The End of Employment

Forum for general discussion of Peak Oil / Oil depletion; also covering related subjects

Moderator: Peak Moderation

User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Ralph wrote: I realize that there are always folks that the company allows to stay on, incompetent or not, and any company can probably handle some measure of ongoing incompetence…until a local teaching position opens up anyway.
Rubbish. Haven't you ever heard of "Management"?
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
User avatar
Ralph
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Post by Ralph »

RenewableCandy wrote:
Ralph wrote: I realize that there are always folks that the company allows to stay on, incompetent or not, and any company can probably handle some measure of ongoing incompetence…until a local teaching position opens up anyway.
Rubbish. Haven't you ever heard of "Management"?
Sure. They tend to be the ones who fire folks who can't do, thereby making sure there is a reasonable supply of future teachers available.
User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Ralph wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote:
Ralph wrote: I realize that there are always folks that the company allows to stay on, incompetent or not, and any company can probably handle some measure of ongoing incompetence…until a local teaching position opens up anyway.
Rubbish. Haven't you ever heard of "Management"?
Sure. They tend to be the ones who
are better at "office politics" than they are at actually doing the job. There are plenty who get promoted in order to get them out of the way of the real work. As long as they then don't get back in the way, a company can survive for an arbitrarily long time.

Anyway what is your problem with teachers? Are you simply unable to deal with the concept of a person who knows things that you don't?
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
extractorfan
Posts: 988
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Ricky
Contact:

Post by extractorfan »

RenewableCandy wrote:
Ralph wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote: Rubbish. Haven't you ever heard of "Management"?
Sure. They tend to be the ones who
are better at "office politics" than they are at actually doing the job. There are plenty who get promoted in order to get them out of the way of the real work. As long as they then don't get back in the way, a company can survive for an arbitrarily long time.

Anyway what is your problem with teachers? Are you simply unable to deal with the concept of a person who knows things that you don't?
Obviously, he's trying to wind Steve up, and Steve's not biting.

Some people are good at managing and some good at teaching, you have stooped to Ralph's level :)
User avatar
Ralph
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Post by Ralph »

RenewableCandy wrote:
Ralph wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote: Rubbish. Haven't you ever heard of "Management"?
Sure. They tend to be the ones who
are better at "office politics" than they are at actually doing the job.
Once upon a time I might have bought into that, and for some managers I still might. But as of late I have had the experience of watching people who consider themselves professional "managers" at work, and it has been a learning experience.

What you characterize as "office politics" I would characterize and "keeping people the hell off my back so I can get the job done"….which can be a very important part of getting the job done.
RenewableCandy wrote: Anyway what is your problem with teachers? Are you simply unable to deal with the concept of a person who knows things that you don't?
Many people know many things that I don't. You undoubtedly know things that I don't.

i prefer to think about learning in the mold of Socrates, in that the only thing that learning has ever taught me is how little I actually know.

As far as teachers, I have no problem with them. Like others the world over, some are probably good at "teaching" (as opposed to knowing things their students do not), some not so good. I never really even thought about it much until I actually began "learning" later in the life.

And what I learned is that teachers are not required for learning to take place. Even more interesting, DISPROVING what the teacher has claimed is itself a learning process.

But "teachers" in the traditional "reading, writin, rightmatic" style are different animal from those I would say "learning" occurs from. In the US one can become a "teacher" by just going to school and being anointed by the local authorities. As best I can tell, there is no requirement of teachers to do anything other than warm the seat, pass the tests, and be able to explain things to those taught to not question the world yet.

Perhaps a discussion about teachers is more pertinent to what "learning" means to folks?
User avatar
UndercoverElephant
Posts: 11272
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:00 am
Location: south east England

Post by UndercoverElephant »

Ralph wrote:
i prefer to think about learning in the mold of Socrates
Oh, do F--k off.
And what I learned is that teachers are not required for learning to take place.
Of course. It's just that the process doesn't take half as long when there is a (good) teacher involved.
User avatar
RenewableCandy
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: York

Post by RenewableCandy »

Ralph wrote: And what I learned is that teachers are not required for learning to take place.
Not in your case, no. Programmers and data input guys, perhaps. Though whether what results actually counts as "learning" could be the subject of deep philosophical debate...
Soyez réaliste. Demandez l'impossible.
Stories
The Price of Time
User avatar
Ralph
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Post by Ralph »

UndercoverElephant wrote:
And what I learned is that teachers are not required for learning to take place.
Of course. It's just that the process doesn't take half as long when there is a (good) teacher involved.
Incorrect. To LEARN does not require a teacher, it requires an OPPONENT. An opponent with an interest in exposing every flaw in your thinking, digging out every inconsistency, who already knows every fact and discipline involved and can use them against your idea.

Sure, teachers can walk the children through the readin, writin, and rithmatic, just as high school dropouts can home school their children to proficiency in the same subjects.

Perhaps there is another point in here about how you teach someone to THINK, a different exercise than what run of the mill career teachers specialize in?
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

Ralph wrote:
Incorrect. To LEARN does not require a teacher, it requires an OPPONENT. An opponent with an interest in exposing every flaw in your thinking, digging out every inconsistency, who already knows every fact and discipline involved and can use them against your idea.

Sure, teachers can walk the children through the readin, writin, and rithmatic, just as high school dropouts can home school their children to proficiency in the same subjects.

Perhaps there is another point in here about how you teach someone to THINK, a different exercise than what run of the mill career teachers specialize in?
Good heavens. For several weeks I have not read any post headed by the crow-logo of our automated troll, but this morning I accidentally glanced at this post. I was never quite convinced about the theory that if one sat enough monkeys in front of typewriters for long enough the works of Shakespeare would emerge so imagine my surprise at finding a couple of sentences about the nature of education that I agree with.
Jakell
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:36 pm
Location: The North

Post by Jakell »

I've been reading this guy very closely for years now, and I have an observation that on the surface may not be very helpful, but may hopefully serve to temporarily alter the focus of certain 'obsessives'.

He is not really a 'peak oil writer', his purview is far broader than that. He's just viewed that way by certain obsessives who may be starting to take more notice of him due to his tenacity, Certainly, this is one of the themes he tends to focus on, and it's topicality has made his blog far more popular and influential than it otherwise would have been.

He does hint now again on having to remove repetititve comments every week. I wonder if RGR here is one of his regulars
SleeperService
Posts: 1104
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:35 pm
Location: Nottingham UK

Post by SleeperService »

I was fortunate enough to be shown how to learn for myself, it has worked well for me. Many in the UK enter teaching to find they have to cram stuff into young heads to pass meaningless SATS teats and the like. An American Idea I believe. The students never understand what they've 'learned' which helps others exploit them for the rest of their lives.

I have also found some of Ralph's writing to be thought provoking, I suspect I'll never agree with his position on any number of issues but do support the right to present them.

I hope the original link is correct as that is exactly the course I'm taking. So far, so good. The irritating thing is that I felt things were wrong for a long time before I started finding out why....
Scarcity is the new black
ceti331
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Post by ceti331 »

Ralph wrote:
RenewableCandy wrote:
Ralph wrote: Sure. They tend to be the ones who
are better at "office politics" than they are at actually doing the job.
What you characterize as "office politics" I would characterize and "keeping people the hell off my back so I can get the job done"….which can be a very important part of getting the job done.
Lol.

the real work is mostly done by (fossil-fueled) machines. People then compete with eachother for acess. thats what most 'work' is.
Of course it does take some human labour to design and maintain the machines, but that is *not* what most people are actually doing.

a lot of 'work' is basically politics - a big example is people who's entire "work" is producing adverts.
"The stone age didn't end for a lack of stones"... correct, we'll be right back there.
User avatar
Ralph
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Post by Ralph »

ceti331 wrote: the real work is mostly done by (fossil-fueled) machines. People then compete with eachother for acess. thats what most 'work' is.
Of course it does take some human labour to design and maintain the machines, but that is *not* what most people are actually doing.
An engineer retires from running a plant full of machinery after many, many years. One month later, the planet grinds to a complete halt, the machinery not working, and no one able to understand why. They contact the retired engineer, and BEG him to come help them, name his price. Engineer agrees, and comes back to the plant…sniffs the air, walks the aisles among the towering machines, glances here and there, then whips a piece of chalk out of his pocket, and marks large X on a bit of machinery.

"Replace this piece of equipment" he says. And he hands the less talented his bill for $30,000.

They are shocked at the cost..and demand a thorough accounting of this price for his services. Engineer nods thoughtfully, collects a piece of paper from his briefcase and a pen, scribbles quickly, and hands over the thorough accounting.

The bill says:

Piece of Chalk: $1.00
Knowing which part to mark it with: $29,999

----------------------------------------------------------

There is something to said for machines and efficiency and whatnot. But at the end of the day there will always be the need for those who understand how things work. The rest can flip burgers,pump gas, teach young children compliance to TPTB, invent morality to apply to others that they then avoid, whatever they wish.

There is a reason peak oil didn't bring the world to the halt claimed by the zealots. To many engineers still doing their jobs I guess.
ceti331
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Post by ceti331 »

Ralph wrote:
There is something to said for machines and efficiency and whatnot. But at the end of the day there will always be the need for those who understand how things work.
Yes. i did not claim we live in the 'venus project' zero labour utopia.
But I would estimate at *least* half the labour is just people making problems for eachother, as they compete for access to what machines make.
Sometimes money is a symbol for energy. Others, it is just expressing the pecking order. It can be confusing when people think they are 'supporting themselves' when really what they are doing is convincing others to let machines support them.

I have seen this in my own workplace (which produces something no one actually needs, really, just a way of filling people's spare time..) and my POV is also mirrored by some other people I know with engineering related jobs.
Ralph wrote: There is a reason peak oil didn't bring the world to the halt claimed by the zealots. To many engineers still doing their jobs I guess.
I never thought peak oil would bring the world to a halt. It is simply a permanent decline. This is playing out. You might be shielded from it, but what I'm seeing is confirmation of pessimistic predictions playing out.

I think the masses face a double whammy with technological unemployment - it really is different this time round compared to past innovations because of improving computation power enabling software to eliminate the need for humans.. less need for people ,less resources to go round.. its going to end in tears.
"The stone age didn't end for a lack of stones"... correct, we'll be right back there.
User avatar
Ralph
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:25 pm

Post by Ralph »

ceti331 wrote:
Ralph wrote: There is a reason peak oil didn't bring the world to the halt claimed by the zealots. To many engineers still doing their jobs I guess.
I never thought peak oil would bring the world to a halt. It is simply a permanent decline. This is playing out. You might be shielded from it, but what I'm seeing is confirmation of pessimistic predictions playing out.
You don't get to claim "permanent decline" during a period of growth in economic output. People in America changing their behavior and buying less fuel for their cars, allowing them to export more. Growth in liquid fuels production is not permanent decline. More folks in the UK continuing to buy cars, and having the fuel to operate them is not permanent decline. Less growth…is not decline. Decline….when it has happened before…was not PERMANENT.

Pessimism is not the definition of "permanent decline". Not meeting the hopes and dreams of all who hope and dream is also not "permanent decline". Low inflation and borrowing rates in the developed world is not "permanent decline".

Anyone can claim "permanent decline" just like they can declare that a cow's tail is really another leg. Claiming it does not make it so. These kinds of constant claims of doom, gloom and decline do not help an objective evaluation of the situation. Admittedly, I do not think that natural pessimists want such an evaluation, because the answers might be inconvenient to what they WANT to believe, as opposed to what is actually happening.

ceti331 wrote: I think the masses face a double whammy with technological unemployment - it really is different this time round compared to past innovations because of improving computation power enabling software to eliminate the need for humans.. less need for people ,less resources to go round.. its going to end in tears.
Every time it is "different this time around" it is obviously "different this time around", rendering such a statement as meaningless. Tomorrow won't be like today. Obviously. And endings are almost always matched with tears, signifying the fear of change. People like their certainty, and most would trade a lower lifestyle for the guarantee of its continuation for there entire lives than the 5% chance to be a gazillionaire for the rest of their lives, versus being homeless the rest of their lives.

So again, a meaningless statement. Recognize that none of us gets out of here alive, individual actions are meaningless to any of the problems facing humanity EXCEPT convincing everyone in your family, everyone you know, everyone they know, and everyone else, to follow a given path to a future all of us alive today will never see. Tough sell. So all of us come to tears in the end, not just a resource scarcity end, but ANY end.

And none of this matters with todays resource scarcity problems any more than they did during other periods of resource scarcity where people were afraid of the same things, and those things didn't happen either.
Post Reply