Alex has been putting up with Zan’s shenanigans since Chapter One.
Alex has been putting up with Zan’s shenanigans since Pathfinder.
(‘Boffins’ is my new favorite word for today. XD)
Sounds like a sea animal to me. Oh, that’s right: puffins!
Besides, the whole ship is an experiment at this point. I don’t think he can be choosy as to who he can take. If they don’t get to help then they will go stir crazy. And then it’s zombie fighting time!
Maybe after seeing how the FTL experiment slagged one ship and nearly two others, it is not completely unreasonable for not in the mood for experiments and makeshift solutions. Especially as this is now a survival situation where doing things properly can mean the difference between life and death.
Remember that “it works” does not automatically mean “it is good”. A car held together by chewing gum works, it does not mean that it is should be thus.
However, there is a point to be made that Aria’s workgangs could be utilized elsewhere and act as assistants. The ship still needs engineers for normal operation, which the current team has to handle on top of priority repairs. He could give them lesser, more menial tasks and tech support stuff (changing lightbulbs, performing maintenance, etc.). This would reduce the load of the specialists engineers.
Even an experimental solution that works can still be superior to every “proper” fix that isn’t done at all because of a lack of staff and/or resources. So, the realistic comparison would have to be the state relying on a limited staff only vs. what it would be with help. If the extra hands make matters better than they would have been, that’s a win. (If however, they make matters even worse than no help at all, that is a legitimate concern. I think that would be the most favorable way to understand the objection.)
That said, I agree that it seems highly doubtful that resourceful thinking could not make any helpful use at all of intelligent, willing assistants. Refusing help seems to be questionable judgment, given their dire condition. In an emergency situation, good engineers will understand the need to improvise and make do. A rigid blind allegiance to “by the book” could actually endanger the crew. It would be best to be open to reviewing unconventional solutions for extreme situations.
I think it’s still a bit early to give Zan’s unique engineering approach free reign. The situation is not that desperate yet, although it is unclear what is the precise state and chances of repairs.
Which is the real important bit of information needed to tell what these people should do and what use to make of them. We know that the damage is extremely extensive. We do not know whether repairs can be completed fully or only partially. I have a feeling that the chief himself does not know all the problems that are present.
Of course, I do admit that he is thick-headed enough to hold off admitting that the situation is beyond him.
Does he not see the irony of saying that standing in the middle of an engine room which is itself one giant experiment?
He does not. :-\
Erm, he isn’t? This is not the experimental FTL engine, but the Galaxion’s own, old engines. The story made it clear that the two are separate. This engine got scrambled and nearly turned to slag because of an malfunction of the FTL engine causing some sort of power overload. The FTL engine has been isolated and shut down. This (regular, old) engine is in dire need of proper repairs.
I am totally with Alex’s critique of Zan. He should not “improve” or “fix” anything because someone else will have to understand what he did to be able to maintain it.
This! This is why repairing something complex is not as simple as “make it work”. Making something work and making it work well are not the same thing.
That, plus documentation. Making it work (even if it works well) isn’t the same thing as knowing how to make it work again.
“I don’t know what I did, but it’s working now” is a common enough phenomenon, but it’s not an acceptable solution unless it only has to keep working for a minute. If someone else (or even you) will have to come back along behind you and make it work again, then you need to know, and make sure everyone else knows, not just what you did to make it work, but why it worked.
Good point! Any change needs also to be maintained.
I don’t think this excludes improvised solutions. It does require that any unconventional solution should be understood well enough by all parties that will need to maintain it. That doesn’t exclude creativity, even though it does exclude black box mysterious creativity. New workarounds need to be documented and relevant staff needs to be brought up to speed. (Obviously this would never be done if a standard fix is feasible. We are talking about emergency situations only.)
I am not. It wont be long till they are on short rations. With the lower energy yields those give. With the lower amount of work being done that will result. Never mind the kind of food shortage they will have if it takes longer to fix the engines the ‘proper’ way. Plus travel time if they get them fixed. Will be awesome to have them fixed the ‘proper’ way, and starve to death before they make it to a safe port.
Never mind you don’t need trained techs to CARRY SHIT around that has to be carried anyway. The chief is being a pompous ass. No one needs training to be a gopher.
Just because you see the engineers carrying things doesn’t meant that is what they spend 90% of their time and effort. Or that making the repairs is purely a question of physical strength. We don’t know how long the repairs will take (maybe not even the Chief himself knows), only that the more likely problem is running out of parts.
What makes you think that Zan, a bunch of scientists with theoretical training and a few overqualified rock-pickers be able to easily solve problems that people with specialized training in the field can’t? What if not doing repairs the “proper” way will only make things worse and guarantee that everyone starves to death? Scientists are not engineers.
Pretty much everybody agrees that a few extra hands must have some use. But the situation is a bit more complex than “say yes and everything will be fine, say no and we will all die”.
While it may be true they can’t help with deciding how the repairs should be conducted, they can certainly help with the grunt work. Handing the engineers tools, fetching things, carrying stuff. The shot of the room below even has someone walking by carrying something, not really a task you need special knowledge for. : P It may be possible they have enough people without specialized knowledge to do those tasks, but I can see each person in the room below making decent use of an assistant at their side, rather than working alone. Speaking from experience an extra pair of hands is almost always good to have.
Agreed, but you know what? These folks do have special knowledge that would help even with those kinds of menial things.
Consider the difference between “Take the heat sink and set it next to the motherboard” and “Take the metal thing with a bunch of big fins and put it next to the big square circuit board with all the slots on it. No, not that one, the red one. Yeah, that’s the one.”
(That probably should have been phrased as “Agreed, and…” instead of “Agreed, but….”)
Having people to hold a droplight, act as a ‘third hand,’ be a phone-talker, fetch tools, or run parts frees up the techs to get the work done. You also find out pretty quickly who is ‘trainable’ for some of the tasks that don’t require as much specific systems knowledge and experience, which again allows you to conserve your technician resources.
I used to help my dad repair his car. I started when I was about 11 years old, I knew nothing about cars but I could quickly fetch him a spanner or get my hand into a small space his wouldn’t fit. Having a helper speeds up the work a lot.
As if the so-called “experts” were not the ones whose experiments where they supposedly knew what they were doing, were not already responsible for getting them into this mess in the first place.
You do realize that part of the “experts that got them in this whole mess” includes Zan (and Darvin and General Nelson)?
… not to mention Anderson himself …
So your comment makes little sense and you are juxtoposing an argument nobody really made. Anderson’s problem isn’t admitting the team responsible for FTL engine, but letting in non-engineers. He needs engineers, not scientists. The scientists here aren’t really responsible for the FTL engine (except Zan).
My point was that Anderson is probably as responsible for the whole mess as Zan.
Which only goes to prove my point about his point.
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