Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Autobiography of Sam Smith - 6

I, Sam Smith, and not that other guy, continue to throw these notes away and he goes dumpster diving.  This story is basically going to "Rise and Fall of Camelot", and to get to it, we have to mention scaling laws.

So, when MrBig in the superhero movies aims his BigGun at a little spider, it grows to the size of a house and threatens the heroes.  In reality, the spider collapses into a pile of goo.  That's because the volume goes up as x-cubed (along with weight), and strength only goes up as x-squared.  Very sad for movie stories, and that's why I can never watch them.  This is deftly handled by stress analysis for building nuclear plants.  What is generally not known is that lots of other physics has scaling laws, including heat conduction, and fluid dynamics.

So, here we had an unbelievable amount of intellectual talent, and free money, coping with the Grand Stupidity of commands from up high.  This was the basis of Camelots throughout history, including MASH, and, now, Silicon Valley.  They always rise and fall.  They always fall when Greed and Stupidity penetrate the inner workings.

I entered Camelot in 1979.  Our manager was the kindly Merl, who got his stripes building the Seaway, and various dam power projects.  For some reason he never liked me, but he had the intellectual weight of a tissue.  He was propped up by my section head, Chas, who was a geotechnical, intellectual super-weight.  I was glad I was up there enough to talk to him.  He was King Arthur, and I was some lowly guy that nobody remembers.  We were lucky that we could still lead the fight against the Grand Stupidity, by sheer intellectual purism.  The other disciplines were not so lucky.  They had to 'compromise' with reality, and were totally corrupt.  It's like the bigs at vw saying "Make those diesels pass or we'll kill you."  Bright people could leave, but the remaining dummies had to 'compromise'.

ps.  I really have to stop now, because the people I most want to make fun of are still kicking.

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