Author Topic: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?  (Read 12906 times)

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Offline Galenbo

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2014, 11:03:27 am »
... Ralph was a genius but few people have heard of him. :bullshit: artists like Justin Beiber, Kim Kardashian and that birdbrain Hilton are far more famous and wealthy than brilliant inventors like Ralph Baer.

I want a browser plugin where every article/publicity/quote/picture about Justin/Kim/SteveJobs/Paris is automatically replaced by something about Dennis Richie or others who really realised something technical.

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Online andersm

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2014, 02:43:42 pm »
"Stop liking things I don't like!"

Offline miguelvp

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2014, 05:09:36 pm »
"Stop licking things I like!"

There, I fixed it for you.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2014, 08:13:34 pm »
Quote
which wasnt thought about much...

Marketing has always been important for any commercial enterprises. That's why most companies are run by marketing types.

Apple is no exception, and rightfully so - for most corporations, technology has little to do with their successes. Apple is simply an exclamation point on that statement.
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2014, 11:22:46 am »
steve jobs found a way to market himself ...
As did kim, richard branson, madonna and others. God for you that you like thos salesman. I don't.

If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline Tinkerer

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2014, 10:31:28 pm »
I think the assumption that engineers want lots of attention and fame is wrong.  It makes perfect sense to me that they aren't known -- they don't want to be known.  Believe me, if an engineer wants to be known, they'll do things to increase their surface area in popular culture.
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Offline Tandy

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2014, 11:51:10 pm »
Sadly the world is upside down, sports personalities and entertainers get well paid where as many brilliant scientists struggle to get funding. Imagine how much the world would have advanced if the general public took more interest in people developing new things instead of who some TV presenter is seen going out with this week.
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2014, 01:10:46 am »
"Fame" or even "awareness" of someone or something is largely dependent on what people in the "news" and "publicity" games choose to (or are paid to) tell us about. My level of satisfaction with the mainstream press (of all types) asymptotically approaches zero. At least the interweb allows us some ability to search out information for ourselves unfiltered by the opinion of the "news professionals".

Agreed, about the mainstream press. It's Sturgeon's Law in action - 90% of everything is crud. And it goes for people too. Since 90% of people get most of their world awareness from the mainstream press, they too are 90% crud. So who cares what they think?

It seems to me that Engineers are more aware of Sturgeon's Law than most, and that goes a long way to explaining why most engineers have no interest in fame. Because they know a system that swoons over Miley Cyrus, isn't worth bothering with.

Anyway, RIP Ralph Baer. I hadn't heard of him till now either. Glad I finally learned where that all began.
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Offline Smokey

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2014, 07:14:33 am »
Why aren't more engineers famous??  or rich?? or both??
This is a question EVERY engineer should ask himself.  The answer could literally change your career path and save you from a life of the cubicle dwellers.  Assuming that is what you are looking for.

First to address the OP's question about why wasn't Ralph H. Baer famous. 
The answer is simple.  Relatively speaking, HE IS PRETTY DAMN FAMOUS!  For an admittedly superficial but still relevant example, the dude has his own frikkin wikipedia page and a pretty extensive one!  Years and years from now people will be able to do a little research and read this history that this guy helped write with his engineering contributions.  That is being famous.  Are you really surprised the general public doesn't know who designed something?  There are WAY WAY more universally used things in life who's designers were never known by anyone.  This is a really odd example of an engineer not being famous.  You could have just started listing off good products who we really don't know who made them.  Then your point would have been totally valid.  The fact of the matter is that, Ralph Baer and a hand full of others excluded, the other 99.9% of engineers fall into obscurity despite the fact they are the ones that make the world work.

The real reasons most engineers aren't famous, in no particular order.
*) Engineers don't understand the value they bring to a company and are willing to let people treat them like crap.  Every time I hear someone say Steve Jobs was a genius for realizing he could berate engineers to make them work harder I want to punch someone in the face.
*) Engineers are terrible communicators, so even if they do understand the value they bring, they do a terrible job of explaining it to anyone else.
*) You will never be famous for hanging back in the shadows, doing your one little part of some job, and moving on.  You have to be involved in the whole process even the parts that aren't fun or you aren't good at.  This isn't something many engineers are willing to do.
*) In addition to being a good engineer, you have to be a good sales man.  A really good sales man.  Countless products fail because some engineer didn't know how to sell them.  The guys that become famous are the guys that had successful products, and successful products while based in engineering are a result of sales and marketing.

Most engineers, even really brilliant ones, are content doing their little part as long as it keeps them busy and brings in a pay check.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Those guys make the world work.  But they shouldn't expect to get famous and we shouldn't be shocked when they don't.
 

Online Bud

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2014, 09:16:39 am »
I knew someone would say Jobs (or Woz). But Jobs is not known for gaming.

Jobs was the first scammer in the gaming industry, when he lied to Woz about the money Atari paid for that urgent work.
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2015, 11:34:39 am »
... Ralph was a genius but few people have heard of him. :bullshit: artists like Justin Beiber, Kim Kardashian and that birdbrain Hilton are far more famous and wealthy than brilliant inventors like Ralph Baer.

I want a browser plugin where every article/publicity/quote/picture about Justin/Kim/SteveJobs/Paris is automatically replaced by something about Dennis Richie or others who really realised something technical.

Thank you very much for developing part 1 of what I wanted !!!
#KardBlock

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3069273/Can-t-away-Kardashians-Browser-extension-lets-block-mentions-Kimye-online.html
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline eas

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2015, 08:02:58 pm »
Quote
which wasnt thought about much...

Marketing has always been important for any commercial enterprises. That's why most companies are run by marketing types.

Apple is no exception, and rightfully so - for most corporations, technology has little to do with their successes. Apple is simply an exclamation point on that statement.

I don't think technology or engineering can be evaluated without placing it in a larger social/cultural/political/economic context. Technology that exists purely for its own sake is really either basic science, a failed art project, or a business failure.

Further more, technology isn't just a component, or a device, or even anything tangible. It can be a way of doing things. Money is technology. Double-entry book keeping is technology. Modern supply chain design and management is technology. "Marketing," in its many forms, is a technology.

From this perspective, I think that technology is absolutely essential to Apple's success. Apple wouldn't be this successful without understanding basic and emergent human needs, designing products that meet those needs, designing the hardware and writing the software to enable those products, assembling the supply chain to manufacture those products in large quantity, the outbound marketing and pr that helps people understand what the product can do for them, the retail operations to help customers better understand the product and get one in their hot little hands, and support them until they purchase an upgrade a few product cycles hence. Its a big, complex system that manages a lot of messy uncertainty. You don't think that isn't engineering? That it isn't itself, technology?

Even if you don't accept my view of technology, its hard for me to imagine a definition of technology that lets you say that technology has little to do with Apple's success without your head exploding. Take Apple's SoCs. Even back when they were assembling other people's IP to be fabbed by Samsung, they seemed to deliver significantly better power consumption than people using the same IP, on the same process generation. Does that not count as technology or engineering?

I think the reason that more people don't know about engineers may be because too many engineers think that engineering and technology ends where their interest ends. They either don't understand or don't care where their work fits more than one level of abstraction away from where they spend their time. Or, perhaps worse, they devalue such considerations and anyone who cares about them.

nah i dont like them salesman ...

How about Robert Noyce?
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2015, 09:56:09 pm »
WANT vs NEED
the first world problem that has distorted our priorities.
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2015, 10:41:20 pm »
If you want a quantifiable way to understand the relative value that the world places on scientists and engineers just compare the patent system with the copyright system.

To get a patent you must prove uniqueness, pay fees.  It will last a maximum of 17 years (in the US) if you pay all the fees.

To get a copyright you just have to write down your material and state that it is copyrighted.  No fees.  And it lasts until you die and then decades longer.

It is sad from and engineers point of view, but then I suspect if engineers and scientists ran things we would foul it up just as badly as the current crew.  Get your joy from engineering.  If you are eating and not out in the cold freezing life isn't that bad.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: A genius just died - why wasn't he famous?
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2015, 07:25:34 am »
If you are eating and not out in the cold freezing life isn't that bad.

Sure, but some realise that if things go on like this, we could end up in the cold freezing, no eating.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 


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