Skip to content

Fair winds and following seas

8 June 2013

I hardly post anthing anymore.  I know, bad blogger!  Anyway  – my brother-in-law, my wife’s brother, passed away this last Thursday and it brought me face-to-face with all that defines us here on earth.  It occurs to me that our lives are not so much defined by what we do or what we know, but by who we have touched.  There were scores of people that responded to the facebook posts letting the world know that Bruce was passing, but what was incredible was the number of people who made the journey to be at his side when he finally crossed over to the other side.  We never know the lives we touch until one day God shows us the fruits of our toil here on this planet.

Good luck, my friend.  Fair winds and following seas to you on your journey where I can only hope to follow one day.  You will be missed.

Here’s something I don’t get…

13 May 2012

Whenever the anti-freedom crowd starts talking gun control and “gun death”, eventually someone will bring up the subject of suicide.  They will cite statistics that show how often guns are used to commit suicide, and lament about how tragic it is when someone ends their life this way, and so on and so forth.  Obviously the “suicide problem” is yet another reason why we need more “commonsense gun control”®.

What I don’t understand is how it conveniently becomes a tragedy when a gun owner uses his firearm to kill himself.  These folks don’t like us to start with, and if we were all abducted by aliens tomorrow they wouldn’t be holding any candlelight vigils for us.  So why are they so concerned with keeping us gun owners around anyway?   Isn’t a high rate of firearms use in suicide a good thing for their side?   Somehow the whole “tragedy” narrative seems a bit contrived and cynical coming from the people who will hurl spittle-flecked invective at peaceful, law-abiding folks simply because of the tools they carry.

Maybe I just don’t have the right education.

Knowledge is credit, wisdom is cash

12 April 2012

Let’s think about this for a minute…

Knowledge –

  • One can get it by reading, hearing, or seeing…
  • Requires nothing of the individual except a willingness to study and learn…
  • May be obtained from anyone who has knowledge (whether real or imaginary)…
  • May be represented by a degree or accolade granted by those who have knowledge but may or may not have wisdom…

Wisdom –

  • Is obtained through doing…
  • Requires that one apply knowledge and accept the consequences…
  • Is obtained through experience (whether belonging to the individual or someone else) and is therefore concrete…
  • Is objectively verifiable and therefore requires no external proofs to verify its applicability…

And so, given my admittedly incomplete, properties listed here, wisdom is must be > knowledge.  Although this is not always recognized in the real world, I challenge the reader to consider this…

  • Knowledge is fairly easy to obtain – find the right teacher, pay enough money, etc. and you’re there…
  • Knowledge costs the learner nothing except time invested in learning…
  • Knowledge is relatively easy to find, but harder to actually verify…
  • Wisdom is gained through application, and thus is experimentally and experientially proved

Therefore I submit to you that knowledge is credit – potentially valuable but yet unproven – and that wisdom is cash – a hard asset that can be verified and is of known value.  As I age I find that I may be poorer in knowledge (which, as an intelligent and resourceful person I can remedy) but much richer in wisdom.  Wisdom is why age has, in times past in our culture, been respected and even celebrated.  Wisdom represents real value, substantial and applicable.  Knowledge represents potential, possibly valuable but as yet untried by the crucible of reality.

A balanced portfolio is obviously the best choice, but if I had t0 choose between the two I’ll take wisdom – cash – over the alternative.  Which might explain why, at the current juncture, I am not as rich as I might be.  Call me metaphysical, but I choose wisdom – which takes much longer to obtain – over simple knowledge everyday of the week (and twice on Sundays).  I guess that’s what makes me conservative…

Irresponsible Bastard

20 January 2012

That’s me.  I should really be more responsible, posting more social commentary, making  a dent in my little world, making my views known.  But unfortunately (or perhaphs fortunately for some) I’m not.  I’m an irresponsible bastard.  As long as things are generally OK I’m content to keep my commentary to a minimum.  Maybe its  a good thing for the loony leftists in our midst that I am so  – or maybe I’m a looney leftist myself for being in general opposition to the centralization of power.   Either way, I really don’t like the way things are going in the political realms.  But I do like guns.  And freedom.  And I really don’t like where things are headed in this country in general.  Make no mistake, I’m ready, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Dear God help us if things keep going on their current course.  I fear that we may be headed down a course that nobody is prepared to handle, save only and perhaps GardenSERF  and Mike Vanderboegh.   God help us all – please let me (us) be wrong.  Let there be a soft landing (and recovery – although I’m ready).  Please, I have a (rather large) family to think of…

 

What’s been going on around here?

2 December 2011

Well, its been a while since I’ve posted – to say the least.  Ever since school started for the kiddos my world has been a whirl of non-stop action and adventure (not really adventure but plenty of action).  Along with the usual school-distributed diseases that the kids have been bringing home, we’ve had a round of a nasty chest cold that send Mrs. LeverAction to the emergency room (she’s better now), moment’s notice travel to the the northeast for company business, multiple all-nighters to fix network infrastructure problems at work, multiple all-nighters for new product development at work, various extended homework tutoring sessions, 2 litters of kittens, and a couple of holidays complete with visits from family.

So really, I have no excuse for not blogging except for sheer laziness.  If I was being paid for doing this, I’d have been fired a while back.  Oh well.

I’ve actually had so much stuff going on that I’ve abandoned my normal blog reading for over 2 months now.  I’m so out of touch with what’s going on in the world that they could already be confiscating guns and implanting microchips and I be blissfully unaware.  Not like it would be that obvious, but I’ve also found that even after a couple of months off I can still pretty much predict what’s in the news stories simply based on a couple of “narrative buzzwords” and a little bit of logical deduction.  Its been a relief really to not know the latest outrage of the week, I may stay like this for a while longer even though I miss the bloggers (and commenters) that I used to frequent.

Anyway, I’ve had a few great thoughts in the intervening time and hopefully I’ll get to explore some of them in the near future.  I apologize to anyone crazy enough to keep checking back here for the lack of content.  I’d like to promise to do better, but I also don’t want to lie so I’ll just say that I’ve not forgotten the blog and let’s just say that I’ll do my best (well, almost my best) to get something interesting up here semi-often.

 

I’m taking the week off

10 September 2011

For the last several weeks or I’ve been effectively stretched in 4 directions simultaneously (similar to being drawn and quartered)…

  1. My boss at work was recently promoted to VP of a new division that’s being formed and has decided/declared/decreed that I work for him specifically and directly, no matter where I may be “stationed” at this time.  He has a few other assets to start with but I’m the only engineer he has that has ANY experience with in-depth design and that has actually brought a product to market.  He’s big into brainstorming and tossing things out, and then expects us to pick up interesting ones and do some further research and brainstorming. But…
  2. I’m still the ONLY design engineer/tech support/repair tech/know-it-all at the current division (formerly company) and so I still shoulder the responsibility of supporting and improving the existing product lines.  Everything that the field reps/sales managers don’t know or understands gets punted to me, as well as implementing improvements and fixes based on field experience.  Unlike my boss who was able to just pull up stakes and jump with both feet into his new job, I still have responsibilities to the old company.  Additionally…
  3. I am the only person at our current location who has anything beyond a user-level understanding of computers and IT systems, so I end up being the de-facto IT department  – fixing everybody’s computer problems and installing and maintaining the domain controller/server, printers, firewalls, etc.  In the last two weeks the Big Corporate IT Section (that we’ve spent the last 2 years trying to distance ourselves from) has decided to put us back on the leash and has commandeered my services to implement their evil plan to “upgrade” all the computers and firewalls at our current location.  I’ve been working 12-14 days for two weeks now attempting to make it happen, the whole time wondering why… (and why our former Pres/new corporate VP [see point #1] seems to be complicit in this instead of fighting to keep us independent like we have been up till now).
  4. I still have a family, complete with a wife (who hardly knows me anymore) and 9 children (that only recognize me from the pictures) that deserve some attention as well.  This should be priority #1 (well, #2 behind my spirituality – which has been somewhat neglected of late as well) and its my own fault for not making it so.

So I’ve had it.  I’ve told the whole mess to stick it and I’m taking a week off.  Its not good when I start hating my job (not the people, I still like the people I work with), and all work – and work, and work, and more work – make LeverAction a grumpy fellow.  Its time to take some time to get reacquainted with my wife and kids, engage in some recoil therapy, maybe do some fishing, explore the woods out east of the new house, and a number of things to unwind this stress ball before I explode.  Its time to unplug and enjoy the world for a while.

On the bright side – at least I’m not unemployed.

The bookless classroom

5 September 2011

My 4th grader just came to me with a homework problem that he couldn’t understand.  He’s a smart kid, tested into the gifted program, and is prodigiously good at figuring out ways to get things done.  He showed me the problem and in just a few seconds of scanning the lesson I was able to figure out what they were asking for.  However, he was unable to figure out what they were asking and I couldn’t understand why.  I like to use the Socratic method with my kids, asking them questions that lead them to the answers that they’re looking for.  In the course of my questioning it became apparent to me that he knew that the lesson explained what to do, but the explanation was on the adjoining page.  He told me that he didn’t think he could use what was on the next page because the problem wasn’t on that page.

Now to anybody who is familiar with textbooks, we understand that lessons may span multiple pages and anything in the lesson (and in the rest of the book for some of us) is fair game – so it struck me as odd that he thought he was limited to what on that specific page.  Then it occured to me – this is the first year that they’ve actually had real textbooks in the classroom instead of worksheets.  If you were used to thinking in terms of the worksheet, then you might get the idea that the lesson is always what’s on the page and that anything on the next page must be part of the next lesson.  Is it necessary now to handicap the children even further by making them unfamiliar with books?  (As if being forced to waste their time in classrooms full of little disinterested brats who don’t even want to be there in the first place and have dedicated their entire existence to making certain that no one else can learn either is a handicap enough.)

I guess the kids, in true Harrison Bergeron fashion, are overcoming the standard sub-standard indoctrination that they are being fed by actually studying the books so the books need to go away.  That way when the kids get back to the books they don’t understand how to use them.  Seeing that fully 90% of human knowledge is recorded in books, it would make sense if you’re trying to create a generation completely dependent on what’s spoon-fed to them instead of creating humans who are truly able to learn and educate themselves.  Its a waste of human capital really, and I make sure that I have enough books and will teach my own children how to use them and how to think critically.  Now I also have to teach them to look out for things like the “bookless classroom” that are really an attempt to further control by making them unfamiliar with the tools of knowledge.

This isn’t the only thing wrong with education in western societies, and I’ve actually touched on some more points in the course of this rant, but it is one that smacked me in the face this evening.  I’m all about school choice, and I mean real choice as in public, private, or home.  I also believe the day is coming when those parents who are truly concerned about education and raising functional adults will be faced with the hard choice of leaving their children in the state-run welfare mills or abandoning the public school/daycare centers and taking charge of education themselves.  I cringe for the future…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.