Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Scotty Complex

Many engineering projects seem to suffer from the Scotty Complex. On Star Trek, Kirk (management) would often steer the ship (the project) into situations that would make life difficult for poor Scotty (the engineers). For instance, they would enter a situation that would put a strain on the warp engines, but because Kirk refused to stock up on dilithium crystals on the last supply run due to budgetary constraints, they’re down to their last one. Scotty insists the engines can’t take it. Kirk insists that they must, the laws of time and space not withstanding. If something goes wrong as a result, Kirk expects Scotty to fix it in the time Kirk demands, no matter how long it should actually take (“That’ll take me at least 3 months, an entire research staff, and a considerably bigger budget, Cap’n.” “You have one hour, a yeoman, and the money currently in your own wallet.”) But Scotty, being a good little engineer, somehow manages to come through every time. And because of this, Kirk is spoiled into to thinking that Scotty can compensate for even the most uninformed and fool-hardy decisions he could ever make.

But what if Scotty were one of those people who hated to work or hated their boss (or both). “Scotty, the Captain’s trapped down on the planet. They’re about to execute him, and the transporters aren’t working!” “I was going to get to that after lunch.” “But, the Captain…” “Yeah, when’s the last time he gave me a promotion? I’ll be in the break room.” One or two captains later, Scotty would be promoted to his own command where Starfleet would hope he could do less damage. Either that, or Starfleet would place him on ships that they secretly dislike in the hopes that he would bring them down through sheer lack of will. “Scotty, the engines are down and we’ve got Klingons on our tail!” “Hold on, let me check my E-bay auctions real quick.”

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scotty could also just point out the obvious to Kirk over and over, until it gets drilled into the Captain's head: "You canna change the laws of physics, laws of physics..."
-Jason

3/05/2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger SpakKadi said...

And then Kirk would say, "Well, why not? Make me a pool from the sky! I command it!"

Wait, no, that was someone else...

3/06/2007 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should dicuss how the news medial does not give us a perspective on reality. Also dicuss developing a ratings system for TV news. Those that focus too much on entertainment and distortion would loose their ratings as news.

Ringer

3/24/2007 6:06 PM  

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