Monday, January 25, 2016

So, Marxists, how is all that working for you?

One of the first things Russia did when the Marxists took power was to round up all of the Intellectuals and execute them.  This act was based on two aspects of Marxist theory:
  1. Intellectuals are tools of the "bourgeoisie" 
  2. "Expertise" is an illusion used to create an artificial monopoly.

Marxist theory claims you can randomly select any boy out slopping the hogs, train him in Marxist theory and then he can run a nuclear power plant.  Marxists believe that atoms slavishly follow Marxist doctrine because Marx was all knowing.  That is, the laws of Physics and Chemistry and Biology conform to Marxist thinking.

Flint drinking water

I have no inside knowledge, but I do have a year of college level Chemistry. That is not very much Chemistry but it is clearly far more Chemistry training than anybody running the Flint water treatment plant had.

It will take decades for this train wreck to unwind in courts-of-law.  At this point we can barely make informed guesses because the public is still being fed misinformation.

For example, the latest "root-cause" cited by the Flint officials is that the lead was dissolved out of the pipes by the acidic water coming out of the Flint river.

The only problem with that narrative is that the water in the Flint river (the whole Saginaw river watershed, in fact) is alkaline.  The Saginaw watershed is agricultural.  We lime our fields.  What is not agricultural is paved with concrete.  Concrete is also alkaline.  According to the US Geological Survey web site the surface waters in the Saginaw river watershed have a pH of about 8.0.  It is not "acid".

How can we trust these bozos when they do not even know the pH of their feedstock water?  Or maybe they do and they are just plain lying.  Maybe I am offended because they threw out bullshit information that anybody who can log onto a computer can dispute.  If you are going to lie to me, at least make the effort to have the lie hang together.

A more plausible narrative is that the newly formed Flint Water Treatment plant  was staffed with political stooges.  You know, the ones who had been trained in Marxist theory.

Through a series of colossal blunders, they poisoned the citizens of Flint.

The trail of evidence is not very clear, but early complaints included issues with "taste" and that the water "looked muddy".  One scenario has the plant implementing chemical treatments to improve clarity with no follow-up to determine how it impacted downstream chemical processes.  One of the most common chemicals used to treat turbidity is alum.  Solutions of alum and water have a pH of that is acid.

It is inconceivable that the vendors selling the plant chem supplies failed to tell the managers this was a very bad idea.  Most likely, those managers, the ones who likely had degrees in Political Science blew off the suppliers as opportunistic capitalists trying to rip off the noble public servant for more money.  After all, those managers had "science" degrees.  The extent of their analysis was likely "You cannot bullshit a bullshitter."

As a side riff, another factor that may have played into this mess is the magical creation of "technical" people.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Act requires that enterprises hire "disadvantaged" classes at levels that are proportional to their representation in the Bureau of Labor Statistics job market.

Many of those "disadvantaged" classes prefer to work for governmental units which leaves industry in a bind.  Industry has been known to "solve" the problem by finding a clerk and re-titling them as "Engineer" or "Chemist" or whatever technical expert was in short supply.  Sometimes they received training and a change of work content.  Often it did not.  They kept clerking but at least the EEO cops get off the firm's back.

I worked with one woman who became an engineer by this route.  She was showing me pictures of her daughter.  I commented that her daughter was pretty.

The woman told me, with an absolutely matter-of-fact voice, "Yes, she is studying to be a model.  But if that does not work out she will just become an engineer."

This drastically dilutes the "signaling" value of advanced degrees in those "disadvantaged" classes.  The company where I worked was imploding.  We had a Caucasian engineer with a Master's degree in Engineering supervising production workers while this woman, who did not even have a Bachelor's degree, played on the computer and received Engineer pay grade.

One interpretation of that circumstance would be that only really stupid people get advanced degrees in STEM subjects.  It is an absolute waste of time if any random pig-boy clerk can do the job.

With that kind of background it would be perfectly rational to put clerks and political hacks in charge of the water treatment plant.

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