The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The doctors' plot

The perpetrators of three failed terrorist attacks were not, it now seems, alienated teenagers misled by hook-handed clerics (etc etc) but NHS medical personnel. This is disturbing. It means it's possible to qualify in and to practice medicine with almost no knowledge of physics and chemistry. A British bomb-disposal expert gives them a severe dressing-down here. 'The jihadi threat has seemingly sunk to animal-lib levels.' Oh, the shame.

As any science undergraduate will tell you, medical students tend to be well-meaning and intelligent, but only slightly better-informed and better-behaved than students of divinity. When it comes to fundamentalism the people you have to keep a watchful eye on are engineers, who are predisposed to fall for design arguments and to follow literal interpretations of The Book.


There's a saying among francophone technicians in Qu├ębec; it has something to do with the ring they wear and keeping their fingers out of their noses.

Engineers are brilliant and theoretical geniuses, but the guys I'd be terrified of are the techs who build the engineers' conceptions.

When you look at these guys, then at Harold Shipman, the doctor who killed hundreds without anyone even noticing, it's obvious that we're dealing with a bunch of total amateurs. Come on guys, if you're going to blow yourselves up show some professionalism!


A colleague with a background in bomb disposal opined to me that some of the ALF were relatively competent at bomb-making compared to this bunch; in his professional opinion, the devices as described barely even counted as bombs.

I think you put your finger on the problem of medical workers making bombs.

Bring me the sanitation department.

Well, at least the Scots have come a long way in such matters since the time of Darnley. When I was at Cambridge I met a certain Ross Anderson who has since gone on to being one of the world's leading security experts. This thread reminded me that he, at least, has had practical experience in blowing things up as part of his cursus honoris. It is curiously absent from his bio at wikipedia, so I have taken the liberty of putting some stuff about it on his talk page.

I am an engineer of some renown and no offence, but you're talking out your fat arse.

Dr Maroon, try Googling on:

"Salem Hypothesis" engineers creationism

and you'll see what I mean.

No offence intended to engineers.

Dr. Maroon - I trained as a tech (and ditched it for writing) and I'm just being irksome. No offense was meant, just some inter-professional ribbing.

You all worry too much.
I cannot be offended.
What good sports you all are. I might come back

Ayman al-Zawahiri, who it is believed designed the 11.09.2001 attacks, was a doctor...then again 1.) he didn't do the work himself and 2.) he;s a surgeon, meaning botht that we should refer to him as "Mr" and that he might have a practical if nasty streak.

I can't help but be reminded that many an IRA bomb didn't go off because 'Crown forces' had interfered with them beforehand. Makes you wonder whether this failure of 3 could be for similar reasons - but stunning incompetence just as likely .

I'm an engineer, and I completely concur with Ken on this. If we're going to evangelize for atheism, we need to start with the engineers.

The incredible inefficiency of The Mad Doctors (tm) was a blessing. And, as P M Lawrence opines, whizz-bangs are actually pretty simple to construct, especially if you're not too concerned by personal survival (I wonder whether any of the CUSFS bombardiers are still exploding things these days?).

The trouble is, that next time it'll work. And not only the usual suspects may have a go - I think it's almost inevitable that some racist loons decide to have a go at a mosque or two. Hopefully the slope-head racists are as inept, but somehow I doubt it.

Bob Shaw

Oh, I forgot to mention, in my description of racists above, the phrase 'in-breeding'. Sorry about that!

Bob Shaw

Inbreeding is nature's way of telling us that racism is a bad idea.

Of course every dunderheid knows that you should aways make two devices per "job"....oops to much information....ther si nothing to see here ...move along!

I'm an engineer, and I follow THE BOOK to the letter. I'm leery of engineers that would allow darwin to test their designs for them.

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