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10/21/05 08:52 AM
Does Engineering Matter and is Free Trade Really Free? Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Does Engineering Matter and is Free Trade Really Free?

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10/22/05 04:09 AM
Annonymous new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

A country with No Engineers No Machinists No Draftsmen No Architects No . . . A country with No manufacturing base Is a house with No foundation View the Big Box Mart video

10/23/05 11:53 AM
Misconceptions new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Patent law very basic knowledge: I. patent law = territorial principle. Of course there is a Chinese PTO and you can get a Chinese patent there. US patents have no value in the rest of the world unless you apply for the same patent worldwide. II. US patents <> patents for Americans Us patents = patents for the US market. Chinese inventors may get US patents. III. Once the US imports Chinese goods US patents apply. IV. Patents are bad for a free market as Hayek told us. V. You cannot use them as a non-tarific trade barrier.

10/23/05 11:14 PM
Well said new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Right on!! It seems to be clear that there is a growing divide in this country, not between the people, but between the people and the government. This essay clarifies exactly what is going on in a general way, and it's time voters turned off the networks and newspapers and started realizing what's happening to them. Our own government is destroying us. It's time we took it back and started actually enforcing the constitution ourselves. Ken Sauter

10/23/05 11:39 PM
'Does Engineering Matter and is Free Trade Really Free?' new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Hooray! someone that makes sense!. Unfortunately, the problem is the people who make these laws and the celebrities that back them don't have to live with the consequences of their actions. They live in such a closed bubble, that they might as well live on another planet. If we could get a organized group of engineers to make a law to ban horseback riding, or something that hits THEM where they live, then maybe we got something.

10/26/05 12:49 AM
Buy cheap & your standards lower new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Great arguments, Steve. Had an inkling it was you when the first "crane" was mentioned. :^) The fallacy of buying cheap imports at the dollarbill store, mallwart, etc, is that eventually our own standard of living will lower to meet that of the cheap goods. No one except "captains of (new) industry" will be making a decent wage (no goods to produce & only part time sales positions at cheapo stores) and be able to afford anything except more cheap goods. Is there hope? YES! Tons of skilled work is required to produce our energy independance using clean renewable sources - this can also produce our job independance. Solar, PV, wind, biodiesel, etc, all need to be produced locally and used locally. This requires local skills and trades. It also requires a committment from gov'mnt - ah - there's the rub. Are the politicos ready for an "Apollo project" for clean, renewable energy independance? Plenty of workers probably are.

10/27/05 01:43 AM
Free trade is really free when those who build .. new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Free trade is really free when those who build the best for the best price sell the most. We in the US, for instance with autos imosed trade restrictions in the early 80's at the same time we were building piles of junk with people who getting paid 27.00 hour plus exorbatant benifits for the consumer, consequently the Japanese easily came into this country and built actual quality autos with non-union labor and have done nothing but continue to kick our collective butts. Where are those of us designing gizillion mile per gallon cars here? Where are those of us designing non-military (and maybe even that is becoming questionable) consumer goods that are so overwhelmingly better than those coming in from overseas that people will buy them for the prices that are incurred here? Whining doesn't put food in ones mouth, work does. Joseph Crenshaw Mechanical Engr. Dallas, Texas

10/27/05 02:44 AM
I agree but... new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I think the gist of the argument is that engineering is taking a back seat when compared to profits. that may be true but isn't the comparison faulty? It is capitalism which enabled the rise of industrial and technological development and it is the same capitalism which is dictating todays trends. I think a mistake is being made when it is assumed that engineering growth in the late 20th century in US was solely driven by a quest for engineering excellence. The enterprise is basically looking for oppurtunities to fill a need and simultaneously be profitable. So events progress in such a way that the product of these two factors remain more or less constant. So make your conclusions..

10/31/05 02:37 AM
engineers need to become nimble new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Great article. But it doesn't address a couple of key areas. Engineering, engineers are key. It does matter and here's why. Firstly, any country trying to compete on the global market has to have enough electricity to compete. This means that the country has to build the infrastructure to have enough electricity. And that means raw materials to create the electricity, or nuclear power - a commodity that is tightly controlled. Hold that thought: For 'western' engineers to survive I truly believe that each engineer needs to apply his (proven) problem solving skills in different directions - without waiting for the major employers, major corporations or government to give approval. I don't believe self-sustaining sources of energy will come out of an initiative by the government, nor from the fuel companies who right now are gaining yet larger profits quarter over quarter by keeping everyone reliant on fossil fuels. The innovations have to come from within - from engineers who set out to independently solve a problem. Engineers are some fo the coolest people on earth - give them a problem and they will work to solve it! So get savvy. get active and go out and solve your own problems - because no one else will do it for you. Preferably, invent a self-sustaining source of energy, so that those other countries can access electricity, and then we can have a truly global market where everyone is on an even playing field. Call me an idealist. I am. I also try to see reality and realize that waiting for 'permission', waiting for someone else to fix something, does nothing for the average 'you and me' in the street.

10/31/05 07:25 PM
Product Design and Engineering new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

This article describes very well certain problems occurring in part of the western world, including the Netherlands from where I am sending this. Therefore I rated it with 4 stars. All of us have to go for 5 stars, however, and in my humble opinion I have some ideas which might contribute. Questions we need good answers to: what can we do, what should we do, what better way to deal with the situation than by our own (industrial) strength? Many say that we have to move from products to services. But even if this would be fully true, how do these services reach us? Most consumers wouldn't want to give up their flatscreen TV, laptop, iPod or mobile phone, which enable these services. So we do need products. Consumer needs, both known and latent, should be the primary driver for product development. If this fails, or the communication about it fails, then the story ends here. "Consumer" may of course also be a business, such as an airline, a retail shop, etc., etc. The next step is to realize the products. A trivial prerequisite is that it can be done with profitable business activity. The text below is quoted from experts and applicable to my field which I would best describe as design for product realization, specifically with plastics. The philosophy behind these quotes, however, is generally applicable in my view. * A multidisciplinary team is fully involved and committed from the earliest design stages until full-scale production and beyond (you need to have an answer to end-of-life issues too, regardless of your opinion about them). * During product design and development there will be detailed discussions between different team members, each of them entering others persons' fields of expertise: tear down those remaining walls between departments and between companies! * Stay up to date on new technological developments, innovative materials, etc., actively search for their (potential) benefits, translate these into product design opportunities, and then compare all alternative solutions before choosing. If you decide to stick to the old way, this decision should be based on such a comparison, and not on incomplete infomation or on the desire to avoid risks associated with new conceptions. * Tool making starts at the same time as product design (this is definitely needed for realization of plastics injection molded products, but the idea behind it should apply to other activities too). It is easy to list a few dozens of such quotes and I will gladly supply the sources to anyone interested. But do all industries work this way? Of course, no one ever said it will be easy, any change will appear to be disturbing, and errors are possible in a change process. If you don't want product development and manufacturing to move away from you, then make sure to offer a better alternative to the persons taking care of financing! I would welcome any critical comment on the above. Sincerely, Rolf

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