Tinkering Toward a Better Future

Posted 5 years ago by Adam Gautsch

Chandrakant Patel, Director of Sustainable Ecosystem Lab at HP Labs, makes his case that we need more engineers that are willing to tinker and experiment.

To meet the challenges of today’s changing world, I believe it is appropriate to consider the advantages of those tinkering days, when engineering was a vocation that seemed uniquely suited to Americans. The U.S. achieved great things through its mid-century engineering and technology education, and the critical infrastructure challenges we face now suggest we could learn from those day

I agree.

2 Comments

Nobrainer ~ 5 years ago

I really don't agree with him. He's just an example of someone living in the past.

He acts like today's challenges aren't being addressed. This is complete BS. They're not all being solved tomorrow, but major progress is being made in practically every aspect of modern living, from bridge design to metal working.

Today's tinkerers are just tinkering with different things, just as the tinkerers of 40 years ago weren't tinkering with the same things that were being tinkered with 40 years before that. Nowadays we don't need to tinker with metal works because they can tinker with computer code and learn how to program CNC machines. This point of view is in line with the video you posted from Wolfram a little while ago.

Adam Gautsch ~ 5 years ago

I'll defer to your expertise on the engineering side of things, but from where I stand there seems to be a strong tinker/ hacker community on the software side and much less of one on the hardware/ building actual stuff side.

I get your belief that things can be solved in software, but I'm also a firm believer that physical world of problem solving is also very important and an art that's being lost.

Not to get too self-aware robots must be stopped on you. But the people are getting more and more removed from the technology they use. Everything needs a software layer and GUI and that need, I believe, dumbs people up.

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