Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 17, 2013

Email: Who told you engineers don’t start companies?

Now you’re just trolling. I refuse to believe you don’t know of any
companies started and run by engineers, because I know of at least a

What I don’t understand is why you insist on saying things that are
factually wrong and then keep beating that horse. Now you’re trying to
change the subject to be about my ego or something.

Here’s the simple fact:

You said there is zero demand for mathematicians’ services. That is
objectively false. You then denied you said that. I then quoted you,
showing you were wrong again.

I don’t know why people with STEM degrees bother you to the point that
you have to make up absurd, false claims like “engineers always work
for someone else” or “there’s no demand for mathematicians’ services.”
Did an engineer kill your parents or something?

And it really, really seems to upset you that anyone who doesn’t start
a company dares to think of himself as intelligent or, even worse, has
the audacity to enjoy his job and his life. If you despise us
pencil-necked geeks so much, why do you care what we think so much?
Just enjoy your millions of dollars that you made from all your
successful start-ups and give it a rest.

You’re protesting too much. It makes me wonder what else is going on.

I’m actually a few semesters away from a STEM degree. I wanted a worldwide marketable skill in case the US goes under or something like that. There is certainly a haughtiness I detect among engineering students. The familiar patterns tend to be “I’m gonna get all this money starting at X amount…” to “Look at all these math classes I took. I am super incredible smart!” So when I hear the ‘money’ line, I state, “You will only get as much money as the company allows you to have.” This is a true statement, and I do not see any offense in such a comment. Interestingly, the engineering students become enraged when I say it. Perhaps it is because it is reminding them that the company still is in control of their destiny? There is nothing wrong for shooting for that high wage, but it is important to remember the reason why the company is choosing to pay you for that. Of course, the people on the top will always make more than the ‘talent’. The guy who owns the radio station will make more than the ‘talent’.

I know someone who is going for his Computer Science degree. He goes on and on into detail about his math classes. So I pipe up and say, “Math is the easiest thing in the world. It’s very relaxing because it is so absolute. Benjamin Franklin used to do math to relax. Most of our video games revolve around mathematical problem solving from the users.” And sometimes I go into more detail: “Philosophy came before math. Math is the absolution of philosophy. The ancient guys saw no difference between math and philosophy or even math and music. It was all one of the same.” His face falls. The reason why is because he isn’t really talking about math classes he’s taking, he’s throwing his math classes in people’s face as if he were screaming, “Look at me! I am soooo intelligent! OMG, look at me!” I just pour cold water on it.

I find college to be a waste of time and money. The only purpose for it is to show to businesses that you are trainable (a degree is a type of certification).

I suppose I can see why you’d think I’m belittling college junkies, STEM degrees, or something of that nature, but I am not. I do think the STEM degree is far more worth it over other types of degrees (such as the Fine Arts degrees). But when I walk by and see a STEM degree person mocking the, say, English degree person, I speak up. Just because someone knows math doesn’t mean his poop is of higher quality than other people’s poop. I know an English degree person who took a very high paying job at Chevron for writing Tech-Manuals. Engineers aren’t known for their writing skills. Listening to one college graduate express superiority over another college graduate is like one peasant expressing superiority over another peasant. You’re all wrong because you all are peasants! Until you own your own life, you will still be at risk for having your financial future controlled by someone else. Keep in mind I still haven’t fully got to full financial control for myself, so I am still in the peasant sandbox with everyone else. At least I know I’m in the peasant sandbox.

Absolution is a personality element necessary for engineers and mathematicians. Things must be absolute. There is a scene from Hamlet where Shakespeare mocks the absolute guy. This is when Hamlet meets the grave digger:


I will speak to this fellow. Whose
grave’s this, sirrah?

First Clown

Mine, sir.

O, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.


I think it be thine, indeed; for thou liest in’t.

First Clown

You lie out on’t, sir, and therefore it is not
yours: for my part, I do not lie in’t, and yet it is mine.


‘Thou dost lie in’t, to be in’t and say it is thine:
’tis for the dead, not for the quick; therefore thou liest.

First Clown

‘Tis a quick lie, sir; ’twill away gain, from me to


What man dost thou dig it for?

First Clown

For no man, sir.


What woman, then?

First Clown

For none, neither.


Who is to be buried in’t?

First Clown

One that was a woman, sir; but, rest her soul, she’s dead.


How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the
card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord,
Horatio, these three years I have taken a note of
it; the age is grown so picked that the toe of the
peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he
gaffs his kibe.

Emailer, you’re using absolution as a club with my quote. Intellectual property has been greatly cheapened by the computer revolution, intellectual labor has also been cheapened. The point is that mathematical skill will not save a person from the disruption storm of automation. Even lawyers are surprised to discover they are on the wrong side of automation.

The larger point is to go back to what Innosight said about the economic collapse in 2008. They said it was not a ‘Great Recession’ but a ‘Great Disruption’. They said that the jobs going away are never coming back because things are being re-organized in the economy. Many years later, I can see this being the case. When we look at the history of the US economy over centuries, there have been periods of ‘great re-organization’.

Remember how I’ve said that so many people during the Great Depression got wealthy because they defied the fear mentality of the masses during that time period? I think we’re in a similar environment. There is one major investor I know who is betting big on America and shorting countries like China. He sees America ready to pop again in another large massive economic boom. I find this investor very interesting because his optimistic voice is very different from the ‘gloom and doom’ of the masses at present. Perhaps he is right.

I do think by the time the Ninth Generation of Game Consoles come around, the economy will be more on an upswing (except for Japan which faces serious demographic issues).


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