Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blessed are the engineers

For a long time I've been struggling to articulate something that ought to have been obvious to me all along.

I am not an engineer.

I respect engineers. A key component of human existence is concerned with shaping matter and the physical world in ways that suit our purposes. As the arbiters of this process engineers, inventors, hackers, and designers are owed a special place in our collective consciousness. It is sad that (in the UK at least) they are not afforded the level of respect of lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, and even businessmen.

I am fascinated by engineering, but it is a vicarious fascination. I would rather bask in the warm glow of effective, efficient design than actually attempt to design anything myself.

So where do my interests and proclivities lie?

I have always had a hunger for understanding, knowledge too, but specifically comprehension of the world and the way it works.

So what route am I to take in order to sate my thirst for understanding?

In the somewhat crude terms of conventional academic subjects my search will probably take me through some basic science, psychology, economics, politics, and philosophy.

Because computers are are key component of the universe I occupy some appreciation for them and their functioning must also be taken into account.

These are all areas I am interested in - but how will I go about the task of comprehension?

There is another element, beyond merely identifying academic subjects, that I believe to be necessary to attaining a comprehension of the world and how it works. In fact two elements.

Time and money.

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