I personally have a grudge on these doomsday nutcases. Their overexaggerated tone turn people off to anything that sounds like a doomsday forecast. This is dangerous because normal everyday people can't tell the difference between what's real and what's not. Why do you think people still won't believe in global climate change?
Well, no the news isn't too rosy. But you have to remember human nature. People tend to think in terms of extremes when it comes to things they don't understand. Most people have no idea what radiation is or what radiation sickness entails, much similar to the fact that most people don't know the difference between a viral infection versus a bacterial one. So, they think in terms of extremes.
To most people, a reactor leak is either good or bad. Just like how parents will insist that doctors prescribe anti-biotics to their kids for viral infections. Anti-biotics either works or it doesn't. They don't know or care about the details.
This is why I would rather we let the experts in their respective fields deal with the situation and forego public opinion.
The fukushima situation is far from apocalyptic. But it's not too rosy either. It's somewhere in between. Exactly where that is I will leave it to the experts to decide.
I just hope that the experts not only know what they are doing but that they actually have a workable plan. It does seem that so far their record hasn't been all that great.
Sometimes, it is easy for bystanders like ourselves to criticize without knowing the specifics.
I have a friend who's a financial planner for a major corporation. One time, he told me that one time he overheard someone working at a mcdonalds talking on their lunch break telling his friend that he could perform white collar jobs just as well as these financial planners that you read about on the news. While my friend didn't say anything, he really wanted to say "if it's so easy, why don't you do it?"
I'm an engineer by day and a programmer by night. I have a few programs published and copyrighted. So, I know the challenges that people in some of these professions face. Seems simple to the rest of the world, but it's really not when you're actually doing it.
For example, one time I told someone about this time that in the company I worked at at the time where we knew we made a wrong calculation somewhere but couldn't figure out where. We had every engineer in the department go through line by line the plans to see where it went wrong. Well, it turned out to be a misplaced negative sign. This guy immediately said "that's it? I could have figured that out." I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying "if it's so easy, why don't you do it instead of working as a mover?"
I'm no scientist. And I'm certainly no radiation expert. But I've encountered too many times in my life where normal people belittle my profession that I can appreciate how hard it is for these experts to deal with their respective situations.
Now, the problem comes in when politicians who knew nothing about the subject intervene. It happens all the time in engineering. The most famous example is when Katrina hit. Every inspector said the levee was going to fail. There were groups of engineers who also warned the officials that the levees were very likely to fail in a major storm event. Well, we all know what happened after the officials ignored the warnings of experts.
Now, there is a new problem on the horizon. Every engineering group in the country has been telling everyone that our bridges are due to fail in a few years. And yet what happened when the officials needed to slash budgets to accommodate for tax cuts? They slashed infrastructure budget.
I don't disagree with any of that but the experts put this plant where they did; it looks like the kept it going longer than they should have; we've got radioactive waste well out into the Pacific along with other links still occurring 2 years later.
But that's just it. I'm willing to bet money that the people behind the decision to keep it going longer than it should have were politicians, corporate executives, and capitalists. This is actually the eternal struggle between experts and Mitt Romney.
Again, I have to point to the Katrina incident. Would it be fair to say that the experts were responsible for nothing being done to prevent the levee failure? I say no. It was ultimately the decisions of the politicians and capitalist investors to ignore the engineers and their warnings.
This is why I've always supported the idea that we let the real experts make the ultimate decisions in their respective fields. For example, healthcare and medical decisions should ultimately be done by doctors, not Mitt Romney. Decisions regarding roads and bridges should ultimately be done by engineers, not Mitt Romney. Etc.
It makes no sense that people who know nothing about the respective subject should be making the decisions about it.
A viable system is one where the experts inform the decision makers is often the best one. I certainly don't want the military making all of our use of force decisions.
You misunderstand me. I am certainly not advocating others from outside the said discipline not have a voice.
What I said was the decision should ultimately be made by someone from the said discipline.
When it comes to issues that involve many disciplines, then the person or people who make the final decision should be someone from one of the dominant disciplines involved, not a career politician or corporate head whose only concern is the bottom line.
And yes, I don't deny that I'm naïve. What's your point?
The point is that engineers make mistakes too. You have yet to show that engineers did not make the decisions that let to the locating of the Fukushima reactor, and you've simply assumed without evidence that engineers should be allowed to spend all the money necessary to make New Orleans flood proof.
Hm... I see that this is more of a reading comprehension problem than anything else. I clearly said I was willing to bet money. Betting does not in anyway shape or form imply stating something as fact. If this were the case, Vegas would have gone broke long ago.
I said I was willing to bet money that the ultimate decision behind fukushima reactor that led to the current mess was made by non-engineers because based on my experience engineers don't make the decisions. They design, calculate, etc. and submit their proposals. It's usually the corporate heads and politicians that make the final decisions.
Each of those decisions has financial, economic, and social impact. Why is it only the technical component that you think requires expertise?
Where did I specifically state that it was only the technical component that required expertise? Again, we have a case of reading comprehension problem.
Back when I was fresh out of college, there was going to be floodings in the area. My company sent us out to various areas to help with the flood control efforts.
Here's the thing. Cops and firefighters (zeus bless them) tend to think they know everything. And they tend to have a problem understanding elevation. When we arrived at the scene, we saw that they had already stacked up the sandbags 3 levels up everywhere. Get it? Top of the hill 3 levels up. Bottom of the hill 3 levels up. We tried to talk them out of making it that way and... well you can guess the rest.
I'm no nuclear scientist and I'm certainly no nuclear reactor engineer. But based on my experience of struggles with know-it-all authority figures, I'm willing to bet the same struggles happen everywhere and higher up.
We don't have to look too deep to see politicians not being able to grasp good science. Take the moon base, for example. Everyone in the scientific community knows having a moon base is the stupidest idea for a launch mission to mars. And yet the last 3 presidents have touted it as if we need a moon base in order to explore mars.
This is an evolution vs creation forum, yes? How comfortable are you letting tea party politicians decide to "teach the controversy" or not?