Monday, October 21, 2013

Einstein? Not!!!

When Barack Obama was running for President, we were told by a tame and fawning press that he was the smartest man ever to aspire to our nations highest office. He might even be the smartest man ever to live. That might have been true by the standards of his ever subservient following of flacks. Unfortunately, as often happens, the product doesn't live up to the advertising. The Edsel comes to mind.

I have been blessed to know a few really smart people in my lifetime. With all of the blather and miscues that are surrounding Obamacare, I was reminded of an engineer I knew in years past. He had just taken on a new job at a large chemical company. He was to supervise the change over of an important production line. The task entailed removing old equipment, bringing in and assembling new equipment, re-plumbing it all in stainless steel, and connecting everything with explosion proof wiring. Those of you with engineering experience will understand the scope and difficulty of such a job. To make matters worse, while he had sufficient time to plan, once the job started he was up against the clock.

To his credit, this man was one of the most competent and painstaking engineers I have ever known. He laid everything out on paper. He double-checked his measurements in the field. Then he had his crew cut, bend, and thread all of the pipe ahead of time. That is a gutsy move that would have scared many. The usual course of action would be to place the major pieces, then cut and fit the piping one piece at a time.

Well, finally the day came. From the time they started ripping out until they turned on the power, my friend was on site every minute there was work being done. Long story, short, because of his care and planning, the job was successfully completed a day early and everything worked as planned.

Now I compare that with Obamacare. There was no plan just a concept and some rhetoric. There was no supervision. Just a bunch of politicians rounding up lobbyists to do the work with no single point of oversight. While we have companies in this country like Google, EBay, and Amazon, not to mention many more, that handle huge amounts of computer traffic every day, I heard nothing of the Obama administration asking for advice to construct a front end in software and hardware. Instead a Canadian company was given a no bid contract for software. Apparently this software was put in place with insufficient testing and has fallen flat on it's face. So I guess we are going to be looking at another bailout. Maybe this one will work. I won't hold my breath. I have some small experience with software design. I learned that if the original designer starts out working from a bad premise or doesn't thoroughly understand the required logical processes, the software might not be repairable. A start from scratch may be needed. Won't that be a mess?

Now Obama may be a very smart man. But I like to judge by results not words. If you judge his results as a President doing good for the American people, Einstein he is not.  

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