Why Science is slowing down, Universities and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

George Hosu
12 min readFeb 15, 2020

I originally published my story of my blog: https://blog.cerebralab.com/Bimodal_programming_%E2%80%93_why_design_patterns_fail

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I don’t have a very high prior in regards to the correctness of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but as far as general theories for understanding human needs go, I think it’s a pretty good.

There’s certainly people who seem to go strongly against it, to the point where they only require self actualization or where they are perfectly happy in life with only their physiological needs needs barely meet.


For all of the exceptions, most people, even exceptional people, seem to roughly live their life in accordance to it.

The gradual passage into adulting can be pretty daunting for people, even for well adjusted people with loving parents that can maintain a comfortable standard of living, for this reason. Gradually you are expected to find “safety” (i.e. financial stability, a house, a safe place to live) and “belonging” partially on your own.

Enter universities, the role of institutes of higher education in a well adjusted society should arguably be pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. Before they would also constitute a repository of information by maintaining huge libraries and people that could navigate them, but today we have the internet, .txt, .latex, .pdf, search engines and decent 10TB HDDs that sell for 100–200$ with tax, so I think it’s safe to say that role can now be played pretty cheaply.

So, universities now remain a places that educated and help people to navigate and enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge.

The recognition and most of all self satisfaction given by extending said boundaries is pretty great (or so I hear). So I think it’s safe to say that this role is one to be pursued by people that feel the needs on step 5 and possibly 4 of the pyramid.


George Hosu

You can find my more recent thoughts at https://www.epistem.ink | I cross-post some of the articles to medium.