Engineers as terrorists.

wavefreak
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Engineers as terrorists.

Interesting article on why engineers are over-represented among violent Islamists. 

 

http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/users/gambetta/Engineers%20of%20Jihad.pdf

 

Abstract. We find that graduates from subjects such as science, engineering,
and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the
Muslim world, though not among the extremist Islamic groups which have
emerged in Western countries more recently. We also find that engineers alone
are strongly over-represented among graduates in violent groups in both
realms. This is all the more puzzling for engineers are virtually absent from
left-wing violent extremists and only present rather than over-represented
among right-wing extremists. We consider four hypotheses that could explain
this pattern. Is the engineers’ prominence among violent Islamists an accident
of history amplified through network links, or do their technical skills make
them attractive recruits? Do engineers have a ‘mindset’ that makes them a
particularly good match for Islamism, or is their vigorous radicalization
explained by the social conditions they endured in Islamic countries? We
argue that the interaction between the last two causes is the most plausible
explanation of our findings, casting a new light on the sources of Islamic
extremism and grounding macro theories of radicalization in a micro-level
perspective.

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The Doomed Soul
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If you want to know the

If you want to know the best way to destroy a building... you ask a structural engineer...

 

If you want to know whats the most insidious virus on the planet, you talk with a bio-chem student

 

If you want to put a car on top of the empire state building and hot wire the internal lighting of said building to say "U SUCK"... talk to M.I.T

 

Its not a hard concept... if you have experts on your side, you increase your odds

What Would Kharn Do?


shelley
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During my Undergraduate

During my Undergraduate experience (Engineering major) we were constantly reinforced with the message that we were the smartest... only 'real' major... etc.  The orientation class I took freshman year was basically a weekly "Liberal Arts majors are cop-outs" lecture.  

This specific school had retention issues and decided the way to combat that was to boost our self-esteem by convincing us we were members of an elite few.  While I understand the psychological effects of group dynamics, I don't how much help they were giving us in the long run with this common, repeated line:

"A doctor only kills one person, and engineer kills thousands." 


ProzacDeathWish
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The Doomed Soul wrote: If

The Doomed Soul wrote:

If you want to know the best way to destroy a building... you ask a structural engineer...

Your logic is indisputable, still the most deadly act of domestic terrorism in US history was perpetrated by an ex-army veteran named Timothy McVeigh who, to my knowledge, had no training in civil engineering.  

He was just an disgruntled radical who used available resources to make a really big bang next to the Murrah Federal building which totally collapsed the northern half of the structure and killed 168 people in the process.

Nevertheless, your point is valid.  I was simply reminded of a rare exception to the rule.

 

 


ParanoidAgnostic
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I enrolled in engineering

I enrolled in engineering at University but swapped to teaching after the first year. This was partially due to disillusionment with higher education (It's the same as the final year of highschool repeated 8 times: study - exams, study - exams....) but also due to the fact that it is a purely functional degree. It should be an apprenticeship, not a university course. It's all about practicing skills to do a specific job. I loved science and chose engineering because it was built on science. Unfortunately I found it took science and cut out all of the interesting stuff, simply turning it into a tool box.

 I've always believed that a university should be a place to explore and discuss ideas. I found that in teaching. It even allowed me to regain my love of science and discover a love of mathematics in the units (from mathematics and science dergrees) that I had to take for my specialisation.

 

Anyway all of this is just background for my opinion that engineers would make excellent islammic terrorists. Jihadists use technology developed by the modern western world to atack it. They could not develop these things themselves. They don't understand or care about the science behind it, it's just a tool. This is the mindset that engineers are trained with, atleast in my experience.

They are ideal terrorists. They have high level skills with plenty of destructive potential but have not been trained to question. You do not need to be an independent thinker to be a skilled engineer.

 

Sorry engineers reading this. This is a broad generalisation based on my brief engineering study and the engineers I work with (I'm now a database programmer at an engineering company - I liked teaching but didn't like shouting at teenagers). I do have a good number of friends who are engineers and independent thinkers. I'm not suggesting that all engineers are mindless zombies. I'm just saying they developed the independent thinking somewhere other than their engineering study.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


The Doomed Soul
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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Your logic is indisputable, still the most deadly act of domestic terrorism in US history was perpetrated by an ex-army veteran named Timothy McVeigh who, to my knowledge, had no training in civil engineering.  

He was just an disgruntled radical who used available resources to make a really big bang next to the Murrah Federal building which totally collapsed the northern half of the structure and killed 168 people in the process.

Nevertheless, your point is valid.  I was simply reminded of a rare exception to the rule.

 

Ah ha... but see, if he consulted the engineer, he could have brought the WHOLE building down ^_^

What Would Kharn Do?


Zombie
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I have also heard the

I have also heard the theory that since most of these people travel over-seas for their education. They arrive in a foreign country, usally western, that is much more hedonistic than where they were born. Being an outsider is never easy, and many turn to religion for solace and comfort, which leads down the path of radicalism.

People in similar situations develope very defensive attitudes as a coping mechanism, i.e. those beautiful american girls won`t talk or look at me? They are all whores and sluts!!

 

Morte alla tyrannus et dei