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"One would hope that a good manager would have enough practical and direct experience in writing software to at least come up with a half-decent estimate, no?"
No. That is the whole point, which you have seemed to miss. I'm the software engineer and even I can't come up with a reasonable estimate; why the hell would some manager several layers of indirection distant from the design be better at it?
"MS mono-culture was caused by the incompetence and greed of those who were in a position to offer up alternatives."
"This is another example of "if we can't discredit the science, discredit the scientist for being paid to do research."
It is exactly like that!