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Forum Post: Are there any engineers in this Forum?

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 17, 2012, 8:45 a.m. EST by 1sealyon (434)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Instead of looking at problems in terms of right-and-left solutions engineers tend to attack problems with the goal of finding the most elegant solution. It involves listening to all sides of the story, creating a list of possible solutions, some analytical work (maybe design of experiments), generate a cost-benefit-risk analysis (failure mode effect analysis), and selecting the solution or solutions that are most likely to be successful while minimizing risk and cost.

Could the use of these well understood engineering tools be used to solve some of the problems identified in this Forum?

Are there any engineers here?

170 Comments

170 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

You've got one in training here. I don't really have the time to participate physically in Occupy, but the presence of the movement got me thinking about a lot of things and the forum gave me (and still gives me) a sounding board for a lot of my personal attitudes on major economic and political issues and access to a good number of intelligent, articulate sparring partners with whom to work on refining those attitudes.

As far as your second question, I'd say that a lot of the engineering tools you're discussing are simply extensions of common sense (doing one's best to fact-check a situation before forming an opinion on it, being willing to do research to get up to speed on specific topics before jumping in, not simply attacking the status quo but trying to figure out and suggest improvements and replacements that make sense, looking at things in terms of the most good done at the least cost with the lowest risk of failure, etc) and I don't think they're really out of the reach of anyone who's willing to learn to think that way.

As far as fixing the country goes, we need to start thinking in those terms if we want to make things work. JustTheFacts posted up a paper on here a while back about dealing with "wicked problems," so called because they evolve right along with proposed solutions and have a nasty habit of defying attempts to pin them down. While taking certain steps (the abrogation of Citizens United, for instance) would quite obviously benefit the country, those things alone are not enough to fix the country as a whole or adapt it to the future. Entire parts of our system are seriously damaged, and fixing those will not be easy.

[-] 2 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

I like this.

Quote - - -

As far as your second question, I'd say that a lot of the engineering tools you're discussing are simply extensions of common sense (doing one's best to fact-check a situation before forming an opinion on it, being willing to do research to get up to speed on specific topics before jumping in, not simply attacking the status quo but trying to figure out and suggest improvements and replacements that make sense, looking at things in terms of the most good done at the least cost with the lowest risk of failure, etc) and I don't think they're really out of the reach of anyone who's willing to learn to think that way.

UnQuote - - -

You are absolutely correct. It is common sense and the ability to understand the interconnection between the economy, taxation, the way our country is run and then determining a goal and working either from the goal back to where you are now or from where you are now to the goal.

I think what differentiates us is the end goal and the way others interpret our end goal.

Idiots posts how libs are this and how conservs are that and never even listen. This is why we have so many issues in this country. People are to stupid to see that we all share the same goal.

To have control of the destiny of this country,

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Engineer in training; what discipline?

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Electrical engineering and computer science at MIT (second-term freshman), considering a secondary major in architecture and/or economics. I'm trying for the fifth-year masters' degree option but I'm not sure what specifically I want to do beyond that.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Congratulations!

You have no idea how encouraging it is for me to hear from a person like you. It gives me confidence in America's future.

What do you think of the Stanford-vs-MIT approach to EE? They are nipping at your heels you know.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Why thank you! I'm not familiar enough with Stanford's approach to be able to critique it (I kept my applications in the Northeast because I'm from NYC and my mom and I figured it was best if I was close enough that I could get home at the drop of a hat it became necessary, and there's no shortage of top-of-the-line engineering schools in the region), but from what I've had so far I'm quite fond of how MIT does it. I'm taking my first design lab this term along with a discrete math course for computer science, and so far both classes are challenging and a lot of fun (except when I'm tearing my hair out trying to debug code at 3AM, but that just comes with the territory).

Zooming out a bit and taking a look at the entire curriculum I have to say that it seems comprehensive and well-laid out to me (although I don't really have the credentials to judge it). I'll be starting foundation courses in circuit design and algorithms this coming fall, and we'll see just how good it gets once I really sink my teeth into it....

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

ARod.... visit this forum... it includes the experts of experts.... http://www.masm32.com/board/index.php? and many of them are under 25

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Is it true that their are no grades Freshman year?

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

The first semester is pass/no record (A, B, and C count as a pass and D/F grades simply aren't recorded). The second semester is graded A/B/C/no record, but that doesn't apply to me because I accepted early sophomore standing (from this semester on I'm graded A/B/C/D/F).

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

So you started Freshman year as a Sophomore!

Now I'm really impressed.

Do you need an agent?

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

I came in with a little over a term's worth of general AP credit and thus while I spent my first term as an ordinary freshman (pass/no record, credit limit, etc.) at the end of the term I was offered a chance to take sophomore standing early, which would permit me to declare a major, get a department advisor, and take a full five classes (20 credits) during my second term at MIT. I agreed to take it, and now I'm officially (sort of) a sophomore. I don't need an agent just yet ;) but we'll see how things stand by the time I'm a senior.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Keep me in mind. I place Engineers way ahead of rock stars and movie idols on the list of folks important to our world.

Harvard had Zuckerberg, I expect that MIT is about due to one-up them.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (7066) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I’m an engineer, very well trained in dynamic systems. Looking at the United states economy purely as a dynamic system, it’s very easy to see how we have to take some weight off from “here” and put it over “there”. Now you can call it “wealth redistribution” “class warfare” whatever you want, but from an engineering point of view it’s very obvious. I indentified these trends nearly 30 years ago, part of what made me a liberal.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Here's my two cents - from the smartest man I ever knew - who built the first commercially availabe microcomputer based PC in 1972. He and I are engineers.
WORK A PROBLEM BACKWARDS

final goal: get big money out of politics
determine how its getting there
-------------------> citizens united & buckley veleo decisions
how to get rid of cu & bv
-------------------> constitutional amendment
how to get an amendment
-------------------> educate the public & get their support
public support for this is now over 80%
-------------------> get public to pressure congress
pressure has created 12 anti-CU amendments in congress TODAY
-------------------> pressure congress to pass one ......................................WE ARE THAT CLOSE ! ***********
JOIN 83% OF YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS
Because of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision,
we cannot accomplish anything significant,
without FIRST ending corporate personhood.
Because 83% of Americans already agree on it - we don’t have to explain or persuade people to accept our position – we only have to persuade them to ACT based on their own position. Pursuing this goal will prove to the world that we, at OWS, are a serious realistic Movement, with serious realistic goals.
Achieving this goal will make virtually every other goal –
jobs, taxes, infrastructure, Medicare – much easier to achieve –
by disarming our greatest enemy – GREED.
I feel that using the tactics of the NRA, the AARP an the TP – who all represent a minority – who have successfully used their voting power to achieve their minority goals - plus the Prohibition Amendment tactics – bringing all sides together - is a straight path for us to success
Join the our NYC
Corporations are not People and Money is not Speech Working Group
………….( even if you are not near NYC )

www.nycga.net/groups/restore-democracy
groups.yahoo.com/group/NYCRDWG
Plan details http://bit.ly/vK2pGI

regular meetings Wednesdays 6-8PM @ 60 Wall St – The Attrium


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[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

A constitutional amendmet does not meet the engineering requirement that goal be both achievable and realistic.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

you don't think congress will do what 83% of Americans say they want done?

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

It takes more than congress to pass an amendment.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

of course -
then 3/4 of the state legislatures ratify
after
2/3 of the senate & house propose


On March 10, 1971, the Senate voted 94–0 in favor of proposing a Constitutional amendment to guarantee that the voting age could not be higher than 18.
On March 23, 1971, the House of Representatives voted 401–19 in favor of the proposed amendment. By July. 1971 the amendment was ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures
On July 5, 1971, the amendment was signed


LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS


[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

So it's been 40 years since the last ammendment. Don't you think that it is un achievable?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

The foundation of my confidence is based on two national polls
83% of Americans support this
74% of Americans prefer to vote for a pro-Constitutional Amendment candidate
and the fact that there are 12 relevant amendments IN congress today


There is a major opportunity for OWS to spread the idea that we should all be writing our senators and congressmen - and we should be spreading this idea OUTSIDE of OWS.
An interesting benefit to OWS of doing this - by pushing an issue that an overwhelming percentage of Americans want, is that we will gain a huge amount of credibility.
I believe most Americans see OWS as a radical bunch of kids who shined a light on the fact that our democracy was consumed by crapitalism & greed.

Here, we have an opportunity to show how much more we can be.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

You all are sort of compliant. You need to keep scientific, critical thinking in front of you at all times. I suggest that Nuclear Power safety, regulations, and reportable info be kept open, visibile, and transparent in ALL LOCAL COMMUNITIES for a kind of stop-gap safety measure.

ClearView Stated " Yes, no system is 100% efficient. Since when the input is natural and abundant, these losses are minor compared to a system that burns a costly fuel".

"After the energy it takes to make a solar cell, wind mill, stirling engine, the gain in the system is a win as there is no fuel and re-fuel costs. Granted, there are factors of maintenance of these systems. More economic Local activity".

"Not too keen on nuclear as this is out of reach for the everyday man-woman, and should you have a breach...........Risk is high for a limited and centralized and radioactive process for power.. Local participation very limited and exclusive, and the waste material a huge issue for the coming generations".

IF YOU ARE NOT MONITORING DATA LOCALLY AND THE CORPORATION DOESN"T THINK YOU WANT THE INFO - you just lost your safety margin. You are either involved in your community or you are lost. You become a casualty to the corporate system.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

i don't think you know a lot about power systems

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

I guess you mean like Fukushima. I'd say safety to the community is enough reason for Transparency.

When I wrote that I was thinking about Europe. I recently saw the "Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" and it reminded me that public information belongs to the public. If I am a citizen, I'd like to know about industry near my home or school. Have you heard about cancer rates near US Military Instalations. Love Canal. Cancer Alley. Key word Search Real Estate Toxic Pollution.

Maybe Trust but Verify is appropriate in a push for transparent information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_information_legislation#Germany

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_information_legislation#Sweden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_information_legislation#Republic_of_Ireland

In the US enterprises that are defined as utilities get a lot of oversight already.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

......i was more talking about energy transfer

well considering your computer and cell phone put out more radiation in a day than a american nuclear power plant i think your good

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Here is one you may or may not have heard.

Zebra Muscles infest our waterways and this causes a concern for our power plants that require water for safety, cooling, and maybe things I don't even imagine. I understand this is an Engineering Challege for the US Nuc sites.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

yeah they have the same problem with ducks they just have to go out and clean them off the vents every so often its more of a nuisance than a severe problem. yeah most plants are used as aw dual water system cooling system you can look it up it very interesting.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

mm...no I don't believe it is so simple for existing older nuc plants. remember they were constructed long ago without prior planning to consider Zebra Muscle. It is a real issue, but as you say maybe this Represents a Risk. Not a threat or a crisis. New plants will deal with this as a requirement. Wouldn't you think.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

yeah they will deal with it in the future but as an engineer at Purdue i know this problem we talked about it and believe me we got it covered

plan for the unexpected and all will be fine filters were already placed on the plants in lake Michigan to deal with the fish the zebra muscles are just making them clean them more often. its a shit job but someone has to do it

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Excellent, Good response.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

good i was tying to say that with out being a jack ass sorry if i came off as one

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Never ass-u-me.

Just sayin what looks like common sense is not always considered.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Okay. Looking at some other posts you made. I guess we are on the same side. We want protection from harmful situations that can be prevented and that are cost effective, affordable, or are common sense.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Okay my Uncle is retired nuc scientist. He said something about it.

I don't think you do any writing on requirements.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I think a good exercise for being more hospitable to those we disagree with would be to spend a week making the case for the other side. This exercise might open the mind to similarities and compromises that each side could agree with.

[-] 3 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

It's nice when the debate ends at an agreement. On something. Builds bridges.

[-] 2 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

And here are some good guidelines that may help: http://interoccupy.org/io-guidelines-participation-communication/

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

That is a good list of guidelines. I have a problem being open to certain ideas, and I know this is a hindrance that i need to work on. thanks for the link..!

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

This weekend you can help Engineers at Penn State raise money for kids with cancer. Go to thon.org and make a donation. They have had a few tough months up in Happy Valley. Help them out. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Help for kids with cancer.

Thanks to everyone in this forum for donations made to Thon.org. In 46 hours the Penn State community raised $ 10,700,000 to help kids with cancer. For those who donated thanks again and if anyone else wants to give it's not too late. Go to Thon.com.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

If you make a THON donation please leave a note on this site. Thanks

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

We can develop even more tools to benefit humanity but most important of all are developing and nourishing the human values.We can develop systems to implement the humane values.Our only resistance is the governments and above all the ignorance of the masses.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

The whole point of engineering as a profession is to use technique to figure out how to make capitalism work better, not how to change the system. The best book I know on this is Harry Braverman's old chestnut, Labor and Monopoly Capitalism, or Thorstein Veblen's really old chestnut, Engineers and the Price System.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

There were plenty of engineers working in Soviet Union and also today in Cuba, North Korea, and China. China will graduate 1,000,000 engineers this year.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Of course its not just about capitalism specifically (though that's where, why and how it originated), but basically it works to maintain the status quo in any hierarchal social system. Just look at the politics typical of engineers as a group. How many genuinely liberal engineers do you know of, much less radicals? The engineering ethos is very closely aligned with a business and corporatist ethic. As a profession managerialism grew directly out of industrial engineering. It all started with Frederick Winslow Taylor. Lenin was very interested in Taylorism. In fact, it was the anarcho-syndicalists, not the Marxists who first explored notions of workers control. Marxists, initally at least, were first interested in the rationality of industrial engineering, not the ethos of workers democracy.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

You covered a lot.

Do you worry that restricting the vote to the non-"dim" is close to the Literacy Tests that were required in the South during Jim Crow?

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

There was a study on the internet that said election results sort of balanced themselves out in the end. That is the uninformed people on each side cancel themselves out. I can't remember how to search for the study. I just remember it concluded that although voters didn't know what candidate really represented their interest - the body of voters tended to have a kind of inteligence that prevailed.

Oh most of what I have written is intended to provoke thought. We have a Limited Republic, so we don't vote on going to war, or for the national budget, or for passing laws. People mindlessly repeat that we have a democracy, but that is not clear or accurate. I'm not sure that I beleive in Congress' power to go to war at this point. If it is a war that is over 500 miles from the US coast, then maybe it should go to a national referendum vote.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

About 40% vote republican and 40% vote democrat regardless of the candidate. It's the 20% in the middle that elect the president.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 2 years ago

Ja sind wir alle deutsch. LOL

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

I work in engineering, many aspects. Not an engineer, I figure out how to put the engineers to work, because I've worked with so many I know how they work and which one is needed where.

The solutions of the problems and issues found in this forum require huge authority for starts. Another aspect requring out-of-the-box thinking is the fact that the authorities that we would normally address to deal with problems, are the problem.

We have at least 2 catch 22's.

Media is the key, and they work for the problem. That said, media means numbers, masses of people, the 99%. Now the problem has changed. Now it's about how to let the masses know what action will gain the authority.

Okay, what mechanism has the needed authority to fully deal with the largest problems and issues? Only one is within the reach of the people. Article V of the constitution.

We've narrowed it down. The problem is how to educate and motivate the masses to demand an article V convention. Now the real work begins, because OWS appears to not be on board with Article V.

Accordingly, the work proceeds here.

http://articlevconvention.org

[-] 1 points by EndTheFED (65) 2 years ago

i hold a BSEE from University of Hartford. I couldn't find a job when i graduated. Very disappointing. The only jobs that were hiring needed 1+ years experience. In over two years of searching i got two interviews. Both were entry level and both hired an unemployed engineer with many years experience. One review sited that i didn't do a internship as a negative mark, i then asked the HR person if the offer internships and he said we don't offer internships. It was the most frustrating two years of my life. So i just gave up and focused on the job i have. Still work there and make very good money. Don't use almost nothing what i learned in school and probably could have done my job straight out of high school. But i make over 70K a year so fuc it. now i just making babies and money

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

You did get something in addition to the BESS from Hartford.

You had to fight your way through calculus, physics, and. thermodynamics. Through Statics, Dynamics and fluid flow phenomena. You had to work late to prepare for exams and sweat through them until you finished. You had a baptism by fire my friend and that will help you through just about any challenge that you face in life. I wager that forty years from now you will look back on that BSEE as one of the toughest and most worthwhile things that you did in your life.

[-] 1 points by EndTheFED (65) 2 years ago

second to my son... first week of his life i so nervous i had a fake hart attack. Actually rode in an ambulance for the first time in my life. When i passed my discrete and continues systems class and i knew i was going to graduate in the upcoming weeks, i didn't remember being so thrilled and happy. Having a son though has to be my greatest accomplishment.

never took fluid flow phenomena. sounds like environmental engineering or mechanical.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

another solutions would be to limit voting opportunities to

posters that have 50 or more posts

or

cause a loss of a point with each voting not allowing those with negative points to vote

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

...or allow the creator of each thread to moderate it themselves, deleting replies and blocking users from threads they create. They want a popular thread and this is the balance to keep from abusing the feature.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

that is what blogs are for

forums are met to be open discussion

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Social networks all have the same tools and it doesn't slow participation.

[-] 1 points by EndTheFED (65) 2 years ago

yeah no more censorship

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

So the creator of a post could delete a reply they didn't like, that maybe was in disagreement? What is the point of that?

I think the forum is fine. That's why there are so many people here. It's not perfect. But what is?

Is there a forum you like better? Share.

And it's not really clear to me what this post is about. I don't think the poster is talking about solving forum problems. I think he's talking about using engineering methods to solve issues that are discussed here on the forum. I could be wrong. That's not to say the forum itself isn't a problem. If you all think so. I don't. I like the forum pretty well just the way it is.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Well, if they delete replies so easily, they won't have a popular thread. Those who can manage the debate and still keep people interested will have a popular thread and as a result, the thread will be productive. It would get people to consider carefully the way they state their objections as well. I think it would be healthy for the forum in general.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Everyone would be censoring eachother. It would never be clear what is being discussed and or censored. I think it's better to have no censoring. Or very little. We're all grown ups. We can take in what we want and discard the rest. But better to be able to make our own decision what we want to discard. Then have it discarded for us.

Maybe this poster would have deleted Matt's reply. And you wouldn't have been able to reply to Matt. Then I would have never have known your thoughts or Matt's thoughts and we couldn't be having this conversation now.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

So then Matt could have made a post in support of the current format and the popularity of that idea could be tested.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

That's overly complicated. And his thought would be disjointed from any other text surrounding it. Part of the context would be lost. The forum is fine. Is there a better forum out there you like?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

What is pi? another irrelevant question.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

3.14 something something something. Now see! All this would be lost if Matt's reply had been censored. : )

I'm not sure, but I don't think you really want censorship. You're just annoyed with one or a couple of people maybe.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3085) 2 years ago

You are not a mathematician - 3.14... is too concrete. Nor are you a hard scientist - 3.14... has too few significant digits. Nor are you an engineer or computer programmer who might have answered 3 for version 1.0, pay me more for 22/7 which is version 2.0, 355/115 which is version 3.0, and so on. The answer to the question of what pi is can be very telling about who the person's mindset or education is.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

April read my comment below. And add, if someone responds to a suspended comment the suspension is over.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Then those circumventing the ban would just unlock their own suspensions.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

But ... The point would be to override an unfair suspension.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Yes, I realize the error. Or their buddies will unlock and gang up.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I did. haha. We crossed paths.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

I had made a similar suggestion. Let the poster moderate their own threads, but not by deleting comments but by suspending whoever made the unwelcome comment. This will allow other viewers to still read the post and decide if the suspension was fair. Also comment on the suspended post. I agree , it could prove an effective way to gain constructive dialogue without unwelcome interruption. Plus I believe we would see an overall improvement/ development in manners. Wouldn't that be great !

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Then we'd be discussing who got suspended and why. I think it's better to just ignore and/or dislike. That's what the dislike is for. That's why too many dislikes cause the comment to be hidden. It's the negative reinforcement without deleting.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Yes but like Richard suggests, it would be nice to improve the forum. Discipline is the key I think.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

having to reopen hidden comments is a waste to time

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Right. Because usually those have been downvoted for a reason. Because they are bad comments. And are not worth reading. And it's negative reinforcement. To discourage bad replies. Because if you are thinking about making a rude or bad comment, you'll think twice knowing that it can be downvoted and hidden.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

But a suspension would do more than just a downvote. It would prevent further unwanted interruptions. April , not all comments that get down voted are bad. It just depends which side you are on. This is an open debate. If I had to suspend someone it would be because of vulgarity and rudeness. Not necessarily because of an honest point of view which disagrees with my post. But one does get tired of blatant ridicule. And as you mentioned the commentators will learn to behave properly if they wish to remain in the conversation.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

perhaps there can be a way of measuring or feedback for courtesy or rudeness. repeated negative labels or thoughtful debate. name calling/labeling would put you on the bottom of the thread : )\or a smaller font for belittling : )

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Looks like all we can do is not respond to inappropriate comments. The bad part is most of the rudeness seems to be coming from the protestors ?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

voted down comments are often more worth reading than comments that got no reaction

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Really! Sometimes maybe. I suppose I reopen a comment once in a while and find something interesting. It's not foolproof. I think there is a way that you can set your computer so that the downvoted comments don't collapse. I think Thas knows. You should ask him. Or probably richard knows too.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

oh, please. A silly voting feature has yet to stop me from speaking my mind. And ask slammersworld how well negative reinforcement has worked. Though i could see how such silliness would silence those who are not sure. Kidding about that last part. :)

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

lol. Point! But I've never seen you say anything really rude or horrible. I have seen the downvote work for things like that. And even slammer isn't that bad. I usually disagree with most of his stuff, but I don't downvote because of that.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

that is what blogs are for

this is an open forum

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

I don't like the insults. It makes the forum digress. How many people can say they walk away from this forum after a discussion feeling happy? Not many. It's a viscious battle ground full of horrors. I had hoped we would have evolved. But so far not. Perhaps the discipline isn't the right answer but something needs to be done differently. This forum is horrible.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

sub forums would

each topic could be moved to it's appropriate sub forum by moderators

this could deal with undesirable topics by not censoring them

as far as insults go

I just post them on a wall

http://occupywallst.org/forum/you-troll/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

it is not

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

you realize that is the same logic that the one percent uses to disenfranchise the rest of the electorate. But instead of Karma they use their exorbitantly high bank accounts as justification for why they should have a louder voice, and we should be silenced.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I knew there was a danger is saying "limiting" voting opportunities

the intent is to stop extra otherwise unused accounts from voting profusely

every poster gains a point with each post they make

by the second method mentioned, if a robot wants to vote 100 time

it will have to post 100 times which would reveal its nature

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

I need an electrical engineer and a chemist to work on an idea for energy production....this is serious, not a hoax or a whack job. I need to set up an experiment and then measure output, but dont have my own electronic gear or money to buy it....any inventors out there?

If it produces at all in a useful quantity, it would do so with no harmful emissions, and is based on natural processes.

My goal would be to provide instructions and a kit for a fair and reasonable profit to individuals, not to make a killing. Participants would be equal partners. If the idea has merit, it might be able to qualify for a grant, to study large scale production. Large scale production of energy could be sold as a patent to a larger company for implementation.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Try kickstarter. A pretty neat way to get funding:

http://www.kickstarter.com/

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 2 years ago

Thanks for link!

[-] 0 points by rustyshack (-1) from Denver, CO 2 years ago

I am graduating as a mechanical engineer this spring. As far as unbiased opinion goes currently there are no feasible alternatives to fossil fuels. At current consumption there are 5000 years worth of proven reserves in oil alone, with far more than that in coal. If the entire land mass were covered in solar panels the they still would not create enough power for current power usage, as well as being made of highly toxic materials. Wind could be a viable alternative in a few locations, but is still not cost effective (though it is getting better). Hydrogen can be down right dangerous, and takes a lot of energy to create i.e. it takes more power than it makes. No matter how "green" an energy source is considered their are still drawbacks.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Perhaps you confuse resources with reserves (in terms of oil). Where did you get those estimates? Have you ever heard of EROEI? LENR may be a viable alternative to ff. Too soon to be sure.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

What about nuclear power?

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Once you have solar array, energy can be returned to the grid or stored in various ways locally: Batteries , hydrogen or even compressed air to name a few. Once the energy is expended to make the solar panels, with sun, they will produce energy which through electrolysis will give you hydrogen and oxygen respectively.

When hydrogen enters a fuel cell along with air, energy is produced and the by-product is water.

When you say it takes more power than it makes, would you please explain?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the hydrogen gas is produced though electrolysis

(pulling water molecules apart be electric field)

that energy used to pull apart the hydrogen can be recovered by recombining the hydrogen gas with oxygen

but due to heat(entropy) in the system some energy will be lost

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Yes, no system is 100% efficient. Since when the input is natural and abundant, these losses are minor compared to a system that burns a costly fuel.

After the energy it takes to make a solar cell, wind mill, stirling engine, the gain in the system is a win as there is no fuel and re-fuel costs. Granted, there are factors of maintenance of these systems. More economic Local activity.

Not too keen on nuclear as this is out of reach for the everyday man-woman, and should you have a breach...........Risk is high for a limited and centralized and radioactive process for power.. Local participation very limited and exclusive, and the waste material a huge issue for the coming generations.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

nuclear energy doesn't bother me

it has far less environmental impact than oil and coal plants

ofcource, there have been some terrible nuclear accidents

wind farms and solar panels can be centralized aswell

I imagine solar farms across deserts windmills in deep valleys

it would also be very covenant yo switch to lighter vehicles both for safety and efficiency

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Unlike wind and solar farms Nukes are small and can be located close to where the electricity is needed. Transmission losses can be as high as 10%, even higher for remote and distributed wind farms Transmission line cost average $ 1.75 million per mile for the remote farms. Also the nukes take up less space. A 100 square mile wind farm produces less electricity than a nuke the size of a Wal Mart.

[-] 0 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

When I worked for Sperry Univac, the marketing engineers would look for ways to save money and often weaken a very good, dependable and sound design. As in a society where corporate maximizing of profit produces an inferior result. We need to look at small scale, decentralized systems that work in harmony together. Is this asking too much?

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

You have to watch those marketing guys. That said part of the equation for an elegant design is cost. We don't need gold plated hammers.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

I would like to hear some of your thoughts about elegant design 1sealyon. This may spark more dialogue and involvement around this topic.

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Elegance is the correct combination of the following virtues:

Simplicity (A simple structure is normally inexpensive, has low failure rate (low risk of failure), makes good use of raw materials (less waste), and is easier to construct than complicated alternatives)

Value (Anybody can build a good $1500 pocket knife)

Effectivity (Does it solve the users problem every time? Is it easy to use? Is it fun to use? Is the operation intuitive? Is it safe?)

Beauty (A very under-rated virtue that must include all of the senses. Nobody want to wear sunglasses made of recycled elephant dung )

Robustivity (My word. It encompasses reliability, design for manufacture, durability, and process window (performance tolerance to variation)). To me the Lexus beats the BMW because a lot can go wrong with the Lexus and it will still get you to work (the primary purpose of the design), while a malfunctioning rear-window sun shade disables the BMW ignition (actually happened to me). Also, reliability (Quality) needs to be appropriate. Adding $ 2000 to the cost of a CD player so that it will last for 50 years is not appropriate for a device with a utility of 15 years. The CD player is a good example of this.

Sustainability (Not a fan of this concept because misuse has made it now meaningless and impossible to measure. Rely on Simplicity to cover this virtue)

The words correct combination above are important because the combo will differ depending on the application. Beauty is important when designing a car; that float thing in the toilet, not so much.

All of the virtues must be weighted for importance based on the application. Metrics must be assigned to every attribute of the design so that decisions about the design can be made analyitically.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Excellent framework for elegant design considerations.

Regarding beauty, I have seen this element overlooked in say,small bridge design. Where many locals would rally to save an old arched, stone bridge, I doubt anyone would look twice to save an old pen-dot bridge that is absent of character and beauty.

Also, how many kids in the future are going to be making models of "vintage" UPS trucks or Septa buses?

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Agreed. There aren't any FEDEX jigsaw puzzles either. Apple puts a lot of emphasis on industrial design. With automobiles it has really gone to far the other way. The utility of the product is secondary to the style and color.

If we have to see it then it should look nice.

If we have to smell it .......... an so on.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

If you're spending more than it takes to get the job done, then you're doing it wrong.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Agreed. What I witnessed is that many times the specs for a given component was pushed close to the 90% capacity. good reliable engineering is at 50% of a components capacity.

Looking for a balance of cost effective And reliable over a reasonable period of time, Re-cycle-ability is a good design consideration as well.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I do software development. One of the simplest ways for a software project to fail is for the developers to build too much software. The goal is to build exactly as much software as you need, and have that software work. It's not easy, but there are a growing number of methodologies for finding a good product/market fit, and for building the minimum-viable product. Rather than the coolest, ultimate, over-engineered product. If you do more engineering than is necessary then you're wasting money, and that's not good engineering.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Excellent point regarding software. Bloated windows is a good example of how not to do it. . Simple is beautiful.

I used to do assembly language programming which was one step from machine code for test applications in the late 70's, so seeing how much memory and processing it takes to do a seemingly simple task makes no sense. (except to design in obsolescence to make an older processor run painfully slow.

What are your thoughts on elegant design in the positive?

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Well, my job is to be responsible for all of the engineering at my company. I'm the CTO. I can only really speak about software, because that's what I do.

Behavior-driven design really does work. For software, at least. You start from the "outside" and work toward the "inside". You start by describing the behavior of the thing that you're trying to build, and you do that with automated tests that double as behavior specs. For example, "Given a user with the username 'username' and the password 'password', When I go to the home page, I should see a username/password form, And when I enter 'username' and 'password' and log in, I should see ..." That spec should be a little computer program that you can run, and if you don't get the right results then the test should fail. When you first write the spec, the test will fail. Then you write code that makes the test pass. Which means that you're writing the minimum amount of code to make the test pass, because you're focused on satisfying that specific spec and nothing else. You don't waste a lot of time in the beginning on what-ifs. If the spec passes, then you win, and you move on.

This is a technique that can be used in "Lean Software Development", which is a specific form of "Lean Engineering", which came originally from "Lean Manufacturing". The idea in all of the "lean" methodologies is that you do the engineering last. You find out what people want first. The spec always comes first, and you do the minimum amount of engineering to satisfy the spec.

In order to avoid over-engineered specs, you do iterative development. You don't design the entire system all at once. You design the minimum-viable product first. You get customers to use your product, and you get feedback from them. Then you incrementally iterate your design to make it better and better. Your goal at all times in a "Lean Startup" is to find a good product/market fit. You don''t engineer the whole thing all at once, you create a feedback loop that directs your engineering energy toward doing exactly what your customers want.

All of these methodologies are aimed at doing the least amount of engineering possible, to develop a product that works for the market. Not the product that works for the engineers.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

corporate websites often choke in their clutter

[-] 0 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

I like the question you posed. "Zeitgeist Addendum" documentary touches on this.(yet not immune from emotional appeal) Our current designs were well thought out to consequence the many and to the benefit of the few, and often sold in a non-rational emotional appeal by creating sides(only one being"sensible")

What we have is a perfect reflection of our collective state of being. And you can be sure of this, our current way of operating is not sustainable. This occupy wave of action is very aware of this. Many comfortable in their current lifestyles are more likely to resist changing what works for them, even it if makes good engineering sense for greater social benefit.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Tell me more. I don't really understand you.

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Heres a link to stirling engine technology and use. http://www.stirling-tech.com/st_engines.shtml When we have more options for energy production,(multi fuels) we lessen our dependence on one ever-inflating source of energy. No more waste heat. the Stirling will turn this into usable energy(rotating force)

[-] 1 points by ClearView (74) 2 years ago

Ending suburban design for village-centric design. locally produced hydrogen from solar and wind would gradually decentralize the energy sector and empower(in more ways than one) the local community. All service vehicles could run on the cleanest energy source (having a predictable route and a fleet) More food locally grown and in greater (non-gmo) varieties. Natural building utilizing local resources(e.g. clay, straw, wood,stone) depending on your locality. as these modes of building are more labor intensive, they can employ more people. Insurance costs (health, transportation etc.) creating a citizen-owned collective would eliminate the fat-cat middle man and all the high rises and white-collar denial-of service agents. Heres just a few. Thanks for asking. As for engineering with data and living examples this is a great resource for a solar-hydrogen based surburban home and vehicle: http://www.hopewellproject.org/

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28443) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thanks for the link 1 points by ClearView (43)

http://www.hopewellproject.org/

This is what I am talking about when I say we need to push for a new clean fuel base, to save our world and end fossil fuel dependence.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Some good work here. Japan is looking at micro-nuclear power generation for installation in apartment buildings. Could this work for the proposed concentrated communities? It takes up a lot less space than wind or solar.

http://www.energyonline.com/Industry/News.aspx?NewsID=5073&Mini_Nuclear_Power_Plants_in_the_Basement%3F

[-] -3 points by Libertarianliving (149) 2 years ago

No, they are busy AT THEIR JOBS, working, because they did what they needed to do to be able to stay employed in their lives instead of partying and laughing off education and then whining that "the rich took their jobs."

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Haha, right. I'm an engineer, and I hired a new engineer through this forum, and now he and I are both way too busy to spend much attention on this forum any more.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Are you troubled by the lack of objective thinking here? People on both sides spend more time insulting each other than working on the solving problems effectively. I see a lot of internet links but little original work backed up with measurements, data, analysis, and critical scrutiny of hearsay and anecdotal information.

China is eating our lunch not because they have cheap labor, but because this year they will graduate 1,000,000 engineers. The US will produce 150,000.

We have to hire engineers from India to build the 3 new nuclear power plants currently under construction in the US. Our universities are not producing any nuclear engineers. We invented nuclear power!

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

As a engineer i find your lack of citations disturbing

Purdue ME here. also my roommate is a Nuclear engineer we produce those still and will continue to. I agree china is a threat but we have better quality of an education.

In the long run and short run we will be just fine

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

People on both sides spend more time insulting each other than working on the solving problems effectively.

I have seen several threads in which the subject of discussion is lost as two spend time insulting each other

but the frequency is closer to 1/3 or 1/4 of the time

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

There are other forums where there is less insulting and greater respect....

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

most

but I'm a veteran of forum conflict and my scars have hardened

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

I am just saying :-) I participate in more productive forums as well as this one.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Could be. Even worse is the lack of unbiased (left or right), objective thinking.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yes, I am troubled by the lack of objective thinking here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/this-forums-traffic-statistics-are-not-good/#comment-639381

I have had to hire Venezuelan engineers because I can't find enough Americans. Not to save money. My highest-paid engineer right now is Venezuelan.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

There is an up side to hiring folks from outside the US. We get to steal the best talent from around the world.

[-] 1 points by mudnducs (1) 2 years ago

How is it stealing if you're paying their for their abilities and their labor?

[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (267) 2 years ago

Worker is not in fact being fully paid for his work and never in history has the worker been paid what is due to him.Above all the definition of work has to be explored further,attributes of the situation a worker works have to be understood fully besides many more things are to be understood and appreciated by the humanity that is what the evil takes advantage of.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

Sigh... educate yourself kid.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

"the rich took their jobs."

jobs can be replaced with computers, automation and communication technology

the company still makes profit

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

So do the people who create and program computers, automate processes, and build communications systems.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

yes, a much smaller number of them by design

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

That's the Luddite Fallacy. It's referred to as a "fallacy" for a reason. The fallacy is the idea that a company would keep production constant after increasing efficiency and productivity through automation, rather than increasing production.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Businessman Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future,[3] argues that the Luddite Fallacy is merely an historical observation, rather than a rule that applies indefinitely into the future. Ford describes how high technology improves geometrically, driving productivity gains which inevitably will outstrip human driven consumption increases that go up in a more linear fashion[dubious – discuss]. Comparing consumption to a river of purchasing power, as companies along the river become more automated they extract more purchasing power from the river than they return in the form of employee wages and lower cost of goods. During the period that technology created jobs at the rate that they were made obsolete in other industries, Luddism was indeed a fallacy. Ford asks what the factual support is for the belief that the rate of job creation will match job destruction in perpetuity, especially in light of the phenomenon that increased capabilities of machines reduces the need for human labor in newly created enterprises at an exponential rate. Martin Ford proposes that like rivers, purchasing power be regarded as a public resource that industries cannot be allowed to pump dry. To do otherwise would fuel a deflationary spiral as lowered employment reduces purchasing power, forcing lower prices to compensate. The deflationary pressure perpetuates a cycle of shrinking of the economy as profitability plummets, resulting in further reduction in money put in the hands of worker-consumers. From the perspective of Ford and others such as Jeremy Rifkin who share this perspective, the Luddites may have simply been 200 years too early. Besides job destruction, Luddites claimed that automation made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Economists have found that between 1980 and 2005, American jobs vulnerable to automation were lost, forcing workers into either low paying manual work or high paying technical work that is inherently difficult to automate[who?]. One study by MIT economists David Autor and David Dorn drew on evidence from the United States Department of Labor to show that automation caused sharp losses of middle class jobs, forcing a polarization of wages and greater income inequality. The phenomenon of polarization due to automation is not confined to the US, also occurring in 15 of 16 European countries for which data is available.[4][dubious – discuss] What is your answer to this?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Two responses:

1) You simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

2) My counter-examples are already provided in this thread. Innovations create entire new industries, and new demand for new things. That new demand for new things creates new jobs. My example in the communications industry was mobile app software developers. I'll add social media professionals as a new example. As communications technology becomes cheaper and cheaper, we don't see a deflationary spiral caused by lowered employment reducing purchasing power. Instead, we see new jobs that didn't exist before, in entirely new industries.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Yes ,it was wiki. So what. You gave no answer to the larger question. You only gave anecdotes. Seems as an engineer, you would understand exponential growth vs linear.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I did give an answer to the larger question: Innovation creates entirely new markets. Martin Ford hypothesized that innovation would lower costs within one market and cause unemployment to rise, which would lead to a deflationary spiral. But the markets are not static. They don't stay the same when innovation lowers costs. New things become possible, and those new things create entirely new markets, and entirely new kinds of jobs. I've provided several different concrete examples, including mobile app developers and social media experts. There are tens of thousands of people earning a living through Apple's App Store, building mobile software as small-business entrepreneurs. That became possible because ever-lowering costs expanded the market for smart phones, which created an entirely new market for mobile apps.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

I don't know that we're going to come to a meeting of the minds here, but I'll try. I understand your assertion that markets are not static. I don't disagree. Yes your examples are concrete, but examples by definition are anecdotes. In the link below, there is a troubling trend. Yes you can attribute it to countless causes, but it indicates a decrease in the percentage of working age citizens in the workforce. http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2011-04-13-more-americans-leave-labor-force.htm

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Automation and innovation are not the reason for baby boomers retiring. That trend will get much worse but it's not because of engineers, it's because of age.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the demand does not change with efficiency improvements

the price may drop

still less people are needed

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Productivity and efficiency is a means to increase capacity in order to meet higher demand at a much lower cost of capital.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

what higher demand ?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You really should read about the "Luddite Fallacy". But I've already had the experience of trying to educate people on this site about it and I already know that you can't convince somebody who simply wants to believe in the fallacy. So I'll just chalk this up as yet another example of Occupy truthiness.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

doom

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

When this has come up before, I would talk about how automation creates new jobs for engineers who create automation, and that I happened to have one of those jobs available. But most people here insisted on believing in the Luddite Fallacy because that fits in with the Occupy narrative, and they want to believe.

One person didn't. He now works as an engineer, helping to create automation technology. Our product eliminates certain low-skilled jobs while also creating new high-skilled jobs. We're creating jobs faster than we can fill them. We're one of many counter-examples that disproves the Luddite Fallacy.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

we are stuck with the belief that in order to live everyone must work 40 hours a week

and failure of the Luddite fallacy is the assumption of and expanding market while own this globe we are in a closed system market

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

As automation increases efficiency, the prices of products drops, which increases the sizes of markets. Look at mobile phones for a simple example. There are tens of millions of smart phones in the world now because they get cheaper and cheaper every year as they get more powerful. So now there are tens of thousands of mobile app developers, who were not working as mobile app developers a few years ago. Do you feel sorry for the manual telephone switchboard operators? Would you have frozen the system the way it was back when people were plugging wires into jacks in wall panels to connect calls? Electronic switches didn't just put those operators out of work. They also led the way to the tens of thousands of mobile app developers today, and to many other new professions that never could have existed if we had stopped the clock and frozen a steam-punk telephone system in place forever.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I have to say, this is one of the best arguments for tech I have seen yet.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

There are a lot more elevator technicians working today than there were human elevator operators in the first few decades of elevators. Automated push-button elevator systems put all of those human elevator operators out of work. But if automated push-button elevators had never been developed, then elevators would be really expensive to operate and there wouldn't be very many of them. So not only would all of those elevator technicians not be employed as elevator technicians, the rest of us would never have reaped all of the benefits of using elevators instead of walking up 10 flights of stairs.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I feel sorry for people that have no money because they are no longer needed to work

however the products are still created and the company owning the system receives all the benefits

while the replaced workers get nothing

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I feel sorry for those people too. But to the extent that that is a problem, it is not technology or productivity and efficiency that is to blame. The problem is the shift or replacement of low skilled labor for higher skilled labor. Which is further worsened by low skilled labor going overseas. The education system has not kept up. There are too many people chasing low skilled jobs which drives those wages down. And too few people chasing more abundant high skilled jobs which drives those wages up.

The company owning the system does not recieve all of the benefits. It is shared with all of the high skilled labor that helps produce those products.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

yes but fewer people all the same

I'm not against efficiency either

the problem is that businesses need less people

those laid off receive no benefits

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

This is nothing new in history. It's always been the case. It's called progress. We need to invest more in education, which our system doesn't rank much better than average. Higher education is increasingly too costly and out of reach. Better education will lead to innovation which will lead to more jobs. In time. This is like a horrible transition period. We should have invested and done much better with our education system many years ago and recognized that this would be necessary. About the time of NAFTA. Before even. When we realized we'd be losing low skilled jobs.

"We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work." ~John F. Kennedy

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

In the example that I just cited, there are tens of thousands of small-business entrepreneurs making mobile software and working for themselves, because of innovation.

You really should learn more about the Luddite Fallacy. But I can see that you simply want to believe, so there is probably no point discussing it any further.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

in an expanding markets were humans colonize the planet sure

but right now resources the market is not getting any bigger

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You want to believe in the Luddite Fallacy because that fits into your pre-conceived narrative. I totally understand. I'm not going to waste any more time trying to educate you.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

There must be some that watch this Forum at work. Engineers are trained to look past their biases to find the optimum solution. There must be some out there that can help.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I read from work sometimes, but most of the time I'm too busy doing useful things. Participating on this site is not in that category.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

"Engineers are trained to look past their biases" most intelligent people move past their biases, it is the view in here that can't that are considered to be the trolls.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

The problem with this venue is that people can't see eye to eye because they can't see eye to eye.

In a face to face conversation most negative comments on this site would not be made.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

Yeah, I know that face to face most people would hold their tongue. Part of me likes this forum because people don't hold back and then part of me dislikes the forum because of the idiots that can't see eye to eye simply because they don't want to.

I speak about the ability to make change and not specific changes. I figure that before you can even consider what changes you may or may not want, you might want to put the framework in place so that when you do decide what changes you want, you have the ability to actually make them.

Who here believes that we have the ability to make a permanent change???

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Change can be very dangerous so to it humans have an instinctive aversion. We come by it honestly. If your ancestor 10,000 years ago decided to walk home down a different path a saber-tooth tiger and certain death could be the outcome.

As children we tend to eat the same safe food over and over; it reduces risk.

Change is scary but it comes irrespective to our opposition and humans are one of the most adaptable critters on the planet.

So yes, permanent change is possible until the next change arrives.

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

I am not talking about changing a habit, or am I?

I am talking about changes in the system of this country and building the framework so the changes cannot be taken away at some later date.

[-] 0 points by uncensored (104) 2 years ago

Umm, you mean like our founding fathers tried to do?

[-] 1 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

If you think our founding fathers attempted to protect the citizens, you might need to read about the actual founding fathers instead of what our school system pumps out.

[-] 0 points by uncensored (104) 2 years ago

Here is a "bill of rights and duties" you might like better... http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/36cons04.html#chap10

How well did that turn out?

[-] 2 points by unimportant (716) 2 years ago

Why would you even post this? I suspect you think our founding fathers were great... Some where, but most weren't. They were protecting themselves and their way of life as slave owners. Freedom for a few, privilege and rights for a few, is not the foundation for a great nation.

We now have the opportunity to correct his and all I see are bunch of idiots talking smack about Obama when nobody gives a shit about Obama. We are here to correct the glaring and intentional errors of our Courts and founding fathers alike.

Your choice to rail against Obama or fix the country. If you are smart enough to see that this is not an issue for the president and is actually an issue for the people to fix then consider offering an opinion.

If you are going to bitch about how Obama has ruined the country, we have all heard it before.

[-] -2 points by uncensored (104) 2 years ago

You really are "unimportant".