Sunday, April 17, 2011


Were 3 major schools of engineering. 

It was not easy to get in these schools. The judges would only take the ones with the best grades.

The smartest where the “X's”. Nobody really knows why they were named like this. The X's were very intelligent, really really good in math. They could understand every possible scientific theory and explain and successfully use them.  X's were the top engineers of the Galaxy. Unfortunately, they would often use complicated words to try to explain all these scientific theories, and other people could not understand them. Which could be a problem when they were trying to work with people not as smart as themselves

Just underneath the X's came the “Centralians”. They were named like this because they believed that their activities were Central to the smooth operation of the Empire. (BTW, they were the only ones to believe it). Centralians were very intelligent people too, although not quite as smart as the X's. In fact, Centralians all secretly wished they had been X's. But they had not. Still, they were very intelligent and hard working people too, they could understand a great number of great scientific theories, they even could understand almost everything an X would say – which, as I already said, is not always easy.

And last, but not least, the Gadz'Arts who, although they could do good engineering, also liked Art and Beauty, and would spend lots of time in their shops trying to build beautiful things. They were intelligent too, but clearly not as bright as the X's. They knew it, and didn't really care. The Gadz'Arts minded their own business, they might not fully understand all the science behind their engineering, but they still did the job. Needless to say, the X's and Centralians tended to look at them as not very serious people who could not really understand the science behind what they were doing, had a strange attraction for Art, and would sometimes spend too much time on a project to make sure everything was properly executed.
In the big colonies under jurisdiction of the Empire, the big bosses where the X's, the Centralians translated to others what the X's really wanted, and the Gardz'Arts – once they had been told what the X's really wanted, were actually making it happen.

One day, the Emperor summoned the head of the 3 alumni organizations and told them : 

“You see that River down from the town. I want each one of you to select one Engineer among your bests to build me a bridge across it. Money is not an issue, each one of you builds me a bridge. I will come back in one year, and see what you have been able to do.”

Each school selected one head engineer who recruited a team, and they went to work.
and this is what happened :
  • The X's used the latest technologies to build a very sophisticated bridge. Which collapsed. But they knew why it had collapsed, and they were ready to build it anew. 

  • The Centralians used the same kind of technologies to build their bridge. It also collapsed, but they did not know why.

  • The Gadz'Arts - who had not hear about the latest technology, built their bridge according to the old ways. Their bridge did not collapse, and they did not know why.

If I have not verified for myself that something actually works, I won't tell you it does. Don't take anything for granted, don't trust anything because it is written, or because someone of authority tells you this is the way it works. Try for yourself...

Le Pont du Gard built by Roman Engineers during the 1st century

Incidentally, I happen to be one of these Gadz'Arts, as is my Dad, a sort of family tradition...

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