Arts Emergency

Afshin Darian

Software Engineer

I chose to study history and philosophy because those topics seem inherently interesting to me. I love ancient and medieval literature and languages; I love the study of our past. I didn’t study medieval history in pursuit of a career (though at one point, I did consider becoming a historian). And I certainly never planned to be a philosopher! I studied these subjects because the subject matter itself felt compelling.

The work I do professionally is very technical and logical. I am a programmer. And while studying analytical philosophy did not directly impact my professional life, that way of thinking through an argument logically has very clear affinity with computer science (and in fact, in the twentieth century there was plenty of overlap). But fundamentally, I felt that I could read programming books by myself and tinker with computers and learn how to work with them by myself more readily than I could hope to learn philosophy or history. The sheer volume of historical literature and the fact that so much of it requires learning languages seemed like an overwhelming set of obstacles to try to overcome without the benefit of instruction and discussion.

I feel very grateful that I’ve been able to study subjects that I find fascinating, and I feel that they have enriched my understanding of the world and shaped the way I see modern issues. I didn’t go to university with the express purpose of following a professional track. In fact, I chose to study subjects whose application to modern careers wasn’t clear at all. But I’m glad for the experience. I want for everybody to have the same opportunities.

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