Guest blogging, insulting engineers, and insulting particle physicists

April 21, 2007

Yesterday I had the honour of providing a guest post on the popular //engtech site, which I have had on my own feedlist for a while. The guest post has a link to my own site. This has made my page views zoom up temporarily, even more than when I got a nice link from the Astronomy Blog. Even better – gasp – this afternoon the guest post is on the WordPress “top posts of the day list”. Crikey. This could turn me into a stats junkie.

//engtech is a pretty geeky site of course, so I wrote something about the differences between scientists and engineers. Its called “How I learned to shoot the engineers and ship the product”. Basically it was meant to be funny, and I thought was equally rude to both tribes. Hopefully most of //engtech’s readers agree, but I had some rather prickly comments indicating that some read it as “arrogant scientist mocking dumb engineers”. Oh dear. One does have to watch one’s tongue out here in cyberspace. I also had someone complaining that using the words “shoot” and “engineer” so soon after Virginia Tech was tasteless. Again, err, sorry .. I think ?

Talking about being rude to other tribes, Simon White has a nice paper up on astro-ph just now, all about how particle physicists are a malign influence on the health of astronomy, pushing us to expend all our resource on a handful of “fundamental” issues like dark energy, rather than explaining the wondrous diversity of phenomena in the Universe. I won’t go further into this, as Sean at Cosmic Variance has already written a post all about it. But I would just note that if this had been written by some dumb observer like me, you would see it as sour grapes. But coming from a mega-brain like Simon, you gotta take it seriously.