The blog is a view of life, science, politics and education from an engineering perspective. As engineers, we are taught to view the world objectively. We can hope, believe and calculate a particular outcome, but natural laws are inflexible and pay no heed to who we are or what we believe. We must approach the objective dispassionately, while compensating for our own distorted perceptions. Balance is also a key element; balancing between the ideal and the pragmatic, balancing cost and functionality, balancing analysis with action, etc.
Scheduling routine critical self-analysis is the foundation to objectivity. If we do not fully understand and compensate for our own failures, tendencies, habits and skewed thought processes, we will not see the world as it is. Without a regular critical self-analysis we will see the world as we are and then fall prey to self-delusion.
Failure is a great teacher. When failure is coupled with perseverance, it produces the fruit of patience and humility. An engineer, fresh out of engineering school is typically set up for failure early and often. The failure breaks the new engineer of any ideas of self-importance, arrogance and book smarts. Only then can the new engineer be formed and molded into a productive element in the industry.
Nelson Mandela passed away with great fanfare earlier this month. Since then the media and pundits have combed through his beliefs, statements and actions that have set him apart from others.
One of the sources of great anguish for Mandela was dealing with a Johannesburg media that was sympathetic to apartheid and politically attached to the Botha and De Klerk governments. The abuses by the government were not covered by the media and anyone who protested against the apartheid government was demonized by the media.
Mandela did not receive fair treatment by the South African media. As a result of his experiences, he made a statement that should be hung in the office of every TV, radio or newspaper.
“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”
If you had the misfortune of watching ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ doing the interview of president Obama you will come to inescapable conclusion that this news program represents political pandering at its very worst. It is not critical, independent or investigative. The sole purpose of the broadcast is to gain favor with this administration.
Yes, that Obama thrill is still running up Chris' leg.
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- A tribute to Mandela (0)
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- The British crack down on the free press (0)
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- I pledge (0)
- My response to the human condition (0)
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