TECHNOLOGY- MON AMOUR!
(a techno-intellectual declaration of love)
In 1954 every well informed individual knew that in short time we will use atomic energy overall and all the other sources of energy will be obsolete. Therefore, I wanted to become an atomic physicist.
I even had outlined a theory of the Isotach Space that I had sent to the address “Albert Einstein,
.” It seems, he has not received it; perhaps this is the reason that atomic energy did not become the great winner. Due to my bad social origin, I was not admitted to learn atomic physics and so I became a chemical engineer and I have worked in the great chemical works of Romania These units claimed by the Party to compete with the Princeton, USA
Capitalists, have used many technologies bought from the competition so I have learned very early about know –how, technology transfer, patents, experts, implementation, technological experiments and so on. Competition was hard, and in order to survive on the market it was necessary to improve the technologies thus acquired- to manufacture more, products of better quality, cheaper plus to not destroy the environment completely.
The Party, the political police were perturbing factors, like very toxic bosses, or crazy parasites. Fortunatelyk physical sciences and technologies are not political so we could have exercised our profession, develop insatiable thirst for learning, professional ambition and proudness. To solve problems, to find problems to discover. To live successes and failures.
I remember some revelations and mind changing meetings. With papers and with people.
When I have worked in a factory of plasticizers, the manager who enjoyed the trust of the Party first of all because he had tuberculosis and this was considered something very positive (even the Party activists who were not idiots structurally, genetically were so functionally and collectively) - OK, the manager has visited a modern plasticizer plant in
. He has understood there a lot and came back with very new and surprising things- essence huge technological improvements can be made! Mainly based on the use of vacuum and of catalysts. England
A few years later I was deeply impressed by an UNO expert –
I remember him as Laurie Milton. His job was to inspect all the DDT manufacturing plants worldwide. This was before the criminalization of DDT by the book “Silent Spring” by Rachel
in a writing “ECOLOGY- MON AMI” Just allow me to say that our TVs ask me daily money for the African children dying of malaria and that a terribly unpleasant animal, Cimex lecturarius, commonly bed bug, is again consuming American blood.
OK, when Dr. Milton came to us, our DDT plant was important. He has analyzed the manufacturing process we used from start to end and beyond (secondary products). Systematically, logically, step by step, telling us how each step can be optimized. I was not working in that plant and had no special interest for it, however his exposé was captivating, I understood well, once for ever about Know What, Know How and about Know Why- the peak of technological knowledge.. Add to this Know Who- the experts in the field and you know what you have to understand about each and all technologies of interest.
From technologies to Technology. I read this paper:
Pierre Le Goff
A NEW APPRAISAL OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
In: Industrial & engineering chemistry. -
: Soc., ISSN 1520-5045, Vol. 56, No. 8 (1964), p. 18-28 Washington, DC
See about the author: Pierre Le Goff’8 February 1923–7 March 2005 http://www.exergia.com.mx/pdf/abstracts/A2006_1.pdf
In the paper, Prof. Le Goff has defined Technology as:
“Processes of transport, transfer and transformation of matter, energy and information that create something useful for people.”
A perfect definition- only the term ‘useful’ can generate problems and the question- “for which people?” Weapons, drugs, torture tools are also manufactured by technologies. The paper was written before the IT era but Le Goff has well understood the role of information.
It is one the most useful and beautiful definitions I know...
Then came my affair with suspension PVC that ended really never, just changed form. It helped me to discover two essential rules of technology:”
- Everything is progressing.
- If something is not improving, it decays. The opposite of progress is not stagnation, but decay.
Therefore if you are working for a technology, you have to work for its continuous advancing.
Information, knowledge are essential for attaining this. Practically
you have to know everything that was published about your technology, you have to know as much as possible from the unpublished data. You have to know more than the competition.
Exactly as the proverbial salesman who knows more about the products of the competition as about his own in order to tell
why his product is the best, the technologist has to know how to manufacture the best products possible and eventually to become his own most serious and active competitor. This not an idealized situation, it is simply realism and pragmatism, is the key of evolution and progress.
I want to discuss with my reader friends two of the means to fulfill these difficult tasks: Competitive Intelligence and reverse engineering. I am proud that I have discovered independently both in times when information re management was scarce. But they are both natural.
For example, working for PVC, I have gathered some 6200 papers and over 20000 patents. Add to these reports, standards, grey literature, discussion with colleagues, visits in plants. A lot of data
And here enters my beloved taxonomy: we had to organize them
chronologically to see evolution and trends:
logically- to study and evaluate different technological solutions,
technologically- that is in the frame of a process used by a company
It is not easy and you need concentration, stubbornness, motivation, analytical ability and the will and talent to reveal hidden correlations. To be a genuine industrial researcher. Many years we have worked PC-less.
As an application of the laws of Galileo you have to verify experimentally what you have deduced from your studies and analyses. Competitive Intelligence is a special and specialized source of information. When we have discovered it is we used to call it “to make your lesson” Today, competitive intelligence is flourishing first of all due to the Internet- being mainly a form of web search.
It is not industrial espionage, it is legal and ethical. Instead of making CI’s theory- please study: http://www.fuld.com
http://www.competia.com and similar sites..
Reverse engineering- is an investigation of inner workings of a product. It is easier when you want to know how is a product, how it is working. But it can be very high art when you are interested in a process i.e. how was the product obtained. It can be discussed
if it is ethical or not but it is made respecting the principle of reciprocity- what you are making with the product of the competition, the competion is free to make with yours. And you cannot copy or steal the features well protected by a smart patent
You can learn a lot anyway. When my mission was to build a good
and progressing PVC technology, I have gathered by diverse means many samples of the best products of the markets and have
developed special analytical methods extra to the standard analyses.
One example PVC is in form of powder and the morphology of the particles –size, porosity, fine structure, outer skin is essential and these correlations were the subject of my PhD thesis. During my work years a wonderful instrument was just invented: the scanning electron microscope. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanning_electron_microscope We could not afford to buy one, however we just bought two chromatographs from the fine JEOL company, now a leader in microscopy. The specialist who has installed the chromatographs
was a very nice guy, we became friends and I have asked him to make me SEM photos about the most interesting PVC samples.
As far as I remember these were the first SEM photos coming in
it was in 1968 (?) These photos have revealed a lot\ Romania
about the samples.
Reverse engineering is interesting, challenging, revelatory sometimes impossible; it helps and accelerates technological progress, I mam asking again is it ethical? In a healthy competition- who knows where is the limit of ethical? The dominant moneytheist ethics is strange, a problem for study, In order to stop its effects your idea must be protected by a good, smart, solid, crystal-clear patent attesting the originality of your invention, No wonder that Andrea Rossi has developed strong reverseengineeringphobia. It is difficult to tell why he has not
patented his miraculously efficient mixture of Ni powder and CM Pixie Dust so that everybody using it, has to pay him.
I wonder what could do the competition of the E-cat first of all Defkalion to know more about the unpatented E-cat technology.
I hope they will make 3, 33 or 330 perfect experiments instead
of that “scale-up, not scale-up” of combining 330 E-cats, very unusual to not tell blasphemous for a lover of Good Technology.
Yes, technology and its principles are kind of sacred for me.
It is a privilege for an old technologist like me to assist at the birth of the very important and promising Transition Metals-H LENR technology. Technology has its own Rules that have to be respected as Prof Piantelli has demonstrated for Science..