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    We're falling behind (8 Posts)

  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 9:23 AM
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    We're falling behind

    Those contractors trying to find qualified techs have been aware of this for years. It was predicted 20 years ago and largely ignored. Tech skills aren't the only skills lacking....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/opinion/the-united-states-falling-behind.html?hp&_r=0
  • Gordy Gordy @ 7:28 PM
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    We have turned into

    A cut and paste society.

    Now days kids are allowed to use calculators to do math tests.

    This turns into people just entering numbers, and information into a computer, and take for granted it's the right answer. Never knowing how to get to the answer long hand.

    Kinda like the wife gets in the car turns the key, and it runs,. Never understanding how things happen to make that motor run.

    Society is going to hell in a hand basic.
  • BobC BobC @ 7:54 PM
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    The difference

    Is we were taught to do math with pencil and paper and when we got to high school we used a slide rule. If you know haw to use a slide rule you know about what the answer will be before moving the curser. AND that lets you spot a wrong answer right away. I still have a slide rule in my desk drawer and on my workbench for those times when the calculator has gone missing.

    If all you know is punching numbers into a calculator you will never realize the answer you just got when you hit the equals key is WRONG.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 84,200 BTU, Single pipe steam

    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in

    3PSI gauge
  • SWEI SWEI @ 10:29 PM
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    Slide Rules

    You're really reaching there.  I'll bet I'm one of the youngest guys here who learned how to use a slide rule in middle school.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 23, 2013 10:30 PM.
  • gennady gennady @ 7:41 PM
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    qualified tech

    There none. And the ones who willing to learn are not capable because they are uneducated. And social level of heating technician or plumber is so low, that only leftovers of work force are forced into this trade. Then "do not shoot the piano player, he plays as he can".
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
  • Ron Jr. Ron Jr. @ 8:12 PM
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    Hoping to still

    be working when the drought of techs translates to big bucks ! 
  • Gordy Gordy @ 9:55 PM
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    I post this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NwEFVUb-u0

    A few times Mike Rowes speech to commerce of science, transportation etc.
    This post was edited by an admin on October 23, 2013 9:56 PM.
  • archibald tuttle archibald tuttle @ 8:38 AM
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    yes and know?

    This theme in the NY Times is a little treadworn and doesn't get to the really more controversial issues of whether society as parent, our emerging model, can provide inspiration and incentive for the uptake of this knowledge. Nor do they confront whether american traditions of public education have met their limits when teachers are organized to capture any surplus invested.

    I'm have no illusions that teaching is easy, any more than i have illusions that the trades are easy. I do think teaching probably rates above plumbing technician in the social hierarchy. There are some reasonable appreciation of the profession and its focus on the younger generation wrapped up in that,well  but a good deal of it is that american aristocracy is constructed around degrees of formal liberal education -- and vocational education, apprenticeship or emperical tradesmenship are not generally well recognized in that sorting.

    TACO brought this film lamenting society's failure to elevate the tradesman, http://thetradesmendocumentary.com/ , to providence and threw a dinner for tradesmen a few years back trying to spark a dialogue on the subject but never really went anywhere with it. I thought the film mixed a little bit too much marxist motif making tradesmen the victim of rapacious capitalism as much or moreso than an atrophe related to the american constructed idea of success for ones children as moving beyond the trades.  But it was an interesting evening.

    I tend to see some devil's advocate arguments.  While Cher's father in Moonstruck is perhaps my favorite caricature of the trades vis-a-vis society, his use of the mystique of his profession to cow the obviously highly educated clientelle and coral them into unreasonable expense reveals a certain power separation the trades can breed between themselves and what society qualifies as educated people.  maybe it is a deserved backlash, but it isn't exactly inclusive, it doesn't make the trades inviting or part of life, it holds them apart almost competitive with 'educated society'.

    And an additional tension when falling behind in finding educated techs is, someone with enough native intellect, curiosity and industriousness to have taken up a systematically useful cross section of physical and theoretical art in our trade or another, is probably equally capable of doing so on their own. Much as I don't like the deterministic hierarchy of education in America, i've never been a fan of trades that may confine capable tradesmen under society's license of another. That doesn't mean i don't value the experience of workmen with more tenure than my own, but i think apprenticeship -- speaking about it as a larger idea and not a narrowly circumscribed institution within licensing laws -- should be earned in both directions.  And ultimately those managing tradesmen who provide a fertile, friendly collegial environment for some of their skilled brethren (using the traditional expression of the male inheritance of the trades but not meaning to exclude those who wear underwear above the belt) who would prefer to ply their craft rather than administer a small business have some advantage in maintaining crews.

    And, to get bigger and not fall behind, they may find themselves having to train their own techs and then, perhaps ironically, fight to retain them.  nobody said this was gonna be easy.

    PS -haven't watched the Mike Rowe video so dont' want to act like i know precisely what he said, but i appreciate his raising respect for an incredible range of dirty jobs and sometime when i'm not composing novels on heating problems, i will sit back and watch it (and maybe you can help shorten my current quest if you go over to the radiant forum , http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147456/style-and-substance-underfloor-radiant-install , and help explain to me why insulating underfloor tubing assemblies is so important if the floor below is heated space (heated by the same payor that is).)


    brian
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