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17 February 2012



"Please explain your reference to my being "up for libel"; I hope it's not as threatening as it sounds."

George, it was meant to be threatening, but there's no bite behind the bark.

George Rebane

It is interesting to review this particular thread that circles around the widely differing meanings of 'technician' and 'technically competent' held by those whose professions do require a math-based competency, and those looking in from the outside to whom anyone involved in an effort that in some way connects with science and engineering is also identified as being a technologist.

For those of us in the field(s), we use technology/technologist in an almost self-deprecating sense instead of the more aggrandizing 'mathematically literate engineers and scientists'. (In our fields a 'technician' is actually a person who supports a scientist or engineer in the test/experimentation phases of work.) But it is clear that labels which make explicit such a distinction are needed in such conversations, otherwise we waste time in semantic posturing. Until such time as these discriminating labels are adopted, I will be using technician in the 'mathematically astute' sense. Perhaps we can agree on identifying such people as MATs (mathematically astute technicians in science and engineering). And perhaps their counters can be labeled MUTs (mathematically untutored technical workers).

Douglas Keachie

Ah ha, so now we having an inking. "George Rebane's blog is for degreed, mathematicised engineers only, all others need not apply." Office help my sweet bippy, no Keachie at Lowell, no network, no 10 years of students going on to computer fame and fortune. "Oh just give the kids the machines," you say, and I can tell you from experience and I've seen it happen in other schools, you'd have a room full of virus filled machines, all running the latest games. I got news for you, if they could have gotten somebody else, they would have. I was an older white male, the last person SFUSD wanted in that position. They initially tired to hired me as a temp, and I said "no." Parting salary was around $70,000/year, not bad for "office help."


"You need to qualify "math free mind." Otherwise you'd be up for libel, if you are applying that broad term to me, as it might just seem to the average outsider to this forum. "Calculus not attempted" would be accurate, "Calculus incapable" would not."

My mind is not "math free." Are you making the statement that my mind is math free? That would be a lie. Are you lying to your readers, George? And libeling my character and training? I would certainly hope not. Please check with your lawyer if the non mathematical terms used here are beyond you senses. Lawyers specialize in words, just as you specialize in numbers, or more accurately, in systems. Would you dare to tell your banker or other professional who hasn't as yet attempted calculus, that his mind is "math free?" I should hope not.

BTW, regarding life choices, I knew I had it easy growing up, even though I still had paper routes and other menial jobs all the way through college, and part of my upbringing was to give back. When ex wife made going further in school next to impossible due to her life's choices, and put our daughter (not the younger daughter) in harm's way, I had no choice but to stick around the Bay Area. Had I been free to roam, I could have easily racked up the cash by heading for Japan or Saudi Arabia, finished up the masters, and gone on for the doctorate (no requirements to be calculus literate for many PhD's) and returned to Colorado, to teach at a community college or higher, my first choice for home base. Teaching HS in the Bay Area was a fall back, plan B if you will.

One thing I have learned, education snobs abound everywhere, and come in many flavors, including and maybe especially engineers.

Had I concentrated piling up the sheckles, and bent my brain towards figuring out how to do so, I suspect I be putt-putting around in the sky too, were vision and hearing within specs.

Haven't heard a peep out of you about designer builder getting F-16 off the ground and returning alive with no prior cockpit experience. Tom Cruise doesn't seem like the calculus type. Did he do a quick study? A quick review of F-16 pilot requirements does not call for calculus. From the following, I would gather that calculus is not a requirement to become an F-16 pilot. I do not believe calculus is part of either the standard SAT or ACT test. Maybe things have changed.

"Qualifying Test

The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT ) is a standardized test similar to the SAT and ACT. The AFOQT measures aptitudes and is used to select applicants for officer commissioning programs, such as Officer Training School (OTS) » or Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (Air Force ROTC). It is also used for selection into specific training programs such as pilot and combat systems officer training."

George Rebane

DougK - your 728pm has me at a disadvantage, I don't have a clue as to your thrust or destination. But I sense that my attempt to merely suggest a discriminating set of labels to further this discussion must have pushed the wrong button in you. Your reasoning from there spirals into orbits for which I'm not qualified.

However, I did notice that you again brought up libel and implied lawsuits. Please understand that I value my own peace of mind and lifestyle enough so as to permanently disassociate you from this blog. I don't like people who gratuitously threaten to fast-draw lawyers in a discussion forum of new ideas among peer intellects. If you keep up this crap, you will definitely loose your peerage.

Douglas Keachie

Nope, what happened is that I did not see this post of yours at all, before finally getting around to putting the finishing touches on mine. So my post does not address your post, but only your and mainly Greg's earlier posts. As for MUTWs, I'm sure I can do a little better. CATs Calculus Adverse Technicians would be far more attractive, and possibly more accurate, in many cases. BTW, Dr. Urlaub, my counselor at Berkeley High School, had a PhD in Drivers Ed. When I learned that I decided the best PhD to have would be an honorary one.

Account Deleted

George - please don't ban Doug.
"Please keep in mind that technology was conceived of to benefit people, not to give those with technical backgrounds dominion over the rest of the population, by virtue of their supposedly "superior" knowledge."
Priceless - you can't make this stuff up, folks.
The first tech we have certain knowledge of was that a fellow picked up an object of a high density and mass (more than a fist) and clouted another fellow in the noggin who had a desirable mate stashed in the cave and took over the roost.
Doug's view is, at once, a window into the deplorable state of what a modern American liberal thinks and a complete misunderstanding of reality. The only operating program today in this country to work against those who are more clever and hard word working than the rest is the govt. But we need Doug's input to remind the rest of us what the craven and green-eyed liberal will think.

George Rebane

ScottO 833pm - I have no desire to banish DougK. He sports a fine specimen of the progressive mind, and his on-topic contributions to RR are both illuminating and entertaining. It is just that people like Doug scare me when they start waving around lawyers in this litigious society of ours. This is a forum of ideas, and characterizing or postulating the mental landscape of your discussants is part and parcel of the exchange here. Nothing here is intended to become a pissing match of epic proportions. If dicks are to be comparatively measured, then such proceedings should be undertaken gently, possibly with tongue-in-cheek, and with a sensitivity that befits such a delicate organ.

Douglas Keachie

Well I guess I should have spent more time clubbing my fellow man and grabbing what I could, than helping their offspring get the tools together so that they could go on to club everyone else. I do need to visit here to see how the cave man morality still permeates the modern MATs.

Douglas Keachie

Lawyer waving was merely an emulation of Patent Master's lead, who likewise as been all bark and no bite.

George Rebane

DougK 828pm - all these years I have been under the impression that accredited institutions award PhDs only to students who have expanded the shoreline of human knowledge as acknowledged by their peers and betters. For my ticket I worked my ass off to do so in two separate fields. Other doctorates - e.g. MDs, EdDs,... - are awarded for mastering a specified body of existing knowledge. So I had no idea that a PhD could be earned by someone in driver's ed; in fact, I did not know that driver's education was a recognized field of study. Can you please tell me the name of the institution that awards such PhDs? I would like to make some inquiries and report back.

Douglas Keachie

Dr. John Urlaub is still mentioned on line in at least one or two Montana police Safety reports, in a previous search. I will dig deeper.

Douglas Keachie

Indiana University offered PhD's in Health and Safety. Here is a sample. http://www.oregonpdf.org/print-script.cfm?path=../pdf\&src=HE%2061.pdf Don't know where Urlaub got his, but dad who had PhD from Stanford was as upset as you.

Douglas Keachie

You might consider this image for a poster for Tech Test. It was posted on the Lowell HS FB site, with the notation that, "if you're from Lowell, you'll probably try to solve this."



"George Rebane's blog is for degreed, mathematicised engineers only, all others need not apply."

Geez, Keach, stop being such a bloody drama queen. By the way, you seem to dislike "lickspittle" even while you bragged you were running off and reporting back to Jeffie about all the good stuff you're doing for him here, so that is probably a dictionary correct word to use. However, there are others... which do you prefer?

Synonyms: apple-polisher, bootlicker, brownnoser, fawner, flunky (also flunkey or flunkie), sycophant, suck-up, toady

Related Words: yes-man; apparatchik, company man; hanger-on, leech, parasite, sponge, sponger; henchman, lackey, lapdog, minion, running dog, satellite, slave, stooge; admirer, cultist, devotee, enthusiast, fan, groveler, idolater (or idolator), worshipper (or worshiper), zealot; adherent, camp follower, convert, disciple, follower, me-tooer, partisan (also partizan), pupil, votary

Douglas Keachie

Ah, you an do better than that:


Michael Anderson

Just got back from the event. Best technical presentation I've ever attended in Nevada County.

As I suspected, the event was entirely non-partisan and the room was filled with a good sample of Nevada County denizens of all political types--liberals, conservatives, and independents.

Mr. Hutley also gave George a good run for his money regarding the Singularity prediction. All in all, an extremely informative, entertaining, and worthwhile presentation. Once it's up the NCTV website I encourage everyone who was not able to attend to have a look.

The video below is about the future in glass; Mr. Hutley's presentation was in this same vein, but about every category of technology you can image. Well done TechForum organizers and SESF.


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