Issue No. 07 - July (2002 vol. 35)
<p>A surprisingly high percent-age of engineers are also avid musicians. Notice that if I don't actually quote a number for "high," that sentence seems irrefutable. Surely vagueness is a small price to pay for irrefutability.</p><p>Perhaps the concept of engineers-as-musicians surprises us mostly because we engineers take pride in our rational, positivist view of the world, and we don't quite know how to explain why we also participate in an activity as emotional, messy, uncertain, and generally nonlucrative as music. So any percentage that is nonnegligible will strike us as interesting, and would probably tell us something important about ourselves if only we knew what it meant. </p><p>My guess is it means our intellect tells us the obvious: It's much more feasible to do engineering for a career and dabble in music than to be a professional musician and dabble in engineering.</p>
B. Colwell, "What Technology Is Doing to Music," in Computer, vol. 35, no. , pp. 6-8, 2002.