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As one of the diminishing section of science/engineering graduates who actually went into engineering, I view the maelstrom of money in the financial sector with extreme suspicion. To my mind it represents more than anything the decline of the West - the greedy, fast, decadent and above all EASY creation of fake wealth as opposed to the slow, difficult, painstaking creation of real wealth through actually altering the real world.

To anyone on here who still labours under the illusion that b_w_ankers in the city are some sort of super-smart race of phenomenally hard workers, let me disabuse you of that notion: designing and building something is MUCH more difficult than the creation of funny money.

At the end of the day finance is a lot easier and more well paid, and therefore it is little wonder that it is more attractive to your average greedy sod. Unfortunately, it means that the science and engineering base in this country has been disappearing rapidly over the last decade. The financial sector is the snake eating it's own tail.

Bankers - see that fancy car you drive that you bought to compensate for your small d1ck...someone built it. When you phone Hong Kong on your mobile, you are using an object that sits in your pocket and allows you to talk to anyone else on the planet who has a similar object - it might as well be magic FFS. To enable this, a satellite that took literally hundreds of man years of effort sits quietly 36,000km overhead, piping your inane babble across continents. When you pop a pill for your 'stress-related' ulcer (Beluga Caviar and champagne related ulcer more like <_< ), it is the result of years of clinical trials. When you go home to your luxury townhouse in Belgravia, it represents a tradition of architecture that stretches back through history. Even the multitude of the most inane objects that surround you in your home represent a wealth of technical and engineering knowledge, of smelting and firing and glazing and turning and curing and stitching and setting and distillation.....

All this represents a degree of effort and skill you in your pathetic job could never match. Your role was to allocate money efficiently to help facilitate all this activity - you are a facilitator of productive work, THAT is YOUR ROLE in society. Not inventing ways to convince the rest of us that you have created billions of pounds of wealth. Not hampering all this activity with your myopic greed.

Personally I think the financial sector has just signed it's own death-warrant with this recent farce; the rest of us won't tolerate it as it currently stands for much longer.

Quite an excellent post....

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Being an undergraduate at one of the top Science/Technology Universities in the UK (Imperial College)

That would be in the World my friend. Don't you forget it. ;)

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When I finished my Ph.D. in Chemistry I got offered two jobs on the same day. The first was with Nomura, to join a programme they had for post grad students that if you stuck with it would make you a millionaire (according to the head of international markets anyway). The other job I was offered was to join a research team setting up a new branch of chemistry at Pfizer's research lab in Sandwich (an amazing facility, totally world class). I took the latter, more noble cause...then jacked it all in 6 months later because research is fu(king boring. You have to be a ceratin type, and I do admire those who stick with it and produce drugs/inventions that better man's existance, just wasn't for me. I would love to be a teacher, and pass on my genuine passion for science, but apart from the crap pay, I really couldn't cope with the huge volumes of beuracracy, and the discipline issues that plague teachers lives now. Personally i would be quite happy to see all those (unts that work in the city herded into a field in dover and driven off the edge of a cliff...they, along with the politicians they own, have destroyed our nation...they have produced no wealth, nothing of value at all.

Be glad you don't work at pfizer, half the companies products will be off patent over the next few years. They and all the other major pharma's are laying off large numbers of their staff's, and outsourcing much of the remaining R&D. As for R&D in general in the U.K there has been a viscous self-reenforcing cycle of decline, causing it to die a slow death. The potential researchers/scientists have gone to london to work in finance, making the country unattractive for high-quality R&D. This has meant fewer higher paying R&D positions, which has depressed overall wages in those fields. So then fewer scientists go into R&D, etc, etc.

Contrast the UK with germany. Both had a historically large industrial R&D base, ours has now mostly gone while germany has kept theirs. Also examine the availability of the almost completely McScience jobs now seen on reed.co.uk. Good scientists go to london, lower quality scientists take a McJob.

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The banks would argue the reverse, that the enabling of credit has allowed the growth of real business in the world, without that credit the spending and hence production would be less.

They would say that would n't they ?

The problem is too much capital has been diverted to pure speculation on assets such as houses or malinvestment in factories in the Far east that will eventually wind up producing goods that are not needed.

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Bankers - see that fancy car you drive that you bought to compensate for your small d1ck...someone built it. When you phone Hong Kong on your mobile, you are using an object that sits in your pocket and allows you to talk to anyone else on the planet who has a similar object - it might as well be magic FFS. To enable this, a satellite that took literally hundreds of man years of effort sits quietly 36,000km overhead, piping your inane babble across continents. When you pop a pill for your 'stress-related' ulcer (Beluga Caviar and champagne related ulcer more like <_< ), it is the result of years of clinical trials. When you go home to your luxury townhouse in Belgravia, it represents a tradition of architecture that stretches back through history. Even the multitude of the most inane objects that surround you in your home represent a wealth of technical and engineering knowledge, of smelting and firing and glazing and turning and curing and stitching and setting and distillation.....

All this represents a degree of effort and skill you in your pathetic job could never match. Your role was to allocate money efficiently to help facilitate all this activity - you are a facilitator of productive work, THAT is YOUR ROLE in society. Not inventing ways to convince the rest of us that you have created billions of pounds of wealth. Not hampering all this activity with your myopic greed.

You know, I just love the mindless ranting in this thread. That's the one great thing about HPC.co.uk: you're never starved of bias! :rolleyes:

OK, my background is in Automotive Engineering and then Computer Science. And I still avidly read up on Science & Technology to this day. Still, would you care to point me towards a single, decent Science & Technology programme on mainstream TV - i.e. the Beeb or ITV? Where do you think MOST young people get their role-models and peer-pressure from? The FT? Don't make me laugh.

You seem to blame Bankers for this nation's problems (BTW, I do strongly agree with the sentiment of your post above) but your target is completely wrong. We live in a society where The Sheeple are fed X-Factor, I'm a Celebrity, Place in The Sun, Property Ladder, Escape to The Country, Eastenders, Holyoaks, Coronation Street, etc.,etc. Anyone not interested in those - and especially someone interested in Science - is labeled by the media as a "geek", "nerd", "crackpot scientist", etc. Is it any wonder young people avoid Science? Are just a handful of "bankers" responsible for that? Of course not. If you want to vent your spleen, at least start in the right place: The Media, especially TV (most of which we pay for via License Fee TAX.) And when was the last time you watched a mainstream film where the hero was a level-headed, hard-working, well-educated and good-looking Scientist or Engineer? Never, because surely such a beast couldn't exist!

Oh, and as has been pointed out, Science pay is so low that it's just not an option for most people in this country. That's the fault of Government, not just a few greedy bankers.

Nomadd

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And when was the last time you watched a mainstream film where the hero was a level-headed, hard-working, well-educated and good-looking Scientist or Engineer?

Paycheck!

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Well of course the Japanese developed 'zaitec' or 'financial engineering' in the late 80's. I think they really believed this would be their leading 'industry' and it's possible that if their stockmarket /real estate bubble had kept growing for 10 year or more then maybe they would have allowed their manufactoring industry to whither away. Fortunately when their bubble burst they still had something to fall back on. Here in the U.K. when our bubble busts......doesn't look good does it..?

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You know, I just love the mindless ranting in this thread. That's the one great thing about HPC.co.uk: you're never starved of bias! :rolleyes:

OK, my background is in Automotive Engineering and then Computer Science. And I still avidly read up on Science & Technology to this day. Still, would you care to point me towards a single, decent Science & Technology programme on mainstream TV - i.e. the Beeb or ITV? Where do you think MOST young people get their role-models and peer-pressure from? The FT? Don't make me laugh.

You seem to blame Bankers for this nation's problems (BTW, I do strongly agree with the sentiment of your post above) but your target is completely wrong. We live in a society where The Sheeple are fed X-Factor, I'm a Celebrity, Place in The Sun, Property Ladder, Escape to The Country, Eastenders, Holyoaks, Coronation Street, etc.,etc. Anyone not interested in those - and especially someone interested in Science - is labeled by the media as a "geek", "nerd", "crackpot scientist", etc. Is it any wonder young people avoid Science? Are just a handful of "bankers" responsible for that? Of course not. If you want to vent your spleen, at least start in the right place: The Media, especially TV (most of which we pay for via License Fee TAX.) And when was the last time you watched a mainstream film where the hero was a level-headed, hard-working, well-educated and good-looking Scientist or Engineer? Never, because surely such a beast couldn't exist!

Oh, and as has been pointed out, Science pay is so low that it's just not an option for most people in this country. That's the fault of Government, not just a few greedy bankers.

Nomadd

Yes, well, there are many and varied reasons as to why our society values people who move money around much more highly than people who actually invent and make new things and ways of doing things. THe point of my OP was that I think this is dysfunctional and has resulted in us getting to terrible mess where we are today.

You probably can't blame individual bankers for going to where the money is but this is a problem we are going to have to fix. Perhaps one way is to wage a media campaign to reduce the social status of bankers and increase the social status of other more productive jobs.

Another way is to make bankers suffer the downside when their risk-taking goes bad and not just the upside when it pays off - i.e. send them to jail for fraud when they get found committing criminal offenses and be very strict and aggressive in pursuing white-collar crime.

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Dude, it's not our fault Financial Maths turned out to be the same sums that the rocket scientists used. We had to steal all the Physicists for a couple of years to catch up.

Now we have the heat equation and stochastic calculus down we don't need you guys any more so you can go back to your particle colliders and whatnot.

Another problem solved, by the mighty Tharg.

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Well the last film I saw with an engineering type as the hero was that thing with Keaneu Reeves (sic) and I didn't think that much of that.

The whole problem with Science and Engineering is that to get good it takes effort, and other than wanting to be TV presenters, topless models, MC's and BTL millionaires the current generation don't seem to want to make the effort. The banks do traditonally hire sci/eng grads because of numerical ability. As they make the most money then they can pay higher salaries. I don't begrudge them that, because I know that in 10 years time there will still be a piece of equipment somewhere in the world with my name somewhere on it. I am proud of that, I also probably experience more foreign culture through my engineering travels, as I often spend a week or more living and eating with clients and site workers.

The only consolation is that in times of hard ship my skills to make something are far more highly valued than an engineering graduate whose lost millions in the city and his skill base in engineering is irrevocably eroded.

I would like to see the title engineer protected. It winds me up to see plumbers etc adding engineer to their van liveries, not because I am a snob but because the word means something else to the rest of the world.

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Dude, it's not our fault Financial Maths turned out to be the same sums that the rocket scientists used. We had to steal all the Physicists for a couple of years to catch up.

Now we have the heat equation and stochastic calculus down we don't need you guys any more so you can go back to your particle colliders and whatnot.

Another problem solved, by the mighty Tharg.

not really true as far as I know.

You don't really use much stochastic calculus in physics.

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As one of the diminishing section of science/engineering graduates who actually went into engineering, I view the maelstrom of money in the financial sector with extreme suspicion. To my mind it represents more than anything the decline of the West - the greedy, fast, decadent and above all EASY creation of fake wealth as opposed to the slow, difficult, painstaking creation of real wealth through actually altering the real world.

To anyone on here who still labours under the illusion that b_w_ankers in the city are some sort of super-smart race of phenomenally hard workers, let me disabuse you of that notion: designing and building something is MUCH more difficult than the creation of funny money.

At the end of the day finance is a lot easier and more well paid, and therefore it is little wonder that it is more attractive to your average greedy sod. Unfortunately, it means that the science and engineering base in this country has been disappearing rapidly over the last decade. The financial sector is the snake eating it's own tail.

Bankers - see that fancy car you drive that you bought to compensate for your small d1ck...someone built it. When you phone Hong Kong on your mobile, you are using an object that sits in your pocket and allows you to talk to anyone else on the planet who has a similar object - it might as well be magic FFS. To enable this, a satellite that took literally hundreds of man years of effort sits quietly 36,000km overhead, piping your inane babble across continents. When you pop a pill for your 'stress-related' ulcer (Beluga Caviar and champagne related ulcer more like <_< ), it is the result of years of clinical trials. When you go home to your luxury townhouse in Belgravia, it represents a tradition of architecture that stretches back through history. Even the multitude of the most inane objects that surround you in your home represent a wealth of technical and engineering knowledge, of smelting and firing and glazing and turning and curing and stitching and setting and distillation.....

All this represents a degree of effort and skill you in your pathetic job could never match. Your role was to allocate money efficiently to help facilitate all this activity - you are a facilitator of productive work, THAT is YOUR ROLE in society. Not inventing ways to convince the rest of us that you have created billions of pounds of wealth. Not hampering all this activity with your myopic greed.

Personally I think the financial sector has just signed it's own death-warrant with this recent farce; the rest of us won't tolerate it as it currently stands for much longer.

Great post indeed, but just one quibble.

It doesn't apply to all the West, but mainly the Anglo-Saxon economies.

Much of central europe and Scandinavia still have a strong manufacturing base and healthy trade surpluses.

e.g. Finland shipbuilding

Perhaps you should have said Western countries without strong trade unions.

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QUOTE (marko @ Jan 27 2008, 09:07 AM)

Well said marko

It has been pretty well agreed that the words 'ingenuity' and 'engineering' in English and 'ingéniosité' and 'ingénierie' in French are linked to the same Latin word-root and that the verb 'to engineer' means 'to be ingenious.'

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Look at the competition from China in just one high tech business

At the end of Dec. 2007, Huawei has over 68,000 employees, of whom 48% are dedicated to R&D. Huawei's global R&D centers are located in Bangalore in India, Silicon Valley and Dallas in USA, Stockholm in Sweden and Moscow in Russia in addition to those in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Chengdu in China.

Not a lot of people have heard of Huawei, but they are a partner for BT in their programme to upgrade telephone exchanges for the 21st Century Network (google BT and 21CN). So you've probably used their kit whenever you've made a landline call or used broadband. BTs other partner is Fujitsu. BT have quit much of their R&D and manufacturing capability and just outsource their kit.

The UKs indigineous manuafacturing base is hollower than you might think, and we desparately needs more scitech grads.

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And when was the last time you watched a mainstream film where the hero was a level-headed, hard-working, well-educated and good-looking Scientist or Engineer? Never, because surely such a beast couldn't exist!

Just the other week - I Am Legend.

It's a valid point though. You're far more likely to see a court room drama or some kind of wall street based drama/'thriller'.

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As one of the diminishing section of science/engineering graduates who actually went into engineering, I view the maelstrom of money in the financial sector with extreme suspicion. To my mind it represents more than anything the decline of the West - the greedy, fast, decadent and above all EASY creation of fake wealth as opposed to the slow, difficult, painstaking creation of real wealth through actually altering the real world.

To anyone on here who still labours under the illusion that b_w_ankers in the city are some sort of super-smart race of phenomenally hard workers, let me disabuse you of that notion: designing and building something is MUCH more difficult than the creation of funny money.

At the end of the day finance is a lot easier and more well paid, and therefore it is little wonder that it is more attractive to your average greedy sod. Unfortunately, it means that the science and engineering base in this country has been disappearing rapidly over the last decade. The financial sector is the snake eating it's own tail.

Bankers - see that fancy car you drive that you bought to compensate for your small d1ck...someone built it. When you phone Hong Kong on your mobile, you are using an object that sits in your pocket and allows you to talk to anyone else on the planet who has a similar object - it might as well be magic FFS. To enable this, a satellite that took literally hundreds of man years of effort sits quietly 36,000km overhead, piping your inane babble across continents. When you pop a pill for your 'stress-related' ulcer (Beluga Caviar and champagne related ulcer more like <_< ), it is the result of years of clinical trials. When you go home to your luxury townhouse in Belgravia, it represents a tradition of architecture that stretches back through history. Even the multitude of the most inane objects that surround you in your home represent a wealth of technical and engineering knowledge, of smelting and firing and glazing and turning and curing and stitching and setting and distillation.....

All this represents a degree of effort and skill you in your pathetic job could never match. Your role was to allocate money efficiently to help facilitate all this activity - you are a facilitator of productive work, THAT is YOUR ROLE in society. Not inventing ways to convince the rest of us that you have created billions of pounds of wealth. Not hampering all this activity with your myopic greed.

Personally I think the financial sector has just signed it's own death-warrant with this recent farce; the rest of us won't tolerate it as it currently stands for much longer.

As others have said already, excellent post, the best I have read in a while.

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Why is using/re-constituting the Earth's finite resources morally "worthwhile" and being a banker or accountant or similar morally bankrupt?

Is a £250,000 Rolls Royce, beautifully engineered as it may be, worth a gnat's piss in the scheme of things? or a British Leyland heap of junk 30 years ago?

Some scientists do worthwhile things....great....some do totally pointless and trivial things....I would imagine much of the time GPs spend writing prescriptions for anti-biotics and so on....

Is a scientist "better" than a writer or a painter?

I for one would rather have one Carlos Santana than 1 million scientists making soap powder or engineers designing cookers.

This Calvinist work ****** is so wearisome. If you want to be a scientist or an engineer then great, go do it, if you want to be a banker, cool, I'm happy for you. If you wan't to lie on the grass looking up at the sky for the rest of your life who really gives a toss. :rolleyes:

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If you wan't to lie on the grass looking up at the sky for the rest of your life who really gives a toss. :rolleyes:

wouldn't really give a toss except we have to end up supporting such people with social security...

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Why is using/re-constituting the Earth's finite resources morally "worthwhile" and being a banker or accountant or similar morally bankrupt?

well, then I suggest you have a problem with life itself!

Is a £250,000 Rolls Royce, beautifully engineered as it may be, worth a gnat's piss in the scheme of things? or a British Leyland heap of junk 30 years ago?

Some people may like it others may not, in the end there not really any great meaning for life as far as I can understand. If a Rolls Royce helps you enjoy life, what is wrong with it?

Some scientists do worthwhile things....great....some do totally pointless and trivial things....I would imagine much of the time GPs spend writing prescriptions for anti-biotics and so on....

This is the nature of any job. And?

Is a scientist "better" than a writer or a painter?

No, we were comparing scientists and bankers. Variety is the spice of life.

I for one would rather have one Carlos Santana than 1 million scientists making soap powder or engineers designing cookers.

It would be rather tiresome not being able to listen to him on a stereo though wouldn't it?

This Calvinist work ****** is so wearisome.

This Romanticism is so 19th Century and passe. :P

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Not a lot of people have heard of Huawei, but they are a partner for BT in their programme to upgrade telephone exchanges for the 21st Century Network (google BT and 21CN). So you've probably used their kit whenever you've made a landline call or used broadband. BTs other partner is Fujitsu. BT have quit much of their R&D and manufacturing capability and just outsource their kit.

The UKs indigineous manuafacturing base is hollower than you might think, and we desparately needs more scitech grads.

And Huawei have been ripping off Cisco for years - kinda proves the point.

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  • 315 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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