Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why writers have it easy

There seems to be some minor problem with the facade of the new building at the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street. Over the next few days, we will see the bile of Liverpool's chattering class.
There is nothing more pathetic than people who write for a living commenting on science or engineering problems. They have never had their work subject to any objective tests, when a journalist puts a spelling mistake in an article and a sub fails to spot it, it's no biggy it can just be redone. When a slight problem occurs in a building they didn't like it is a horrendous failing but let us think about what they do. They write a series of words then claim them meaningful, they rely only on the analysis of their friends, colleagues, critics, and enemies.
If you actually build a building, it is subject to the unbending laws of the universe you can't sweet talk the laws of physics into ignoring some problem, you can't rely on the laws of physics working out what you mean or making allowances for you. If a sub-editor makes a mistake with your instructions you can always get it fixed, none of your mates will think any of the worse of you. However should some bricky or building site worker make a mistake that needs to be corrected, then oh in your world this is a disaster not just for the bricky but it casts doubt on the ability of everyone and everything that took part in the design and approval process.
These are people whose stock in trade is to complain about how difficult it is to put together a piece of Ikea furniture, they could never actually manage to build something from the raw materials, even with a plan.
I've worked on pieces of software over 100,000 lines long, the computer doesn't do what you want, it does exactly what you have told it and at the programming level, you have to set out the steps at a detail that is mind bogglingly. The same with buildings but with the added problem that instead of a CPU which does what you tell it, you have a person actually doing the building who may do what you said or they may do something a bit different, they may do it better but in a different way, they may also introduce a slight problem. The equipment and materials may even have a problem, which is impossible to detect, but any flaw no matter how subtle will be explored and fully exploited by the weather, chemistry and every single second gravity and of course humanity and all its activities.
What it looks like to me at the moment is that some post-build inspection has found some problem, I'm sure if anything had already fallen off we would have massive headlines in the Echo about the danger, plus the closure of the outdoor parts of the Refinery.
The level of this building fault is that of a punctuation error, however, much scorn they pour on this building and it builders, should be poured on them every time a live article has to be slightly fixed.

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