On Thinkers and Doers

Why we might need something like tenure for many more people, to cultivate more thinkers in a doer’s world.

Scientists tend to develop technology that is unique, and engineers tend to use existing technology in new ways. Scientists invent the wheel as they need it – Aristotelian physics vs Einsteinian physics means creating a completely different set of tools for research. Engineers don’t always have time/budget/impatience so they will re-use what already exists where possible, sometimes adapting brilliant hacks from other disciplines to solve their problems – like using search algorithms on huge data sets, or using control theory used by astronomers controlling satellites with joysticks designed for assessing human strength in cars manufactured decades ago.

The technologist on the other hand looks around and sees what exists around him, and uses that to create the future, taking the tools to their logical conclusion.

This is also Elon Musk’s legacy. He’s a doer.

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