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Engineers skew rational. They know that most ideas won't work. It's like aspiring actors or singers. Statistically, any given aspiring actors or singers won't become famous. The existence of Tom Cruise or Taylor Swift doesn't change that. Think about the dozen articles you read every day about some promising lab result or prototype that. How many of them do you ever hear about again?

Meat-space engineering is hard. I'm an early '90s kid who grew up hearing about how we're going to put people on Mars by 2020.[1] I got a degree in aerospace because of that! Then I realized that physics hates you most of the field is about eking out 1% more fuel economy every decade so United can turn a slight profit. Even Space X is more interesting from a business model point of view than an engineering point of view. It's like someone figured out how to make a $10 iPhone 3g in 2017. Neat, I guess.

[1] Almost everything pop science said would happen was a lie. Moon bases, NYC-London flights, flying cars, etc. Outside of computers and pharma, technology has progressed at a glacial pace over the last 40 years. If you transported someone from 1890 to 1950, planes, international calls, etc. would blow their minds. If you transported someone from 1950 to 2010, I think that they'd frankly be disappointed.

Engineers skew likes-to-tell-themselves-they-are-rational, but ironically I find belief in self-rationality interferes with listening and makes you less rational.

Engineers are more likely to be Creationists and/or conspiracy theorists than graduates of other STEM degrees:


I thought it was even worse, at "higher than background".

NYC-London flights were a lie?

It was proven impossible in the late 1930s.

International airlines don't exist, they are faked by the same people that did the 'moon landings' to make you think the world is a ball. If they really took people up that high, they'd be able to see the earth is flat.

I think you left the /s off your comment

/s is for people who hate sarcasm. Those of us who enjoy it would rather drink it straight.

No, it's true, really.

I think he meant supersonic NYC-London flights. Or perhaps even hypersonic.

do those not mean the same thing?

I don't really get the point of this comment. I'm also early 90's and I'm wondering why you're not more heavily for or against either side. You're living in an insanely fast paced world where, in 50 years, we will either be dead and roasted in Earth-Venus, or we will have carbon sequestration figured out and be on Mars. We need engineers to get option two, and you being neutral increases the chances of Earth-Venus.

Wait, there are actually people who think the Earth will be roasted in 50 years?

I have seen such a comment twice on HackerNews before. And one from a friend on Facebook.

I think that's why people think Global warming is false. There are other people saying that all life is going to disappear, which is funny and clearly alarmism.

can you blame them with all the media alarmism about global warming? The Day After Tomorrow type movies and such too.

Not that it's not a problem - it obviously is - but it's not like the earth is going to be barbecue'd in our lifetime.

In 400 years of exponential 1% energy consumption growth it's possible.

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