Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Engineer Says 'Enough'

James Taranto ran an item on Thomas Friedman's bizarre views on government regulation. He called the item Gas Heads to $19.84 a Gallon. The final sentence in that piece said

Such a massive exercise of government control over the economy is "cost effective" only in the sense that ignorance is strength and slavery is freedom.
He got a comment in response from reader Bruce Anderson (it's here — scroll down to "An Engineer Says 'Enough'") that I think deserves wider distribution. Bruce's comment is
Have you noticed that the people shouting loudest to make developing oil fields impossible, to tax gasoline to astronomical levels, and to have government subsidized "Manhattan Projects" to create the breakthroughs in solar, wind, waves, bio-mass, etc., are the same people who did not take the math, science and engineering courses in college? Despite their profound ignorance in these subjects, they are sure that creating enough pain will cause those of us who did grind away in these fields for all these years to suddenly have that amazing insight which will let us repeal the third law of thermodynamics. Their core belief is that genius comes forth when misery is piled sufficiently high. Why don't we announce the oil industry is going to build offshore "tire inflation" platforms and put some "auto tune-up centers" in ANWR for good measure, and just go about our business, with these airheads never the wiser?
There is a definite frustration inherent in technical decisions being made by the technically illiterate.

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