Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Those Unfortunate Men In The Land Of The Free

By       Message Mark Sashine     Permalink
      (Page 2 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 6/3/12

Author 451
Become a Fan
  (59 fans)
- Advertisement -

There is a legend    on how   Albert Einstein was admitted to the US.   Among other things he    had   to answer some trivial questions:

-           What is the capital of the state of Alabama?

-           I don't remember,- said Albert, "but I am sure that the geographical atlas   has this info."

-           Where is the Mason- Dixon line?

-           I don't remember,- said Albert, "but I am sure that the book on the US history     has this info."

And so on and so on. Einstein sincerely did not understand   why a person would remember such things;   his point of view was that a person should know where to   find such information if needed.   I   echo him; it is unlikely that   medieval knights could memorize what was the Holy Grail but   they sure as Hell knew where to go to find it. That is the way a true man thinks- he   tries to   maintain   the path and the goal, not the means and reference points.

So if someone comes   to me and tells me that he/she knows FLUENT I would simply ask this person to explain to me   if he/she could solve the problem without it. That brings us to the Golden Gate   bridge.


- Advertisement -

In a terrific book   The Gate by John Van-der-Zee   the author   tells   us a story about   professor Charles   Alton Ellis who   practically designed the bridge   in 1927 using pencils and slide- ruler.   Of course, he   verified his calculations   through communication with another outstanding engineer Moiseyev. All-in-all though there is a remarkable statement in that book, "It is unlikely   that such   achievement    (one person designing   such a    bridge-MS) could be   accomplished   in our times."

But why? Now we have computers, we have   software, we have manuals and books, we have   professors and graduate students; we have all the   power you can imagine   and still, it is unlikely   that one person could   design a bridge? What's the secret?

The secret is   in   the way a person is    valued.   When professor Ellis was commissioned to design a bridge he was   considered   a sole expert   hired for a job.   Nobody doubted   him and nobody   broke the work into pieces. It was a   risk, of course, but   that risk was based   on   an interesting perception:

-           It is better to   lose in the company of the smart than to gain in the company of the stupid.


- Advertisement -

Ellis was fully responsible and fully accountable. Chief   Engineer   Joseph Straus, fired Ellis   after the design was complete because he considered that Ellis   was too obsessed with details and   that jeopardized the schedule. But Straus never   doubted Ellis's skill and never tried to divide the work between a group of people. He respected the craft. Now the people are treated as a commodity.

Golden Gate bridge was a unique construction -- it demanded unique people. So was the Manhattan Project, so was the   Lunar   endeavor, so was the SR-71, so were and are the requirements of any technical challenge. And not only technical.

-           We have serious problems to solve and we   need serious people to solve them.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Human Coprophagia


Y2012- The Year Of A Coward

They Think Of Us As Slaves ( small note with big conclusion)

The School. Reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' in Russia

Glory and Malice