Some first-day-at-Ames related observations:
It’s really a testament to the productivity of the actual engineers and scientists at NASA that despite the ever-increasing amount of government imposed slogging, they have managed to keep turning out awesome things (did you know there was a plane with a telescope coming out of its freaking side? I didn’t.) Has anyone ever done a study of how many man-hours of the nation’s best and brightest have been wasted in government mandated presentations and training?
Example: all the Interns were welcomed by 3.5 hours of powerpoints (including one on what groups we couldn’t discriminate against in our hiring practices and another describing a boating accident to illustrate the point that “bad things you’re not prepared for can happen.”) These literally could have been distilled to about 30 minutes easily.
The series of presentation was a perfect example of the cultural clash at Ames: it started off with “yeah! Check out how innovative we are!” and quickly degraded into
It turns out gift shops are profitable while cafeterias are not (even when charging $8/lb for salad.)
The use of citizenship as a binary measure of trustworthiness confuses me. “Oh, well if you were born here or took a test, clearly you won’t tell anybody.” I suppose it’s low-downside (for the military) way to keep out a subgroup who does have a slightly higher probability of being spies.
Hopefully an “awesome-things-I’ll-be-working-on” post tomorrow.