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'.
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
For more options, visit this group at