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Comment Re:The new "rationality" test. I support this test (Score 1) 554 554

First: excessive "accountability" can go both ways: Suppose employees started collection personal financial information on their bosses? I'm sure the world would condemn that. (OMG!!! MY PRIVACY!!! If I have back taxes not paid that is MY business!!!! Waaaaaa!)

Second, if a company goes data mining their employees private lives they're going to be eventually held responsible for things they find right? Eventually an (say) IBM employee will go postal, and (say) IBM's HR department will be questioned about why they didn't notify authorities about irregularities/rants/etc that could have warned authorities now that they collect all a postal employee's personal info. If companies knew what a Pandora's box they were opening, they just wouldn't go there.

Comment Yet Another theory (Score 1) 498 498

Hypothetically, let us say we knew of two adjacent colonies of bratty orangutan idiots. Each had the capability of utterly destroying the other with trebuchets. Would it not behoove us to zap parts of each trebuchets with a laser to let them know that they cannot rely upon their weapons? This would lessen the chance of that the idiot orangutans would use their weapons, because a first strike could quite likely fail.

Comment my theory... (Score 1) 769 769

Terrorism generally exists because government policies exist that allow/encourage it. ("Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"... yada yada) Hence to the extent that terrorism exists, this is evidence of a government policy decisions in an imperfect world, policy failure etc. For instance, yes, the US could solve the Israeli/Palestinian issue, but solving it does not fall within it's acceptable portfolio of policy options. So could Israel and Palestine for that matter.

Now, the functional nature of engineering is generally thus: Apply standardized solutions to a given problem and some optimized solution will be the outcome. Output = f(x,y,z...)... Alternatively if one studies a social science, it is all about the messy business of human beings and their decision making. A political science person professionally accepts the fallibility of outcomes of human decision making and hence policy due to incentive structures, dichotomies, or ideologies etc. As does a sociologist, lawyer, economist etc. But engineering as a science is much about the outcome being an optimal solution to a set of problems than a compromise policy on a set of problems.

Hence an engineer has more difficulty accepting the failings of humans and their decisions (governmental policy), where most other professionals are more accepting of policy failure. Just ask Scott Adams--he mocks the corporate decision making process remorselessly, because as an engineer, it is his profession's nature.

Comment Engineering... (Score 1) 736 736

Engineers have physical problems to solve. They have a toolkit of methods to solve them with. (Religion is similar in that it provides a complete framework to think in.)

An engineer, when faced with a political problem may think that if people are shocked into realizing the errors in their ways, that a logical outcome will be the result.

For example it is logical to think thus: You bomb my people; therefore I shall bomb your people and you'll realize how evil it is to my bomb people. Problem -> solution -> resolution.

Well, those schooled in say, a social science know that this logic doesn't follow due to people being adept in avoiding any idea that does not buttress their belief system.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

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