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A.K. Boomer
08-09-2006, 11:30 AM
Lets get this out in the open instead of tip toeing around, and lets not make anyone here a spokes person for one or the other because all of us use both these methods (weather we like to admit it or not) to accomplish our goals, however there is some very important differences between the two and the following is just my simple observation --- I do on the average consider myself a field experiance guy and there have also been a few subject matters that I entered into to where one would be hard pressed to ever find an instructor on the matter simply because its been uncharted territory, in fact these are the little nitches in this world that I seek out just because of this fact... Nobody can teach you the gift of imagination and aplying it --- in fact if they try to you will only learn what somebody else knows and get directed down a path that has already been traveled, This is the beauty of field experiance, NO ONE on this planet has grown up the way you have -- been raised by the same parents that you have, seen the exact mechanisms that you have and tried to fix things in the exact order and method that you have,,, the combinations are endless ------ this is the "field" and this is hands on,,, its priceless when you get so good that you can predict the outcome of all different kinds of procedures and materials and tooling and end up with a result that is exactly how you thought it would be ---- this is the field,,, To me this is the most important place you can be but i do have to say this -------- when you couple it with book smarts the sky is the limit, Now you have theory of operation AND the means in which to make it to the utmost highest standards by utilizing other peoples breakthroughs in fields that pertain to whatever you are building,,, we are in a day and age when one simple devise can benifit in a thousand different ways by either proper procedures or materials or designs that other people have already come up with, No one field experiance person can cover this all --- remember their to busy being creative:p ,,,
Book smarts is when you nose around learning what other people have achieved and ask yourself "how can i adapt this into what im building" or say to yourself "I think i'll make some hardrive space in my head for that cuz that could come in handy some day", its ever so slightly like visiting the field without having to put in the time to go there, but the lessons dont learn like the field because you havnt done them yourself therefore they are either easily forgotton or change meaning after awhile --------- the school of hard knocks is not like that --- it sticks with you for a life time --- the thing is is it would take a hundred lifetimes to do what you can absorb by reading or listening to someone else who's already done it,
I like the field (mostly because Im stubborn and probably have to much foolish pride) but I also realize how important it is to pay attention to other peoples failures and successes -------- To build your basic idea in your head from all your field experiance and the booksmarts youv learned along the way,,, and then for one last Field/book check --- to be able to toss a question out to hundreds of guys that have been there but in a slightly different way, and to have a plethora of variables in thinking come back at you is a gift --- There are many problems with this world --- but what an amazing day and age we live in too...

Nothing is more annoying than a person that thinks they know everything but cant change his tire on his car when he picks up a nail, there is never this lack of attempt with a field smart person although iv witnessed some very sheltered and stubborn field smart guys that will do things the incorrect way for years or even decades because they will not except any input from anybody else --- it comes with the territory...
There maybe some other sites that are so booksmart that most of us wouldnt understand what thier talking about, but i will tell you this , those are the same guys that would catch a hefty chunk of metal to the forehead if they tried to do half of what you guys do, In my opinion the people on this site have a good combo --- and a combo is what it takes...

pcarpenter
08-09-2006, 11:41 AM
None of us will ever live long enough to replace book smarts with experience on every topic. Sometimes what you call book smarts is what causes us not to get field experience:D You know....like when you look at someone else's experience with something and determine that it is beyond your skillset or that it is not what you want to do. You still have the book smarts that came from researching it far enough to determine that you will or will not gain experience in that topic some day.

I use the terms experience and exposure. The former refers to actually having done something or been involved with something. The latter refers to having seen something done or knowing a bit about the topic without having done it yourself.

Nothing wrong with lots of exposure....smart people learn from the experience of others.

Paul

Evan
08-09-2006, 12:01 PM
Learning from books isn't easy for most. Sure, many can pick up facts and information by reading but that doesn't necessarily translate into a knowledge of how to do something. Most people learn by doing. Knowing the information and applying it to the task at hand are not the same thing. Some are better at it than others. I learn both ways. I try not to make the same mistake twice and rarely do. It really ticked me off this weekend when I blew up the start capacitor on my rotary converter because of my wiring mistake, cost me 20 bucks. I didn't double check the wiring and the mistake was easy to make because of most of the wires being the same color (not my doing). It won't happen again. The wires from the drill press have some color tape applied.

Now, How do I know about applying color tape? I read it in the electrical code book. That's book learning applied to practice.

If you rely only on experience to learn you will have a much more difficult time of it. Experience, as they say, is a harsh master. Mistakes are not forgiven, ever. Also, as has long been said, forewarned is forearmed. Learning from the knowledge of others and applying it to practice is the only way to avoid many costly and possibly dangerous mistakes. You may eventually arrive at the same end by either method but relying on the previous experience of others is far more productive, much quicker and safer.

Mcgyver
08-09-2006, 12:03 PM
Nothing is more annoying than a person that thinks they know everything but cant change his tire on his car when he picks up a nail,

wow that covered a lot of ground...

you could leave off the nail part - the annoying part is that they think they know everything which is clearly impossible. Actually you could leave off the annoying part as well - in one sense, as the world is unlikely to ever completely conform to your view, being annoyed at someone elses existence or lack thereof is more your shortcoming (in letting silly stuff you can't control bother you) than theirs.

to use your example, whether someone knows how to change a tire or not is irrelevant - perhaps they excel in other areas to the point where their balance sheet is stronger despite not being able to change a tire. Do we look for those other areas or criticize because they can't do something we've all been able to do since high school? if one is judging or being critical of people on whether they can change a tire, maybe they're really just rating them on much they are like them - not really the way to get the most out of life. Its not always easy to do but things are infinitely easier when you look for the good rather than how someone differs from us. I'm as guilty as the next guy on not always following these higher principles, but i think they're important to believe in and try to follow.

so far as book vs experience - to paraphase the old Army ad, to "be all you can be" you must get it anyway you can. Life would be very painfull if you had to learn from repeating mistakes first hand ...... conversly life wouldn't be very rewarding if you could never execute or 'do'.

Rustybolt
08-09-2006, 12:05 PM
I read books so I can teach myself. Then I go out and do it.

pcarpenter
08-09-2006, 12:30 PM
I work at a University. Universities are famous for being filled with people educated beyond their intelligence. Fortunately, most of the folks I deal with here don't fall in that category, but from time to time, you have to learn to be patient with folks who do.

Mcgyver makes a good point. I may be annoyed with an instructor's inability to do something that seems pretty basic to me, but I sure will never go get a PhD in civil engineering and become an expert in concrete hardening practices in advance of my next concrete project. However, I may need the expertise of one of those guys some day and they will have to be patient with my relative cluelessness and my struggle to learn by just reading about a topic. Evan is right about that, by the way. I am way too visual in the way I learn to ever be a real academic. I admire those who can just read about something and get it immediately. Me....I have to think about it and visualize it before I get my hands around it.

I think we all have our relative areas of knowledge. Sure, its frustrating to deal with someone who lacks knowledge in an area we consider pretty critical to our day-to-day lives....but patience goes a long way.

speedsport
08-09-2006, 12:37 PM
It's all an education, everything we do in life.Does it really matter where or how we learned?. I really enjoy talking to someone who knows more than I do about something I want to know more about, which is basically EVERYTHING!.
I have found that I can learn something from anyone, every person I know or meet knows more about something than I do. I sure I could learn a lot about surviving on the street from a homeless person.
One of the things I really regret is not getting more "booksmarts", I hate it when I am reading a article about something I am really interested in and it gets into mathmatical equations I don't understand, and that happens a lot. I have the intelligence to understand but not the booksmarts. Now I am too damm old to go back to school, that coupled with the pain meds I take don't make me the sharpest pencil in the box sometimes. I am not jealous of people who have the education, envious but not jealous. We do not live long enough to learn everything from experience, books are a shortcut, kinda like having a roadmap, yes I could find Milwaukee if I drove around long enough but with a road Atlas I can drive right to it. I only wish that the people who know the things I want to learn could explain it to me in a way I can understand, but if you don't know the math it can't be explained, MY FAULT!!.
So to you Evan, (also my son's name) and to others of the same, please don't give up on us, just try to put it in simple terms.
Ron

giddingm
08-09-2006, 01:06 PM
Hi!My name is Mark...first time here......I hate to straddle the fence, but both are very important.....When I was young...I attended a college to learn the trade....when you start out,you only have ambition and book smarts to start with.....I have now been in the trade for 30 years....I still refer to books for formula's ....and other reference material.....you can't or should not try to remember it all. When I'm stuck I go to the books ...but find senior machinist's are a great source of information.

JPR
08-09-2006, 01:27 PM
I agree in part with Boomer, but the problem is often arrogance, not education.

Mortimerex
08-09-2006, 02:37 PM
Both are very good and the more the better. But there are too many people that think alot of one is better or can replace the other. Thats utterly false. 20 years in academics does not teach you the same things you can learn in 1 week "hands on". By the same token, 30 years experience does not even scratch the surface of a single year of college studying technical sciences, engineering, physics.

This is blatantly obvious to anyone that has any amount of both types of knowledge but is almost always disputed by the pure academic or the pure mechanic/machinist.

BobWarfield
08-09-2006, 02:42 PM
It is not important where the information came from, but rather whether you are a critical thinker, capable of rationally sifting through the information, understand how it relates to all of the other similar information you are exposed to, and thereby converting that to knowledge, which enables you to create your own answers and information when you need to. A critical thinker is always looking for new information, and trying to understand how it affects the old conclusions they call knowledge.

A book is no better or worse than its author, and practical experience is no better or worse than the practitioner. If you as author included bad information, poorly researched information, or poorly communicated your information, you will not create knowledge for your reader as you should. If you as the practitioner jumped to a conclusion based on your observations that was wrong, or were a poor observer, or didn't try other possibilities but assumed their outcome, you again will not have created the knowledge you should have.

Cultivate critical thinking. Don't take anybody's word for it, not even your own. There is information everywhere you can transform into knowledge for yourself. Don't let personalities and beliefs interfere with that process.

Best,

BW

Wareagle
08-09-2006, 04:39 PM
"learn by the mistakes of others, because you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself" -my dad

In my humble opinion, both book knowledge and practical experience are equally important. Like Speedsport says, books are a road map, but unless you know how to drive, it will be a long journey.

Rustybolt
08-09-2006, 04:50 PM
It's all an education, everything we do in life.Does it really matter where or how we learned?. I really enjoy talking to someone who knows more than I do about something I want to know more about, which is basically EVERYTHING!.
I have found that I can learn something from anyone, every person I know or meet knows more about something than I do. I sure I could learn a lot about surviving on the street from a homeless person.


There it is.

John Stevenson
08-09-2006, 04:50 PM
"learn by the mistakes of others, because you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself" -my dad


No but I'm getting there :D

.

IOWOLF
08-09-2006, 05:00 PM
Booksmart VS. Field experiance .

Book smart or Spell check?

A.K. Boomer
08-09-2006, 05:59 PM
"Cultivate critical thinking. Don't take anybody's word for it, not even your own."



BW



Wow, good stuff Bob,,, nowadays its all about having a good balance between the two, the world has changed --- We are blessed to have so much information at our fingertips, just 100 years ago things were so "geared" for the hands on person, its what got things done, now we invent machines to "get things done" and this is good for mindless tasks. When i first moved to colo. I worked for a sweedish fella by the name of Sam --- Sam always had a way of taking his philosophical thinking a step further than i did esp. when i was a kid,,, I remember busting my knuckels on some poorly engineered piece of crap foreign car (prob. british -sorry sir john) that was giving me fits and i remember whining outloud to Sam saying that I hope when all the S.O.B.'s who designed this piece of crap die they have to come back as mechanics and work on the junk they built --- his reply was "becareful what you wish for", i said what? He then stated that apparently i was an engineer in my past life --- and then added --- and not a very good one...

Sams the one who gave me the dictionary i use once in awhile when i put a post in on this forum and make an attempt to make myself look intelligent...

i prolly should use it allot more often:p

Mortimerex
08-09-2006, 06:41 PM
It is not important where the information came from, but rather whether you are a critical thinker, capable of rationally sifting through the information, understand how it relates to all of the other similar information you are exposed to, and thereby converting that to knowledge, which enables you to create your own answers and information when you need to. A critical thinker is always looking for new information, and trying to understand how it affects the old conclusions they call knowledge.

A book is no better or worse than its author, and practical experience is no better or worse than the practitioner. If you as author included bad information, poorly researched information, or poorly communicated your information, you will not create knowledge for your reader as you should. If you as the practitioner jumped to a conclusion based on your observations that was wrong, or were a poor observer, or didn't try other possibilities but assumed their outcome, you again will not have created the knowledge you should have.

Cultivate critical thinking. Don't take anybody's word for it, not even your own. There is information everywhere you can transform into knowledge for yourself. Don't let personalities and beliefs interfere with that process.

Best,

BW

Most engineering and other science text are written by many authors, engineering texts especially rarely have fewer than 3. All information is not the same or you would only have to learn one thing in your whole life.

To clarify in the context of this forum, this is a machinist forum where people discuss machining- making parts from already designed plans/ engineering drawings. This is a great place to learn how to machine, but horrific if you want an accurate engineering analysis (how much load can a certain part take before it breaks?) or otherwise to figure out how to design something right the first time.

It would be just as clueless to go to an engineering forum and ask about a certain mill, lathe, or the peculiarities of those and other machines and tools.

Saying all information is the same is like a blind person claiming all colors are the same.

Peter N
08-09-2006, 07:03 PM
Book learning means you buy in enough material for the job with the minimum oversize to avoid waste.
Field experience means you buy in twice as much to allow for the cock-ups :D

Peter

TECHSHOP
08-09-2006, 08:37 PM
I usually get "flamed" during the "elegant engineering" v. "git'er done machinists" debates, but I have always found it difficult to accept the claims "ultimate supremacy" of one camp over the other. Bob Warfield sure wrapped up my (heavily influenced by Aristotle and Ayn Rand) thoughts on this subject. Both "methods" are needed for a human to be "fully functional". There is a RAH quote about "specialization is for insects". I wish I could recall it, but my mind isn't always a quick as it once was (and the meds don't always help).

Mortimerex
08-09-2006, 08:46 PM
Actually, Bob claimed all information is the same which is not what you then conclude. If all information was the same you could fly in an airplane designed by a theologian (not using spellcheck today :P) and not meet God, (or whatever catchy phrase to describe crashing to smithereens). Or let the plumber perform your next open heart operation since "a pump is a pump". Or expect a machinist to have a clue about engineering.

PTSideshow
08-09-2006, 09:20 PM
The field expereince puts the honed edge onthe book learning.

And My all time favorite:

"I am not afraid to admit, that I am ignorant of the things, that I don't know"

Ciero form Rome sometime around Ceaser

and learn one new thing each day no matter how small:D

Weston Bye
08-09-2006, 10:38 PM
...To clarify in the context of this forum, this is a machinist forum where people discuss machining- making parts from already designed plans/ engineering drawings.

I beg to differ. Very little that is displayed on this forum originates from "engineered" drawings. Most things may be sketched before hand, but from the TLAR* mode of engineering, and made to fit the application.
For some, what is made is based on experience of what worked before, what they learned by watching others, and yes, reading the books. (Including many issues of HSM and MW as well as Live Steam and other hobby magazines.) I think that very few of the projects in the magazines ever get build by readers exactly as presented, each builder adding improvements or changes to suit his own need. Moreover, some of the authors who present the articles have no engineering credentials.

An anecdotal story: The place where I work was requested to design and manufacture prototypes for a very small generator. The customer dictated the envelope available and the expected output. They also provided a model that satisfied most of the requirements. Using the model as a starting point, a series of degreed engineers tried and failed to produce a design that would reliably generate the proper voltage. Almost as an afterthought, they assigned the project to me. Very little formal training other than a Navy Avionics A-School some 30 years ago.
In two days of spare time, in my Home Shop, I built a proof-of concept prototype that was capable of twice the performance of the original design. My boss, the management, and the customer were thrilled. But how much will it cost? I was given the time at work to see if I could design a manufacturable product. In two months, quantities of the generator were delivered to the customer. The product cost 40% less to manufacture than the original design. It also earned me my first patent. (Imagine, me, a genuine certified "inventor")

My secret? The application of basic electricity and some elementary physics. Stuff I had in the Navy school, and the engineers surely would have had in college, only deeper. I scrapped the existing design and did what "looked right" to me. The engineers tried to optimize or "finesse" the existing design rather than analyzing the design shortcomings.

I'm sure that many of you have had similar experiences.

Wes

*That Looks About Right

wierdscience
08-10-2006, 08:38 AM
Simple enough question I think several of us have been confronted with that situation so what do you rely on then?

It boils down to experience,method,intuition and sometimes trial and error.We often forget that civilization relys on things today that didn't exist in the past,that is why I have a great respect for our forefathers and what they accomplished.They stepped forward into the unknown and did the work needed to complete a project to fruition often times with little or no supporting engineering working on ideas that took a lifetime to explore.

One of the names that comes to mind is John Harrison,how much was written about building precision time before he built the longitude clock and how much of that was correct?

My vote goes to the man or woman with a reasoning mind rather than experience or booksmarts.Experience sometimes leads us astray and books are only as good as the person reading them.

A.K. Boomer
08-10-2006, 09:49 AM
I will never forget my first real mechanical discovery, i was maybe 8 or 9 and my Dad had an old externally mounted tractor oil pump sitting on his work bench with the cover off and the two gears exposed, i looked at it and rotated it and then asked him how it worked, he just stated that the gears built up pressure, this perplexed me and I also found his answer way to simple and frustrating,,, So i started to look at it and spent some time taking it apart and putting it back together, when your a kid you get fixated that the "magic" is somehow happening between the set of gear teeth that are meshed, The great thing about learning this way is the longer it takes the more rewarding it is, I remember my Dad asking me at the dinner table the next day if i figured out the pump and i had to tell him No, later that night i went down in the basement and finally made the discovery that the oil must be carried between the teeth and the outer parimeters of the gears and the wall of close fitting material around them is kind of a non-interferance seal and this is how it pumps and builds up pressure, The way I got directed to this conclusion in the first place is I found a wear pattern on the oil pump drive gear slot that indicated the direction in which it ran on the engine --- This was huge to me because most of my time spent trying to see how the pump worked was spent looking at it rotating the wrong way,,, 5 seconds later im upstairs showing my Dad and my Moms coming uncorked because i have a greasy pump in my hand and im standing on the living room carpet, My Pops was smiling, Years later I realized my Dad set me up --- he knew the value in this, after that simple discovery I wanted more, I was tearing apart everything, somtimes I think my Dad may have regretted the oil pump lesson because i was taking apart stuff around the house that wasnt broken:p , Books are great and applying the wisdom that others have learned to the task at hand is also at the very least a convenient short cut, but nothing can compare to making discoveries on your own --- even if its just figuring out what somebody else has created.

This could have all been figured out on paper too, but it would not compare to having the pump in your hand, And i also doubt id be writing about it right now, close to 40 years later and i could be very accurate with a drawing of that pump and what paint was left on it was red.

BobWarfield
08-10-2006, 10:33 AM
Actually, Bob claimed all information is the same which is not what you then conclude. If all information was the same you could fly in an airplane designed by a theologian (not using spellcheck today :P) and not meet God, (or whatever catchy phrase to describe crashing to smithereens). Or let the plumber perform your next open heart operation since "a pump is a pump". Or expect a machinist to have a clue about engineering.

Now Mortimer, how silly is it to read a post about crtitical thinking and conclude that it's fundamental message is that all information is the same? Nowhere does it say that, and you are clearly not a critical thinker to have concluded that, or you didn't bother to read and think about the post very carefully.

The point of the post that you would have taken away if you were a critical thinker is that little can be assumed from some broadly generic classification of the apparent source of the information (i.e. books or experience). The value of that information is in your interpretation of it, your ability to cross check it against the other information you have gleaned, and most importantly your ability to evaluate new information that is at odds with it.

Albert Einstein was a patent clerk. Thomas Edison had very marginal formal education. The Wright Brothers had a bicycle shop. Steve Jobs was a hippie and Bill Gates a college dropout who spent his time there playing poker. William Boeing (gee, what does that name have to do with airplanes) was another college dropout like Gates. These people were all your Theologians designing their particular flavor of airplane without apparently being credentialed to do so.

I have also known a great many PhD's in a variety of disciplines, some of whom were brilliant and some of whom could not be trusted to tie their own shoes.

Do not be so foolish as to assume (as you have said directly in your post) that there are no Theologians who can design airplanes and no machinists who have a clue about Engineering (that was pretty silly to write). Credentials, for all the time spent earning them, have some of the most marginal value in identifying true talent and knowledge of any institution concieved by man.

To whomever spotted shades of Ayn Rand there, good eye, and good collector of obscure information that may one day pop up again.

Sincerely,

BW

rantbot
08-10-2006, 11:16 AM
This thread seems to have neglected imagination as a distinct factor. Not very many of those on the shop floor are very imaginative. Nor are very many in academia. Neither work experience nor formal education can make a person imaginative. On the contrary; experience and education, if not handled properly, can be inhibitions to effective imagination.

On the other hand, imagination without education or experience is also a dead end - it accounts for all those USPTO patents for "flying saucers" and other just plain stupid inventions. It also accounts for modern art.

If you want to see something new, something which has never appeared before, but which is also buildable, and which, in the end, actually works - then you almost certainly need all three - imagination, education, and experience. And that's asking a lot, which is why we don't see anything really new all that often.

Years ago I sponsored a series of modest cash awards for engineering students. What the judges and I were looking for was not education (they were just students and not that far along yet) or practical experience (same thing, just students), but imagination not too seriously smothered by "practicality".

Evan
08-10-2006, 12:00 PM
To clarify in the context of this forum, this is a machinist forum where people discuss machining- making parts from already designed plans/ engineering drawings. This is a great place to learn how to machine, but horrific if you want an accurate engineering analysis (how much load can a certain part take before it breaks?) or otherwise to figure out how to design something right the first time.

Nonsense. The only time I build to somebody else's plans is when I am paid to do so.

Everything I build, be it model aircraft or most recently my milling machine, is built from my own designs. I design from first principles, not derivations of other designs. I analyse my designs from first principles using the appropriate analytical tools, both theoretical and empirical.

What I build works and works to my expectation.


It would be just as clueless to go to an engineering forum and ask about a certain mill, lathe, or the peculiarities of those and other machines and tools.

Now that I agree with.

Millman
08-10-2006, 12:28 PM
{{I build to somebody else's plans is when I am paid to do so.}} I tried to stay out of this one, don't think so. My only beef with Tutor Turtle is that for some beginners, they do not want to know quantum physics, when they ask a question about their tools or machining practices. You heard that term K.I.S.S., lately? Why send them to 5 pages of reading something that they do not have the capabilities in their own shop. Most queries can be answered in 2-3 sentences, so is there truly a need for you to act superior, to answer a simple question. If you were that knowledgable you would be on another site with other Professors. Sorry, you can't fool me..

A.K. Boomer
08-10-2006, 12:31 PM
This thread seems to have neglected imagination as a distinct factor. Not very many of those on the shop floor are very imaginative. Nor are very many in academia. Neither work experience nor formal education can make a person imaginative. On the contrary; experience and education, if not handled properly, can be inhibitions to effective imagination.

On the other hand, imagination without education or experience is also a dead end - it accounts for all those USPTO patents for "flying saucers" and other just plain stupid inventions. It also accounts for modern art.

If you want to see something new, something which has never appeared before, but which is also buildable, and which, in the end, actually works - then you almost certainly need all three - imagination, education, and experience. And that's asking a lot, which is why we don't see anything really new all that often.

Years ago I sponsored a series of modest cash awards for engineering students. What the judges and I were looking for was not education (they were just students and not that far along yet) or practical experience (same thing, just students), but imagination not too seriously smothered by "practicality".

Albert E. believed in this so much that he once made the statement "Imagination is more important than knowledge"

Out of all its the one thing that cant be taught and in fact can be eroded with to much schooling...

And a kudo's to Bob, very powerful post Mr. Warfield.

A.K. Boomer
08-10-2006, 12:37 PM
Millman, Go to your happy place:)

Evan
08-10-2006, 12:38 PM
Sorry, you can't fool me..

How do you know that?

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/idog.jpg

Millman
08-10-2006, 12:39 PM
GOOD idea.

Wirecutter
08-10-2006, 01:05 PM
"learn by the mistakes of others, because you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself" -my dad

Eagle -
I love expressions like that, perhaps partly because it seems like everyone else's dad has better sayings than my own.



Nothing is more annoying than a person that thinks they know everything
That pretty much sums it up, because nobody does. My pet peeve is when someone gives advice with that "authoratative" tone, and it's completely wrong. If I'm asked, and I'm not sure, I try to convey that either in words or tone of voice.

That old guy Socrates used to go after know-it-all people and grill them until they looked like fools. Problem was the way he did it, and the fact that he did it to powerful and important people. It eventually got him killed. But I think he was on the right track.

More on topic regarding book-vs-field smarts. It turns out that the way I enjoy learning the most is kinda backwards. I'll fiddle or tinker with something and get the general idea. Then I go find a book when I want to know more about why it works this way or that. I might then find more uses for old "book knowledge" that I never thought I'd use, or that I never supected would come up in the situation. That's when I get the "light bulb", and it's a great feeling.

Like many of us here, I'm a hands-on type. If I can't get an intuitive grasp or a picture of what's going on, I never really feel like I know about something. My brother is the opposite - he can study and learn all kinds of stuff from books and classes. He's a very smart guy, but I think I'm better at flying by the seat of my pants.

I'm of the belief that there are very few truly stupid people out there. (Ignorance, OTOH, is everywhere, but that's another topic.) Nearly everyone on the planet is really good at something, and when the stars align, they get to do it and maybe even make a decent living at it. I apply this theory of mine all the time in the workplace - I try to find out what people are good at. If I have a trouble solving a problem, I know who to go to, and hopefully, I have something useful to offer in return. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of bartering favors back and forth - like doing someone a favor in exchange for being shown how to do something. If I had a nearby friend or aquaintance that ran a welding, metal, or machine shop, I'd happily trade favors in exchange for being taught things. I don't, so I rely on books, places like this, and my own mistakes.

In my neighborhood, I'm known for being a tinkerer and a fixer, and it's earned me a few cases of beer over the years. But I try to recognize my limitations - don't ask me investment advice or to balance a checkbook. Yeah, I can balance a checkbook, but I truely hate having to do it. (Did I mention what a gem my wife is at that stuff?)

Books and experience both have their place, and neither one can really do the job alone. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

-Mark

Wirecutter
08-10-2006, 01:15 PM
Albert Einstein was a patent clerk.
OT, yes, but I had to pipe in on this one.

Albert E. also did much of the work that initially earned him recognition while he was goofing off at work in the patent office. Specifically, Special Relativity and at least part of General Relativity (not sure how much).

The way I heard it, he came to the job and was quickly able to do his 8-hour's worth in 3 hours. He'd go to his supervisors and ask for more work, but he realized that pretty soon he was making a nuisance of himself. So he did like the others and "paced" himself. The real work was on the top of his desk, but the "goofing off" was on all the papers he was scribbling on that were in the top drawer. Somebody comes along, he closes the drawer and pretends to be working.

-Mark

"Having fun at work is like stealing from the company." -Wally, Dilbert's coworker.

Evan
08-10-2006, 01:16 PM
I love expressions like that, perhaps partly because it seems like everyone else's dad has better sayings than my own.

That must be where I got my liking for shiny things. My dad always used to say "If it doesn't move then chrome it". He was probably afraid of hydrogen embrittlement... :eek:

HTRN
08-10-2006, 02:01 PM
There is a RAH quote about "specialization is for insects". I wish I could recall it, but my mind isn't always a quick as it once was (and the meds don't always help).

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. ~ Robert Heinlein

Heinlein was full of good quotes - I was particularly fond of the one about drinking and taxcollecters:D


HTRN

Evan
08-10-2006, 02:23 PM
Heh. One of my favorites is Issac Asimov and his Book of Dirty Limericks. I better not say any more.

I also like a lot of Einstein's quotes. Millman would too.




"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

"I should've been a plumber."

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

- Albert Einstein

torker
08-10-2006, 02:41 PM
{{I build to somebody else's plans is when I am paid to do so.}} I tried to stay out of this one, don't think so. My only beef with Tutor Turtle is that for some beginners, they do not want to know quantum physics, when they ask a question about their tools or machining practices. You heard that term K.I.S.S., lately? Why send them to 5 pages of reading something that they do not have the capabilities in their own shop. Most queries can be answered in 2-3 sentences, so is there truly a need for you to act superior, to answer a simple question. If you were that knowledgable you would be on another site with other Professors. Sorry, you can't fool me..
853 posts....most like this....nice...
Ah lets see...whos posts do I like to read better....Milkmans or Evans....Milkmans or Evans...so hard to decide :D

Optics Curmudgeon
08-10-2006, 02:43 PM
Another attributed to Einstein:

"A second marriage is the triumph of emotion over logic"

Joe

Millman
08-10-2006, 04:29 PM
OH, my God....Porker can READ?

J Tiers
08-10-2006, 04:39 PM
"If you pour gasoline on that fire from a plastic jug you may get burned"

................................

"Nah, where does HE get off telling us stuff as if he was the fountain of all wisdom? Stupid know it-all, just spouting more BS to make himself look more important"

BobWarfield
08-10-2006, 04:50 PM
Einstein quotes are great, but sometimes Homer Simpson is closer:

"It's because they're stupid, that's why. That's why everybody does everything."
Homer Simpson

<G>

BW

HTRN
08-10-2006, 06:39 PM
Anyone can be dictator, it's that whole not being overthrown that seems to get most people.

Those who would study poverty to reduce it should note that the study of Zoology hasn't reduced zoos.

A drunk raccoon - now there's a fighting machine.

Mini-Mag Lights: For when your cribbage game just won't wait!

France is once again burning - and there was much rejoicing.

I’m here to get drunk and chase women...and I'm all out of women.

The road to hell is paved with computer techies.

Freedom comes not from the power of God, but from the power of armed individuals to send terror into the hearts of politicians everywhere.

Moralism is oppression disguised with warm and fuzzy feelings of superiority.

Communism has found a place in history - file sharing.

Consistancy can be dangerous - look at France.

Self preservation is good and often yields hilarious results

Lawyers are nothing more than business men with funny jargon.

Three things politicians are consistantly involving themselves in and consistanty bungling: Freedom, Politics, War.

Infomercials: Bringing flawed plans and products to trailers everywhere.

The Welsh: Interesting people; good jelly.

On Approaching Girls That Want To Be "More Than Just Friends": This isn't something simple like setting foreign policy or a bar fight, this is someone who actually doesn't want to kill you. What in the HELL am I supposed to do with that?

The journey of 10,000 miles begins with the first beer.

Wyoming Proverb: Indian make small fire, keep warm. White man make 40-acre fire, run like hell.

I see a great white illuminated cross on the field; I'm not sure if that means that God is on our side or if it's ass kicking season and He's put on His steel-toed boots.

On Funerals: Money is meant to be invested in the living, not wasted on the dead.

W.W.G.K.D.? - What Would Genghis Khan Do? (He actually got that from a bumper sticker I made up)

Ice cream always means disaster.

On the Internet: It could have been a vast reservoir of useful, and sometime eccentric information, but instead it has become awash with bitchy 8yr olds and their curmudgeon elders who either complain about how great things were way back when or go about starting fights just to see who's chain they can yank. (Sound familiar? :D )

When you think you've come to expect too much from a candidate, vote.

Legalities are technicalities, with cops attached to them.

When in the garden of eyes and ears, the vole of discretion reigns supreme.

Life is like a fruit vendor pelting us with the mangos of truth and the watermelons of disappointment.

Marriage is what you do when you want to lower your taxes. Children is what you do when you don't want to mow your lawn anymore.

The worst people in the world to hang out with are Christian Nerds. They employ all the worst traits of each, and, are generally about as fun as cold oatmeal.

There is a river called 'Ignorance' that is deep enough to drown a horse and flows with the force of a white squall.

Bullets used in their proper application often yield good results.

Golf, like most sports, is based on one premise - being drunk enough to enjoy oneself.

Poop is often smelly.

No news is bad news that hasn't happened yet.

Porn can't keep you warm in Siberia.

There's nothing like a good breakfast to start your morning off right...of course, there's nothing like starting your morning off at 1 in the afternoon.

**** only rolls down hill, and usually comes in boulder force.

One usually finds oneself up ****'s creek during flooding season.

Some men want a woman for her body; others want a woman for her looks. I want a woman who can do my taxes and NOT get me in trouble with the IRS.

I am a cruel and unusual person.

A focused mind is a terrible thing to face.

Don't take wooden nickels from anybody...except me; I use maple.

Peppers are the fruit of the devil.

Hypocrites are the worst kinds of liars - they lie to themselves and expect others to believe it.

Those with high ideals should remember that poop floats.

I have all the tact and diplomacy of Attila the Hun in battle.

I thought I was cooking with gas, but as it turned out I had in fact set fire to the living room.

I shall have my own Italian restaurant and it shall be called, "La Brutta Butana" (Trans: "The Ugly Whore").

It is often brought up in religious arguments that if one can believe in far off places of the world such as China or Japan which they may have never seen, why is it so difficult to believe in a God that is unseen. I believe I have a solution to this problem: All that is required is for everything to be stamped "MADE BY GOD" and for Him to make fun of inferior American electronics and then threaten to annihilate California if Taiwan is not surrendered to Him immediately.

With the amount of stupid it takes to power one hippy, we could run every car on Earth for the next 10,000 years and not have to worry about gasoline.

On Religion: Never trust middle managment. They'll screw up on something that you'll end up rotting in Hell for.

If I had a dialysis machine, so I could charge people 50 cents to use it and make a fortune under selling all the hospitals.

The Catholic Church reminds me of the Jedi religion of the Star Wars movies: lead by the old, limp wristed and, if you look closely enough, you can generally find a Senator Palpatine on the rise.

If you really want to know what it's liketo love a woman, stick a vacuum cleaner hose in your wallet and turn it on.

I am the counter revolutionary...or Ahab...I seem to have forgotten at the moment....

Unbiased eduation and massive ordinance are all that necessary for the maintenance of freedom.

If you want to relieve the oppressed, send tanks.

Hell hath no fury like the twisted and imaginative (a.k.a. Military R&D) on a power binge.

Everyone dies once in life… although they tend not to do too much after that.

Oh my, how your pants gyrate in a sensual but non-threatening manner.

Why use a lie as a shield when you can use the truth as a sledgehammer?

Why must the stench of failure linger over us like a cloud of VX gas over a small, over-populated city in China?

That's so precious! I'm just welling up with internal bleeding...no seriously, call a medic...

Reduce casualties - kill a peace protester

Vegetarians: food for the survival competant

I was accident prone in high school, since that time I've received a college degree.

Psychology only dogs the Civilized World.

Civilization is the natural opponent of Evolution

Children are our future...that's why I invest heavily in bomb shelters.

No matter how you cut and slice it, a trip to Mr. industrial size wood chipper would do all of them a bit of good.

I need to be paid, for the sheer fact that we make this god-forsaken planet filled with dregs so much less mundane and mediocratical.

I'd rather level an opponent than a playing field.

I'm not a part of the problem, rather I'm out there causing entirely new ones, yet to be encountered or fathomed.

Once I harness the power of the sun I'll....be able to burn a lot of stuff...

Legitimate Authority has an annoying habit of shooting Lofty Ideals, but then again, Legitimate Authority often has all the guns, aircraft and tanks.

Light beer is like diet soda; if you're going to invest in something that's high in calories, go all the way or don't and drink water. Either way, you'll be much happier.

When all else fails, mock the French.

No matter how many nice people you run into on one day, it only takes one rotten bastard to ruin it all for you.

Remember, what doesn't kill me, isn't working

Life sucks because god has a sick sense of humor.

Nobody ever invades softly.

Lawyers: Satan's answer to the "Divide and Conquer" theory.

The I.R.S.: No matter what they say, anyone who takes your money by force and has a badge to make it legal, is neither kind nor friendly. ~ Ray Macula (http://www.newworldotter.com/ray-tribute)


HTRN

torker
08-10-2006, 08:00 PM
OH, my God....Porker can READ?
854 and counting...(porker's already been done Milkman) :D

ASparky
08-10-2006, 08:27 PM
As an academic slumming it with you guys here is my take. Generalities so not always true - just somewhat.

Book stuff will tend to allow you to work on many different things. Experience will usually let you do it faster on the stuff you have already done. Also a very sloppy fit but often experince will get you there fast and good when things are going right but book learning will often save your *$$ when things start going wrong.

Some people learn best from doing, others from reading and understanding, others from seeing someone else do it. Wow Shock Stunning! - people are different.

But apart from that there is another non overlap. Book stuff doesn't teach your muscles and create the nagging voice at the back of your head that is telling you it is going wrong. Also doesnt train the "thats part is easy and quick but oh **** that bit is going to take ages and needs watching closely. Those bits only "take" when you actually apply the learning and do something.

And last to take Millman's question seriously, which I doubt he meant anyone to, "Why not give a short practical answer?"

First I never feel I know enough about there particular problem to know which solution will work for them.

Second I am aware of others who may have the same question but slightly different or have different resources and skills so their solution will be different.

Third cause I can usually explain techy stuff in ways that non techy people can at least get a handle on, and point techy people in the right direction to look for more.

Fourth there is the old saw about "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day give a man a net and he can eat for life" I tend to try and give enough so that if another similar ocassion arises they (and other readers) have enough to possibly work out the answer for themselves.

TECHSHOP
08-10-2006, 09:28 PM
"The goal of yesterday will be the starting point of to-morrow"~Carlyle

HTRN:
Many thanks for finding and posting the RAH quote. I have a book of the Lazarus Long sayings, somewhere, over there, behind something or other, I think, or at least I did a few moves, floods and cold winters ago. I used to read those "hard" SF magazines (Analog?), and would aways read the little "fillers" first. When people have a real good sig line it is the almost the same, but "cut and paste" has taken some of the "spark" out of the written word.

I always find it amazing when I have been doing something for years and show off my solution with pride, only to find out I have spent years doing it "an a$$backwards hard way". There is no "magic" ratio of book knowledge and experience. Somethings in life are better "read than dead"; others will never be communicated by words, pictures, etc.

YankeeMetallic
08-10-2006, 10:07 PM
...Most queries can be answered in 2-3 sentences, so is there truly a need for you to act superior, to answer a simple question...
Funny you should write that the same day I posted a question in this forum 'Power feed problems with VICTOR 618' about adjusting the gib on my lathe.
Your response, "You have to be joking or jacking around?? Some people just don't deserve what they have." or in the same thread a few minutes later, "That's funny and you have sympathy. There are basics..that you have to learn before you are allowed to work on or Adjust any mechanical device. Lazy people have to advertise their stupidity on a public forum. You are looking for an easy fix, or a quick answer, which proves you are too lazy to learn the basics and YOU do not deserve such a fine machine."
That was a legitimate question I had for a lathe I have had for 6 months. So in your words, "So is there truly a need for you to act superior, to answer a simple question...?"

Cheers!

Evan
08-10-2006, 10:38 PM
I'ts Millman. Don't take him too seriously.

HTRN
08-11-2006, 03:32 AM
HTRN:
Many thanks for finding and posting the RAH quote. I have a book of the Lazarus Long sayings, somewhere, over there, behind something or other, I think, or at least I did a few moves, floods and cold winters ago. I used to read those "hard" SF magazines (Analog?), and would aways read the little "fillers" first. When people have a real good sig line it is the almost the same, but "cut and paste" has taken some of the "spark" out of the written word.

The long list I posted above is all "Rayism's", many heavily influenced by me, and all of originally from his "words of wizbang". His father was the guy who taught me my ass from my elbow in the machineshop. Ray was a delightfully vicous curmudgeon, who's cynical attitude read people like an open book. He was fond of the odd, and bizarre, and went out of his way to find it. He was my friend, and he was taken far too soon.

I miss the bastard.


HTRN

A.K. Boomer
08-11-2006, 10:48 AM
Speaking of the odd and bizarre, i cant find the book anymore But Tom Robbins wrote a book called "still life with woodpecker" and he dedicated an entire page to his discription of what an "outlaw" is, it was one of the best things iv ever read... I dont think anybody puts things together quite like T.R.

TECHSHOP
08-11-2006, 09:12 PM
HTRN:
Sorry, I wasn't trying to flame you, or knock you down. With the usual exception ("Not Hercules could have knock'd out his brains, for he had none." ~Shakespeare), many of the "true thinkers" are represented in this thread's posts. Also this thread has gotten too long for me to recall all the names that I should mention. I just think that the computer and the "infomation super highway" has altered peoples idea of what an original thought looks like. For all that is being gained, something is being lost. This site is one of the few places on the 'net that the "old" is willing to share with the "new" and, perhaps, more importantly the "new" is willing to listen and learn. There seems to be a few thinking minds at the other end of the scope, we may not all agree on everything, but we don't let that stop the fun.