Guest blogging, insulting engineers, and insulting particle physicists

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.

8 Responses to Guest blogging, insulting engineers, and insulting particle physicists

  1. engtech says:

    Cyberspace is funny that way. Human text leaves so much to interpretation. We always see things through our own biases and filters. The question is whether or not we can be aware of it?

  2. Benjamin says:

    I thought the article was brilliant, I laughed a lot at it and I’m an engineer (in a few months, at least) 🙂

  3. Luis Bruno says:

    I’m one of the new subscribers you’ve got from that guest post on enjtech.

    As an almost-engineer, I tought I’d drop by and say I’ve taken your advice; and I thank you for being so clear. Yeah, the title wasn’t politically correct; but I value clearness more.

    On a similar thought, posts are ageless. There’s no point in letting current events dictate what’s acceptable content.

  4. Stephen says:

    Engineers design and build things. Scientists try to figure out how nature’s designs work. That makes scientist ‘reverse engineers’.

    (Engineers do a fair amount of reverse engineering, too.)

  5. engtech says:

    That was one of the things that bugged me about my science courses (biology most of all)… I never liked how complicated things were because they had to model the real world. 🙂

    Two genders? That’s twice as much work!

  6. TestName says:

    Test myfunction comment

  7. Дин says:

    Интересные мысли….хорошо однако!

  8. […] mean by “engineer”. I wrote a couple of posts on this subject some time back – on my own blog, and as a guest on \engtech. Anybody who has had any experience with instrumentation or software […]

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