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Engineers are tools Tue, Mar 07, 2017
I'm an engineer, and people sometimes like to point out how engineers created things like the atomic bomb and hydraulic fracking.  You know, the bad things.  I don't need to point out that engineers have created good things too, like jet engines and artificial body parts. 

What I do want to acknowledge is that engineers are simply tools.  They solve problems by creating or fixing or enabling or removing something.  They're like a hammer or a screw driver.  Is a tool inherently capable of amazing or terrible things?  No.  It simply does the job it was asked to do.  That doesn't mean engineers are completely free from blame or responsibility.  But it at least adds some perspective. 

In a similar vein, tools are capable of nearly anything.  Or more accurately, there is a tool for every job.  I have a tendency towards pessimism, so I usually have to tell people their ideas are impossible to achieve in the allotted time and for the budgeted price.  One of my colleagues likes to put it another way:  "With enough money and time, literally anything is possible." #science

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