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# Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?15

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## Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)
A lot of talk on this topic in the podcast circles, vis a vis the Weinsteins, Jordan Peterson, etc. I ran across this gem today:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/193786...;

#### Quote:

Rigor/Us: Building Boundaries and Disciplining Diversity with Standards of Merit

ABSTRACT

Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. Rigor's particular role in engineering created conditions for its transfer and adaptation in the recently emergent discipline of engineering education research. ‘Rigorous engineering education research’ and the related ‘evidence-based’ research and practice movement in STEM education have resulted in a proliferation of boundary drawing exercises that mimic those in engineering disciplines, shaping the development of new knowledge and ‘improved’ practice in engineering education. Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege. Understanding how rigor reproduces inequality, we cannot reinvent it but rather must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge, welcoming diverse ways of knowing, doing, and being, and moving from compliance to engagement, from rigor to vigor.

KEYWORDS: Feminist theory, liberal education, engineering education

Has anyone here seen this sort of nonsense leak into the workplace yet, or is it still basically confined to the education sector?

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

#### Quote ( )

KEYWORDS: Feminist theory, liberal education, engineering education

one of these things is not like the others...

sounds like liberal educators with too much time on their hands.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I... what?

I read through the abstract about 5 times and I still don't think I understand what they're trying to say.

Rigor: The quality of being extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate.
Vigor: Effort, energy, and enthusiasm.

Are they saying that simply by putting in effort one should be given credit for their work, regardless of the results? That's not how the real world works!

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)

#### Quote:

Are they saying that simply by putting in effort one should be given credit for their work, regardless of the results? That's not how the real world works!

That's increasingly how it works in higher ed, though. The trends are twofold.

1) In engineering curricula, they're starting to move towards a model where you as a professor bend over backwards to keep people in school, so the school can keep farming them for tuition money. So that's a business model thing, and I've seen it first hand in STEM education / engineering programs, on the faculty side. This is exacerbated by the USNWR engineering program rankings, which give schools a boost who have high average GPA and high retention rates.

2) In liberal arts, there's this new "cultural postmodernism" thing that's erupted in the last twenty years, where there's no such thing as objective facts at all, and every actual fact is purely a sum of cultural experiences. So in many lib arts programs, you literally can't give someone a bad grade because their "cultural experiences" may "lead them to different conclusions" or whatever. It works a little bit like a cult, but it's extremely widespread in higher ed right now, and is tied in to both third wave feminism and the recreational outrage hobbyists.

I suspect the linked article is mostly rooted in the latter.

So my question is really this, though. Although I view stuff like the linked article as generally nonsense, it's also generally harmless nonsense unless it leaks into the professional sphere and companies start acting this way. Has anyone had any experience in engineering firms that had latched onto this epistemology, and allowed it to influence their business practices?

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I think that abstract is arguing the exact opposite. But, the objective isn't possible, since the cause/effect is neither obvious, nor measurable.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

A professor from Purdue University. Hmm. Whilst I welcome a wide range of opinions, not every opinion is worth taking seriously. I saw a funny comment on one blog, "Don't forget the disparate impact of Newton's Second Law Of Motion on People of Mass. That law needs to be repealed!".

Cheers

Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

beej67,

I am not sure how seriously to take this. Taylor & Francis is described as an "Academic Publisher" by some of the Google hits, and it appears to be a real publisher. I scrolled down below your link and I saw articles entitled "Doing vegetarianism to destabilize the meat-masculinity nexus in La Plata, Argentina", "The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins", and "Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water".

Let's take it seriously. We have the discipline of engineering. We have the discipline of engineering education. We have the discipline of engineering education research. Author Donna Riley has "received a NSF CAREER award on implementing and assessing pedagogies of liberation in engineering classrooms." I see no evidence she has practiced engineering.

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I was surprised to see "The case for colonialism" by Bruce Gilley.

#### Quote (abstract)

This Viewpoint essay has been withdrawn at the request of the academic journal editor, and in agreement with the author of the essay. Following a number of complaints, Taylor & Francis conducted a thorough investigation into the peer review process on this article. Whilst this clearly demonstrated the essay had undergone double-blind peer review, in line with the journal's editorial policy, the journal editor has subsequently received serious and credible threats of personal violence. These threats are linked to the publication of this essay. As the publisher, we must take this seriously. Taylor & Francis has a strong and supportive duty of care to all our academic editorial teams, and this is why we are withdrawing this essay.

Oh well.

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

The level of disconnect that I am seeing permeate academic circles lately is both disturbing in its own right and troubling from the perspective of what these students will expect to encounter once they begin their engineering careers.

I weep for our future...

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

"I am not sure how seriously to take this. Taylor & Francis is described as an "Academic Publisher" by some of the Google hits, and it appears to be a real publisher. I scrolled down below your link and I saw articles entitled "Doing vegetarianism to destabilize the meat-masculinity nexus in La Plata, Argentina", "The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins", and "Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water"."

I'm tempted to think we have been beautifully trolled. By whom or why, I'm not sure. The shear effort in writing this stuff beggars belief

Here's the text of the withdrawn Colonialism paper https://archive.org/stream/Gilley/Gilley%20--%20Ca...

Cheers

Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

T&F claim a portfolio of 2700 journals, including technical. The OP's citation not withstanding, T&F appears to have legitimate, serious, papers.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

IRstuff,

I wonder how an organization can fill 2700 journals with intelligent, worthwhile copy? Perhaps we have figured it out.

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I could not resist Googling "The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins".

The perilous whiteness of … pumpkins?

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

It's amazing to me that the implied insult in these arguments " that some cannot be rigorous" goes seemingly unnoticed.

I don't want to be in the group that is told high standards are put in place so YOU cannot participate.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

2
"professor bend over backwards to keep people in school, so the school can keep farming them for tuition money"

That's hardly necessary; most schools are not even remotely lacking for students clamoring to get in. Almost every one of our state's universities are chock full of applicants every fall; even the lowest ranked schools have barely 10% acceptance rate, simply because there's not enough room for them.

OK, I've finally read abstract enough times that I think I see where it's going, which is into the weeds. Arguing that rigor reinforces white male privilege is just crock, but irrelevant to engineering in any case. No customer is going to buy off the notion that we meet specifications because we vigorously believe so and that we eschewed rigorously analyzing and verifying requirements because that reinforces white male privilege.

However, I would dispute the notion that this is strictly a leftist movement; there's plenty of unrigorous thinking on the right as well.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)

#### Quote:

beej67,

I am not sure how seriously to take this. Taylor & Francis is described as an "Academic Publisher" by some of the Google hits, and it appears to be a real publisher. I scrolled down below your link and I saw articles entitled "Doing vegetarianism to destabilize the meat-masculinity nexus in La Plata, Argentina", "The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins", and "Hydrocracies, Engineers and Power: Questioning Masculinities in Water".

Let's take it seriously. We have the discipline of engineering. We have the discipline of engineering education. We have the discipline of engineering education research. Author Donna Riley has "received a NSF CAREER award on implementing and assessing pedagogies of liberation in engineering classrooms." I see no evidence she has practiced engineering.

Oh I get that. Never once was I worried that she might lay her hands on an engineering design. I'm curious, though, whether her influence might undermine the rigor of other engineering designs, or whether the engineering profession is appropriately and properly ignoring her. I would speculate that if any of this sort of dogma were to leak into engineering, it would be at larger firms via HR / etc, and I was wondering if anyone here had any experiences with that. We can see it leaking into software via Damore/Google/etc, but even then it's still ideological and not necessarily dangerous to the public. If the postmodernist attack against rigor and fact leaked into hard engineering disciplines, people could get hurt or killed.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)

#### Quote:

I was surprised to see "The case for colonialism" by Bruce Gilley.

Interesting article in The Federalist on the Gilley paper hit my feed today:

http://thefederalist.com/2018/06/05/campus-repress...

Do you have a reference for the death-threat thing? I'd like to read more about that.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

From drawoh's link - "Vast tracts of the social sciences have gone insane."

Agreed. Approaching criminally insane.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

beej67,

I copied and pasted that piece directly off the website. I hope your Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation are not excessively masculine.

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)
Thanks. Google worked.

For the record, since this discussion is public and all... I am professionally dedicated to ensure that all my drainage analyses remain staunchly gender neutral. I may need to update my website in that regard lest some recreational outrage protester decides to burn my house down.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

3
beej: You've already bowed to the pressure. My precast concrete culverts have a male end and a female end and we like it that way!

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

TME - at least the culverts generally keep that kind of activity underground!

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

beej67,

I have one more thought, given that pumpkins are white, and I have sort of very quickly skimmed through the article. What about coffee and chocolate? I love coffee and chocolate. Does this mean I properly and politically correctly empathize with things that are black, or does this mean I am ruthlessly consuming them?

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

Gilley's article is an example of the "rigor" that Riley is claiming reinforces white privilege. But, Riley is wrong, because Gilley's article is not rigorous, it's a "fake rigor," because it couches itself as an economic analysis that completely negates the negatives of pre-modern colonialism:

> the slave trade -- seriously, who's claiming now that this was a "benefit?" Actually, Gilley claims that it was colonialism that abolished slavery!!??? WTF?
> treatment of indigenous peoples as second class or lower humans -- this is a benefit? Gilley, of course, does not mention this at all
> the sheer fact that whites considered it their manifest and God-given right to subjugate the population, pillage, and plunder their resources Gilley claims that colonialism was a money loser, but that's crock as well. Spain did extremely well in plundering the New World; they only lost money because they spent beyond their means afterwards
> the utter destruction of indigenous cultures

The bottom line is that Gilley is a fraud and an apologist who is attempting to re-write history to point out the superiority of white privilege and white rule.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

drawoh - Perhaps that would be cultural appropriation. No judgement here, I love tea, and have to use a few phrases of Mandarin now and then with our suppliers, so I am to be equally as disdained as you!

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

3
(OP)

#### Quote (IRstuff)

The bottom line is that Gilley is a fraud and an apologist who is attempting to re-write history to point out the superiority of white privilege and white rule.

I don't know enough about Gilley's article to comment, although I think a very good case could be made that there were both positive and negative effects from colonization. Take India - what the Brits did in India was morally abhorrent, but India is now a major world wide player economically due to many of the things the English forced on them. So what's the balance? I don't know, but the idea that we're not even allowed to talk about that balance without receiving death threats is pretty terrifying to me.

Or take the Aztecs. The Spaniards basically wrecked their civilization in a very cruel way, and that was very not-nice, and they stole all their gold and silver. Total meanies. But the Aztecs sacrificed virgin girls to make the sun come up. They were an objectively awful society. So put that on the steelyard and where does it bend? Again, I don't know the answer, but it's something we should at least be able to talk about without being academically blackballed or killed in our sleep.

#### Quote (TehMightyEngineer)

You've already bowed to the pressure. My precast concrete culverts have a male end and a female end and we like it that way!

Think of the growth model if you can develop gender self-identifying culverts.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

It's pretty clear to me that Gilley's article is not a "discussion", and more of a white-washing (irony). Instead, there were no major wrongs of colonization, and in fact, we should recolonize those "failed" states, which completely flies in the face of the history of the last 40 years.

We essentially attempted recolonization of Iraq and Afghanistan, and after 40 years of spilled blood, the two countries are hardly better off than they were 40 years ago. India, which is a supposedly success story is rife with corruption, and rampant gang rapes.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

Pity, the precast concrete culverts have had gender assignment at the beginning of zir existence, polarizing zir extremity connection points.

This is yet another example of white male heterosexual privilege for zem!

Skip,

Just traded in my OLD subtlety...
for a NUance!

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

2
We often criticize previous generations of our society, in my case Americans, looking down our noses from our twenty-first century position of sensibilities and knowledge; from this lofty and morally superior perch.

String me up! We transported our infants and children in substandard automobiles in the 50s and 60s, without government approved childseats. And we actually recited The Pledge of Allegiance and read a portion of The Bible in public school every morning.

Shoot my parents! They allowed me, in moments of inattention to 1) shock my finger in an empty lamp socket, 2) pick lead-based paint from the window sill, 3) fall down a stairway, 4) climb an iron fence with arrow-head finials, 5) play on iron jumgle-jim bars, 6) play in the street.

Not to mention the fact that many Americans have radically changed their outlook on some significant social issues over the just past decade. Obama is reported to have evolved over the past couple of decades. Our society pillories people for similar outlooks from decades past. http://time.com/3816952/obama-gay-lesbian-transgen...

So there is good reason to evaluate former generations and cultures with some reasonable charity and historical/cultural perspective, realizing that future generations, perhaps our very children and grandchildren, may very well look at what we have “accomplished” with a jaundiced eye.

Skip,

Just traded in my OLD subtlety...
for a NUance!

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

It seems to be human nature, as old as recorded language for the older generation to criticize the newer ones as decadent, lazy, stupid, and impractical, with their heads in the clouds.

It seems to be equally common to use the lens of the present to evaluate the past, invariably finding our ancestors to be "backward" (as if it were possible for them to be otherwise!), with a morality which was perverse in some way or another.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

"It seems to be equally common to use the lens of the present to evaluate the past, invariably finding our ancestors to be "backward" (as if it were possible for them to be otherwise!), with a morality which was perverse in some way or another."

If one doesn't understand the mistakes of the past, then one is even more likely to repeat them in the future. Otherwise, one is likely to think that bashing a woman on the head and dragging her to one's cave is an acceptable means of courtship.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

As this discussion is rapidly leaving the rails of engineering...

#### Quote:

Let's take it seriously. We have the discipline of engineering. We have the discipline of engineering education. We have the discipline of engineering education research. Author Donna Riley has "received a NSF CAREER award on implementing and assessing pedagogies of liberation in engineering classrooms." I see no evidence she has practiced engineering.

I would disagree. Academia today has in many cases isolated and protected themselves/their jobs from competition with the working engineers that I believe you are encompassing with "we." I know many personally who dont identify as engineers but professors having very little or no experience in engineering. From that perspective, the author IMHO is no less qualified to prattle on about engineering education than a big chunk of academia. Not to suggest it isnt pure drivel, but we have serious issues today in engineering education as mentioned above due to this disconnect.

#### Quote:

That's hardly necessary; most schools are not even remotely lacking for students clamoring to get in. Almost every one of our state's universities are chock full of applicants every fall; even the lowest ranked schools have barely 10% acceptance rate, simply because there's not enough room for them.

Which state is that? Nationally the acceptance rate is ~65% in the US and out of eight(?) schools I've attended I believe the lowest acceptance rate for an engineering program was ~40%.
Nevertheless I concur with beej's assessment in his second post - many students that have no business in engineering are being passed through to bolster professor, dept, and school "success rates."

As for extreme politics and social justice in the workplace, I've seen some rather questionable ethics shrugged off by management on several occasions to avoid potentially larger issues. The local HR head of a previous employer (Fortune 50 company, 3k+ worker plant) often mentioned her goal of increasing gender and orientation diversity while implying (corny wink and nudge included) that she did so through selective screening of resumes. My manager called her out on it when we went three months without receiving a single resume for an open req, we magically had six resumes of qualified candidates the following week.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

CWB1,

Let's look at engineering education research. We can assign intelligent definitions to terms like this, whether or not anybody actually means it.

I am single and I do not have kids. I volunteered to help do an engineering presentation at a public school last year. The children were around ten years old. I was impressed at how the teacher handled them. Clearly, she had extensive training at this.

To teach small children in public school, you don't need to know very much. I see no reason why this cannot be done by high school graduates, although schools these days are obsessed with degrees. You do need to be very good at teaching. You need to gain and hold the attention of small children. You need an understanding of how children understand and learn stuff.

In college, I found that the quality of teaching was all over the place. Some people should not be taught how to teach, either because they should not be teaching, or because they are too good at it to benefit from training. Bad teaching is a problem in college and university, because the teachers must have deep knowledge of their subjects. At this stage, the students ought to be good at learning.

Is anybody really doing engineering education research?

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.", George Santayana.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)

#### Quote:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.", George Santayana.

What about those that claim that all perspectives of the past are culturally subjective and there is no objective past at all? That's where a lot of academia is at this point, with the cultural postmodernism thing.

In my view, the liberal arts can sorta do whatever they want to without harming the engineering profession, as long as there's a firewall between that sort of bubbly incoherent nonsense and the fields of hard science/engineering. I feel like engineering professionals have a deep and important responsibility to make sure that stuff doesn't leak into our field in any strange ways. The idea that a "right answer" is patriarchal or whatever is all fun and games until the bridge falls down.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

JohnRBaker,

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

Perhaps, but at least we can take some solace from when we say "I told you so."

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

#### Quote (Shoot my parents! They allowed me, in moments of inattention to 1) shock my finger in an empty lamp socket, 2) pick lead-based paint from the window sill, 3) fall down a stairway, 4) climb an iron fence with arrow-head finials, 5) play on iron jungle-jim bars, 6) play in the street.)

@SkipVought - in moments of inattention mine let me do those things and play with fireworks. BTW - years back I let my daughter fall down a flight of stairs too.

Moving back to the topic, everyday in the daily propaganda from my employer, there's always something about how we're in the forefront of diversity, breaking down barriers, being allies, destroying stereotypes, creating a better world, etc. Last week at the office townhall meeting, some bean counter who runs the regional operation said "...over 60% of our hires this year were hired for diversity. Diversity brings new perspectives to problem solving." I suppose force, stress, moments, etc are different in diversity world. Of course if I were a "diversity hire" I might start wondering why they really hired me. Here's the real paradox: The company wants to portray a "progressive image" but if you're not 100% billable you're diversity or lack thereof won't matter, as what happened recently to one of our "diversity" CAD operators. Hey, the Almighty \$ rules; gotta keep our stock price up.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

Beej,
I wonder if we're being duped by an algorithm here.
Some other titles published by the Taylor & Francis so-called journal:
• Multi-objective ant colony optimization for the twin-screw configuration problem
• Adaptive multi-objective archive-based hybrid scatter search for segmentation in lung computed tomography imaging
• Multi-objective metaheuristics for preprocessing EEG data in brain–computer interfaces
• A bi-objective model for the retail spatial design problem
• A multi-objective approach for the segmentation issue

I don't know what these papers are about yet, but I see a pattern: These titles could have been written by a program with elementary phrase search and replacement.
Could it be something like this? Popular Science: An Essay-Writing Machine Made To Fool Other Machines

STF

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

(OP)

#### Quote:

• Multi-objective ant colony optimization for the twin-screw configuration problem
• Adaptive multi-objective archive-based hybrid scatter search for segmentation in lung computed tomography imaging
• Multi-objective metaheuristics for preprocessing EEG data in brain–computer interfaces
• A bi-objective model for the retail spatial design problem
• A multi-objective approach for the segmentation issue

Meh.

I don't see that as too different from the general media headline generation toolkit.

• Everything You Know About ____ is Wrong
• Why (horrible/controversial thing) and That's Okay
• (Authority Figure) Doesn't Want You to Know _____
• ___ _____ Trump ___ ____ ____
• ___ (Obama/Hillary) ___ ___ _____
It's just tailored to a different crowd.

I really wish I knew artificial neural networks and deep machine learning better. I could generate an entire website that would just crank out fake news that would be indistinguishable from most of the major networks on both sides of the political aisle automatically, and farm the internet for clicks. It'd pay a lot better than civil engineering.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I see that everybody here is really excited about the abstract.

Has anybody here actually read the article itself?

Anybody?

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

hpaircraft,

The article is behind a paywall, so probably, none of us have read it. Twenty four hours access is fifty bucks. Go for it!

The abstract states that rigor in engineering demonstrates white male heterosexual privilege. The author claims that rigor reproduces inequality, and that we must relinquish it, looking to alternative conceptualizations for evaluating knowledge. Maybe the author is using precise definitions for rigor and vigor that we need explained to us if we are to understand the article. Either the article is idiotic, or the abstract completely fails to describe it.

--
JHG

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

#### Quote (drawoh)

The article is behind a paywall, so probably, none of us have read it. Twenty four hours access is fifty bucks. Go for it!...

I have requested it from the author through my institution.

#### Quote (drawoh)

...Either the article is idiotic, or the abstract completely fails to describe it.

You haven't read the article. But you dismiss it with a false dilemma. That doesn't sound very rigorous.

--Bob K.

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

"That doesn't sound very rigorous."

Only a rigorous analysis of the abstract is necessary to make a judgement; sometimes you can tell a book by its cover.

Now, someone has read it: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/attheintersect... and comes to a similar, but more strident conclusion, albeit, there's likely a bias factor involved.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

I kept digging... IRStuff beat me to it... here's a quote:

#### Quote (*)

Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a relatively recent and powerful
metaheuristic for tackling combinatorial problems. ACO takes inspiration from real
ants’ foraging behaviour to define algorithmic solutions to computationally hard
optimization problems.

So it is a real scientific paper and I learned something. Like other analytical routines that involve random elements (ie. Monte Carlo analysis) the subject of this paper uses a model inspired by nature, so it got a cute name. OK this passes the smell test. For those wondering what the point is... they want to know if counter-rotating screws can mix fluids better than co-rotating screws. Something like that, rather picayune, TLDR.

Circling back to my comment about "preformatted" scientific paper titles, this could be explained with a bit of common culture in academic circles, and a style guide for submissions, etc. rather than with a creepy computer algorithm.
I retract my derision of the Taylor & Francis journal.
But I still won't subscribe to it.

STF

### RE: Any experiences in the workplace with the new academic/postmodern left?

“Go to the ant, you lazy man! Observe its ways and become wise.”

Skip,

Just traded in my OLD subtlety...
for a NUance!

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