Some people ask in classes and of their teachers “when are we ever going to use this?” The question is legitimate, and should be answered. When we are young, we do not know how to research our interests, nor how to use such complicated methods as reason and logic. We need to be trained in those things. (Well, most of us do. Some individuals figure things out on their own, especially since a great deal of learning and knowledge is implicit in a culture and is available in books. Amazing.) Students need to learn that knowledge has application to the real world, that it is practical, by having the question “when are we ever going to use this?” answered — and developed. If conceptual knowledge is integration, then we need to take integration seriously.
However, some people like to complain about math or science by asking “when are we ever going to use this?” in an insulting way, not an inquisitive way.
In those cases, the question is being asked of the wrong person. Such people need to ask that of themselves: “when am I going to quit complaining to other people and start living; when am I going to use math, among other ideas, to dig into what I love, into what I am passionate about?”
Whether we ask the question in a legitimate way or an insulting way, we need to be pursuing and learning about things we love: horses, dogs, cats, health, good nutrition, intellectual freedom, military defense of country, architecture, clothes, cosmetics, reason, logic. Having access to information via the Internet as we do today, we don’t have much excuse to not know and to not pursue what we love.
If we each want to make the most of our lives and to be the best we can be, we need to be asking more of ourselves “when am I going to get going and use this?”