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Monday, January 23, 2012

Why the academics can't make it in the political world?

I shall answer this with an example I experienced.

I am involved with a project which deals with an industry. It is a material that they want to adopt for their use in one of their structures. This material can be made up of sub-material A or sub-material B. Sub-material A is expensive but it can withstand fire for up to 1 hour. Sub-material B is less expensive but neither me nor the industry know whether it can withstand fire at all.

So the industry ask me to test the material with sub-material B. Not an easy task. After so much readings, I still cannot find the answer. Perhaps, I have to build a test rig in the lab and interpret the results. Building a testing rig is another problem. Ask any academia about it.

The reason the industry want to know about sub-material B is simply because if it can withstand fire for 30 minutes, it is sufficient since they don't require 1 hour fire resistant. With that, they can save more than 50% of the cost. Say, if the total cost is RM10 millions, saving 50% out of it is quite OK. What if RM20 million can be saved?

So it drag a bit. Researching and getting the correct understanding of the material takes time. Because of that, I cannot give them any answer yet. The pressure is so high.

By the time I got the answer to the question (which is, sub-material B CANNOT withstand fire at all), it was 2 months after the question was originally asked. And I answered that with confidence since I now know the fact.

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The situation above, you can use your imagination on political situation. For example, A is accusing B (or vice versa, it doesn't matter). How fast do you come with a decision on who is right and who is wrong? 2 months? By the time you have the "facts", the pile of more accusations on different kinds of situations between A and B has doubled, tripled, quadrupled? You may now want to re-look at your "facts".

So it bugs me when political party supporter can be so adamant on the information they get 10 minutes ago especially when it comes to attack the opponent. As if it is a fact. I mean, how can you be so sure about it? You don't want to ask more about it?

Yes we are slow. But only because we want to know the facts. We are trained that way.



1 comment:

devourment of souls said...

Numerous live examples have shown that academicians who jumped into political arena got sucked up with the "bulls**t black hole"..

Once you got sucked up, there is no chance to get out.

And yet we people still rely our interest towards these politicians more than academicians.. *sigh*