So dinner table conversation this evening focused on how I'd blown it with the name of yesterday's post. I was told that starting with a conclusion and writing backward is just writing backward and not reverse engineering at all.
"Reverse engineering," one dinner companion said, "would be if there had been an alien space craft in Hangar 51, and we'd taken it apart to see how it works and were then able to rebuild it using our own materials." Which seems very unlikely to me.
"Or," the other companion went on, "an example of reverse engineering occurred after World War II when the Russians were able to get hold of our Blah Blah Blah, which included technology they didn't have and took it apart so the Blahbity Blah Blah." This must be why it's so important that Alaskans keep their eyes on the Russians near them.
"There really is no analogy for books," second companion said.
"You need an entire item, not just one piece like an ending," first companion explained.
This is why I really don't mind eating by myself.