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Slideshow: Engineering the Perfect Crime

6/30/2013 04:00 PM EDT
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kfield
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John Delorean?
kfield   6/30/2013 6:05:13 PM
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How entertaining--engineering certainly does have its share of rogues! I'm surprised that John Delorean didn't make the rogue's gallery here - or was he excluded  because he wasn't actually convicted of nefarious deeds?

David Ashton
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Re: John Delorean?
David Ashton   6/30/2013 11:46:30 PM
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I thought the worst he did was produce overpriced cars....but just googled him and he was quite a naughty boy....

David Ashton
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Slideshow
David Ashton   6/30/2013 6:33:41 PM
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I can start the slideshow but I only get the first slide.   It says imagenumber-2,3 etc in the URL bar but I only get the Goetz one.

 

kfield
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Re: Slideshow
kfield   6/30/2013 8:44:25 PM
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Well David, then you're just going to suck it up! :-)  Actually our dev team is on the case as we speak, so be sure to check back later!!!

David Ashton
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Re: Slideshow
David Ashton   6/30/2013 11:39:52 PM
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@Karen....All good now Karen, thanks

burn0050bb
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Re: Slideshow
burn0050bb   6/30/2013 11:39:47 PM
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Try again, it's fixed now.

Susan Rambo
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Don't blame the messenger
Susan Rambo   6/30/2013 10:32:23 PM
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It seems wrong that seismic engineers were tried and convicted for refusing to say whether tremors indicated that a larger earthquake was imminent. Since when have seismic engineers been able to predict earthquakes? 

icemakerchina
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icemaker
icemakerchina   6/30/2013 11:36:53 PM
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It is a very good and informative post ,I like it very much.Thank you for sharing.

icemakerchina
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icemaker
icemakerchina   6/30/2013 11:36:56 PM
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It is a very good and informative post ,I like it very much.Thank you for sharing.

Michael Dunn
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Re: Don't blame the messenger
Michael Dunn   7/1/2013 10:14:02 AM
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>Since when have seismic engineers been able to predict earthquakes?

Yes, that's a weird one. Perhaps they were overconfident in their assurances. I'd lay as much or more blame then on the officials who were stupid enough to believe them.

mhrackin
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Re: Don't blame the messenger
mhrackin   7/3/2013 5:00:20 PM
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Can you spell "scapegoat"?  This is a cultural thing.

pseudoid
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Blown Fuses?
pseudoid   9/7/2013 4:56:18 PM
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I have to agree with you David Ashton.
I have always maintained that "All is not logical; should not be; could not be; man's mind would not allow it!"
But I still can have hope that engineers are a bit more logical in their behavior than many other professionals (and/or those w/o a profession).

John J. Donovan must have been a true fruitcake!

mcgrathdylan
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Lisa Nowak
mcgrathdylan   7/1/2013 12:08:10 AM
I mean, the Lisa Nowak one is the craziest. It's the tech community's answer to Tanya Harding,

rick merritt
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Re: Lisa Nowak
rick merritt   7/1/2013 1:17:40 AM
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I can here Col. Kurtz of Apocalyse Now saying, "Diapers...the genius of that!"

This was a fascinating read. Thanks Chuck. Man, the eyes of some of these purps make my skin crawl!

kfield
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Re: Lisa Nowak
kfield   7/23/2013 5:04:42 PM
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There's one in every crowd, isn't there?

_hm
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Crime and humane nature
_hm   7/1/2013 9:55:21 AM
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Crime and humane nature is universal. The degree of crime or white collar crime changes from time to time and place to place. But I have often observed more subtle from of prevarication and that tantamounts to white collar crime of first or second degree. However, engineers rationlize it to their liking.

This is also true for lawyers, management staffs and doctors.

 

Patk0317
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Engineers and crime
Patk0317   7/2/2013 2:42:44 AM
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Taken as a group, there will be the same percentage of engineers who are criminals as any other group. There are some bizarre ones here though.

Patk0317
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Engineers and crime
Patk0317   7/2/2013 2:42:46 AM
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Taken as a group, there will be the same percentage of engineers who are criminals as any other group. There are some bizarre ones here though.

Luis Sanchez
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social skills ... are to blame?
Luis Sanchez   7/2/2013 2:49:45 AM
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Many times we can associate poor social skills with engineers, I wonder if this is a variable which could also be associated with the bad behavior that makes an engineer do a crime. 

What surprises us a little bit about engineers doing bad things is that education is many times the way to live a better live and thus, to not fall in this eerie statistics, howvever, there are always anomalies in the measures... right?  

David Ashton
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Re: social skills ... are to blame?
David Ashton   7/2/2013 5:03:46 AM
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Others above say there will be the same percentage of "bad" engineers as in other groups.  I'd argue against that though I have nothing to back this up.  Most other professions you can BS your way through.  But you can't BS the laws of physics, so engineers as a group tend to be good people, I think, what I'd call straight and solid types.   The rogues above are the exception I would say.

rich.pell
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Re: social skills ... are to blame?
rich.pell   7/2/2013 7:58:29 AM
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I'm not sure how much of a role a lack of social skills would play in this.  Certainly it seems to be a common trait among individuals responsible for mass shootings etc., but on the other hand, con artists and the like typically have what would be considered great "social skills."

kfield
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Re: social skills ... are to blame?
kfield   7/2/2013 11:02:32 AM
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I would say that engineers have the technical skills and knowledge to theoretically be able to develop more sophisticated methods of wreaking havoc, but it's not at all clear to me that they have a propensity to commit bad deeds that's any greater than the general population. And @Rich is right, some of the most heinous serial killers got away with it because of their charm and ability to convince people to trust them.

Frank Eory
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John McAfee
Frank Eory   7/2/2013 5:09:52 PM
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Although he was never convicted, John McAfee and his bizarre legal troubles in recent years would've made a good addition to this list.

selinz
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Loners seem to be the common thread
selinz   7/3/2013 5:56:43 PM
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What is the common link? Analyses that I have seen argue that most of the serial murder type of folks are really loners whose lack of interaction don't provide the checks and measures that most normal folk experience. A person lost in his own world, fed via media a diet of violence and sexual perversity while not experiencing the "normalcy" most of us do can eventually justify pretty much anything  that comes into their mind. Garbage in, garbage out--true for even the most sophisticated computers! So do engineers tend to be more likely to be loners? I'd say, probably.

Jonathan Allen
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Engineering and crime
Jonathan Allen   7/3/2013 8:06:10 PM
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Would we consider an engineer working on weapons of mass destruction to be, at least morally, a criminal?  How about one who builds electric shocking machines to tort... (excuse me) apply "enhanced interrogation" to prisoners? 

BTW, Bernie Goetz now runs a surplus/used electronic test equipment company which he calls Vigilante Electronics.

DavidBrown
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Hans Reiser
DavidBrown   9/8/2013 4:36:40 PM
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How can you have a list of notable criminal engineers and miss out Hans Reiser?  The guy murdered his wife, and insisted on conducting his own defence in his trial - despite the judge begging him to let his lawyer do the job.  The jury hated him so much they would probably have convicted him even if he hadn't been guilty.  Throughout the trial, he claimed he was innocent, and refused the prosecution's offer of a reduced sentence for a guilty plea and telling them where the body was.  When the judgement fell, his first words were to ask if the bargin was still valid!

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