The Second Version

14/11/08

Specifications For Politicians

In engineering, it is often necessary to choose the appropriate components for a complex system - where the system can be more or less anything.

Usually, the process begins with identifying the purpose of a particular component in the system, the loads and other forces/conditions it will be subjected to, and what can happen if the component fails (in various modes).

Only then it is possible to determine the specifications of the component, and either purchase one that meets or exceeds them or have a component purposely built (the third option is to revise system performance to meet the specifications of available components).

In less words, before looking at the specifications of a component one has to know what that component is required to do.

It makes no sense to use a computer optimized for gaming as network server, especially where sensitive data are treated; likewise there's no need for a high-strength transmission chain in something as trivial as a pedestal fan.

All the talking about who's got what it takes to be President or Vice-President of the USA (and much debating before about Italian elections) made me realize that often the process goes backwards (or, just across) with respect to the engineering field: the specifications of one politician and the other are discussed without much consideration for the requirements of the job.

So, decide what you want from your president first. Do you want him to be a leader, a ruler, one who does nothing? You want a conservative or a progressive? A guy who looks well in the company of effete intellectuals (maybe of the Euro-socialist variety) or one who'd fit better among farmers on the frontier?

Different requirements, differents specifications.

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