parent, agree with Debra’s “hands-off” attitude towards our children.  In fact, as all good federal laws should always be geared towards protecting We the People, there ought to be a federal law against any mention of a person’s children without express written consent in any medium, including but not limited to written (handwriting, print, and press), audio (to numerous to mention by name), visual (again, to numerous to mention by name), tactile (Braille), or ANY other media, including telepathy (should it ever be proven to be true).  There are indeed some laws to that extent, but we don’t need more.  What we need are effective and all-encompassing i.e. zero loopholes.

Again, while looking into this matter, I found it refreshing that one of my favorite actresses in successes like Prey, The Mysteries of Laura, and Will & Grace, shares the same parental concerns over our family and friends.

Unfortunately, she recently twittered “she’s not afraid to speak out in support of Hillary Clinton,” apparently without any knowledge or acceptance of Hillary Clinton’s fifty-year history of so flagrantly violating the law that no law-enforcement agency in this country would ever endorse her from a collective per-agent point of view.  Thus, despite her correct stance on protecting the privacy of our children, she remains a blithering idiot, almost certainly due to willful ignorance, when it comes to “the state of our world” in general, and Hillary Clinton in specific.

This brings up the obvious question as to the differences between degrees in arts and degrees in science.  The reason I put the issue in these terms involves the fact that she and I both have had successful careers, we both have advanced degrees, and we both have graduated at the top of our classes.  Although I acted in a play in sixth grade, my interest in the arts is largely relegated to passive observation.  Yes, I have won a couple of very minor awards in photography, both on a local level.  I have also won several not-so-minor awards in writing, at both state and national levels, and in such ways that not merely won the award, but blew the competition to smithereens, according to the awarding authority (although in different terms i.e. ‘he so greatly surpassed not only his previous entry but that of all other entries that…’)

“During her high school years, [Debra Messing] acted and sang in a number of high school productions at East Greenwich High School…” While that’s excellent preparation for a role in inciting the audience’s imagination in both fiction and historical fact (Daniel Day Lewis’ performance in Lincoln comes to mind), it’s not exactly a stellar preparation for understanding all the ins and outs of the real world i.e. law, human resource management, leadership, accounting, finance, economics, research and statistics, operations management, marketing, and strategic planning, war, history, and international relations.

She achieved a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University in Liberal Arts, with “at least three-quarters of her courses not theater-related” by request of her parents. Well, good for them!  Even so, a liberal arts degree touches on at least some basic math and science issues, with elements of history, government, and political “science.” However, it doesn’t get into the meat of anything like accounting and finance, much less engineering and physics.  Degrees are stamped with “bachelor of science” for a reason.   They do not prepare you for entertaining the world.  They DO, however, help prepare you for understanding it in a comprehensive manner capable of changing things for the better.  Still, Messing graduated summa cum laude from her undergraduate program, the same as I did from my latest masters of science program.  So, with that in mind, we continue:

Messing gained admission to the elite Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts which accepts about 15 new students annually. She earned a Master of Fine Arts after three years.”  She did not, however, graduate with honors from her masters program, at least from what I can ascertain.  Regardless, she did an absolutely outstanding job of being accepted and graduating from a top Fine Arts school, the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, “which accepts about 15 new students annually.”

That’s saying something!  Dang!  Even if she graduated summa cum laude in her bachelor’s program, that’s not an automatic in with Tisch, so graduating with an MFA from Tisch definitely proves her mettle in the world of fine arts.

However, it’s still an MFA, “a creative degree usually awarded as a terminal degree in visual arts, creative writing, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, dance, theatre, other performing arts—or in some cases, theatre management or arts administration. Coursework is primarily of an applied or performing nature with the program often culminating in a major work or performance.”

It is by no means worse than a Master of Science. It is, however, vastly different, and the two degrees focus on entirely differently realms.

A Master of Science focuses on measurable, verifiable data, facts, and rigorous analysis using widely proven and accepted principles in various fields of study, while opening the door wide to study of phenomena not yet well understood, or even known.

A Master of Arts, on the other hand, focuses on manipulating the wide variety of communicative channels to evoke either an emotional response from an audience.  As with the Master of Science, there is always room to push the boundaries of the art, frontiers in the many ways creativity is communicated to an audience.

Put another way…

Masters of Science: After communicating the nature of the investigative query, along with the tools, techniques, and procedures thereof, the author presents his or her findings in a manner consistent with well-known and well-established parameters.  If such a foundation does not yet exist with respect to the issue at hand, the graduate pushes on into the PhD world, properly crafting a study designed to fully examine the issue within the bounds of available resources, obtaining the requisite support and funding, proceeding on the appropriate course of study, and concluding said study within the scope of of the project or program while having fully formulated a detailed and well-articulated paper for review by peers, an executive summary for review by those who commissioned the study and those with a vested interest.  Following substantiation, the investigator will have prepared one or more papers for mass dissemination, written so as to explain issues in a manner not readily discernible to an individual not possessing the requisite background in math, science, or both.

As for a Masters of Arts degree, I do not have one, so I will not attempt to explain it’s approach for the enlightenment of humankind.

Bottom line, while Debra Messing’s degrees, honors level, skills, and intelligence make her exceptionally well-qualified for the focus of her degree — entertainment — they do not readily translate into an ability to understand, much less recommend, the way a government or its people should run a country. In fact, I continually find myself at odds with otherwise very bright individuals who nevertheless possess sub-qualifying levels of both education and experience in the disciplines previously mentioned about five paragraphs up. What I find is that these bright, creative people wind up attempting to reinvent the wheel in various idealistic ways simply because they do not possess either the education or the experience to understand why those of us who do possess both the education and experience abandoned that tack long ago.

A for effort, to be sure.  However, Job’s Rule applies:

Then Job replied to the Lord:  “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Author: patriot

It was a distinct honor, as well as my pleasure, to serve my country for more than twenty years. I love my country, but sometimes I'm not too happy with its leaders. I'm working to change that, and I could use your help. Please join me! Thanks. : ) - Patriot

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