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Friday, July 23, 2010

Al Lee Utters His Opinion

I came across this line and I just had to snip it from an online career piece. I'd like you to examine this statement...

Our society values something practical -- that's why poetry isn't popping up on the top of the list," said Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. "As in the past, engineering and [similar] fields with a strong math component plus a physical world component remain on the top, with lots of money to be made in these fields."

So let's dissect this belief ridden statement which of course is an opinion and hardly a statement of fact. That Al Lee, a director of quantitative analysis, uttered it- gives it additional credibility.

Al purports to speak for all of society as he sees it. He sees engineering and similar fields as practical and useful. Does that mean that all other fields are "less than?" Perhaps. His statement certainly makes that inference. Certainly in the context of making more money.

Is making gobs of money the only thing that matters? Unfortunately in a greedy and forever wanting society, Al Lee may be right- given his audience.

Years ago I was introduced to Robert Frost's poetry. It is beautiful. I have read a lot of it. In fact, I am going to say that Robert Frost may have enriched my life far more than any feat of engineering. That his poetry is so beautiful and timeless and as yet un rivaled (certainly open to debate) tells me that people like Frost are few and far between. Oh so...rare. Extremely hard to come by...far more so than an out of work engineering graduate. We have thousands of those.

That Al Lee values his opinion is obvious. That most people value it may also be obvious. Regurgitating something everyone already knows, well that's just redundant. Ego driven and exclusionary. Heaven on earth is only available to those people who make gobs of money and do something useful and practical. Is that the operative belief here?

Since Al Lee compared his field to that of poetry and thus poets, I shall end this piece with one of many quotes by Robert Frost- not an engineer but certainly a genius in his own right. Al Lee- there's always something to learn.

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
-Robert Frost