Canada's Industry Minister admits we are "just not good enough" compared to the rest of the world when using technology.
Tony Clement announced Monday that we need to re-examine the way we approach technology. He released a plan to improve our "digital economy," or technology's impact on how we work.
I actually read through that discussion paper, and found it somewhat depressing. It seemed to be a justification of the CRTC and Draconian Copyright Legislation.
It felt very Canadianish to me.
Right now I am immersed with relatives trying to find jobs as engineers. They all took the step of working for a co-op year as a Bureaucratic Engineer (in-house corporate engineer). One asked around all the other engineers and asked if this was good to get into. To a man, they all had a Dilbert Hull Breach, and said 'Run Away'. 'Get into Management'. 'Do something else!'
I can see why. One had the most tedious job of checking quality control for military aircraft systems. Now, we all know this stuff was made in the 80's and has never been changed since! They use discrete diodes that nobody makes anymore, except a few artisan shops. But the bureaucratic layers are so thick, that no change can be made! Same for nuclear plants! The theory is to stick with the 'tried and true'.
In order to do this, they have very tight specs on their diodes, but nobody can have tight tolerances in small batches. Also, the job is so mind-numbing that all the brains have left, and everybody is asleep! So guess what happens?
That's right! People do the natural thing and start to diddle the paperwork. Let's get some cheap Mongolian diodes, and 'relabel' them. They have a 25% tolerance, but we'll call it 5%. We call these 'counterfeit parts', and some very big companies have been involved. The US military is infested with this, and this poor engineer's job was to check all the paperwork to find these parts. Yuck!
But I digress. The big problem is that bureaucracy penetrates too far down to the technical level. Do you think that e-health will ever work? Is anybody going to bother the phone cartel? Is the Niagara Tunnel a happy thing?
All the smart engineers are becoming lawyers or management consultants. Who wants to be a Bureaucratic Engineer?