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To: "RFI List" <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] WSJ-BPL
From: "Jim Brown" <jimbrown.enteract@rcn.com>
Reply-to: Jim Brown <jimbrown.enteract@rcn.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 21:54:54 -0600
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
You know the wrong engineers for this sort of assignment. (or maybe the
limitation is in your head).  I'm one of the "right" kind. I'm an
engineer, and I make my living by communicating technical concepts to
non-technical people. (I work as a consultant designing sound systems
for worship and performance spaces.) 

But more to the point, your attitutde and sterotypes are part of the
problem. NOT ALL OF US ARE THE SAME! Some folks I know (or know of) who
are trained in engineering or science) are also very sensitive to the
creative site of the world, and can get onto the same wavelength with
non-technical people. One of our finest living musical orchestrators
(often nominated for Grammies), Bill Holman, was trained as an
engineer.  More than a few serious engineers do sound design for
Broadway shows, and for the broadcast of very musically complex
programs.  Nevil Shute, one of Britain's finest novelists, had a "day
job" as an aeronautical engineer, but wrote some fine novels (including
"On the Beach," one of the most powerful antiwar novels of any time).
He worked during the day in England's war ministry during WWII, and
published a half dozen fine novels during the same time frame. (I've
read them all.) 

Moreover, engineers NEED a far broader education and perspective than
we get in engineering school. Some of us have moved far beyond that (or
were already beyond it when we entered "the engineering discipline."
For example, I was listening to Bach when I was 12 and Coltrane when I
was 17, and I got into ham radio at 14. These disciplines ARE NOT
mutually exclusive! I was also involved with my community theater
group, both as a actor (not very good) and as a technician (better).  I
also know engineers who are very strong in business and the law. 

STOP putting us in convenient pigeon holes to fit your small mind. We,
as human beings, are far more complex than that.  

Jim Brown K9YC

On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:01:13 -0500, Mike Coslo wrote:

>I don't think that the cure is having an engineer do the writing, I 
>believe it is having a writer that knows how to talk to engineers. The 
>engineer by training will profess in his or her field, and at least the 
>ones I know will usually defer to another once the subject matter is not 
>what they have been trained in. Wonderful for engineering, but not for 
>writing. Much better a technically oriented writer that can communicate 
>with the "smart guys".

Jim Brown
Audio Systems Group, Inc.

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