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N.C. Official Sics License Police On Computer Scientist For Too Good a Complaint

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the guilty-of-being-smarter-than-the-official dept.

Government 705

snsh writes "When a computer scientist in North Carolina petitioned the state for a new traffic signal in his neighborhood, a transportation official replied with a complaint about what 'appears to be engineering-level work' done by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer." Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer for the state DOT, and the one who filed a complaint with the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, protested that in trying to have Computer Scientist David Cox investigated for his detailed complaint about a traffic intersection while not licensed as a professional engineer, "I'm not trying to hush him up."

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Sorry (4, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095644)

Sorry Mr. Lacy, we require a license to complain about non-compliance to ignorant bureaucratic rules.

Re:Sorry (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095886)

Also the summary is incorrect It should read:

"Kevin Asshat, chief traffic asshole for the state DOT, and the shitbag who filed a complaint, protested that in trying to have Computer Scientist and Esteemed Citizen David Cox investigated while not licensed as a professional engineer: "I'm not trying to hush him up. I'm just trying to be a tyrant and make his life miserable, because I enjoy acting like Mubarak."

Re:Sorry (3, Funny)

pavera (320634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095988)

Totally off topic, but can you actually download 14GB over a dialup modem in 1 month? I could do the math but I'm lazy... just curious.

Re:Sorry (3, Informative)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096098)

A 56k dialup modem has a maximum throughput of 53,300 bits per second (due to POTS limitations, I believe). Multiply that out by the number of minutes and hours in a day, then by 30 days, and you get roughly 17 gigabytes. Shave a bit off for network overhead (of which there is always a fair amount) and 14GB is not at all unreasonable.

This would require the connection to be active 24/7, obviously, and receiving data the whole time.

Re:Sorry (5, Funny)

utoddl (263055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096206)

WHAT? Are you practising network engineering, in public, on a network, without a license?

You fell for the bait, citizen. Against the wall, you.
 
/Live near Raleigh, getting a kick, etc.

Re:Sorry (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096104)

56 000/8 * 60 * 60 * 24 * 30 = 18 144 000 000

Re:Sorry (3, Informative)

GenP (686381) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096132)

If you can sustain ~80% maximum throughput, yes [google.com] .

Re:Sorry (3, Funny)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096018)

You're kidding, but I actually can't believe these people actually think like that. How can you be so goddamn narrow-minded? It's so infuriating I might actually leave a hateful comment somewhere on the Internet.

Re:Sorry (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096160)

FTFA:

Andrew L. Ritter, executive director of the engineers licensing board, said it will take three or four months to investigate Lacy's allegation against Cox. He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers.

So the DOT is even in favor of charging him for possibly being misled by a report that may have met engineering-quality work? Was the real problem that it too complicated for the DOT to understand? What asshats!

Perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095656)

they should get a facebook "engineer" to look at it as they likely have a few hundred extras lying around...

I'm sorry, that's it. (5, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095682)

I'm sorry, that's it.

America over.

The end.

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095742)

Tell us where to go, set up an exam to get out of country, RELEASE THE HOUNDS.
I mean, seems reasonable enough to me.
But even for the Americans who could make it out, who would want them?
We're like a bastard breed that was popular once.

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095786)

Antarctica is the new frontier. Get moving.

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (2)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095930)

Cool, as far as I can tell, I'll have to shovel less!

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095936)

+1, WAKE UP PEOPLE!! We're on the race to the bottom!

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (1, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095996)

Your country has been renamed to COSA, the Corporately Owned States of America.

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (1)

coyote_oww (749758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096182)

Fail.

The corporation (the homeowners association) filed a complaint with the goverment (the yay-happytime-good-guy regulators we need more of). The government decided to use it's regulatory power to investigate the corporation for doing a better job at analysis than the government had already done.

This is the Big Government Run States of America. Because government is always right. And more government is more right.

Re:I'm sorry, that's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096150)

I agree.

But have come to expect this manner of behavior from Government Officials.

The country wonders why it is in so much debt and why we our level of innovation
is falling behind other countries.

Bureaucrats, who have no brains wasting tax payer dollars, fighting a tax payer attempting to improve the infrastructure of the
City. Just one of the many cuts in the financial artery of these united states of America that will lead
to the eventual exsanguination of this once great country.

It's terrible! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095686)

How will they deal with people who have knowledge even though they're not licensed? Next thing you know, people might start noticing cracks in bridges!

Silence him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095696)

Wow... really? Not trying to hush him up, but turning him in for doing 'too nice of a job' smells of asshat behavior.

Send them a copy of the Constitution? (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095706)

"...the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

Or would they prosecute you for practicing law without a license?

Re:Send them a copy of the Constitution? (-1, Redundant)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095922)

I'd watch out if I were you, next thing they're going to come after people citing Constitution for practicing law without being licensed. ~

Re:Send them a copy of the Constitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096066)

hey great . . . you got the joke!

Re:Send them a copy of the Constitution? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096054)

Now that you mention it, Lacy's argument for the lawsuit is pretty good for just a Professional Engineer to come up with. You could almost say that he is practising law...

Engineering Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095712)

So does the N.C Board of Examiners need to issue David Cox an engineering certificate? There was a time in this country when all you needed to be an engineer was competence and mathematics. I would imagine Cox has both and Lacy neither.

WTF, seriously?! (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095718)

They don't even content that he was claiming to be an engineer, just that the complaint was 'engineer like'. Gimme a bloody break! What they going to do next, sue the local drafting school students for doing their home work too well?!

Re:WTF, seriously?! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095806)

Annoyed Neighbor @ 3am: Could you please keep it down? Your party is awfully loud and I need to get some sleep

Drunken college students: You can't tell me to keep it down! I'm calling the police on you for doing the duties of a police officer!

Re:WTF, seriously?! (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095934)

Dr af ting?

Re:WTF, seriously?! (2)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095986)

A-freeking-men. The guy is only succeeding in cheapening the appearance of a P.E. - precisely the opposite of what he intended. Lacy should get fired for being unresponsive to legitimate concerns from the citizenry, as well as being a pompous idiot.

Re:WTF, seriously?! (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096184)

I know, Lacy referring it to the licensing committee is essentially saying "your argument is too good, I'm going to have you investigated for it".

Nothing is more threatening to government (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095726)

Than citizen volunteers who would dare to do something for free.

3-4 month investigations (1)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095728)

"Andrew L. Ritter, executive director of the engineers licensing board, said it will take three or four months to investigate Lacy's allegation against Cox."
Its so good to be a bureaucrat. You have a job for life! 3 to 4 months to investigate the production of a 8 page document.

Re:3-4 month investigations (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095938)

in TFA he also indicated that, even if the board finds him guilty, the most they'll do is writing him a letter saying "Don't do it again."

If I had to guess, I'd say they're just going to delay until everyone has forgotten about how this is supposed to be a misdemeanor, not charge him with anything (because the complaint is stupid, but they don't want to ruffle bureaucratic feathers)

Re:3-4 month investigations (2)

dougmc (70836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096030)

in TFA he also indicated that, even if the board finds him guilty, the most they'll do is writing him a letter saying "Don't do it again."

To which I think the proper response is "fuck off".

Re:3-4 month investigations (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096088)

Conveniently long enough to silence Cox until the civil planning stages are over and the project moves forward while ignoring Cox's arguments. I know that the licensing board feels the need to protect the title of 'Engineer', but this is just abusive and ridiculous.

Re:3-4 month investigations (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096138)

I'm not a bureaucrat nor an engineer, but even without seeing the document I can tell that it was not done by either. It's only eight pages long!

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095732)

Government knows best.

Besides, what kind of "scientist" goes off half-cocked - without credentials - to licensed professionals who have the proper approval?

You don't need a PE to be an engineer... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095744)

Duh. Lots of engineers put-out PE-level work.

Re:You don't need a PE to be an engineer... (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096078)

You do need to be a PE to design something that is going to be used to construct public works.

But that's not what he did here. What he did was lobby the government on a decisionmaking matter. Anyone can do that, using any information at all, at any time. If his design is accepted it would have to be redesigned by a PE.

What his government officials are doing to him by "investigating" him is a clear violation of his rights. No matter how they try to spin it after the fact.

It's simple, really (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095748)

If you do ANYTHING that embarrasses a public official, they will retaliate. That's the kind of jackasses they are.

Re:It's simple, really (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096000)

If you do ANYTHING that embarrasses a public official, they will retaliate. That's the kind of jackasses they are.

I hate people who make sweeping generalizations - they're all jackasses.

Why should he need a license? (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095750)

Since when is talking about technology the same as practicing without a license? Asshole in power is being an asshole.

Re:Why should he need a license? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095802)

Since when is talking about technology the same as practicing without a license?

it isn't, of course. The complaint is without merit. It's just an attempt at harassment. "Regulation" is handy for that.

Re:Why should he need a license? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095866)

Personally, my response would be to write a psychoanalysis of Kevin Lacy.

Re:Why should he need a license? (4, Insightful)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095852)

the ultimate (worst case) outcome of this would be to prevent anyone from making informed or researched statement in a petition to the state -Or to have to hire a licensed professional to prepare the technical parts of such a petition.

When applied to a defendant's right to represent himself in court this could conceivably result in charges practicing law without a license if one was too good of a jailhouse lawyer....

-I'm just sayin'

Re:Why should he need a license? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096044)

This is the best part.
"He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers."

I am sorry sir but you are too knowledgeable to be allowed to function without proper supervision. I think I saw this on a Twilight Zone once....
 

Question (5, Insightful)

Evardsson (959228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095758)

Has this sort of argument been brought up before in other areas? Your complaint to the school board was well-formed, properly formatted and grammatically correct, yet you are not a board-certified English teacher. Perhaps even: You took your car to the mechanic and told him it was a quart low on oil, yet you are not a licensed mechanic.

Come on, is this is the best idea they could come up with to shut down the complaint?

Re:Question (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095810)

Where are my mod points?

Hmmmm, lets give the Government MORE power (2)

SengirV (203400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095760)

What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, lets give the Government LESS power (1, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096152)

What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, let's give "the Government" LESS power instead. That way, instead of him being able to fight back and likely eventually get the traffic signals he is asking for like he's doing now, there will be no tax revenue for traffic signals to begin with. That way, instead of his chances being pretty good if he's willing to deal with the nuisance of this Lacy guy, they will be mathematically zero.

Yup, that's the answer.

"I'm not trying to hush him up." (1)

Hasai (131313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095770)

Riiiight. Typical bureaucrat.

Sics? (0, Offtopic)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095774)

First we have a story on 'apps'.

How spelling standards have obviously fallen in the USA. 'Six' is the preferred spelling.

Re:Sics? (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095870)

I can't tell if you're joking or not, but I'm going to assume you are not. Sic is a transitive verb (it means to attack or to incite to attack), and sics is one of the conjugated forms of that verb. The spelling "six" applies only to the number 6. It should have been fairly obvious that an adjective (or noun) was nonsensical in that position of the title.

Re:Sics? (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095900)

First we have a story on 'apps'.

How spelling standards have obviously fallen in the USA. 'Six' is the preferred spelling.

sic 2 (also sick) verb ( sicced, siccing or sicked , sicking ) [ trans. ] ( sic something on) set a dog or other animal on (someone or something) : the plan was to surprise the heck out of the grizzly by sicking the dog on him. ( sic someone on) informal set someone to pursue, keep watch on, or accompany (another).

Re:Sics? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095926)

Are you joking or something? Sic is a verb meaning "to attack".

"Official six license police on computer scientist" wouldn't make any sense.

Re:Sics? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095978)

First we have a story on 'apps'.

How spelling standards have obviously fallen in the USA. 'Six' is the preferred spelling.

I'm pretty sure that they meant 'sicks' (as in the verb 'to sick') ... but they may have misspelled it on purpose to avoid the obvious "this story makes me sick" definition of 'sick'.

And don't 'Whoosh' me. It had to be said before the real grammar police show up and assault Mr. ChunderDownunder.

Re:Sics? (2)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095984)

I love reading criticisms of spelling usage which is completely correct.

Re:Sics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096094)

Are you hoping someone will provide you with a so-called "Obligatory XKCD Link?"

What morons (5, Insightful)

paultag (1284116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095778)

What a bunch of dipshits. Traffic is just a routing / scheduling algorithm, if anything his background in Computer Science should *help* him present his case. God, what morons. He just did all that work for you, it's not like you won't review it anyway. Suck it up and do a review. It's your *job*.

Idiotic (1)

MTTECHYBOY (799778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095788)

Cox never claimed to be an engineer - they didn't even accuse him of that - Sounds like the DOT just doesn't like it when someone questions their hired hand.

Re:Idiotic (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096012)

Cox never claimed to be an engineer - they didn't even accuse him of that - Sounds like the DOT just doesn't like it when someone questions their hired hand.

As far as the DOT guy is concerned, it looks like he's getting back at the complainant for making too good a complaint. For the licensing board, on the other hand, it looks like protectionism in the name of protecting the public:

Andrew L. Ritter, executive director of the engineers licensing board, said it will take three or four months to investigate Lacy's allegation against Cox. He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers.

"We don't take the side of the DOT," Ritter said. "What's best for the public is what we'll find."

"License to practise engineering" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095804)

There is such a thing...?
I was under the impression everyone is allowed apply scientific knowledge to safely improve daily life?

Re:"License to practise engineering" (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096046)

I was under the impression everyone is allowed apply scientific knowledge to safely improve daily life?

Generally, yes. However there's usually a requirement that you demonstrate you have enough scientific knowledge when you design things that may put lives in danger.

When you cross a bridge or enter a building or board an airplane, wouldn't you want some assurance that the person who designed it had enough knowledge on how to do the proper calculations?

Good Luck With That (3, Insightful)

0101000001001010 (466440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095816)

So in essence, the complaint is that Cox appeared more competent than an ordinary citizen is allowed.

Re:Good Luck With That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096124)

Harrison Bergeron...watch out.

Someone needs an ethics review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095820)

Sounds like there should be an ethics review of J. Kevin Lacy, to see if he actually should be the holder of an engineering license.

Re:Someone needs an ethics review (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095972)

What makes you think he is a PE is is more than likely just a bureaucrat.

Did I miss something... (5, Insightful)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095844)

If Cox is found to have practiced engineering without a license, Ritter said, the likely action would be a letter telling him not to do it again."

Don't you have to accept money or be involved in some sort of contractual obligation to risk something like this? Nothing in the article indicates that Mr. Cox misled anyone. The only thing he did, from what I read, was put together a detailed OPINION of reasoning why these stop lights are needed. Granted, they hired an engineer and the engineer said it was not needed, but why is performing your own research a crime?

You are being watched... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095876)

Warning: any comment with well thought-out, and clearly articulated arguments regarding why the government in this case is in the wrong will be logged and analyzed. The poster may be subject to fines or other penalties. Unlicensed posts critical of the government's response should be along the lines of "The gub'ment is bad, foo!"

I bet he weighs as much as a duck, too (3, Insightful)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095892)

This is some kind of absurd bureaucratic witch hunt.

Here's the form that you use to report on people suspected of practicing engineering without a license in N.C.

http://www.ncbels.org/forms/ComplaintForm.pdf [ncbels.org]

What say you that we flood them with complaints about ineptitude?

Internet Don't Let Me Down (5, Insightful)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095894)

Seriously, they're investigating the guy because the report was "too good"? Since when do you need a license to be smart? It's no wonder the US is losing ground in the tech and scientific sector.

I think the Internet needs to tell the people in charge exactly how ridiculous that is. Demand an apology at the very least, if not an investigation into the people who are making these accusations.

Here's a link to get you started:

http://www.ncdot.org/ [ncdot.org]

Re:Internet Don't Let Me Down (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096062)

Well, maybe someone should check if the officer has the license to evaluate whether a text is engineering-level work.

Re:Internet Don't Let Me Down (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096162)

I just wrote him a (polite) email (please be polite). His address is jklacy at ncdot dot gov.

Re:Internet Don't Let Me Down (1)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096186)

Don't you think it is a strong indication that the website is www.ncdot.org rather than something like dot.nc.gov?

Oh oh, I'm not a licensed DNS specialist, I have said too much.

Best response would be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095906)

The right response to this is to make a complaint against Kevin Lacy to the same board for unprofessional conduct.

From TFA (5, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095912)

He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers.

I simply do not believe the second half. There was clearly no attempt to mislead or misrepresent. If the DOT read the paper and failed to find errors, either that's a reflection on their own professional competence or they were not misled in any way. This is purely an attempt to stop citizen activism from members of a group - civil engineers - that particularly dislike any challenge from anyone outside their profession,

professionalism (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095914)

Kevin Lacy should be investigated for practicing assholery without a license, because he appears to be doing professional-level work in that field.

Re:professionalism (1)

offsides (1297547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096102)

I think you're mistaken - as the Chief Traffic Engineer for the DOT, and the person who had already rejected the request for the light, he clearly has a license to practice assholery, and is simply doing his job. OTOH, it seems to me that the state of North Carolina ought to start eyeing his salary as one way of helping reduce their budget shortfall...

I think I misunderstood something (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095924)

Let me see if I got this right. The state official is concerned because a non-licensed person produced a work product that is of the quality level of a professionally licensed engineer. I was under the impression that the point of such licensing was to ensure that inferior work product was not passed off as quality engineering, yet this government official is complaining because an unlicensed person was able to produce work that looks as good as that produced by a lcensed engineer.
What is revealed is that the point of licensing in this case is to prevent people from competing with those who have been duly selected by the state. Of course, that is really the point of most government regulations, to protect certain government favored groups or businesses from competition.

This actually kind of makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35095952)

Most people in the public do not know the laws surrounding Engineering, such as that in the US you must be a licensed Civil or Mechanical PE to sign and approve engineering blueprints. This makes sense because while, yes, licensed engineers do not have a monopoly on engineering knowledge, they have over a number of years proved that they have it.

The argument here is that even though they did not claim to be engineers in this report, by it's format and quality it could be implied that it was written by an engineer, which does the public no good. Especially since the original report from the engineering firm was presumably written by a civil PE specializing in transportation, not, you know, a computer scientist with no experience in this field.

Re:This actually kind of makes sense (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096100)

The argument here is that even though they did not claim to be engineers in this report, by it's format and quality it could be implied that it was written by an engineer, which does the public no good. Especially since the original report from the engineering firm was presumably written by a civil PE specializing in transportation, not, you know, a computer scientist with no experience in this field.

I talked to a Civil Engineer and I think that THIS is the concern that should have been more well-voiced in the article. Non-professional write-ups like these are not only viewed by actual engineers, but often by elected officials who have no engineering or technical background, but rely on those experts for advice. These officials usually have the final say, and a 'well written' (but wrong) report in those hands can be a menace.

Re:This actually kind of makes sense (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096148)

This guy isn't actually doing professional engineering, he is petitioning the government to put in a street light and did some reasonably advanced analysis to provide evidence to support his claim. He is in no way liable for the results o f this study nor should he be. If his findings are accurate then a traffic light should be installed after the new road layout is created and certified by a Professional Engineer who would then be liable for his work.

The day they say you can't produce supporting evidence on your own is pretty much the day you loose the constitutional right to petition your government.

Re:This actually kind of makes sense (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096176)

wow you're deranged. These weren't "blueprints" and nobody signed them saying they were an engineer. It's simple math and reasoning written down in 8 pages. If being able to perform basic math and writing is outlawed, yeah, America is screwed. It's time to get out.

How does having a legible, well formatted document arguing a position "do the public no good"?!? Public discourse is to be frowned upon?

Horrendous! (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35095976)

Hopefully they never let people create websites unless they're licensed professionals...

I've gotten this while in college when I wrote a paper that "wasn't undergraduate material" the English "professor" turned me in for plagiarizing because my paper was apparently too good for her standards.

Cox's association should be allowed to generate whatever content they want to back their reasoning; they never claimed to be engineers. If the "DOT and public were misled by the 'engineer-quality' work" then (public aside) I think the DOT needs some smarter people working there.

The Powers That Be (2, Funny)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096014)

Need a very overdue, very serious attitude correction. We are not subjects to be commanded. We are citizens, which means we employ them, and they ought to obey us, not the other way around. They perform their duties at our sufferance.

Folks, we are long past the time for a reboot of our country. Those who like to play Masters of the Universe with our lives seem to think they can do so with impunity forever, to whatever extreme. But we are not Chinese or Indians or Russians. We are Americans, and freedom is our creed. And we're very heavily armed. Let's remind them and all others around the world why we deserve to be free. Let the Eastern seaboard be lit with the fires from their mansions.

Rule #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096022)

Never submit a report of better quality than a bureaucrat can produce or they take serious offense to it.

Rule #2 any math beyond 2+2=4 is beyond the comprehension of most people.

Reminds me of when the locals did a traffic study to dead end some streets, some how the traffic going through these side streets was greater than the traffic on the 2 streets it connected. Turns out they had a guy sitting on the sensor with a hammer to drive up the numbers.

Mr Lacy is technically correct... (3, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096032)

...which is, of course, the best kind of correct. He is now a Level 10 Bureaucrat.

If we were in a just world (1)

Rand Race (110288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096034)

Wouldn't it be funny if the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors just went ahead and certified the guy since his work is so good?

The Quote of the Article (4, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096042)

And the award for best face palm inducing quote goes to:

If Cox is found to have practiced engineering without a license, Ritter said, the likely action would be a letter telling him not to do it again.

I'm a software developer, if I use wireshark to discover that my ISP is up to something fishy, will I be sued for practicing network engineering without a license? If I start counting the number of pedestrians crossing a busy street in order to advocate for a crosswalk, will I be sued for for practicing civil engineering without a license?

No P.E. required. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096060)

Lol, this is great

You CAN practice engineering without a license, in fact, it's fine, you just can't sign the document " P.E. " (Professional Engineer) most engineers aren't licensed, because it is primarily used by civil engineers who are designing buildings, bridges, ect. The whole point of a P.E. is enabling you to sign off on documents, official documents that represent build plans for some government facility, or something that legally needs to have a responsible engineer. While it's good to go through the trouble of getting one (Bill Nye has his license) it only qualifies you to sign your work as John Hancock Professional Engineer, or claim to list your services as engineering services in terms of running a business.

Some companies just hire one P.E. to claim their work as engineering, cause they just need one to sign off on everything.

If it's something that's not going to put people's lives in danger if it's misdesigned (i.e. a robot, UAV, toy, printer) normally you don't even need a P.E. to do the work. P.E's are just something that at the end of the day are a legal check to sell engineering work.

and in some states I believe it's enough to just have a degree in engineering to consider yourself a professional engineer (though I know in most you must take a test to attain a license )

Here's a link to the P.E licensing board's website
http://www.nspe.org/Licensure/index.html

Too much stupidity in the government workforce... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096068)

...practicing engineering without a license.

I'm an engineer... and I don't have a license!!! GASP! Someone better haul me off to jail. Oh, wait, I don't need a goddamn license to perform engineering work. Some jobs/companies require a PE, but it is not necessary for performing engineering work in general.

Lacy said his complaint "was not an accusation" against Cox.

Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report "appears to be engineering-level work" by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.

Hey, moron, you are accusing him of performing engineering level work by someone who is not licensed as a PE!!!

"When you start applying the principles ...snip... and making recommendations," that's technical work a licensed engineer would do, Lacy said.

Yes, a PE could do that work, but it is not a requirement if you are only doing a report for your review.

Andrew L. Ritter, executive director of the engineers licensing board,..said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"

So, if it was sloppier, it would be OK? And what the hell is there to prevent your PEs from reviewing his work to see if it is acceptable or not???

If Cox is found to have practiced engineering without a license, Ritter said, the likely action would be a letter telling him not to do it again.

I have to laugh to keep from crying...

That's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096076)

The government shouldn't allowed to regulate who is and is not an Engineer. If that were the case, there would never be any innovation.

Smart people are criminals. (2)

mitayai (242879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096084)

So what this looks like to me is that in your country, it's a crime to be smart and work hard, on your own time, to try improving your community.

Never occurred to me... (1)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096114)

I was in the program to earn a split engineering/computer science degree. However, two years in, I shifted to focus on the computer science and earned my degree in that. So despite not earning an engineering degree (I'm considering going back someday) I've been told the presentation of my work is very friendly to engineers. More than once, I've had engineers come to me and say "You must be an engineer" after they view my documentation, to which I respond and tell them my background.

But now I realize that someone could report me for doing 'engineering level work' without a license? I could be reported and investigated? Unreal...

An important quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096126)

"He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers.... If Cox is found to have practiced engineering without a license, Ritter said, the likely action would be a letter telling him not to do it again."

Dumbest thing I've read today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096144)

Next thing you know, I won't be allowed to give my neighbor a band-aid because that would be practicing medicine without a licence.

If he is found guilty of something illegal, then so is every single engineering student. After all, they're "practicing", and certainly aren't licensed.

All he did was make a suggestion. The one who made the complaint is more guilty of a crime than the non-licensed engineer.

Engineers dont need to be licensed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096174)

Engineers only need to be licensed to do govt work. It allows them to stamp documents with official seals and is common practice for civil engineers. However, outside of civil engineering and other jobs heavily involving govt approval it is common practice to not be licensed. For computer science its almost unheard of.

Why certify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096188)

Is Lacy trying to convince everyone that his own PE cert is worthless? Or just that any technical degree or equivalent experience is as good or better?

Let him know what you think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096192)

From here [ncdot.org] : Kevin Lacy jklacy@dot.state.nc.us (919) 733-3915
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