The value of failure...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cmartinez, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Good article which I'm sure most of us can relate to in one way or another.
     
  2. #12

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    I think you're talking to the wrong audience. Most of the people here did not allow enforced mediocrity to stop them. I didn't wait for my teachers to teach me, I read every (science) book in the school library. I didn't have rich parents that could finance my way to a college degree, so I did it on a bicycle and a part time job. I'd say almost every regular member here is a retired success story.

    If your goal is to whine about the next generation, get in line. People have been doing that for centuries. :D
     
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  3. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    If everyone is equal no one is a leader and all you get are various sized committees. And a committee is the only known animal with multiple stomachs but lacking a brain. I've never been a fan of homogeneity: I want the cream to rise to the top.

    Failure can be a good thing, it teaches one to always have a plan B in the works (and plan C-F in front and back pockets).

    While "daring" is quite a proper attribute for an engineer "hubris" never is. That kills people.
     
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  4. joeyd999

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    I had a really good boss at one time who had an excellent set of metrics he would use to assess the risks of a project. One of them was to count the number of "unknowns". Here are the rules:

    0 Unknowns: Don't proceed -- the product, while likely being technically successful, will have necessarily low margins (i.e. commodity)
    1 Unknown: Proceed -- Very likely success, moderate margins
    2 Unknowns: Proceed cautiously -- Moderate chance of success, high margins
    3+ Unknowns: Don't proceed -- Low chance of success -- likely failure.

    These days, aside from other metrics, I generally tackle projects with 1 or 2 unknowns (sometimes one is an "impossibility"!). I hold 3+ back in my R&D until the number of unknowns are reduced to acceptable level.
     
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  5. PackratKing

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    Jul 13, 2008
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    Failure is often not an option... A close family friend, had some valve surgery on the heart a couple years back...

    This year, was not a good time for his 25 y/o Craftsman snowblower to puke the impeller bearing...

    To remedy... I took the impeller / auger shaft out of the gearbox, levelled the shaft off, to a given size > as the blown bearing had chewed in about 1/16 in. groove in it
    Drove a piece of 1" black iron pipe over the stub, a hammer fit.

    The pictures show turning it down to appropriate size journals to press new bearing and pulley on to... with a new bearing, the beast should be good for another 25, as the balance of the machine is in excellent shape, due to being well maintained.
     
  6. tcmtech

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    Nov 4, 2013
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    Here's how I look at it.

    Fuse Failure.jpg
     
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  7. joeyd999

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    A blown fuse is a success -- from the point of view of the fuse.

    When the fuse fails, well, then you got real problems!
     
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  8. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    Actually my goal was for the younger part of this forum to read the article, I thought maybe they'd find it interesting. As for the older part of the population... I thought that maybe it might bring some (mostly good) memories.
    As for most of us having to face "enforced mediocrity" as you put it... I never thought about it in those terms before... but yes, getting past frustration and continuing to pursue our goals despite our setbacks are lessons that only time (and maturity) can teach.
     
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  9. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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    Very good points... guess the real challenge then is clearly and correctly identifying the unknowns
     
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  10. #12

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    This was the method I saw used to fix water pump shafts in 1970.
    Cut down the steel and press fit a brass collar on it.
     
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  11. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Actually I just escaped the beginnings of the "enforced mediocrity." Beginning in 4th grade and thru high school my grades and accomplishments made me a candidate for an experimental school program for students who were once called the "gifted and talented" and placed in a program literally called the "advanced class." I do not know how our classes differed from the non-advanced class beyond 7th grade math: to make room for a calculus course in 12th grade we completed two years of math that year. Did not seem like much of a deal then, everyone in the class just moved along, no one failed or even seemed to struggle.

    However parents of those no qualified for the program complained to such a degree the program was officially ceased in out 9th year; unofficially we kept on the same pace as we were a year ahead of others in our grade, and honestly more than that as I spent some time in a non-advanced math class where the main criterion for passing seemed to be your choice of basketball team affiliation.

    I truly feel for any student stuck in the mainstream when they should be sailing far above it.
     
  12. tcmtech

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    I hated school. As with a few others I was way too smart for my age and liked to use it to make my life easier with little regard for what or how others saw it. I never fit the mass mediocrity format either.

    The only stumbling block for me was being a bit dyslexic so english class was a pain. Not that I couldn't read but rather I has a way high reading comprehension and retention but all around terrible spelling. After that theoretical math made no sense to me and still does not yet applied and practical math I ruled at and still do.

    7th grade came around and they decided to test me big time to see what the problem was and that when I apparently scored way too high on a IQ and placement test (140 somthing IQ plus 12th year 9th month to 2nd year college equivalent scores in everything but spelling and abstract math) yet had failing grades due largely to poor teachers and a general lack of concern for what those who I saw as unfit for their jobs had to say about my education.

    They pulled the rug out from under me and held me back for a repeat of 7th grade just to prove they had the ability and my parents went along with it being they cited my bad grades and lack of cooperation rather than the fact that I had poor quality teachers and for the most part was bored to death in school due to the overwhelming lack of a challenges for me.

    Fortunately my parent moved me to a different school where I did well otherwise the odds are I probably would have made national news the next year had I stayed at the same school. Yea I would have burned it down or blown it up and then some. I know it and I think everyone else did too. :eek:

    BTW ever since I have played myself down whenever being tested on most anything. I hated having been held to a unrealistic standard and getting punished for not meeting the capabilities I had in me because of a test so henceforth I play things down considerably. I mean really I am smart enough to now know how to not make too much work for myself. :p
     
  13. Brownout

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    Jan 10, 2012
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    The author is all wet. Some folks are angry at what they see as lost opportunities to categorize children so that some can be labeled as "slow" or "deficient" so that they can be pushed aside to make way for the smart, talented kids. In fact, there is plenty of that still going around and there is no such crises going on in education. New thinking is every child is important, and resources are not wasted on children who for whatever reason aren't at the head of the class. This is the way forward, the good ol' days weren't all that good anyway.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  14. PackratKing

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    I wish I had a dollar for every waterpump I repaired in that manner... All pumps I worked with, had a brass sleeve for the seal assembly to ride on... Major brands being Bell & Gossett, Taco, Grundfos. Weinman.. ad infinitum...
     
  15. #12

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    If you didn't get a dollar for every water pump you repaired like that, you're doing something wrong. :D
     
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  16. #12

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    School must have changed since I was there. I remember special classes, special services, and special tutoring for the really slow kids. Meanwhile, the nerds got nothing. My grade school story goes like this, "He's proved a hundred times that he can ace the tests without doing the homework, so we can't promote him because he didn't do the homework." o_O
     
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  17. Brownout

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    You must have attended a very bad school. For nerds, we had the science club, debate, honors, chess club, marching band, advanced programs... the list goes on. For jocks, we sponsored every sport imaginable. There were opportunities, if was up the student to decide if he wanted to participate.
     
  18. tcmtech

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    Wow! Story of my school life too. What I turned in was usually done well. Problem was I didn't show my work or turn in much of anything that I had already proven I can do more than once. Heck I can recall reading my school books end to end and all but memorizing them in the first week or two of school and rarely opening them for the rest of the year unless it was to argue that the teacher was wrong or to prove I already knew what was on every page. :p

    Boy that really ability pissed off the school system for some reason. :confused:
     
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