“Shadow engineering” for WSRA
Someone on WSRA pointed out while talking about shadow infrastructure, most topics, from food to medicine, have been covered, and people are working to make them somewhat “cool” to attract people to working on them. Since no one’s started on it, and it’s more or less what I’ve been trying to focus on in my AO, I thought I’d throw a bit out on engineering.
For our purposes, people who design, and people who make, can be combined, divided simply on skill. Masters design, others help make if needed. People design machines, buildings, electronics, chemicals. Sounding familiar? For the most part, we can lump these into buildings and infrastructure, and devices and doodads. You probably won’t have bachelor’s degrees available in all of the above though, so getting to caught up on names is pointless.
People who fix things won’t have the same expertise as makers, but shouldn’t have to. For the most part, these will be the people using stuff, and so will have their own motivation to learn, and only a few areas will have dedicated fixers. That guy who has a knack should be taken good care of.
For the most part, people that break things will be in other areas. Guns are decent at putting holes in things, but if you need really big holes, or holes in really tough things, or things that are hard to hit, you need either a special item, and/or someone with special skill, and an “engineer” will probably do. Put it two ways: you have guys who make guns, and guys who make and use BIG guns.
So we have:
A machine guild, that does everything from guns to cars.
“Civil engineering” guild, that does buildings and infrastructure.
Electronics guild that gets that specialized gear that can’t quite fit anywhere else.
Chemicals, that probably also covers a good bit of medical stuff too, for the petroleum products, gunpowder, medicine, and stuff.
Repair guild, that does fixing to specialized for the field, but too general to mess with a maker(armorer would go here, as compared to a gunsmith in a field unit, or the guy with a rifling machine).
Combat technology guild that does specialized blowing stuff up.
Notice the quote marks, I’m horrible at using proper terms, and for this essay, I’m deliberately abusing a few for simplicity. In case any real civil engineers for example take issue with my definition, the quotes do indicate a loose use of the term. At the same time, you can see I’m staying away from “engineering” now, since few of these are truly engineering, and few people working with them will fit the dictionary definition.
Using “guilds” which might spread to other areas, we can start using those skill levels: apprentices who are learning, journeymen who can do most work without supervision, and masters, who supposedly know it all. This also embraces the non-academic training system. While classroom learning will still have it’s place, an apprenticeship system can provide decentralized progression of knowledge, important for a shadow organization.
If definitions are good, we can start splitting the effort, with others writing within their specialties. This blog was intended to cover 3D printing and other such technologies, so I’d like to keep my focus on those, despite their potentially limited use in Freefor, at least at first. Since I’m not a civil engineer, it’s even more ideal for someone else to talk about that.