No offense, but you're making a basic mistake I've seen made by many an engineer: one can't boil the modification of human nature and behavior down to a simple set of troubleshooting steps. Full disclosure: I'm a retired Navy steam plant supervisor...and working with nuts and bolts, oil and water, and pumps and pipes is a heck of a lot easier than figuring out why people do what they do, and how to help them to do better.

Why? It's not just individuals, but whole cultures and nations with history, tradition, bias, racial demographics, religions, levels of income/education/travel, and so on. America's situation is further compounded by our population's relative isolation from most of the rest of the world and by its nature as a melting pot of people and cultures.

In other words, this problem is beyond the mindset of an engineer, but requires the mindset of an artist. After all, there's a reason why leadership (whether civilian or military) is referred to as an art.

To put it another way, humanity is much like the infinite detail of a Mandelbrot set. No matter how far down you dig to determine the details and root causes, you're going to find you've made no real progress - there's always that much more to it. But an artist can step back and see the whole and bend it and shape it to make it better.

It reminds one of Jody Foster's line in "Contact" when she first experienced interstellar travel: "They should have sent a poet."

BTW, I tend to try to figure out the people I have discussions with, and I see you grew up in the USSR. That explains your interest in engineering, because as far as I've seen, Russians make for great engineers, and the US Navy stole quite of few of their ideas e.g. stealth tech, SLBM's, cruise missiles, CIWS missile defense, and much more.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store