Although in this book we have been trying to make explicit the distinctions between engineering and other forms of knowledge, one must beware of thinking that there are necessarily any hard-and-fast distinctions. Real life cannot be pigeon-holed neatly. It is more correct to think of a continuous spectrum of any particular characteristic over the range: art, craft, technics, technology, engineering science, science, and so on. This is why the reader will from time to time have said to himself; ‘Surely this is also true of some sciences’ or ‘That surely applies also to some technologies’. But the fact that we know light to be a continuous spectrum of frequencies does not prevent us from finding the crude concepts of red, blue and green very useful. Making distinctions is what we do from birth: our sight separates out colours and shapes, and our ears isolate sounds, in what the electronic engineer would call the ‘noise’ of the world around us. Furthermore, we coin words to express these distinctions so that we can communicate our experiences to each other. This is what the development of language is all about. With this warning out of the way, let us try to summarise the important distinctions we have found.
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- A Summing Up — and Speculation
G. F. C. Rogers
- Macmillan Education UK
in-adhesives, MKVS, Hellmich GmbH/© Hellmich GmbH, Zühlke/© Zühlke