by Professor Michael Ogembo Kachieng’a

(A Social Motivational Tribute to Engineering Students)


For many years there have been some intellectually challenged persons with defiled IQs who thought of engineering as boring profession. Such thinking cannot hold in 21st Century. Modern engineering is sexy, flashy and cool. As for the ladies who claim that men engineers are boring, my advice to them is to try men from other professions. Engineering has turned out to be the mother of all professions, especially as is the profession of wealth creation. The outpouring of creativity and innovation of engineers is the backbone of our modern global economy. The Bible tells us that at the origin of creation God used Adam as a handy man. In those days engineers were called handy men.


When discos, dancing and all parties are over, men and women want to “settle”- meaning having a family, comfort and wealth. Nothing arouses more biological emotions, sentiments and sweet dreams than the social value-chain of marriage. When I jokingly introduced the subject of settling to an MBA in Financial Engineering Module group consisting of students from various professional backgrounds; they got into a heated debate on the mechanics of the value contributions made by different professionals in the ‘social connectivity continuum’.  After a long intellectual discourse we came up with a summarised report entitled “Risk Analysis of Love and Happiness in Social Markets.” The report analyses the intrinsic risks in emotional engagement with various professional groups in the social marketplace. For starters, financial engineering is the study of transactional risk in financial and investment markets.


You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to discover that the favourable settling ingredients can be easily achieved if your partner is a wealth creator – an engineer. Most women-being long range social strategists have discovered the beneficial traits in engineers. Women focus on future values in life discounted to the present value. Men focus on present value of life, hoping for the best in the future. To women the future is the ‘real calculus’ of life, the present is just arithmetic. In military terms, women focus on the war, while men focus on the skirmishes in social markets.


Just imagine setting up home with an accountant. All expenses will be entered in a ledger book, recorded under the “double entry” principle, using rules of accounting. All purchases of beauty products like lipsticks and perfumes will be audited and summarised on a monthly basis. Accounting love is a natural offence punishable by separation or divorce. Nature dictates that beauty should be appreciated, not audited. Putting a price on beauty is like pricing nature. Accountants spend valuable family time playing with figures. Love is not about figurers. Love resides in the heart, not in the brain. The problem with the science of love is that it has no units. Real love and fake love appear the same on the emotional continuum. The difference is only revealed in the post-mortem analysis. Love is about present and future emotional values. Those who are interested in ‘audited life’ are welcome to converge with accountants.


Bankers-like accountants – are no better. You are in deep trouble in the bankers’ world. All expenses are monitored, and neatly entered in loss and expense accounts. Lunches and dinners are possible only if they are tax-deductible. Pillow case stories include global financial crisis, inflation and interest rates. By the time you get to the real action you are emotionally bankrupt and mentally depressed. Avoid accountants and bankers like the plague. Smile at them from a respectable distance. All they want is to manage you and your money. Be careful with them, they can ruin you materially and emotionally. The joke amongst engineers is that failed engineers become investment bankers. This is a joke for e-mails only, not corporate parties. Bankers are vindictive and they like working in groups. They flock together in reaping profits and avoiding risks. Have you ever wondered why banks always employ only mean-looking men and women? When you are preoccupied with counting money all the time, you are likely to become mean through osmosis. The meanness of bankers is no accident. It is a professional acquisition.


Lawyers don’t even come close as satisfactory settling partners. This is a gender-sensitive warning to both men and women. Everything with lawyers is a contract-based be it business or love. The law of contract will govern your life. Don’t forget, lawyers who believe in justice are a rare species. The law of contract inhibits mutual self-disclosure that cements social relationships. Contracts frustrate cutting-edge love sensibilities. The present justice system is cumbersome and lawyers are like the system in which they operate. From the intellectual purity point of view, law as a profession is a conspiracy against the laity. In the justice system, it seems every lawyer is looking for technical and sometimes dubious means to bend the law to his or her advantage.


In the social market lawyers want to bend the business of love to their advantage by means of contracts. Lawyers have even convinced the government and churches to issue marriage certificates. How does a government know that one has passed love examinations to graduate into a marriage?  Lawyers are no longer the guardian angels of social justice, they were meant to be. In corporate functions the joke is that lawyers are failed criminals. That may very well explain why some of them spend the best part their lives defending criminals. Some lawyers have the potential psychological predisposition to commit crime. Only God can define love beyond a reasonable doubt, not lawyers! For those who are interested in love contracts, lawyers are the best option. But contracts negate the natural law of love.  Lawyers want to define the bio-ethics of fatherhood and motherhood by means of legal contracts. Love is a deal; a deal is a living thing, a contract is static. Love is a process based on the incremental transfer of emotions. Contracts shatter the equilibrium of love transactions. The best way to love lawyers is to avoid loving them at all. Personally, I look forward to a digital justice system.


In social settling terms, professionals like economists are simply a disaster in the making. Two economists can never agree, a bunch of them is just a concentration of confusion. How on earth do they expect us to understand them when they can’t understand themselves? A science that cannot define itself is not science. Economics is just too young as a field of study to be taken seriously. Adam Smith prematurely wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776. It is time to rewrite The New Wealth of Nations because the present economy is based on technological and scientific innovations and the value-loaded creativity of engineers.


I know a number of the so-called successful economists who are not as normal as they think they are. They are always in hurry to predict something or trying to speculate on predictions. Usually their predictions are non-committal and carefully camouflaged by sweeping statements: prediction can only hold true “if all other things remain constant”. Why should nature stop its functionality just to satisfy dubious economic predictions? Nature will remain dynamic with or without economists. The traffic lights of life will never all go green at the same time in support of economists’ predictions. Economists are an undecided lot: long-term social engagement with economists is like saving your sex life for your old age.


Economists love explaining global problems. But the World is interested in the solutions of problems, not their definitions. The World needs new solutions to create new economic values. That is what progress is all about – new values. Economists like to operate on the margins in the emotional market place. The problem is that on the margins, the business of love tends towards either positive infinity leading to marriage or negative infinity leading to divorce. Love optimization on the margins is a risky business, because the outcome is mathematically unpredictable. Economists are pre-occupied with the fantasy of mathematical models, forgetting that real love is based on real life. The models avoid the factorisation of intangible issues like emotions, sweet dreams and love which cannot fit in economic equations. Yet, it is such issues that occupy people’s time and energy in the social markets. Statistical models reveal broad tendencies and recurring patterns, but in the ever-changing love markets, they cannot make reliable predictions. The mathematics of love is still a deferred scientific endeavour.


Doctors are somewhat strange settling partners. Look at them in a logical continuum of life. A person who wants to spend the best part of his/her life with the sick must be emotionally sick. Otherwise how do you explain such psychological tendency in a normal person? The world of doctors is simply strange. Consider gynaecologists, they choose to work where others play. Psychiatrists form the other strange group: they want to play God, yet they are just ordinary folks. You can only understand how the human system works if you had been part of the design team. Pretending to be an expert on God’s creation is a professional joke.


Doctors calling themselves Plastic Surgeons have decided to play God. Fixing the faces of old ladies to make them compete with young ladies is creating unfair competition in the social market-place. There is more to love and happiness than a pretty face. Cosmetic doctors could generate ‘intuitive repulsion’ between potential partners owing to a mismatch between ‘face age’ and ‘body age’.  The science we know today cannot reverse old age or eliminate death. The cosmetic surgeons are contaminating the market-place with false beauty and manipulating the mathematics of age. The equation of age is balanced by nature, not by doctors.


I don’t know why the cosmetic surgeons want to crowd the social market place with old women camouflaged beneath youthful faces. The economic law of supply and demand should suffice. The plastic surgeons should not interfere with the natural equilibrium in the social market-place. Laws of nature should remain natural. Old age, like death is mandatory. Growing up is optional. Of cause there is room for reconstructive surgery, for people who are physically challenged or victims of rape or accidents.


Engineers have some distant sympathy for the doctors because they claim to dedicate their lives to the betterment of humanity. That is a noble cause, and because of that engineers will assist doctors with technological innovations in medicine to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of health services. After all, the future of modern medicine resides in technology.


Those who fail to settle with an engineer should try an architect. They are specialists in natural beauty and home comfort. Give them a chance. They seem to understand societal dynamics and they are environmentally sensitive professionals. Not everybody gets gold at the Olympics.  A silver medal is also recognition of a good performance. One can always work for gold in the next Olympics -there is a second chance after divorce or the death of a partner.


Social life with an engineer creates an epicentre of emotional comfort. Engineers can bring the magic of technological excellence into lives of their partners with mathematical accuracy. Engineers will turn your Hollywood fantasy into a reality. HDTV can be rolled in to the bedroom and remote-controlled. You don’t have to mess with your body temperature to switch to a favourite TV channel. The remote control does everything for you with optimised efficiency. Mobile phones on the bedside table connect you with everybody anywhere and at any time. You can effortlessly get in touch with all your friends globally and enter into any of the social gossip-network if you are interested in recycled information. If you want to have some quiet moments, voice-mail will take care of the rest. For full-house comfort, lights may be programmed in tandem with your sleeping patterns. For those who love the kitchen, the engineer will turn it into a wonderland of pleasures. Automation and programmed controls converge in the culinary machinery, making cooking a pleasure rather than a chore. Advanced engineering is like magic; you see the results, not the actions.


Engineers facilitate comfort maximisation and optimization with digital excellence.  When we see grannies and young girls caressing mobile phones, we can only be proud to be engineers. In mobile phones one sees the genius of engineering: a managed marriage between mobility and communication. This is just the beginning of even more advanced gadgets for the future. Brain power has met heart power in the design excellence of cell phones.



Romancing Engineering


Engineering is an open-book profession and engineers promote the power of the common. Engineering is the only democratic profession that promotes optimised intellectual socialism of productivity. These pioneers will be the major players in the new world-economic-order because they understand the laws of economic resource constraints as well as technological innovations. Some professions like law and economics which derive pleasure from exclusivity, because without exclusivity they have nothing to offer. Professionals who depend on exclusivity as indicators of success are dead-end professionals. Avoid them in all social integrations because they have no future value.


Romancing engineering is the pleasure of deriving meaningful pleasures from a meaningful profession. The climax of excellence resides in practising the engineering profession. The power of simplicity is the source of engineering excellence. Simplicity leaves no room for misinterpretation. In the engineering world, excellence equals habit, not an act. Habits are like submarines, they run silent and deep. A global revolution in engineering is changing the way we do business, and business is changing the world. Business is the ultimate mechanism for economic and social change.


The beauty of the engineering profession is that you can be many things at once; improviser, conjurer, diviner. How you develop all these talents remains a mystery. Engineers add value to creation. They use their creative intelligence to tap into infinite divine intelligence. The destiny of humanity resides in the minds and hands of the engineers. Engineers are dedicating their competitive knowledge and skills to invent the future. The bible says that God gave man dominion: man has only to understand and use dominion to become the master of his fate. Engineers are perhaps the only professionals who have taken God’s words seriously. Engineering profession empowers you to achieve a beautiful synchronicity between your personal intelligence and infinite intelligence.



The future is all engineering.

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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