Monday, December 03, 2007


Unbeknown to most, there is a secret cadre of benighted engineers who have, over the past decades, invented a new engineering discipline with no name. This new discipline is called Mis-engineering. The purpose of this highly distributed covert conspiracy, is the deliberate under-fulfillment of engineering potential, in order to satisfy moral, financial, or political objectives. The manifestations of this perverted underground include the following:

  • The Amazon Search engine. The purpose of this is not to enable you to find the product you seek, but to generate a list of products which you must browse through before finding your intended quarry. En route, a significant proportion of customers will have their interest piqued by other items, which they will then choose to buy. It is the internet equivalent of forcing supermarket customers to walk past all the other food in a shop before they reach the bread and milk.
  • Predictive text's Christian ignorance of slang taboo.
  • Impaired road-junction visibility. People are not to be trusted in making judgements on the road, so hedges and barriers are deliberately engineered to prohibit road-users from spotting vehicles coming from the left or right approaching a junction. Vehicles must come to a stop, and the road-user must then, and only then, observe the traffic coming from either side.
  • Famously, the interminable walk from an aircraft arrival gate to the luggage conveyor belt. The speed of delivery processes are not to be improved; rather, new methods for distracting people from the waiting are to be devised.
  • Traffic lights which change according to fixed timing, and not the presence of cars. Traffic must be brought to a stop at traffic lights; a flowing stream of cars must be broken into bunches.

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