Saturday, May 23, 2009

Career Advice

I have some for a couple of potential career paths, for those of you contemplating trying to have one. First is a QOTD, shamelessly stolen from Samizdata, who quotes Thomas Sawell:

FDR was elected four straight times, and more than once without ever having brought unemployment down to single digits. An economic disaster does not necessarily mean a political disaster. If we could raise the average level of understanding of economics to what Alfred Marshall had in 1890, the vast majority of politicians would be voted out of office."

Thomas Sowell, interviewed in Reason magazine.

Suggesting that if you're considering a career in politics, while majoring in Poly-Sci, you would do well to see about a minor in economics. Money, like leaves on trees, grows on taxpayers, but if you pluck too many leaves, the trees die, or at least move to a lower tax environment.

Secondly, relating to engineering, I have long considered a career as a traffic engineer to be one of the more attractive. It combines the mathematical elegance of fluid dynamics with the social contribution of moving the greatest number of people from their myriad points, A, to equally varied points B in the quickest, smoothest manner possible. You get to serve humanity, reduce pollution, and reduce road accidents, all at one go.

There is only one drawback. Look around you, and ask yourself: Is there any evidence out there that one has ever been hired?

Of course, this may be due to the same problem I encounter designing consumer products. You can make them idiot-resistant, but never idiot-proof, and roads are a perfect example of this.

No comments: