Philosophy of Engineering

Ever want to ask a real life astronaut a question? Here’s your chance!

Astronaut Jeanette Epps will be taking your questions in an Answer Time session on Friday, May 5 from 10am - 11am ET here on NASA’s Tumblr. See the questions she’s answered by visiting nasa.tumblr.com/tagged/answertime!

NASA astronaut Jeanette J. Epps (Ph.D.) was selected as an astronaut in 2009. She has been assigned to her first spaceflight, which is scheduled to launch in May 2018. Her training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalk training, robotics, T‐38 flight training and wilderness survival training.

Before becoming an astronaut, Epps worked as a Technical Intelligence Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Born in Syracuse, New York. Enjoys traveling, reading, running, mentoring, scuba diving and family.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from LeMoyne College, as well as a Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland. 

Follow Jeanette on Twitter at @Astro_Jeanette and follow NASA on Tumblr for your regular dose of space.

Midheavens- Sign on the Tenth House Cusp.

Aries- Law enforcement/forces/Protecting vulnerable people/anything active that causes adrenaline.

Taurus- Finance/economics/business/gardening/conservation. Then on the other hand, anything creative such as writing/art.

Gemini-  Creativity/Humour/Languages/Communications/Media/Journalism.

Cancer-  Healing/psychology/creativity/vulnerable people/children.

Leo-  Could go into entertainment, theatre, working with vulnerable people, law, humanitarianism.

Virgo- Any serving job/healthcare/assisting/something where patience and care is needed.

Libra- Law/mediating/communications/creativity/aesthetics.

Scorpio- Psychology/Criminology/researcher/journalism/therapy.

Sagittarius- Teaching/Comedy/philosophy/science/researcher.

Capricorn- Business/economics/politics/finance/collective causes.

Aquarius-  Science, engineering, philosophy, politics, humanitarianism, law, yet they can also seek unusual status paths in life.

Pisces-  Metaphysical/healing/spiritual practices. Or anything creative actually.

6

Some things can’t be mass-produced.

Mercedes-AMG One man, one engine.

From the beginning, the “One Man, One Engine” philosophy has guided Mercedes-AMG’s approach to manufacturing. Even now, every Mercedes-AMG and Pagani engine is hand built from start to finish by one Mercedes-AMG master engine builder in a special facility.

As the final step in the assembly process, the engine builder affixes a plaque engraved with his signature to the engine cover. It’s an enduring reminder that even the heart of an Mercedes-AMG and Pagani has a heart and soul.

Thank you very much to all the customers, AMG, Pagani and Mercedes-Benz fans worldwide that share the passion and love for my work here on Instagram. It is a mental feeling for me to see your support! You are the best!
Mercedes-AMG One man, one engine Handcrafted by Michael Kübler @f1mike28 in Germany Affalterbach.
Driving Performance is our Passion! Mercedes-AMG the Performance and Sports Car Brand from Mercedes-Benz and Exclusive Partner for Pagani Automobili.
Mercedes-AMG Handcrafted by Racers.

2

The Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) was a period in Imperial Chinese history that succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and preceded the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. It is divided into two equally long periods: The Northern Song (960 - 1127), in which they ruled most of central China and the capital was Bianjeng (now Kaifeng), and The Southern Song (1127 - 1279), in which the northern lands were lost to the Jin Dynasty and the capital was moved to Lin’an (now Hangzhou).

Under the Song Dynasty, Chinese culture flourished. The visual arts, philosophy, music, and literature reached great advancements, and due to the heightened amount of printing, there was an enhancement in literacy. Song officials underwent longer educations and stricter examinations than ever before, resulting in higher general education. Even during the Southern Song, in which much of the land had been lost and the Dynasty had been weakened, they managed to bolster their economy and protect themselves against the Jin Dynasty, fx by the establishment of the first permanent Chinese navy and the first use of gunpowder in history. 

During the Song Dynasty unity was preserved, and China rose to become the richest, most skilled and most populated country in the world. The growth in population (doubled from the 10th to the 11th century) was made possible by abundant food surplusses from the expanded rice cultivation. The social life, too, was vibrant with public festivals, private clubs and fine restaurants. Technology, science, philosophy, mathematics, and engineering saw new heights, and philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi revitalized Confucianism into the rising philosophical doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.

The end of the Dynasty came when Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan Dynasty and allegedly a descendant of Genghis Khan, finally crushed Song resistance at the Battle of Yamen on the Pearl River Delta in 1279. Emperor Huaizong, the last Song Emperor, then only eight years old, committed suicide along with 800 members of the royal clan. With the fall of the Song, the Yuan Dynasty became the first dynasty ever to control all of China. 

kingsandqueensnet’s weekly series, week IV: favorite dynasties

The Neverending Struggle
  • Me in a science class: That's cool.
  • ...this is the predominant theory? Is there an alternative theory? How did they arrive at that theory? Were there any dead ends on their road to discovery? Could you write a story about this? Would this make a nice painting? Does this have any philosophical implications? Could you use this in a different field? Now you're just using fancy formulas to sound smart, aren't you? I could write a song about this! This book needs more pictures. Could you prove this with anything other than maths? Are there different types of logic? Could aliens deduce this differently? Yeah, you've proven it, but could you go deeper? I mean, what does this really mean? Yeah, but what if ...
  • ...argh, this needs more culture and sophistication! There aren't enough violins and globes and profound existential questions and stuff!
  • Me in a humanities class: That's cool.
  • ...so you have ten theories about how to define a word? Ten scholars have written about this metaphysical theory we aren't completely sure is even its own field? Okay, now you're just making stuff up. Could you actually prove this? Isn't this just conjecture? This book needs more logic. This theory needs some solid ground to stand on. Could you prove this with maths? Now you're just using fancy words to sound smart, aren't you? How many books can you write about this book? Didn't you just say this was an outdated idea? Why are you going deeper when you haven't even proven it yet? How many different phrases with slightly different meanings are you going to use? I mean, what does this really mean? Yeah, but what if...
  • ...argh, this needs more precision and logic! There aren't enough proofs and experiments and profound universal questions and stuff!
College Majors

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4

What all the harassment stories in astronomy really mean

“The real story — the one you’re only seeing the beginning of — is that for the first time, these actions are getting the attention they deserve for what they truly are: unacceptable. A senior scientist’s right to control the fate, behavior, personal space and even the bodies of junior scientists is no longer going to fly. Creating a work environment that’s comfortable for some and less accessible to others based on gender, race, sexual orientation or identity has been the norm for a very long time, but all of that is changing.”

Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they’ve done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has a harassment problem? Of course it does, but that’s not the real story. The real story is that, for the first time, an entire academic field is recognizing a widespread problem, taking steps to change its policies, and is beginning to support the victims, rather than the senior, more famous, more prestigious perpetrators. Astronomy is the just start; hopefully physics, computer science, engineering, philosophy and economics are next.

Expectations can kill a simple man

Does Kuhn’s story of the exemplar mechanism apply as well to engineering as it applies to pure science? Interestingly, in an article entitled ‘The Essential Tension’ in a book of the same title, Kuhn himself suggested not. In so doing, Kuhn inverted common stereotypes of scientists and engineers. The common stereotype of the pure scientist is a kind of Einstein figure, wildly intelligent and unconventional, full of new ideas that come from nowhere. The common stereotype of the engineer is rather different, of someone earnest and hard-working, but much more intellectually conservative. Kuhn proposed that the truth has in a way to be the opposite of this, because it is the pure scientist who can very often afford to be intellectually conservative and it is the engineer who must sometimes be unconventional. The reason the scientist can afford to be conservative is because she gets to choose her own problems. So she can use the exemplar mechanism as a mechanism of problem selection. She can choose new problems which seem to her to be similar to the problem that she has already solved, so she can afford to be conservative in the techniques that she applies to solve those new problems. Engineers, by contrast, have their problems imposed from without, as argued earlier. So they have no reason to suppose that the problems they have to solve will be all that similar to the problems they have already solved. It is therefore the engineer who may have to be more adventurous, and more of an intellectual opportunist. The exemplar mechanism will have less force and power for the engineer, therefore, than for the pure scientist. And we might expect that the dramatic contrast that Kuhn finds between normal and revolutionary science is considerably attenuated in the case of engineering, in part because, if Kuhn’s suggestion is along the right lines then ‘normal’ engineering is more revolutionary and ‘revolutionary’ engineering more normal than those periods are in pure science.
—  Peter Lipton, Engineering and Truth
Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance. Microbiological threats will increase as our traditional techniques of anti-microbial defense lead to greater and greater resistances, and to thwart these we must discover new approaches to medical treatment, which we can afford, and implement in ways that incite compliance and good health. The many rich and varied human cultures of the earth will continue to mix, more rapidly than they ever have, through mass population movements and unprecedented information exchange, and to preserve social harmony we need to discover new cultural referents, practices, and environments of cultural exchange. In such conditions the futures of law, medicine, philosophy, engineering, and agriculture – with just about every other field – are to be rediscovered. Americans need to learn how to discover.
College Majors translated into GIF's

The Sports Education

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Art and Design

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Geography

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Journalism

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Corporate Sciences

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Music Production

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IT (computing)

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Nursing

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Law

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Psychology

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Computer Science

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Math

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Medicine

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Architecture

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Biological Sciences

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Secretarial Services

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Audiovisual

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Philosophy

Educational Sciences

Engineering

Chemistry

Linguistics

Physics

Astronomy

International Studies