When the New Pittsburgh Courier was preparing to interview James
Martin II, the new dean of Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, we
expected to talk about his international reputation as an expert on
earthquakes and disaster mitigation; about what his being the first
Black dean of the school might mean for minority enrollment; about why
he became an engineer.
We didn’t talk about any of that—instead, we talked about the Roman
Empire, about philosophy, about Chaos theory and non-linearity, about
how the global industrial age started here in Pittsburgh, and about how
its coming replacement—which no one has a name for yet—could also start
here in Pittsburgh.
“The focus in the industrial age was on efficiency. We built
institutions that mimicked the machines we built. It was a linear
model,” Martin II told the Courier. “But we live in a non-lineal world.
It’s not about size and consolidating resources. It’s about knowledge
and connecting to flows of resources. It’s why a company that didn’t
exist 10 years ago, Uber, is valued at $150 billion and Sears is going
Read the full article at the New Pittsburgh Courier.
Author: Christian Morrow, Courier Staff Writer, 10/26/2018
Contact: Paul Kovach