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my grandma married an engineer, so did my mom, oh and I'm one too
March 10, 2008 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Islamic terrorists are more likely to be engineers than members of any other profession--and not because engineers possess superior technological skills. That's the conclusion of a controversial Oxford University study that has the engineering community buzzing. (PDF) The study's disturbing finding blames what it calls a universal engineering mindset, which it describes as one drawn to structure and rules plus clear, single solutions to complex problems. When coupled with the harsh realities of life in many Islamic countries, terrorism can be the result, the study says. ~ Via EETimes

Some righteous snarking online includes,

This assertion based on some very fuzzy numbers indeed.

We compiled a list of 404 members of violent Islamist groups drawing from a variety of sources... Our sources include... the press, governmental and nongovernmental organisations and websites... We searched in Lexis Nexis... and in Google. We also searched... Fox News; CTV News; Dutch News...
posted by infini (68 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I bet those doctors are up to no good as well.

Do they not think there might be some confounding variables here?
posted by Artw at 9:00 AM on March 10, 2008


This is good news. It is now clear that we can put an end to terrorism by rounding up all those people who are drawn to structure and rules, plus clear, single solutions to complex problems, and killing them.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:07 AM on March 10, 2008 [13 favorites]


Maybe the engineering terrorists are remembered because their bombs actually work. Unlike these guys.

Also: I hear that art-school terrorists' suicide vests are tres chic.
posted by anthill at 9:08 AM on March 10, 2008


There was a study recently done by an employee of the Oklahoma state government about gay engineers ruining the country. So if you see two gay men holding slide rules, call Homeland Security.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on March 10, 2008


This actually makes perfect sense to me, not because I think that there's something about engineering which would tend to make one a terrorist, but because it makes sense that someone who in general likes solving problems (and has other personality characteristics, obviously) might be drawn to both a career in engineering and might also regard as more worthwhile or noble a terrorist solution to a major political or social problem - a relatively small-scale bit of work or sacrifice that solves a problem for a large number of people.

On the other hand, it also makes sense to me that male fashion models are the profession most likely to become assassins.
posted by XMLicious at 9:11 AM on March 10, 2008


It often seems to me that self-professed Libertarians are more likely to be engineers than members of any other profession. Correlation, correlation, or confirmation bias? Or do they just have the most blogs?
posted by meehawl at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2008


Terrorists either have to succeed (bad) or get caught (good) before you know for sure they're terrorists. Everyone else is a wannabe, whether they're an engineer or not.
posted by tommasz at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2008


>>So if you see two gay men holding slide rules, call Homeland Security.


Is that a slide rule in your pocket, or are you looking for a single, clear solution to a complex problem?
posted by SaintCynr at 9:14 AM on March 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


Menachim Begin, plotter of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Israel, was essentially a liberal arts major. Go figure.
posted by mullingitover at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2008


Engineers also disproportionately tend to be creationists and / or quack medicine aficionados. It is because they are insufferable know it all twats. They figure if they can calculate the tusk circumference on a load bearing walrus it makes them be scientists.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


Oh fleetwood, you don't want to start a scientist versus engineer throwdown.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 9:36 AM on March 10, 2008


Oh, fleetMOUSE. I'm sorry.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 9:37 AM on March 10, 2008


one drawn to structure and rules plus clear, single solutions to complex problems

I think the authors of these articles have gone into the wrong profession.
posted by monocot at 9:38 AM on March 10, 2008


Engineering causes terrorism ?
A past survey in the United States has already shown that the proportion of engineers who declare themselves to be on the right of the political spectrum is greater than any other disciplinary groups--such as economists, doctors, scientists, and those in the humanities and social sciences.The authors note that the mindset is universal.
Right, an universal mindset, sure. A most frequently occourring I could buy into, but universal ? Puh-leeze.

Yet It seems to me that public educational programs should stop treating kids like little idiots and give them a wide spectrum preparation: maths , scientific method, basics of psycology, logic and rethoric , humanistic literature, history of politics and power.

I guess many engineers could use a better humanistic curriculum, sometime some of them is really too focused on delivering results and forget there is a difference between their work and their life. Yet that could be told of any profession on which one person focuses way too much in order to avoid social contacts, even unpleasurable ones.
posted by elpapacito at 9:39 AM on March 10, 2008


terroristsNEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSS
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:39 AM on March 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


you don't want to start a scientist versus engineer throwdown.

I'm a Greater Internet Fuckwad and I'll take all of you on. C'mon. Come at me, I dast you.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:42 AM on March 10, 2008


"you don't want to start a scientist versus engineer throwdown."
And among scientists there are reported differences in mindset, outlook, temperament, what-have-you between biologists and physicists or chemists. It does make some sense, given the differences in the fields people are attracted to.
posted by binturong at 9:46 AM on March 10, 2008


Being an engineer, I have to say this doesn't surprise me in the least.
posted by tkolar at 9:48 AM on March 10, 2008


I guess many engineers could use a better humanistic curriculum,

I suspect you have it backwards. Engineers who are truly involved and care about their communities are the most dangerous.
posted by tkolar at 9:52 AM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


>The authors maintain that whatever their nationality, a disproportionate number of engineers tend toward what they label "monism" and "simplism," attitudes best expressed in the following statements: "Why argue when there is one best solution?" and "If only people were rational, remedies would be simple."

>>If engineering is correlated with, for example, "cognitive closure," meaning intolerance of ambiguity


I can say, anecdotally, that these things seem quite true of engineers. And, not to stereotype, but these are factors that can make people socially awkward...being that this stuff doesn't really track with the way most people live their lives. I'm going to propose that social isolation is the most likely culprit in pushing people toward terrorism and other sorts of violent, antisocial activities; engineering, I have a feeling, is a red herring.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:55 AM on March 10, 2008


I should note that the top six members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China are all engineers. I've found this amusing in the context of the many tech-oriented people who think there are too many lawyers in power in the U.S. Of course, when you have engineers in power, what do you get? Communist China.
posted by grouse at 10:04 AM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I should note that the top six members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China are all engineers.

Or, y'know, I could also be wrong.

(kfb = highly tolerant of ambiguity!)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:11 AM on March 10, 2008


This sounds like the personality 'type' theories that circulate. One MBTI type, INTP, is often referred to as an engineer or architect type.

My main problem with those things is that they sort people in a binary fashion, when the variables measured are normally distributed, and then give little descriptions which badly suffer from the Forer effect. Also, they're based on an assumption of 'cognitive preferences', which are nebulous, unsubstantiated mental faculties that people rely on differently according to their type. 'Mindset' seems to be substituted for type, here, but the argument against is the same.
posted by topynate at 10:14 AM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, it seems Plato was right to keep the engineers at the bottom and make the philosophers kings. *puts on chiton*
posted by boubelium at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2008


I'm an engineering dropout, so I don't know whether to be pleased or not about not graduating. However, by doing so, I did get laid about two years ahead of the ones who did graduate. Ahem.

I wonder what the stats would reveal if the the field was reduced to engineers who were still virgins.

Seriously, the subset of people the west calls "Terrorists" are usually just the worker bees; the ones who are assigned to blow sh!t up. So of course they would have to have technical aptitude.

But are they not organised, motivated and directed mostly by poly-sci or theology post-grads?
posted by Artful Codger at 10:29 AM on March 10, 2008


This is actually kind of true. The worst, in my experience as an engineer, are electrical engineers. Why that is I have no idea. Show me a professor who is a Holocaust denier or other wacky type and I'll show you an engineer 95% of the time.
posted by Justinian at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2008


Well, it seems Plato was right to keep the engineers at the bottom and make the philosophers kings.

boubelium: what category does that put me in then? i'm an english major/philosophy minor who now engineers/develops procedural database applications and relational database architectures. i have lots of friends though, so i guess i don't qualify as an engineer.

this is obviously a silly disinfo campaign, promulgated by the communist china politburo in order to further diminish america's increasingly low standing in technology and engineering related sectors of the global economy. obviously.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2008


Idiocy. I was in Afghanistan recently and had occasion to talk with a number of young men there for a story I was writing. Almost all said they wanted to be engineers. Why? Because today, in Afghanistan, an engineer has the prestige that a doctor or a lawyer has here in the States. It's the best thing you can be. In part, presumably, bc Afghanistan has been so bombed to fuck by the coming and goings of foreign powers over the last few centuries that engineers are still very much in need.
posted by It ain't over yet at 10:49 AM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


saulgoodman: I don't know where Plato would put you, but he would find out by patronizingly questioning you for a few hours.

Hmm, forget what is justice, what is the True Form of relational database architectures! Silly Greeks, always pondering the wrong ideas.
posted by boubelium at 10:53 AM on March 10, 2008


Why? Because today, in Afghanistan, an engineer has the prestige that a doctor or a lawyer has here in the States.

one of my coworkers tells me it's the same in india--he knows people who got engineering degrees (because of the prestige surrounding engineering) just to work in civil service jobs.

what is the True Form of relational database architectures

(heh... ironically, at least partly because of my work in computer science, i now consider myself a neo-platonist. and the answer is "third normal form," btw.)

posted by saulgoodman at 10:58 AM on March 10, 2008


What's the difference between doctors and engineers...? Doctors kill one at time.

(old university joke... oh and I just about still wear my BEng with pride)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:07 AM on March 10, 2008


I'd be interested to know the percentages for ... say... World War II resistance members. I suspect they're similar.

Of course, they were terrorists too.
posted by tkolar at 11:09 AM on March 10, 2008


About ten years or so ago a guy arrived at my apartment in London to repair my dishwasher. He was an Iranian. We got to talking and he told me that he had been one of many young engineers and technology graduates who had followed the Ayatolla and fought against the Shah. He finally became disenchanted with the increasing religiosity of his comrades and emigrated to the UK. But he did emphasize the point that most of the republican guard members who helped to overthrow the Shah were technology graduates of various sorts just as he was. His feeling was that without a liberal arts education or any education in the arts or humanities, it was very easy to fall into the trap of extremism. He admitted that it had been that way for him. So I would guess that this study was pretty accurate. I would also guess that many in America who became Scientologists or Moonies and so on, came from similar educational backgrounds.
posted by donfactor at 11:12 AM on March 10, 2008


he would find out by patronizingly questioning you for a few hours.

boubelium: i hope you didn't feel i was being patronizing. that wasn't my intent. my point is just that being or not being an engineer isn't some binary proposition. and computer science, in particular, relies heavily on formal reasoning--a branch of philosophy. most higher-level programming languages are essentially just propositional logic--it's like applied philosophy!

His feeling was that without a liberal arts education or any education in the arts or humanities, it was very easy to fall into the trap of extremism. He admitted that it had been that way for him. So I would guess that this study was pretty accurate.

what do you think about the suggestion that there are just more people pursuing engineering studies in these hot-spot regions where extremism flourishes? if so, then this and similar studies could only be pointing to correlation where in fact there's no underlying causal relationship.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:28 AM on March 10, 2008


This is actually kind of true. The worst, in my experience as an engineer, are electrical engineers. Why that is I have no idea. Show me a professor who is a Holocaust denier or other wacky type and I'll show you an engineer 95% of the time.

You give the Humanities far too little credit.
posted by three blind mice at 11:33 AM on March 10, 2008


As a sort of engineer I have ask why these terrorist/engineers haven't united against our common enemy the physicists.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:36 AM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


In other, equally distressing news, it was found that nearly one hundred percent of gun and bomb designers are also engineers. The heartless cretins!

The paper's claims are not very strong, and a lot of it doesn't pass the smell test. The sample size is less than two hundred datapoints, and it's already been filtered by their own criteria (which is heavily skewed, as others have pointed out, to those who have already successfully carried out attacks) and the availability of data. It's kind of weird that the authors never thought to examine the idea that there might be more data available, especially online, concerning well-educated people, and engineers in particular.

Most galling is this, on pg. 41:
First, we have found no evidence at all of recruits being selected by technical skills.
And your numbers and charts and researches show that... how? That's not science, that's handwaving.

Anyway, this paper probably would have vanished into well-deserved academic obscurity if it were not for the inflammatory claims and the magic of the internet. I wonder how many important, carefully-researched and well-constructed arguments were published and ignored this week. I'm sure the authors will ride this wave of notoriety to loftier, stupider heights. WHYZ DON'T THE CHILDRUNS TAKE THE SCIENCE SERIUSLY?

</fuming annoyance>
posted by phooky at 11:40 AM on March 10, 2008


tkolar writes "I suspect you have it backwards. Engineers who are truly involved and care about their communities are the most dangerous."

Cause they know how to make dangerous stuff ? Yeah indeed, that's why they could use humaistic training in learning that it is not by appeasing the reactionary instincts of the mob that you do community good , nor by buying into certain propaganda that dehumanizes the ignorant mobs and paints them as inferior scum that needs to be ruled, or that actually wants and asks to be ruled by stick. By contrast the engineers seems like the encarnation of Enlightening, but his shit stinks as well and his blood is red too. As for religion , engineers aren't immune from delusions , further proof they they are human indeed :D

(note: I speak from experience, I have many engineer friends and some relative too, indeed they don't radiate harmful rays, don't worry !)
posted by elpapacito at 11:41 AM on March 10, 2008


What's the difference between doctors and engineers...? Doctors kill one at time.

The goal of every engineer is to retire without being blamed for a major catastrophe.

The most true thing Dilbert ever said.
posted by Justinian at 11:53 AM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


They need to correct the data to read 'More likely to be chronically "under employed" engineers.'

This is purely anecdotal but I have had pleasure to work with engineers on and off for years helping with UI design etc. And yeah. There does seem to be a small but consistent sub-set of engineer types that are highly anti-social personalities. I've known a couple that brought guns to work (I've told a story about one before) and a couple that really seemed to have serious problems with opposite sex relations. I had this one crazy retired engineer guy threaten to come to my house and shoot me. All these guys that seemed to bear this anti-social stereotype out were all under-employed, over educated, arch-conservative, middle aged white guys. Honestly all of them even looked the same— the same types of ticks and demeanor. I wonder if there is some kind of mild autism involved.
posted by tkchrist at 12:06 PM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they all are aries with a moon in taurus?? /irony, kind of...

@ topynate: also, i love how myers briggs is the new astrology.

(Although I have always wanted to see a solid date-of-birth vs career survey, DOB vs Myers Briggs, etc., something along those lines)
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 12:28 PM on March 10, 2008


There is a high signal/noise ratio here: intelligent and ambitious young men and women will be drawn to a challenging, high-profile and high status profession, resulting in many more engineers in the pool of disaffected students. I think this is why there are large numbers of MDs in there, too.

But the absolutism of the professional lens on the world can produce arrogance and idealism in equal quantities -- a potent blend of stupidity and intelligence. The "I'm an Engineer and I know everything" attitude is more common than "I'm a doctor and I know everything". Doctors are up against death, which always wins, while engineers are up against gravity, which can often be deferred.
posted by jrochest at 12:37 PM on March 10, 2008


saulgoodman: i hope you didn't feel i was being patronizing

Oh, that wasn't in reference to you. Take no offense! I was taking a swipe at good ole Plato, whose Socratic dialogues I find to be patronizing at times. What a smart fellow, but if I would have met him he would have annoyed me to no end with his constant questions. Everytime I read him I eventually get to a point where I just scream 'Just tell me what you mean! Stop teasing it out of everyone! argghhhh!! someone go get the hemlock!'
posted by boubelium at 12:49 PM on March 10, 2008


tkolar writes "I suspect you have it backwards. Engineers who are truly involved and care about their communities are the most dangerous."
Cause they know how to make dangerous stuff ?


No. Virtually all engineers know how to make dangerous stuff. It's the will to use it that is lacking.

If you'd like to meet an engineer with an extensive humanist education, I believe you can trade mail with Theodore Kaczynski.
posted by tkolar at 12:53 PM on March 10, 2008


I wonder if they all are aries with a moon in taurus?? /irony, kind of...

er, why do you ask? since that's my exact combo?
posted by infini at 1:08 PM on March 10, 2008


This is actually kind of true. The worst, in my experience as an engineer, are electrical engineers. Why that is I have no idea. Show me a professor who is a Holocaust denier or other wacky type and I'll show you an engineer 95% of the time.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 PM on March 10


The reason for this is simple - other engineers are idiots. Mechanical engineers? Wow, you built a bridge. Go home and play with your legos, kid, the grown-ups are busy. Chemical engineers? Chemical engineering is cookbook chemistry where the last step is always "dump the rest into the river."

But electrical engineers are brilliant. Are they crazy as well? Maybe. You would be too if halfway through your undergraduate education they took all the numbers out of your math books and replaced them with Greek. Oh, was I supposed to integrate over the magnetic field? Because I thought we were reading the fucking Iliad.

Do you know how magnets work? Do you understand how light can be both a wave an a particle? Guess what, neither does anyone else. But only electrical engineers have the ability to wrangle those forces, to summon them and bend them to their will. A few arcane symbols, a few incantations, and the radio "waves" spread forth, so your call to your stupid girlfriend gets completed.

Call got dropped because of a bad cell? I'll let you in on a little secret. There are no bad cells. All cells are good. All cells are ripe with power. In-phase, polarized power. Your call wasn't dropped because of a bad cell. Your call was dropped because you drew the ire of an Initiate who summoned the Dark Gods of the charge field to fold the fabric of space over your mortal soul.

Electrical engineers? No, we are much more than that. We are wizards of the one true Black Magick. Acolytes of the Hermetic Order of Maxwell. Only we have gazed upon the sacred tomes of Springer-Verlag, only we have peered into the 10-dimensional abyss at the heart of space, and only we have come back alive. Did our minds splinter in contemplation of the fourth dimension? I won't lie to you. But nonetheless, we live.

I forge my words into photons, and from across a great distance I cast them into your eye. But you sit there clattering away on your teletypes with fingers like toes, knowing nothing of the concentrated vectors of light and energy that passed therebetween. Do not talk to me of mere "engineering", of the banal manipulation of sand and metal into some trinket for your clumsy simian amusement.

I speak to you of the Universe, forged in whorl of a spun quark, casting infinite possibilities in its wake. You have passed beyond the realm of soldering irons or NAND gates. Here you stand before the altar where God died, and here you will know madness.

There are frequencies. Do you understand that? There are frequencies, out of time, out of space. And all of them carry a signal.

On second thought, you're right, electrical engineers are crazy.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:11 PM on March 10, 2008 [33 favorites]


Probably because engineers tend to have Focus.
posted by wobh at 1:12 PM on March 10, 2008


BURN ALL COPIES OF MATHEMATICA!
posted by geoff. at 1:32 PM on March 10, 2008


(backs slowly away from Pastabagel)

Plus you think current flows the wrong way.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on March 10, 2008


On second thought, you're right, electrical engineers are crazy.

'tsokay, I could tell from the first half of the post. You may also be channelling Tycho from Penny Arcade. Do not be alarmed. His adjectives are worth their weight in—well, not gold, but some darker currency, redeemable in the acidic blood of terrifying creatures who hack financial metaphors out of the very firmament of existence—

Oops, I think it's spreading.
posted by sixswitch at 1:47 PM on March 10, 2008


All these guys that seemed to bear this anti-social stereotype out were all under-employed, over educated, arch-conservative, middle aged white guys. Honestly all of them even looked the same— the same types of ticks and demeanor.

So true it gives me the chills. One of the scariest things about entering the silicon valley workplace was discovering that Milton and Lyndsey Nagle were real, politically "proactive" and very well paid.
posted by peppito at 2:11 PM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Electrical Engineering: With great power comes I² · R responsibility.

© 2008 XMLicious all rights reserved.
posted by XMLicious at 2:21 PM on March 10, 2008


Anyone else know that memory aid for calculating torque for a shaft?

May I Fuck You Elizabeth Rani?

M over I equals F over Y equals E over R


(never mind... i'm just a mere descendant of electrical engineers, my own mother calls me a quack)
posted by infini at 2:26 PM on March 10, 2008


All these guys that seemed to bear this anti-social stereotype out were all under-employed, over educated, arch-conservative, middle aged white guys. Honestly all of them even looked the same— the same types of ticks and demeanor.

I've noticed a lot of them are huge japanophiles who insist on calling anime by its full italicized japanese names.

Some of them used to run blogs and post to metafilter.
posted by Justinian at 2:34 PM on March 10, 2008


Why? Because today, in Afghanistan, an engineer has the prestige that a doctor or a lawyer has here in the States. It's the best thing you can be. In part, presumably, bc Afghanistan has been so bombed to fuck by the coming and goings of foreign powers over the last few centuries that engineers are still very much in need.

Nah, it's because the Soviets were the only ones handing out decent education in the recent past, and they rated engineers and folk who could build stuff.
posted by YouRebelScum at 4:28 PM on March 10, 2008


Show me a professor who is a Holocaust denier or other wacky type and I'll show you an engineer 95% of the time.
1) Paul Rassinier, the father of Holocaust denial was a professor of History and Geography.
2) Mark Weber, current head of the IHR, taught history, geography and English.
3) Robert Faurisson, leading French Holocaust denier, was a professor of literature.
4) Joseph Sobran, contributor to IHR, was a lecturer in Shakespeare and English at Eastern Michigan.
5) David Hoggan, neo-nazi and author of The Myth of the Six Million, was a professor of history.

That's from one Wikipedia article on Holocaust denial. Let's see if you can come up with 95 Holocaust deniers who are engineers and professors. I'll even spot you Arthur Butz.
posted by joaquim at 5:30 PM on March 10, 2008


Unfortunately, I think it is only natural that Holocaust deniers would gravitate towards history, since it is an historical topic. Although, what I wonder is, were the crazy from the get-go or did they get degrees and then become crazy? Maybe they become frustrated with not being taken seriously as historians and see Holocaust denial as a way of getting back at the 'establishment'?

The better test would be, what % of a profession are 9/11 conspiracy nuts?
posted by boubelium at 5:50 PM on March 10, 2008


Why? Because today, in Afghanistan, an engineer has the prestige that a doctor or a lawyer has here in the States.

one of my coworkers tells me it's the same in india


Absolutely. Indians love quizzing tourists about their life, family, work, qualifications etc, and I can state from a sample of around five hundred thousand of those kinds of interrogations that when asked "What is your qualification?" a response of LL.B doesn't impress in the slightest, but "computer engineer" will have them fawning over what great prospects you have & how you should be able to marry very well, oh yes, one-hundred-percent guaranteed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:10 PM on March 10, 2008


(i guess people in developing countries, in general, are highly impressed by those who build big, expensive, tangible things that improve everybody's lives - dams, bridges, railways, and other kinds of infrastructure. also, that's where a lot of the money is)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:14 PM on March 10, 2008


(note: I speak from experience, I have many engineer friends and some relative too, indeed they don't radiate harmful rays, don't worry !)

posted by elpapacito at 11:41 AM on March 10


Phew!
posted by harmfulray at 6:36 PM on March 10, 2008


I was raised by a professor of Engineering, and I hate engineer bashing (my dad and brother are engineers and great guys), but there is something different about engineering social skills and styles of argument. All of my family backs away from arguments with engineers instinctively, not because we look down on them, or are awed by them, but because they do have a different style about them. They focus on one element at a time, or one system. My dad is brilliant and well rounded, but you wouldn't notice unless you got to know him and heard him debate a series of things at different times.

There is a single minded essentialism to engineering that I see in few other fields. But why do the authors of this study exclude physicians? Many prominent members of Al Qaida are physicians, which attracted a good deal of attention a few years ago.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:41 PM on March 10, 2008


That's from one Wikipedia article on Holocaust denial. Let's see if you can come up with 95 Holocaust deniers who are engineers and professors.

Hey, no fair, you're looking for facts instead of teh funny.
posted by Justinian at 7:18 PM on March 10, 2008


Typical engineer.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:38 PM on March 10, 2008


Wow, I had a friend who was an electrical engineer (emphasis on had). I always knew there was something screwy about him. Wait, maybe it's because he beat his wife.

I wish I were joking.
posted by desjardins at 9:56 PM on March 10, 2008


did she refuse to wear her burqa?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:49 PM on March 10, 2008


Woohoo! Wifebeating jokes!
posted by tkolar at 11:16 PM on March 10, 2008


NEW LOW!!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on March 11, 2008


Maybe the engineering terrorists are remembered because their bombs actually work. Unlike these guys.

In the article, the sample of violent Islamist terrorists included both those who successfully carried off attacks and those who were arrested before the plots could come to fruition, so technological competence cannot explain the difference. In addition, it doesn't explain why there aren't as many engineers in the membership of left-wing terrorist groups (the Weathermen, the Red Army Faction, the Japanese Red Army) and violent non-Islamic right-wing groups (neo-Nazis, Italian Fascists).
posted by jonp72 at 12:29 PM on March 11, 2008


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