American Exceptionalism

You can find it everywhere but in the country-comparison statistics

3 min read
American Exceptionalism
Infographic: Erik Vrielink

graph of infant mortality rate, 2010Infant mortality rate, 2010: This revealing measure is a good proxy for overall quality of life. It is therefore telling that the United States comes in 26th, well below Greece, whose financial troubles recently have put it in the headlines.Sources: CDC/NCHS, linked birth/infant death data set (U.S. data); OECD 2014 (all other data); Infographic: Erik Vrielink

Belief in “American exceptionalism”—that unique blend of ideals, ideas, and love of liberty made so powerful by great technical and economic accomplishments—is alive and well. Even President Obama, a reluctant endorser to begin with, has come around. Early in his presidency (in April 2009), he affirmed his belief by essentially denying it: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” By May of 2014, he had relented: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.”

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

Keep Reading ↓Show less