Then I'd love to see that extended to a survey to ask the consumer how important that feature really is to a consumer. I remember when automatic doors and windows first came out in cars. My grandpa never wanted to buy one because he just knew it was something else that could break. And why would you want to buy a car with more stuff that could break on it. Of course, now try and buy a car that doesnt have those extra features. You'll probablly have to speacial order it.
Sad but true. And the worst part is how many of the "features" are really necessary. Rather than ice and water, I'd rather my fridge just keep the fridge part cold and the freezer part frozen. I'd like my washing machine to wash and my dryer to wash.
And don't even get me started on the fact that I'd like to be able to drive 30 miles without dropping a call on my cell phone, rather than be able to take a picture or bring up a web page that's so small I can't read it anyway.
I agree completely, StuDent. I too am a congenital optimist. I thought I was the only one who used that term. I mean it literally. I inherited it from my mom. Two of my kids have it. It truly isn't my choice. It is a gene.
I once heard a pessimist say, "Pessimists are right, but optimists live longer."
Rob, if your children and my grandchildren are a good enough sample, then perhaps we are on the upward leg of the cycle. I'm a congenital optimist. In conversation with others, I sometimes reflect their cynicism, but reasonably quickly bounce back. The pessimist says that the glass is half empty; the optimist says that it's half full—but the engineer says that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
My point with the Socrates quote is that adults have been downplaying the next generation for thousands of years, and, with few exceptions, have been wrong to do so for thousands of years.
I agree, StuDent. Although, as a father of two teenagers and a young adult, I find a good number of today's kids are more interested in your words and phrases than adults my age who have grown a tad cynical.
Rob, we could probably expand this discussion to the the loss of certain words and phrases from the language, such as "the bigger picture," "courtesy," "trust," "honor," etc. On the other hand, the following is a quote from Socrates: "Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers." Hopefully, we're in the trough of an ethical cycle.
Yes, StuDent, the 1970s were rough for the American auto industry. I had a friend who had a car shop in the 1970s. When it failed, he took a job with GM. He worked in the group that looked at cars that came off the line with problems. Having been an entrepreneur, he was accustomed to working at a speedy, industrious clip. The existing crew sat him down and told him he had to learn to work at the "GM pace," meaning slow, very slow. They taught him the "GM walk," where all movements were slow. He was both surprised and uncomfortable with the situation, but the existing crew was not going to let him show them up. You can't build decent cars with that attitude.
I remember the Monday-Friday discussions, Rob. I never found out if they were true. I had a 1976 Plymouth Volare that was a perfect example. I bought it used, mostly because it had the slant-six engine that was so satisfying in my old 1966 Dodge Dart. What a mistake! If the 1966 engine was like a frisky puppy, the 1976 version was like an old tubercular dog. The Volare had many little problems, mostly due to poor assembly and cheap components. It was also scarily unstable when driven over 50 mph. I cheered—secretly—when the car was totalled. The '80's were like a rebirth of the American automotive industry.
That's pretty wild about the tiger-to-pussycat engine, StuDent. The 1970s were a rough time for the American auto industry. There was sabotage going on along the line as well. If the workers were unhappy, they managed to mess up the vehicles.
There was a widely held view that you didn't want to buy a car that came off the line on a Monday or a Friday. I'm not sure how consumers could tell what day their car came off the line, but I do remember that view.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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