Posted by: spacewritinguy | August 28, 2008

Evaluating Claims in Technical Fields

Say you’re a liberal arts major working in a technical environment. (Okay, I’ll wait: “I’m a liberal arts major working in a technical environment.”)

More seriously, what do you do if you work in a high-profile technical field, but you are not one of the experts in that field. You’re a secretary, a custodian, or worse, a writer. You’re someone who’s so low on the totem pole of respect in a room full of engineer, that you don’t even register until something you DO touch breaks the machinery.

Say you work in the nuclear industry, the military, the space program. Pick one. Doesn’t matter. You’re not a “professional” on the pointy end of your particular industry’s spear, and so don’t REALLY know what these people do and what goes into it.

How do you judge the reality of the claims made about or by your industry? You can educate yourself, but that isn’t the same as true experience. What other criteria might you use to judge the “true reality” of what’s going on?

Seriously. I’d like an answer.

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