The Corner

Engineering Society

I am pro-engineer in theory. Never met one I didn’t like, though I must say

I never met one I’d care to spend a LOT of time with. And when engineers

make something, it stays made. By contrast, when the lawyers who (mostly)

populate Congress make a new law at the behest of some noisy lobby, it

generally screws life up for the rest of us; when sociologists come up with

some new way to help the poor, the result is inevitably an increase in

disorder and social dysfunction; when psychologists come up with some new

theory of the mind, it gives millions of citizens yet one more reason to

obsess about themselves instead of getting on with life; when philosophers

cook up a new model of reality, it generally just spreads demoralization and

nihilism, etc. etc. So engineers are, as I see it, a Good Thing.

On the other hand, let us remember that the only U.S. president to go under

the epithet “The Great Engineer” was Herbert Hoover; that this same epithet

was bestowed on Stalin (and also Chinese despot/crackpot Jiang Zemin), and in fact

that the communist tyrannies of the 20th century were obsessed with

engineers, and turned out far more than they needed.


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