"Disgusting." That’s how Matt Traum who owns the popular "I have the Power" blog characterized my post on MIT placing 13th in the Solar Decathlon. I can accept Matt defending his grad school alma mater and his reasoning for MIT Solar 7 team finishing 13th out of 20th is that the school never gave its volunteers the full resources of this incredibly endowed engineering school (a mere $10B).
That said, GET OVER IT, MATT! You’re shooting the messenger. Even you blame MIT for failing to support to the Solar 7 team. That’s not my fault. If MIT can eat Darmstadt-sters (they won the Solar Decathlon, which is a solar house building contest) "for lunch" like you say, let them prove it. As for impuning MIT’s reputation, I’ve written countless pieces on the phenomenal inventions coming directly our of MIT and from its graduates who start companies. Just last year, I wrote about Phlatlight from Luminus. That originated at MIT like hundreds if not thousands of other inventions - like radar, for example. I dutifully wrote up the watershed 1997 BankBoston report that said MITers were responsible for starting 4,000 companies employing 1.1 million people. I’m not impuning its reputation. I’m just saying we expected better from MIT on this contest.
It’s no different than me complaining about the Red Sox when they don’t win. The good news is, like MIT, they usually do. As for your blog post and to use another sports analogy, last night after the Patriot beat the Colts in the biggest NFL game of the season, Colts coach Tony Dunghy moaned about key reciever Marvin Harrison being injured, suggesting that if he played, the outcome might have been different. Who cares? You do your best with what you have when you have it.
Perhaps the Solar 7 volunteers were poorly supported by MIT. But they were the MIT team. As a Boston local (and sports fan), I expect them to win it all every time.