Seems the Almighty Hand of Mod shut down the last thread for *insert arbitrary reason here*, so here's part 2. I'll start.
Sent to me by my dad last night. Pretty scary just how accurate this really is.
ENGINEERS AND SOCIAL SKILLS
Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction.
"Normal" people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:
* Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation
* Important social contacts
* A feeling of connectedness with other humans
In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:
* Get it over with as soon as possible.
* Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.
* Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.
FASCINATION WITH GADGETS
To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories:
(1) Things that need to be fixed.
(2) Things that will need to be fixed after you've had a few minutes to play with them.
Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Normal people don't understand this concept; they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet. No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.
FASHION AND APPEARANCE
Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no private parts or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.
LOVE OF "STAR TREK"
Engineers love all of the "Star Trek" television shows and movies. It's a small wonder, since the engineers on the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even mating with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real social life of an engineer.
DATING AND SOCIAL LIFE
Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.
Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it's true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have high-paying jobs long before they start dating.
Male engineers reach their peak of physical attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of irresistible men in technical professions:
* Bill Gates.
Female engineers become irresistible to male engineers at the age of consent and remain that way until, oh, about their clinical death.
Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't handle the truth.
Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them. The complete list of engineer lies is listed below.
* "I won't change anything without asking you first."
* "I'll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow."
* "I have to have new equipment to do my job."
* "I'm not jealous of your new computer."
Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, "How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?"
POWERS OF CONCENTRATION
If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.
Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it's a big deal or something.
EXAMPLES OF BAD PRESS FOR ENGINEERS
* Space Shuttle Challenger.
* SPANet (tm)
* Hubble space telescope.
* Apollo 13.
* Ford Pinto.
The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:
* RISK: Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.
* REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.
Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain. If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defense: "It's technically possible but it will cost too much."
Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:
* How smart they are.
* How many cool devices they own.
The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it's solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal -- a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.
Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem. (Other times just because they forgot.) And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than anything else.
"Sometimes it is necessary to shoot the engineers and begin the project" was a framed saying over one of my boss's desk. But Iíve found the reverse to be true: You have to shoot the engineers to get them to turn loose of their favorite projects and get them into production.
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