The Difference Between Joe Sixpack, a Scientist, and an Engineer

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by JimBowie1958, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    The difference here I have seen so many times in my life, I just thought I would share the lesson with this classic discussion of odds.

    The set up goes like this: youhave a tossed a coin and it has come up heads one thousand times in a row. What are the odds it will come up either heads or tails on the next toss?

    Joe Sixpack will typically say that it should come up tails, because it has come up heads so many times, tails is due.

    The Scientist, trained in mathematics, knows that what it has done before has no influence on what the coin will do next. In fact this situation is often used to illustrate odds when results occur in streaks.

    The Engineer doesnt care so much about theory, all he cares about is what he sees happen when he does one thing or another, and he knows that the next result will most likely be heads because we have obviously been flipping a flawed coin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    And a statistician knows that BLACK SWAN coin flipping events DO happen.

    He'd probably still want the check that coin, though, right along with that engineer.
     
  3. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    Just a point I'd like to make: Most engineers are better trained in mathematics than are scientists, at least more than most chemists and definitely more than biologists. Physicists, about the same. (Math, itself, might be considered a pure science by some, but it's sorta a discipline all on its own.)

    Nice story, though. :)
     
  4. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    Being an engineer myself, I am aware of the math requirement, but beyond that, engineers place proven results in real world ennvironments on a much higher priority than academic scientists who are more concerned about being published than building anything that would survive int he real world for very long.

    :D
     
  5. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    I am not sure that is an acurate use of the phrase 'black swan event' as that describes a case where something thought previously to be IMPOSSIBLE is suddenly proven possible. The story being that prior to the discovery of the new world, 'you will see a black swan before that thing works' was ion effect taken to mean it was not possible for it to work, whatever it might be.

    But if I am mistaken please ejumakate me on it.


    Statisticians are to mathematicians as engineers are to physicists, IMO.
     
  6. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    Ah, then I have a story for you, too:

    There is a collegiate competition among three universities for their engineering schools. They are to build a bridge to withstand the exact same conditions that are quite rigorous.

    The bridge the Cal Tech students built collapses within 20 minutes after application of the first load. The Cal Tech students can't figure out why it collapsed. They get points for the 20 minutes of success.

    The bridge the MIT students built collapses with the first 20 minutes after application of the first load, but the MIT students actually figure out why it did. So, that puts them on the board in the number one position in the competition, eliminating Cal Tech.

    The bridge the Purdue students built does not collapse and is still standing after one year of constant and varying loads and strains. And, the students are STILL trying to figure out why. (And, the judges are still scratching their heads as to how to rank them in the competition.)

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  7. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Joe Sxpack works for a living. He knows that he has to produce in order to go home with a paycheck. A scientist who is compensated with federal grants is probably as smart as Joe Sixpack but not necessarily so. The scientist instinctively knows that he needs to justify the federal grants and keep the taxpayer funding so he comes up with theories that tend to justify the initial concept of the grant even if it means fudging a couple of data entries to come up with something nice. Joe Sixpack builds bridges and factories. The scientist in question is nothing but a parasite who counts on taxpayer funding.
     
  8. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    Have you ever thought of what kind of conditions you would live in if we had not developed modern science?

    In the year 1400 prior to modern science:

    If you are today over fifty you would have died by now.

    If you are not related to a noble family or a wealthy urban family, then you are likely a peasant and considered a resource of the land your Lord owns, and breaking your back doing very harsh menial labor that has few mechanical aids to lighten your load.

    If you ever had a broken bone in all likelihood you would have a fairly useless limb as they had no X-rays to see how well a broken bone had been set and it was rather hit and miss. If you broke you leg you would likely be maimed the rest of your life. Professional sports of today would ahve been regarded as insanely risky back then. It is not because of modern medicine.

    If you like eating tomatoes, watermelon, sugar, smoking a cigar, chocolate, coacoa, vanilla, potatoes, pineapples or peanuts you would not have even heard of these things and they were discovered in the Americas, something you have never heard of and would not have ever heard of bec ause no scientists developed acurate ways of measuring longitude and latitude. The Top 10 Foods America Gave the World

    If you like reading in good strong light at night, lol, forget it the light bulb was invented less than tw centuries ago. Forget about the internet, TV, radio, or any other means of electronic communication and all invented based on scientific theory.

    I could go on but the point is, were it not for science and scientists you would be poor, filthy, living in squalor, hungry and miserable for you short, nasty hand-ass-wiping life.

    Personally I think I rather like science. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012

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