Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Canadian Ferguson

With the going on in Ferguson, with the shooting of Brown and no indictment, we individuals must take a good look at the police and recognize what is going on. They are tyrants, similar to the Black and Tans, the thugs that terrorized Ireland in the early part of the last century. I recall a experiment called the Stanford Prison Experiment by the psychology department.  The "guards" became brutal. That is the thinking of today's police force in general, and of some of the officers of our own RCMP. Their "dirty tricks" has cost their reputation, to the point that they are feared, not respected.

The other day, one car with two officers sat blocking left turns and through traffic at a stop sign. Anyone who turned right without a full stop along side of the police car got a ticket. Never mind that they had been stopped for five minutes behind the police car, before deciding the only way to proceed was to turn right, even though they did not want to.  And then approach each car they stop with a hand on their gun. A bit nervous to be cops.As soon as they ticketed, they were back, sitting in the way. Creating a situation, with which the traffic must deal. Anyone who drove around them got chased and ticketed.For those who are old enough, Hazard County, may come to mind.

And then the speed gun cop hiding behind a island sign, and a sandwich board? Nisku. Or the dinosaur nest speed choke of Beaumont? It is the RCMP that gets the reputation, even if it is the dinosaurs of Beaumont that cause the issue.

Tyrants, yes. We know from Socrates work that tyrants exist, and there is no way for an individual to deal effectively with tyrants. Ferguson is an example of open rebellion, and the coming state of our world, unless the police change there ways. But it is not only the cops that need a mental upgrade. The citizens need to respect the police, but that will not happen until the police change their attitudes and processes. First, they need to separate the traffic and minor stuff from the heavy criminal offenses, and create two separate system police systems to deal. Then the serious crime can be deal with without the hassle of petty shit and traffic.  There are many police personalities that become the tyrants of the Stanford Prison Experiment, and when they do, they should be turfed out of the force. No pension, no transition pay, just terminated.

I was not, I was, I will not be, It matters not.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What's in the future?

What is in the future?

The short answer... I do not know.

Well what do you want to do?

Well nothing much, I have everything I need, and I am trying to let go of desires. Desires derive or arise in the primal part of the brain. These are modified or can arise in the unconscious as well. This is where they derive the strength from. Desire for the basics are primal. The drive for food, sex, security, survival, shelter, companionship, and more and more, greed, probably arose on before we became human and make us humans today.  

It is likely those that desired more, spent every waking hour figuring out how to get more, survived better. And now that we have excess, desire is the underlying characteristic of excess that is bringing down our population, obesity wise.  That is why I am trying to give up many desires.

The Amish recognized this problem and put a solution into practice. We have no community anymore, we have specific interest groups which form a part of society and provide our social needs. There solution will not work in a industrial population as we have today.

It needs to provide a solution in the here and now, based on reason and logic or science. Religions cannot provide this. Psychology seems to be a lost cause, they have not figured out how to deal with emotions yet. The only hope is philosophy, not modern philosophy but as the ancients practiced as a philosophy for life. They knew that desires were the root of the problem, as did Buddha, and the religions.

The solution that the ancients suggested was one of displacement. Just keep on doing something. Any thing that is not part of the problem. Just do it. Pick up a cause and work on it. The none food related parts of obesity, and yet these cannot be separated from the food part, for they work together, sort of.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Moral Values in Engineering


"Moral bankruptcy: the state a person reaches when he trades away or violates too many of his core moral values and commitments. He may also lose important relationships either as a cause or consequence of his loss of moral commitments. Someone who is morally bankrupt may or may not recognize that he has reached this state. 
As someone working in moral philosophy, I argue that our deepest moral values and commitments are a crucial part of our self-identity. When a person knows his nonnegotiable moral commitments and the values he holds most dearly, he knows himself in a very important way. He knows his limits and his boundaries. He knows his motivations as well as how he tends to act in situations that require a moral response. "

The forgoing quote is what I felt engineering had become, and then there was the prostitution element. By prostitution I meaning the selling of opinions which matched the clients needs, not necessarily my true opinion. This removed all my passion for the available work. It was time to change when I realized I was morally suffering. That is when I took the step to set up my own company, to be able to choose what I would do and what I would not.

Self-identity is a big issue, but so is making a few bucks. I did not take on any prostitution type clients, however there were a number that requested a geotechnical investigation and did not use the results.  Oh well, shit happens. Most stopped being clients. There were those to who took the report and did whatever, and never called again. It is and was important to do right, regardless of what the client wanted. Clients always want more than there site can deliver. It was cheaper than the adjoining land because it was a swamp that had topsoil fill on it. You bought it without a geotechnical investigation, now you need to live with the cost of development, or sell it and chalk this all up to the cost of education. Doing a less than adequate job of development will reduce the value of the project down the line. If you want a structure that will be good only short term, perhaps you should use someone with more life before retirement. I do not have time to recover before retirement if I get sued for unprofessional conduct.  But then, what is professional? Gambling is not professional engineering, but professional gambling.

We engineers geotechnical typically know what will work, but there is a space between that and what we know will not work. Developers like to keep there cost low, and like to work in the unknown area between these two, but most are gone in two years when the problems start. The problems are for the new owners, the original owners have moved on. There are numerous problem buildings around. Lots of problem yards, parking lots and roadways which have issues. Oh well, I am retired. Most are not my designs that have issues. A few are, but none of these followed my designs. We geotechnicals do not have control over the actual construction. The owners/developers can build as they like, and not follow the plans.  Oh well, shit happens.