Engineers Get no Respect

From Slashdot | Japan “Running Out of Engineers”

Re:Respect for those who are knowledgeable is low. (Score:5, Insightful)

by gunnk (463227) <gunnk@mail.fpg. u n c . e du> on Monday May 19, @09:52AM (#23461876)
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respect from management for those who are knowledgeable about technology is lower than ever

I think you can expand that from just management and include the population as a whole.

Read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. He bemoaned the fact that so few of our population have the basic knowledge to understand the difference between science and all the crap stuff out there like astrology.

It’s the same with technology: for most people we have already passed the point about which Arthur C Clarke spoke:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Most people don’t respect/appreciate what engineers do because they don’t even have a reference point from which to evaluate what they do. It’s all magic to them.

How does a young person today get started? I built rockets, flying machines, and played with chemistry sets. I took apart old tube televisions. I tried concocting rocket fuel. Now we’re a safety-is-paramount-consumer-only-don’t-void-the-warranty society. No wonder it all seems like magic to most people! Most things these days are made not only not to be “user-serviceable” but to actively prevent anyone from nosing around under the hood.

When people have no idea whatsoever what it is engineers do they have no way of assessing how much respect it deserves.

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