On May 7, 1:42 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote: > On Sun, May 6, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > >>>I'm not an engineer. > > > >> I know, that's part of the problem. > > > > I think it's part of the solution. As the saying goes, if all you have > > is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. > > It's far easier to get a reputation as a good philosopher than a good > engineer because you can't fake it. If a engineer is full of shit there is > no way to hide it, the bridge falls down or the laptop catches on fire or > the power grid dies and plunges the nation into darkness and all the world > knows he's a idiot, but a philosopher can hide his ineptitude by saying > things that can never be proved or disproved in his lifetime or expressing > platitudes in pretentious language that sounds much deeper than they really > are or by expressing his personal preferences as if they were universal > truths and not just a matter of taste. > > To keep his job a engineer needs to be right, or at least not dead wrong, > nearly 100% of the time because if he is dead wrong people could quite > literally end up dead, but a philosopher can never be right and still get > tenure. When a engineer makes a blunder it's front page news but when a > philosopher makes a blunder few know or care and he never misses a > paycheck. The engineer has by far the harder job. >
The engineer has a harder job, just as it requires more effort to hammer a nail than it does to write with a pen. That doesn't make him better equipped to address the nature of the cosmos as a whole. Being literal minded is appropriate for literal tasks - building bridges, inventing the combustion engine, etc. If the universe is what I suspect it is, then it is only half literal, with the figurative half being the more relevant 'head end'. Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.