From Wired: Intellectuals vs. Engineers -

From Wired: Intellectuals vs. Engineers -

pbjosh
pbjosh

October 13th, 2011, 8:38 pm #1

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/ ... neer/all/1

Interesting read, especially concerning the previous bit about manufacturing on here...

Josh
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Renegade_Azzy
Renegade_Azzy

October 13th, 2011, 8:44 pm #2

There is a connection to the advancement in scientific and industrial progress in the late 17000's and early 1900's. A founding of a certain nation based on a set of ideals that man had liberties that were not graced down from other men.

There's an entire book on it, called The 5000 Year Leap.http://www.amazon.com/5000-Year-Leap-Or ... 0880801484
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Snowtroll
Snowtroll

October 13th, 2011, 9:07 pm #3

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/ ... neer/all/1

Interesting read, especially concerning the previous bit about manufacturing on here...

Josh
Well... you know...

Bovine end products...
(As in 'falls out of the other end')

He mentions communism as failed, but where is there a failed Communist country?
Russia? Sorry, but that stopped being communist a couple of months after the revolution.
China? Nope, noth there, either.
(Communist countries seems to change to pure dictatorships pretty quickly.)
Want to see a socialist utopia?
Pick a Star Trek episode.

Other than that, the closest you can get is probably a monastery where the monks have taken a wov of poverty.

He also seems to have strange ideas about what an 'intellectual' is. (Isn't an engineer an intellectual? )

And the last quip about a neanderthal and a Lathe...
Yeah, right.
We have enough trouble telling 'educated' youths that its a bad idea to touch the spinning thingie...
Maybe we could teach a neanderthal to use a lathe, but who's willing to spend the time explaining torque, inertia, friction and all the other fun stuff happening in and around the thing?

BTW: Flame On!
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Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

October 13th, 2011, 9:30 pm #4

Isn't "falling into a dictatorship" pretty much a perfect example of a country failing?

Doc.
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Tohri
Tohri

October 14th, 2011, 2:36 am #5

Well... you know...

Bovine end products...
(As in 'falls out of the other end')

He mentions communism as failed, but where is there a failed Communist country?
Russia? Sorry, but that stopped being communist a couple of months after the revolution.
China? Nope, noth there, either.
(Communist countries seems to change to pure dictatorships pretty quickly.)
Want to see a socialist utopia?
Pick a Star Trek episode.

Other than that, the closest you can get is probably a monastery where the monks have taken a wov of poverty.

He also seems to have strange ideas about what an 'intellectual' is. (Isn't an engineer an intellectual? )

And the last quip about a neanderthal and a Lathe...
Yeah, right.
We have enough trouble telling 'educated' youths that its a bad idea to touch the spinning thingie...
Maybe we could teach a neanderthal to use a lathe, but who's willing to spend the time explaining torque, inertia, friction and all the other fun stuff happening in and around the thing?

BTW: Flame On!
I think that the term intellectual is about as bandied about as 'Liberal, Socialist, Facist, or nazi'.

But I think the OP misses the irony of writing a broad, sweeping piece on how the ivory tower types make broad, sweeping decisions on what's good and bad for other people.

I say we all do what real engineers do when confronted with a senseless, confused, and self destructive outside world! (Bury ourselves in work and try our best to ignore it to the best of our ability while we perfect an infinite free energy generator or something of the like.)
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pbjosh
pbjosh

October 14th, 2011, 5:28 am #6

His mentor (at the time they still mentored) took him aside and he had him watch as he signed a project out. He said, he is responcible for every part of this project. By signing this if anybody gets hurt it was his direct fault. If anybody dies, he committed murder.

He said everytime he signs a paper, it is all on him, because he engineered it.

Taking a direct responcibility, taking the time to check every detail, again and again. It is infurating sometimes to work with some of the best engineers, because they check every detail, and over build. But they feel personally responcible.

I think that is the difference. That checking, double checking, to make sure they are correct. Living with facts and calculations, but also making sure they have covered every best option.

Josh

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ed
ed

October 14th, 2011, 2:20 pm #7

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/ ... neer/all/1

Interesting read, especially concerning the previous bit about manufacturing on here...

Josh
As an engineer and a scientist, I feel flattered, but I also feel that the author is extremely confused about science in general:

1. Scientific theory is just an idea. Theory is fortified by fact, but is really nothing more than an idea based on available information. The article juxtposes Einstein and Freud, casting Einstein as 'useful' and Freud as 'useless', but in fact, the majority of Einstein's most far-reaching contributions were merely theory and still proves to be the motivator for a lot of scientific research today. Many trillions of dollars have been spent simply trying to disprove Einstein.

2. The more than likely incorrectness of biological evolution. The author makes it sound like all scientists and engineers believe that humans are ape grandchildren and modern organisms somehow roped themselves together from bare nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and phosphorous over somewhere from hundreds of millions to billions of years. Dead wrong.

3. Guidance for social behavior. At the root of it all, making us all depend on fact only makes us highly dependant on leadership and many forms of social control. Ideas, and big ones at that, are extremely important to the independence of individuals and the proper operations of nations. There are, as the article shows, very bad ideas, but there are also very good ones.

The article should have been lauding correctness and greatness, which takes its form in both achievement and theory. Instead, it ends up being a piece of soapbox demagoguery based on pop science, appealing to our most basic of intrinsic narcissism.
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MephitMark
MephitMark

October 14th, 2011, 5:16 pm #8

His mentor (at the time they still mentored) took him aside and he had him watch as he signed a project out. He said, he is responcible for every part of this project. By signing this if anybody gets hurt it was his direct fault. If anybody dies, he committed murder.

He said everytime he signs a paper, it is all on him, because he engineered it.

Taking a direct responcibility, taking the time to check every detail, again and again. It is infurating sometimes to work with some of the best engineers, because they check every detail, and over build. But they feel personally responcible.

I think that is the difference. That checking, double checking, to make sure they are correct. Living with facts and calculations, but also making sure they have covered every best option.

Josh
has never made you right. Just responsible for all of your, and those under you, actions.

But there are those that do anything and everything to ensure they are not caught, or held responsible.

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MephitMark
MephitMark

October 14th, 2011, 6:12 pm #9

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/10/ ... neer/all/1

Interesting read, especially concerning the previous bit about manufacturing on here...

Josh
Okay, my first thought is that this guy should have looked seriously in the mirror before writing word one. The second thought was what was he 'smoking' before hand.

His definition of a intellectual is flawed first off. An earlier post that thinking through a problem/situation is the use of intellect. By that stretch, is righting a fictional story being an intellectual? Shakespeare was using his intellect to create his plays was he not?

The author is just as guilty of making assumptions based on an idea, as those he decries. And unfortunately there are many in our government. I had a instructor years ago that had worked in the MN state government. He was instructed to write a document where all the facts and conclusions supported his boss. Even though it was all bunk. It is how to often things get done. Both in government work, and private business.

Oh, one point about Marx, his basis of communism worked in part, only if there were no children and there were no infirm (old or crippled) people. Marx kind of forgot certain key facts.

And if Freud was completely wrong, then why is most of his work the foundation of modern psychology?
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THAT guy
THAT guy

October 14th, 2011, 6:16 pm #10

has never made you right. Just responsible for all of your, and those under you, actions.

But there are those that do anything and everything to ensure they are not caught, or held responsible.

I like to point at the NASA Challenger disaster and how the engineers trying to stop the launch were handled compared to the managers pushing it forward. If that event never happened I have always felt we would have a significantly more advanced and socially supported space program.
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