We humans are tool builders. Building tools has given us reach and ability far beyond the inherent capabilities of our bodies.
When asked about the importance of the computer and what is so amazing about it Steve Jobs said:
“I remember reading an article when I was about twelve years old. I think it might have been Scientific American where they measured the efficiency of locomotion for all these species on planet earth. How many kilocalories did they expend to get from point A to point B? And the Condor won. It came in at the top of the list, surpassed everything else. Humans came in about a third of the way down the list which was not such a great showing for the crown of creation.
Somebody there had the imagination to test the efficiency of a human riding a bicycle. A human riding a bicycle blew away the Condor, all the way off the top of the list. And it made a really big impression on me that we humans are tool builders. And that we can fashion tools that amplify these inherent abilities that we have to spectacular magnitudes. And so for me, a computer has always been a bicycle of the mind. Something that takes us far beyond our inherent abilities.”
As engineers, this is a very important story. It is a reminder of our job to design and build tools that push the boundaries of what we think is possible. It’s your job as an engineer to stretch the limits of what humans think is possible. Engineers will design and build, scientists will discover and understand and science fiction writers will dream.
Do your bit to design and build the impossible.