Tag: knowledge

5 Minute Fixes and 2 Dollar Steaks

tonytow tony hunt gets angsty

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

I’ve always prided myself on my dedication to being the best I can be in my arena. Don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY of people that know more than I do regarding IT…but there aren’t so many that when we meet, that we don’t recognize the need to network. I only do pc support for locals, they visit, bring their machine, sometimes a bottle of wine, and I hack on their stuff in spare time…it keeps me on my game, it’s never the same, and it’s basically it’s great to meet locals.

Sometimes you think its only a 5-minute fix…

Humility licks in for me when you’re 3 tiers and over 100 hours into a technical issue with Dell’s best people helping, and the the guys got enough knowledge that we compare training and knowledge to see where we need to brush up, and immediately swap contact information so we can pick each others brains without red tape, and of course compliment the guy for being committed to the solution. There aren’t many of us around…it’s not an age thing, its the caliber of training and whether or not you actually applied it.

Hell, the guy before me that passed the buck we’re working on now wouldn’t even touch the work, he billed more than me, ran completely unnecessary diags (with dated diagnostics – I found the logs), and shrugged his shoulders and left. If he’d spend 5 minutes listening to the client, he’d have known the hard drive was dying and the laptop was still under warranty. But that wasn’t the real problem either, and now because the rest is proprietary, I’ll just say that it’s nice being at the top, and pretty fun knowing that those now 20+ year old skills are still more effective than the overpaid support monkey trying to act like they are competition.

Yes, I am working at 2am…because it needs to be done before tomorrow so I don’t have scheduling issues.

Yes, this kind of thing normally takes 5 minutes…but then, sometimes things are tougher than a two-dollar steak and you still have to eat it.

The competition wonders why people come to me over them…it’s because it’s 2am and I am working.

…and I have somehow learned to love a two-dollar steak.

–micdrop–



Ambivalence and Experience

I feel more and more ambivalent about opinions in Facebook – well actually almost all social media – because of this specific misconception:

“Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge. It assuredly does not mean that ‘everyone’s opinion about anything is as good as anyone else’s.’ And yet, this is now enshrined as the credo of a fair number of people despite being obvious nonsense.”
Tom Nichols (The Death of Expertise)

There are a lot of things wrong in this world, among the worst is the voice that carries and and presents inexperienced, uneducated, uninformed, and/or misinformed opinion as fact. Not only does it saturate social media, but it has begun rearing its ugly head in the workplace…where the more experienced and/or knowledgeable voice is drowned in the sea of people basing their comments, opinions, and knowledge on 5 minutes of internet searches.

This is what unlimited access to information has become: The ability to rely on unvetted conclusions and winging it when the shit doesn’t work. You have only to read the first few posts in your facebook feed to get an example. People have neither the ambition nor need to invest themselves in an issue, ergo they rely on the scope of their internet searches. This is awesome is your looking for solid ways to get the stain out of a favorite shirt…but hardly the evidence necessary to substantiate a decision in the hiring process or voting…yet we’re doing this every $#%#ing1 day.The really sad part is we’re all guilty of it. It’s almost impossible to avoid ingesting some party’s rhetoric or agenda while checking out your friends awesome baby pictures. A few days into it and you now, without having researched or read any documentation, proof, or report, exactly how many people carry a gun, got killed last year by guns, and most importantly, how important people feet it is to contribute rhetoric on the color of a !@#$ing coffee cup.

This is who we are now: a great big society chuck full of people too preoccupied with themselves to invest in knowing what the !@#$ they are talking about. Ugh.

-T

Show 1 footnote

  1. Yes, I am actually putting an effort into keeping the language *somewhat* civil. 😉


Why Read A Banned Book This Week?

banned_books_weekThe answer here is simple. Because somebody, somewhere, is afraid of it. Because somebody, somewhere, is threatened by it. Because somebody, somewhere, wants you to be ignorant of it. It sounds aggressive when I describe it like that, doesn’t it? I hope so. One of my greatest fears is that I’ll be caught in a position that doesn’t afford me the option to learn and grow from an experience…and books are huge part of this.

Strangely enough though, for the first time, I’m taking a closer look at books that have been banned from schools and libraries in order to understand why exactly we would ever ban books.

What I am quickly finding is that the banned books are more often than not incredibly important and some were even required reading when I was in school. These were the books that provoked us and forced us to weigh in on ourselves morally…and somehow managed to become scapegoats for religious/political agendas. Of course this makes me want to read them even more. Go figure.

Having been a direct target of this kind of censorship, I have always reached instantly for those books that people find offensive so much that they burn them or ban them. What is in there that people fear so much that they would try to restrict and/or destroy it? Even with my proclivities, I don’t even find religious ideologies so repugnant that I would want them banned. I simply feel that it’s too important to have that knowledge available to us, with very little exception. I’ll argue this point even unto the science-fiction critics that complain about accuracy and pseudo-science. Imagination and experience are simply too important for us to narrow the scope of our available content.

I know where this argument takes us though, and I want to point out that I am certainly not saying we should have literature teaching people how to intentionally endanger or hurt one another, but books teaching us why people would want to do this would be incredibly important in my opinion. It seems to me that far too many people have taken it upon themselves to declare war on things they’ve only heard about, rather than relying on their own experience…something our government’s foreign and diplomatic policy could stand to consider as we continue to forcibly alienate more and more countries that are culturally incompatible with us. It’s not good enough that these cultures are oceans away, we must instead keep them so politically and personally hated that our perception of options isn’t to live and let live, but to suppress and eradicate. I simply find the situation strikingly similar to how people get themselves so stirred up over whether or not people have access to a book.

Is my allusion such a stretch?

I’ll try it on a different way. Despite a very crazy, abusive, and oppressive childhood…I managed to grow up into an extraordinarily moral individual. I owe so much of this to a list of books I couldn’t even begin to list out, but I will say this: many of them are on that banned book list. Some were actually required reading in school. I didn’t develop my values from reading only what I was told to…I learned from a whole world of philosophers and teachers, some religious and some not-so-much. I sometimes saw wisdom from despicable and evil people, and sometimes read how incredibly virtuous people could single-handedly sacrifice thousands in political posturing. The crazy, the scary, the imaginative…far too many of them incredibly insightful…restricted at libraries because someone ELSE didn’t like the contents. I learned a very strong sense of self, of right, of wrong, and how easily people deliberately convince themselves something morally horrible is acceptable in the name of a higher power that expressly forbids the act.

It pains me to think that maybe if people read more, they would have less time to convince themselves to act in such extremes, and have more time for the insight and inspiration that inevitably arrives from reading a good book…even one that might offend them.

Links to many of the banned books are below. Enjoy!

-Tony

www.ala.org

www.banned-books.org.uk

www.buzzfeed.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.time.com