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American Engineering


Letter from Itia

I was talking to an engineer this morning. Engineers have always interested me because they are the true inventors. Others may come up with ideas, but the engineers make it a reality. In America, the term engineer has become diluted. Engineer used to be a badge of honor for someone who built a structure or created a product with the exacting standards of a scientist. Today in America, engineer means only that you were rich enough to go to college. No honor, no accomplishment, just a title.

When I asked the “engineer” what his accomplishments were, he proudly told me “I built the Boeing 747”. Typical American exaggeration. So I responded with, “Really? I have studied the power bus of the 747. What do you think is the best solution for upgrading the bus to handle touchscreens in every seat back?”. He responded with, “I worked on the landing gear.” Now knowing that this person did very little on the 747, I was interested in finding out how little he actually did on that aircraft design. “You designed the landing gear?”, I asked. “No, I really just handled the storing and distribution of the drawings.” he replied. Typical American engineer. Sixteen years of education and absolutely nothing accomplished with his life. His sum total of contribution to our society is paper pushing from within a cubicle.

This is the fate of modern American engineering. Creativity is recessive and bureaucracy is dominant. As beautiful a plane as the 747 is, if engineering was at the forefront there would no longer be any need for a pilot. Instead we stumble along until some who cares about continued progress in air travel, Airbus, steps in with progress and captures the market. Yes Boeing is trying to come back, but the sick part is that they rested without progress for over 30 years because they were trying to maximize the return on investment for their stockholders.

We all know Apple computer. Do you know who built it? Most people will say Steven Jobs because he is the classical fast talking American. The reality is that Stephen Wozniak built the apple computer. Never heard of him? Of course you haven’t. America always gives credit to the man who screams the loudest. So that is our destiny. Loud and stupid. It’s quite insane.

Help, I am Itia

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