Monday, September 5, 2011

Engineers and technically illiterate politicians

As an engineer, I often get frustrated when politicians make pronouncements on some technical issues.  I often know for a fact that what they might be saying is idiotic, and they have no idea what they are talking about.  Technical progress does not happen because politicians just wish for it.  And physics cannot conform to political sound bytes.  Turns out, I am not the only engineer frustrated with technical illiteracy of the politicians.  Here is an article in EE Times:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard reach 54.5 miles/gallon by 2025 (so many significant figures in that goal—the precision is truly admirable!). Before you say "huh?", note that this goal has many loopholes, subclauses, and qualifiers, befitting a number set by bureaucrats, see here.

Read it all.  While you are at it, check out this comic relief.  Whatever this comedian says about marketing and management, applies to politicians ten-fold.

1 comment:

Rachel Ann Gray said...

I just posted about a similar phenomenon, to do with powers-that-be politicizing research and scientists' blind spots about their research.