Screaming Circuits: The End is Near - X30

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The End is Near - X30

LIGO arm cropped
Let me be more specific. The end of the year 2018 is near.

Some might argue that with air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer, heating to keep us warm in the winter and an industrialized global food supply chain to keep us fed through all seasons (romaine lettuce notwithstanding), such distinctions as "New Year's" become rather arbitrary and irrelevant to the survival of the species.

That may be true in the purest sense, but most people aren't really "purest sense" beings - even those of us that like to think we are. By and large, we like meaningless milestones, clean cuts and round numbers.

With that being understood, we here at Screaming Circuits conduct a yearly survey among the people that do business with us. A lot of good comes out of it. We use the information, positive and negative, to improve ourselves and better understand what is wanted and needed of us.

However, we sometimes get a bit more than we asked for, as happened this year. Maybe the question: "What is the biggest concern you have for the future?" is a little ambiguous, but really, in the context of a survey about our company, I would think that it would be interpreted as relating to the survey respondent's job, or about doing business with us. Most likely, that is understood, which is a good thing. But, based on some of the answers, either it's not understood or we just bring out a healthy sarcasm in engineers. I prefer to think it is the latter.

So, here's 30 non-electronics concerns about the future that worry your fellow electrical engineers (and maybe you), with my commentary thrown in. I don't know who wrote what - anonymity, you know - but I can still have an opinion. None of the responses have been edited from their original form.

The questions is: "What is the biggest concern you have for the future?"

And, the survey says...

  • Heat death of the universe

Eclipse 29 trimmed w Earth to scaleGeeze. Nothing like starting out with something big. But that's a bit of a ruse though. In only five and a half billion years, our sun will expand and burn the Earth to a crisp so we'll be a trillion trillion years (give or a take some exponential places) gone by heat death time.

  • Global Warming Political Polarization Reducing cost of parts

Ah, yes. The GWPPR initiative. Article 12, section d, sub-clause ii does in fact regulate the cost of parts. It covers everything except multi layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC).

  • Health

Don't eat the romaine lettuce.

  • Personally? Or Business, please be more specific

I can be more specific. We were asking about what you left on your office desk on Wednesday, April 7, 2027, from 3:17 to 3:37 pm PST. We know. 

  • abcdefg aaaa aaaaa

My sentiments exactly. If I had a beer, I'd offer you one.

  • Lunch

Fish and chips.

  • Genetic editing rendering humanity sterile.

In the publishing world, no one seems to have the job of "editor" anymore, nor does anyone seem to care. If people can't be bothered to edit a blog posst, do you really think anyone's going to takt the time and effort to edit genes?

  • Nation's economy & my retirement in January, 2020

I've already determined that I'm going to need to work until I'm 110 before I can afford to retire, so cry me a river...

  • that the layperson underestimates the difficulty of electronics design because of the way the maker movement portrays it

Don't you know, it's all "one button" now.

  • N/A

Norwegian leaning apricots. I'm in favor of them, of course.

  • Trump's fascism, climate change, and Putin/Xinping's bold aggression. (Well, hey, you asked!)

Yes. You are correct. We did ask. I have my own political leanings (see the previous answer and my response) and be advised, I am going have to give some font space to the other side as well.

  • Democrats!

See above and the one before that.

  • Gov for the people and not for the rich or corporations

Haven't you heard? Corporations are people now, and so is Soylent Green.

  • It's all good.

Really? It's ALL good? What about the word "bad"? Is it "good" too? That would confuse me.

  • Unsure of the question: Personally - health, finances & retirement. Professionally - Falling behind in technology (I'm over 50)

Join the club, my friend.

  • Economic cycles/ downturn.

I hear ya. Economic cycles, bi cycles, motor cycles, Circadian cycles without zeitgebers are said to be free-running. Um what!?

  • Political chaos

Myself, I've always thought a little political chaos is a good thing. Not too much though. It keeps the government occupied while we get on with our lives and invent awesome stuff. Shoot - have we reached "too much"? We have, haven't we?

  • World Peace - X2

Are you referring to the second iteration of world peace? Or peace for the second iteration of the world?

  • Other than the economy collapsing again ;-) it's getting boards designed/manufactured on time and getting product shipped to customers.

Sure. Make it all about you.

  • Climate change

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the climate, it is a-changin'.

  • Donald Trump - X2

Um. "X2" again? Did you take this survey twice?

  • Graduate school, but that is probably irrelevant...

The funny thing about life is that things that may seem irrelevant today may very well be quite important a few years hence. Of course, the reverse is true too, so stay humble my friend.

  • Political focus on engineering, science, and innovation for topics other than defense.

This, quite certainly, is a tough one. Most things we do fit well the "double-edged sword" metaphor and solving that one is far above my pay grade.

  • The state of the financial system (markets at all time highs) and the possible effects of the inevitable recession on my contracting income.

To "recess" and to "contract" are both negatives and we all know that a double negative makes a positive, so you'll be fine. Right?

  • Stable grounded reality

Dream on!

  • Economy and ecology

What about geology and geography? Don't they count too?

  • Our government

Really, who isn't?

  • Continued economic growth

Are you concerned that there will be continued economic growth? Or are you concerned that there will not be?

  • No concerns - X4

I'm seeing some real growth in your character arc here. From world peace to Donald Trump, and now no concerns at all. Or do you know something that we don't?

  • Lunch

I'm having fish and chips. What are you having?

And, there you have it. Thirty pieces of wisdom from the world of electronics design and manufacturing. With this knowledge, you are now equipped to face whatever 2019 may throw your way. Thank you and you're welcome.

Duane Benson
The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind

 

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