Personal Gain

by Barry Drogin

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To The Editor:

I cannot believe the insensitivity of Student Editor Katherine Keith's editorial. Professionals do not gloat, and they certainly have no need to justify their profession in terms of financial security and benefits.

It is not "comforting to know that at 22, I'll make more money than most families in the U.S." --- it's quite disturbing that this country is in the mess it is in, put there partly by the votes of our fellow EEs, if not our willingness to partake of so much of the government's budget. Beyond this, bragging of skills and talents that, of course, serve to benefit oneself as well as others is the worst kind of braggery, specially when it appears as the lead editorial in a professional magazine.

Physicians do not proudly proclaim that there will always be diseases in the world for them to fight; lawyers do not boast of the proliferation of legal entanglements. Engineers should not be leaders of "future shock"; we should be doing our best to reduce the shock and make our work meaningful to society and ourselves.

In the final analysis, it is not our purpose to serve ourselves, but to serve others, and Ms. Keith's pitch to students to the effect that the American dream will soon be yours is an insult to the profession.

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Cassandra's Curse 1993, 1996, 2007

Last Updated: August 4, 2007