Out of the list of awesome things you’ve accomplished, including bathing a kitty, chopping celery and catching a pineapple in your mouth, there’s some other things as a human being, and even more, as a design engineer, you should be able to do. If not, you’re doomed.

In response to a guest post here on SolidSmack called Design Engineers, Look Out. You are becoming Extinct, by Matthew Loew, Stephanie Moore-Fuller wrote a rebuttal. It’s an extremely valid article.

The argument is great, but what I loved most was the quote she used from science fiction writer Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land). It sums up and solves a lot of messes and arguments that plague our worries and inaction. Even better, if you said the same thing to anyone, you would likely just get a blank stare back. Here’s the quote…

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) from character Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love

Stephanie goes on to say. “I agree with him, and while there are things on his list I haven’t yet done, there are others I have done that he didn’t list, like milk a cow or weave a cloth. I agree with Matthew’s list of what a mechanical engineer should be able to do. But just because I haven’t done something lately, that doesn’t mean I don’t have the brains and the drive to figure it out!”

Well said Stephanie.

If you’re interested in more quotes by Heinlein, check out the Heinlein Wikiquote page.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.