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From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: zero-power toggle circuit; was, how to master electronics
References: <3DC2E327.email@example.com> <3DC3B8B8.firstname.lastname@example.org> <3DC3EFA5.email@example.com> <3DC517EB.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2002 15:23:36 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2002 07:23:36 PST
Dan Charette wrote:
> Wow Kevin... I would think that this type of rebuttal/attack would be
> somewhat non-existant these days. Especially coming from someone
> whose country of origin was not more than a few decades ago attacked
> ruthlessly by a team of thugs who had engineers designing wonderful
> methods of irradicating large numbers of people at once in unique and
> intriguing ways. Now this sounds very much like that moral and
> contractual obligation to maximise the paying company's profit that
> you were talking about.
It was. It depended upon which country you lived in and upon your
political ideology how you percieved any moral issue. Your example is
worthless because it does not prove anything.
> Wafer has not missed the point. Nor have you. To be a good designer,
> one needs to consolidate the two philosophies. Yes, when you accept a
> position with a company you are at their call to push their machine in
> a way that benefits their growth and expansion. But, what would this
> world be like without the freedom of thought and curosity that is so
> ingrained in human nature anyway? Innovation and invention is an
> artform that is becoming extinct. Hell, the Romans had figured out
> how to make roads that last milleneums without maintenance. Some
> still even survive today. Why in this day and age, paved roads don't
> stick around longer than a few years without attention? It seems at
> times that there are many folks who are paranoid of designing
> themselves out of a job. Correcting problems in design that then
> become perfect and require no further attention. Given that there are
> nearly 6.2 billion humans walking this planet, surely one or two of
> them have desined cures for cancer, near perpetual machines, etc.
> But, in the interest of business, these things don't work. Or so
> business thinks.
At this point, it is useful to come down to earth. Actually, Kevin made
the point that Wafer confuses engineering and scientific research. You
appear to also. It is easy to get confused because some small number of
companies have the capability to support a continuum of work ranging
from mundane "play it again Sam" engineering to pretty esoteric
research. It is very few companies that can indulge in that luxury.
> I think its damned important to think about the moral inplications of
> things that you are designing for corporate machines. Because if you
> don't, what separates you from not being human then? You are simply a
> machine if you just go to work and color in the lines all the time.
What? I have trouble following this. First of all, I can't imagine that
anything I ever designed had any moral implications whatever. Hmmm,
unless you think disk drives, for example, are inventions of the devil.
Paranoic babbling about "corporate machines" leads nowhere and certainly
does not have any bearing on Kevin's points.
> However, being in a dream world all the time as well is equally
> I'm not trying to slam anyone here, but I think that we as a
> collective group of people who enjoy this field of study need to bond
> together a little more and adhere to some core beliefs if we are going
> to call ourselves engineers. People respect our judgement when we
> invent solutions. They look to us for answers. We owe it to the
> world to provide those answers in a very moralistic way and a way that
> allows for our community to prosper and flourish.
I suppose you can offer a common ground for discourse for all of us with
which we might agree? Mixing moral philosophy with technology leads to
nothing but controversy. Particularly when I, for one, already disagree
with a number of your basic ideas.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons email@example.com
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