So glad I didn’t become one of the STEM nerds who doesn’t read philosophy. Partially because STEM nerds don’t read it, philosophy gives you intellectual superpowers.
You learn some area of math or science deeply, eventually you start learning less of consequence as your scope narrows. This is necessary but it is extremely limiting. However, learning philosophy is the opposite — it is the gateway to thinking systemically and it makes you appear to have ridiculous powers of observation and prescience.
I’ve read hundreds of economics books. I don’t even know how many economics textbooks. Probably more than 30. And reading Jean Baudrillard taught me more about the present economic system and its hidden mechanisms and leitmotif than all those books, roughly.
Here’s the thing, though. No, it’s not a conspiracy, but in general the press, academics, teachers, all those people don’t want you to think about the system and how it functions. They don’t have any interest at all (as it is against their interests) in your ability to understand things more deeply. The reason the mantra is “Shut up and calculate!” is to preclude any possibility of thoroughly understanding something, anything — because the moment you do that, you have the power to potentially change or destroy it.
This is why philosophy is a superpower. Now get to reading.