On April 1, in the EE Life newsletter, I wrote about an amazing turn of events: President Obama cashiered his entire cabinet and replaced it with engineers.
The president was quoted as saying:
“For too long Washington has been dominated by insiders who have no notion of things like Planck’s Constant or Moore’s Law, who wouldn’t know an IC chip from a potato chip, who can’t distinguish electronics design from fashion design. Our country’s economy, indeed its future, rests in the hands of engineers, the very professionals who invent the future."
The April Fool's gag got a few people, but the point was made. Today, "Gears" posts on Engineer Blogs an exceptionally thoughtful rationale as to why engineers WOULD be great for Congress (tip of the cap to Chris Gammell for pointing it out!).
"(Engineers) lay out the options, look at the problems, look at the correlations to other problems ... and ultimately find ways to solve the problem. Most importantly, engineers learn how to compromise. That’s something you don’t see professional politicians do often.
The top four occupations are business, public service, law and education. There are five engineers (chart below). None in the Senate. This meager representation is ridiculous for a profession that is crucial to the economy. But then we know that.
So let's get policy problems solved by people who are in the business of solving problems. If not you, who? It not now, when?
This country has a "winner take all" system rather than proportional (parliamentary) system.
Our system therefore, does not favor multiple parties. So many have tried, none of them have succeeded.
Most other countries have a parliamentary system, and things can get really gummed-up there too: Ever looked at Italian politics?
BTW, Carter was a Nuclear Engineer.
For an example of what you would be up against, you can study the "process" of education as implemented at any U.S. school. Try to identify the methods of feedback in the system, and see if that is what you think of as a rational, functional and productive way of doing business.
Brad: Although JC was an engineer, he was not able to frame his take on energy policy so that joe sixpac would buy into it. Had he framed it as "make use of indiginous resources while funding research into alternatives that would come online before our own resources were depleted, he would have had public backing. Instead, he put the hurt on ol joe who immediately threw him to the wolves.
I contend that we have the same problem today and that we had better get a handle on this technopolitical problem while we still have a country. The current administration is not doing anything to help!
President Obama's decision is good with forming his cabinet with Enginees from all disciplines.Also doctors,biologists,economists,lawyers,sportians,mathematicians,experts from physics,chemistry to be included in the cabinet.
Most of the people that go into politics are soft sciences where a person can normally get away with saying 2+2=5 that make people happy (i.e. sales pitches). Engineers and other hard sciences do not have that luxury of such thinking because reality tends to curtail such "thinking" by not working. This results in engineers and other hard sciences being the proverbial wet towels in political discussions and thus do not get elected. As seen by the above numbers in the chart.
Two US Presidents were engineers, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter. According to http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/apr/11/famine-casts-herbert-hoover-more-favorable-light/ "Hoover’s pre-presidential image was that of a rather heroic engineer diplomat who saw government intervention and American know-how as all but invincible. Hoover had organized famine relief for starving Belgians during World War I and saved millions of Europeans from starvation after the war."
The US should've listened to Jimmy Carter about energy policy http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1010-27.htm
@Esaias, that's a great party name... I think as we get closer to the elections we should invite readers to create their own parties with clever names and realistic or just funny policy platforms.
At least that way we can have some fun and we won't run into @emmsys sad-but-true barrier to entry for engineers (strong ethics and morals)... I'm still laughing over that line!
When I was in school (last year) a couple of friends and I talked about how Engineers would make a great contribution to politics in Mexico, we are used to work solving problems taking into account the variables involved and optimizing resources, we even came up with a slogan for our party: "Debugging the System", I shared the idea in a post in facebook just for fun, I received good feedback
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