Dec 122017

Now, here’s an interesting scholarly journal:

Engineering Studies

What might the articles in “Engineering Studies” be, do you think? Perhaps articles describing engineering projects, like building bridges, skyscrapers, jetliners, rockets? The techniques behind terraforming Venus or filling the Chad Sea? Nope. OK, how about articles describing how engineering is done, how to integrate physical goals with the laws of physics and the realities of economics? What the latest finite element analysis codes are, the most advanced laser measurement systems, the newest thing in pocket protectors? Well, apparently not. Let’s take a look at the current issue, shall we?

Guest Editor’s Introduction: Engineering Masculinities in Water Governance

Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water

Engineering Masculinities: How Higher Education Genders the Water Profession in Peru

Becoming an Engineer or a Lady Engineer: Exploring Professional Performance and Masculinity in Nepal’s Department of Irrigation

Queering Engineers? Using History to Re-think the Associations Between Masculinity and Irrigation Engineering in Peru

Apparently, hydraulic engineering is “masculine.” And apparently “masculinity” is a “thing” in engineering, like “tensile strength.” Who knew.

But if that’s not adequately edifying, take a look at one of the more recent articles published behind their paywall:

Rigor/Us: Building Boundaries and Disciplining Diversity with Standards of Merit

Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. Rigor’s particular role in engineering created conditions for its transfer and adaptation in the recently emergent discipline of engineering education research. ‘Rigorous engineering education research’ and the related ‘evidence-based’ research and practice movement in STEM education have resulted in a proliferation of boundary drawing exercises that mimic those in engineering disciplines, shaping the development of new knowledge and ‘improved’ practice in engineering education. Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.

You think that’s bad, get a load of this. I looked up the journal “Engineering Studies” on wikipedia to see if it had its own listing… it does not. But the *concept* of “engineering studies” does. The description is pretty minimal, weak and bland; at the end, a grand total of two Journals are listed. One is the previously mentioned “Engineering Studies.” The other:

International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace (IJESJP)

Ye gods. The one good thing I can say is that on their website the “current issue” dates back to 2015.

Realistically, it looks like the Social Justice Warrior War On Engineers is minimally backed by dedicated journals. But don’t doubt that they are out there (in all senses of the phrase), and they want to destroy engineering and replace it with… well, it’s difficult to tell, really. If “engineering rigor” is bad and should be done away with, I am faintly interested to find out what they think will actually design a vast arcology that won’t collapse and kill all the Special Lemmings living within. So, you know, less an issue of “concern” than “curiosity,” I suppose…

Sure, they’re silly. Sure, any engineer worth his or her salt will likely shake his or her head at this nonsense, and then get back on the job. The problem, as we’ve seen in the last few years, is that SJWs are getting quite skilled at yelling loud enough, and screaming just the right stuff, that the people in charge will often listen to them and even bend the knee, even if only in the hope of placating them for some peace and quiet. But it’s a disastrous idea to give in so much as a millimeter to these screeching harpies of irrationality. You’d be better off trying to incorporate astrological charts into orbital mechanics, dowsing rods into mining operations, spoon-bending psychics into metallurgy, creationists into biology.

Engineering doesn’t have politics. F=MA doesn’t lean left or right, communist or capitalist, fascist or libertarian. But of course, that doesn’t stop politics from trying to grab hold of every tool imaginable, including engineering. And engineers, even if they are not especially political, should be aware of the creeping insidiousness of invasive politics. They should, to use a word mistreated, misused and now battered into the dirt, be “woke” to what’s going on, if for no other reason than to recognize the SJWs… and then to ignore their screechings. This opinion piece – a rather hyperventilatory bit of Trumpist self-congratulations, admittedly – deals with “conservatives” rather than “engineers,” but the basic message does, I think, apply to engineers and technicians and scientists and all good men and women of reason and conscience.

Woke Conservatives And The Awesome Power Of Not Caring

Recognize the tools and techniques of the anti-engineering SJWs when they come to your place of engineering or engineering education. Recognize them… and then refuse to play along. Nod politely as they yammer, and then, depending on the position of power you have, either:

1: Tell ’em “sure thing,” then go back to what you were doing once they’ve left the room

2: Laugh in their faces and tell ’em your preferred variant of “bite me.”

It’s important to not only prevent them from getting the changes they want, but to also prevent them from damaging *you*. Sometimes that means playing the sap and pretending to care… but then quietly sabotaging their efforts from the inside. If you are a new engineer with a precarious position, standing up in the middle of an all-hands meeting and pointing out out to the company Diversity And Tolerance Compliance Officer that their latest mandate is the dumbest farking thing you’ve ever heard and can we *please* forget this nonsense and get back to work there are deadlines after all, is entirely honest, entirely justified… and stands a good chance of getting you fired. This is not only bad for you, it’s bad for everyone else: it empowers the social justice fascists and cows the rest of the staff. Don’t give them the satisfaction. If you don’t have the power to laugh at their faces… laugh behind their backs.

 Posted by at 10:41 am
  • allen

    HR “you can’t call someone names based on a “protected class”

    me “is white a protected class”

    HR “no”

    me “so last year when a temp called me “el blanco diablo” for asking him to get off his phone and get to work that was ok, but if I called him a “beaner jackass you’re fired” I was breaking this new rule?

    HR silent, evil glare

    • Ulrich Brasche III

      I know that’s how it goes in public schools in California. Even if they get the race wrong, there was no fallout to “hispanic” girls calling a half chinese coworker’s daughter a “stupid white girl”. Apparently Chinese isn’t a protected class anymore

      • Peter Hanely

        It’s a hierarchy. A person of European decent calling the Chinese girl a nasty name would get in trouble. Apparently the more violent people of a racial group get when insulted, the higher they rate.

  • Knigh26

    Wow, some serious stupidity here. Engineering is neutral, it doesn’t care about your race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc… Engineering and engineers only care if you can do the work, and that your numbers are correct. I have some great funny stories about this from college.
    For now I will share this one on how we dealt with the cause heads:
    The old Aero/Mech building had a small RTG in the basement that powered a fridge and the light in the room, when the building was torn down that was moved the main engineering building. Well, some PC Goon heard about the reactor and with a few of their anti-nuke causehead friends came to the NEW Aero/Mech building to protest. Seeing this, i went over to talk to them and find out what was going on.
    Me: “Excuse me, why are you protesting?”
    PCG: “We’re here protesting the nuclear reactor on campus, it’s not safe.”
    Knowing full well what he meant, but not feeling up to correcting him I dug into my backpack and pulled out a rubber ball I got from Raytheon at the latest career fair. When bounced it would light up, typical swag. “What are you talking about? Our mini reactors are extremely safe.” I hold up the ball. “See, they’re encased in these rubber shells that keep the components safe, then we just plug them into their docks to power our experiments.”
    PCG and his friend’s eyes go wide. “You can’t be serious.”
    Me: “Oh yeah, Raytheon has us working on the project for them, it’s awesome, great funding. And see,” I bounce the ball. “Perfectly safe.” My eyes go wide and I stare at the blinking lights. “Oh shit.”
    PCG: “What? What is it?”
    Me: “I’ve never seen the lights blink red like that,” I wave over a buddy who I know has the same ball. “John, John, have you ever seen your reactor light up like this?”
    John catches on quick, takes the ball and looks it over. “No, what did you do?”
    Me: “I just bounced it to show theses guys how safe it was.”
    John hands back my ball and pulls out his own. “Wierd, I just had mine powering the coffee maker upstairs.” He bounces his ball, the lights come on. “Oh shit, red lights.”
    The PCG and causeheads are starting to lose their shit at this point when another engineering student walks up. “Guys, what the hell? Those are red lights, you need to get those to the meltdown pit, now, didn’t you get the memo?!”
    At this point the PCG and Causeheads run off, afraid of a nuclear meltdown. The only fallout of this was that the next morning we got a talking to by the Dept head. Mind you, he couldn’t help but laugh when we explained what happened.

    • se jones

      Hey Scott:
      betcha didn’t know there was an operating nuclear reactor across the freeway from you when you worked for Bob in Lakewood. The USGS keeps a low profile on it, else the nuts in Boulder would loose their little minds.

      • Scottlowther

        I have a faint, vague memory of hearing something about that. Could be conflating something about Rocky Flats, though. An actual reactor or an RTG? Power generation, or just “hey, neato, fission?”

        • se jones

          It’s an actual light water reactor that puts out about a MW thermal steady state. It’s a neutron and gamma source for spectroscopy, isotope production, materials analysis and fission track dating. With fission track dating, you intentionally activate heavy isotopes in the sample then slice & chemically etch the sample to see the decay tracks.

          My better half is a scientist at the USBR over there, so she managed to get me in for a private tour of the thing. Everyone of our stripe should get to see Cherenkov radiation with bare eyes, it’s mesmerizing.

          Man does not behold the face of the Gorgon and live.

          • Scottlowther

            Spiffy. I’ll have to keep an eye on ebay, see if one of these things comes up.

  • Siergen

    Everyone knows that rockets are all long, thin cylinders is due to the engineers seeking flaunt their male privilege via gigantic phallic symbols… 😉

    • sferrin

      And most of them are painted white. You know, for that extra bit of white priviledge.

  • Herp McDerp

    Sweet Jebus! These folks apparently had access to the full “Rigor/Us” paper, and it’s even worse than the abstract:

    “One of rigor’s purposes is, to put it bluntly, a thinly veiled assertion of white male (hetero)sexuality,” she writes, explaining that rigor “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations—and links to masculinity in particular—are undeniable.”

    She reminds me of the joke about a mental patient who, after being given a Rorschach test, asked if he could take home the dirty pictures.

    • Earl Nicholson

      I didn’t know savage beatings could make you hallucinate porn.

  • Ulrich Brasche III

    so, working hard is a male problem? so rather than expect women to work hard, these “studies” think everyone should sit around and what, complain more?

    • Scottlowther

      Think about it. “Complaining” has worked magnificently for them for several decades now. It’s what they’ve grown up with, and it has proven to be a successful strategy in many of their endeavors. So why *wouldn’t* they assume it’s a universally successful approach?

      • publiusr

        What you do is out-liberal them.

        Say yes–you’re right. Had FDR not been in office, we wouldn’t have TVA–the wetlands would be in better shape–and the axis powers, having won WWII, would really do a number on overpopulation–so we can start tearing down FDR statues when now?

        Give this to the New Dealers if nothing else.–Some fools like this start piping up during the war effort–they might just get a taste of an M-1 Garand rifle butt upside the backs of their head like they deserve.

  • You can survive an attack by an SJW. And they will attack, if you do not enthusiastically join in their hivemind:

  • DudeAbiding

    There are some sick mofos in academia. Unfortunately, there are people paying to be taught by them.
    They are working hard to fulfill every negative stereotype out there. Except it turns out the stereotypes may not be that inaccurate. Here we have a woman academic preaching (yes preaching) that hard work, accuracy and accomplishment are bad things. Imagine that.