For no particular reason, today I ended up re-reading this piece of advice to prospective graduate students (you can find it on the links section), and this phrase became stuck in my head:
“For humans, honesty is a matter of degree. Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can’t handle the truth.”
– Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle
So, what happens when engineers can’t be kept away? Bad business, bad or painful romance, merciful lies? Winston Churchill said that the problem with allies, is that they have opinions; Bjork used to say that, since you can’t please everyone, the best you can do is to please yourself and accept that some will not like it. For if you try to please everyone, neglecting yourself, you’ll end up pleasing no one. I think she would have made a terrific engineer.