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The world according to the tire guy

  1. Sep 9, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    The other day when I had to stop and get a tire fixed, I soon struck up a conversation with the repairman. Well, actually he struck up a conversation with me, but at first I was interested as he seemed to be quite a science fan. Unfortunately it didn't take long before I was informed of the truth of global warming and a dozen other subjects.

    Thanks to PF I think I finally have no debate left in me, and I was perfectly content to just sit and listen.

    What struck me most was his confidence that he has it all figured out. There wasn't even a hint of uncertainty. Yep, it seems that fixing tires gives one a special sort of insight that elludes even our best scientists.

    Also noted: He doesn't allow his HS aged kids to use computers.

    I understand the need to say that I believe this or that, but I have never understood why people fear "I don't know" as a position. And why it seems that the less educated a person is, the higher their confidence in all matters.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2007 #2
    What were some of his outrageous views?
  4. Sep 9, 2007 #3

    Chris Hillman

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    "He doesn't allow his HS aged kids to use computers." :rolleyes:

    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Oh wait, no-- that was someone else. My bad. :wink:
  5. Sep 9, 2007 #4
    [itex] confidence = \\frac{1}{knowledge}[/itex]

  6. Sep 9, 2007 #5
    Good for him, now his kids will lack important and relevant skills when they go to college and/or find a job!
  7. Sep 9, 2007 #6
    I can see in a way, two cavemen sitting around a campfire. All of a sudden, a lightning flash followed by a thunderous 'boom'---one caveman looks at the other, and says, "What the heck was THAT?"---The other caveman, not wanting to look stupid, makes up something really quickly and says, "Why, that's the god of war getting rid of one of his enemies!"--the other caveman says, "oh--now I can tell others who wanted to know"---

    and so the stories begin....

    Some people, I think, like telling stories, even if they have to embellish the truth or what knowledge they do have, and some people will listen. "I don't know" is not in some people's language---
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  8. Sep 9, 2007 #7


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    I really think this has to do with the way we approach education at the secondary school level. I'm not sure that there is a better way to approach it without getting overly complicated in the lessons, overwhelming the students, or getting so far side-tracked that too many of the major lessons are missed, but spend a little time sitting down and re-reading high school level textbooks and you'll see how this could happen. It doesn't matter what subject...science, history, literature...everything is very oversimplified, and not only stated as unquestionable fact, but often taught that way by the teachers as well. There is no room in the curriculum to show students that each of those sentences in their textbook is backed by volumes of research, or to point out that there are open areas of research, open questions, and a lot of questions that can be asked following from those statements, some of which do have answers that are too advanced for covering in a high school class, and some of which do not yet have answers. Combine that with a certain lack of natural inquisitiveness, or only a partial understanding of what is already being taught, and it's easy for someone to come out of a class thinking they now know all there is to know on a subject. For some reason, they never question what all those people with advanced degrees studying that subject could still be contributing to the field that they are all still employed.

    By obtaining higher education, you get exposed more to the knowledge gaps, the open questions, the current topics of research, and frequently bludgeoned over the head with how much you DON'T know about a subject to recognize better your own limitations. More interestingly, we can look back at our textbooks with our current knowledge and see how much has been modified since we first learned it.

    Of course, the good teachers recognize this and present some open-ended questions in class discussion, or introduce some current research topics for consideration, so students realize what they are learning is NOT the end-all-be-all of the subject.

    We're most sensitive to noticing these flaws in understanding of science, because that's what we do all day, and can pick up errors in the logic rapidly, but the same things occur in how people describe history lessons, music, etc., we just don't pay them so much attention because it isn't our field to catch their errors as quickly.
  9. Sep 9, 2007 #8


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    They don't need them thar newfangled computers to change tires like dad...if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for his kids! :rolleyes:
  10. Sep 9, 2007 #9
    The reverse can be just as true however. I often find that someone with a PhD has become so used to being an expert on certain things that they will not listen to reason when they are wrong. How many times have we seen new studies disprove what had become accepted knowledge and the writers are labled kooks etc until more studies are done?
  11. Sep 9, 2007 #10
    MB---whar' d'ya gat s'much lurning frum, huh?*


    *I was reading another thread--the above comment is of the thinking in an 'internal frame of reference'
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  12. Sep 9, 2007 #11
    Wow. A majority of the posters in this thread have a pretty good stereotype going on. Attitudes like this are the reasons Mexicans pour over the border every day. Face it, SOMEONE has to change tires, hang drywall, and do other labor intensive work. Kids in this country are taught that they are above these types of jobs and the attitudes in this thread prove it. I can't count how many college grads are working at Home Depot, Lowes, and other similar jobs because they are simply NOT made of the material it takes to work in the field they majored in. Sad thing is, they or anyone else refuse to admit this. Is the 'whar' d'ya gat s'much lurning frum, huh?' attitude what you really think about people who are doing labor intensive work? Can you blame the average American kid for avoiding this work even if they like it when they are viewed this way?
    Ok, now that I'm done ranting, I'll admit that the tire guy probably has a loose screw or two. However, I know PLENTY of egg heads with mighty strange views.
  13. Sep 9, 2007 #12

    is that a stereotype ?
  14. Sep 9, 2007 #13


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    Sounds like you're the one with a stereotype there. Nobody here questioned him changing tires for a living, but with his certainty that he knows so much about topics he is not educated about...and more importantly, that he's depriving his kids of the opportunity to learn skills they're going to need in the modern world. Have you noticed that even the garage uses computers to keep track of work orders, inventory, customer databases, billing, etc? EVEN IF they aren't interested in getting further education and just want to change tires for a living, he's cutting them short on a skill they're even going to need for that job by purposely depriving them of computers. It'd be different if he was lamenting that he couldn't afford a computer, so they could only use them at school or the library.
  15. Sep 10, 2007 #14
    Not really. I'm just saying it works both ways. Are you taking offense to the term egg head?
  16. Sep 10, 2007 #15


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    Actually, if he works in a tire store, chances are he's using a computerized spin-balancer many times a day. I'll admit that the user interface is pretty darned simple, so you can learn to use one properly in just a few minutes, but still the technology is there. If he ever has to work at the sales counter, chances are he's looking up stock in a computerized inventory dB and ringing up sales in a point-of-sale program on a PC linked to a cash drawer. It's pretty darned hard to avoid computers in a retail environment, these days.
  17. Sep 10, 2007 #16
    Don't get me wrong moonbear, I agree that his ideas are a bit askew. Yes computers are used everywhere and most of the time with good reason. He is rather foolish to deprive his kids their use. In actuality his kids probably know more about them than he realizes. I'd guess that he doesn't want them using computers because he wants to keep them down to his level as someone else has already pointed out. This way he is able to control his kids throughout adulthood much easier. My rant is with the fact that some people in this thread have implied that since he changes tires for a living then how could he possibly know anything about anything? I find this quite disturbing. Many people do low tech jobs every day but know a whole lot about a large number of subjects.
  18. Sep 10, 2007 #17
    YES-----I AM

    (it's more like an eggplant--rather than just an egg)

    and no, I'm not a VEG-HEAD (another sterotype)

    and all this talk about 'computers', etc. isn't 'PC'
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  19. Sep 10, 2007 #18
    I had hoped that you would in the same way a laborer may take offense at the comment: MB---whar' d'ya gat s'much lurning frum, huh?.

    Back on subject, I wonder if the tire guy talks to everyone this way or did he single out Ivan?
  20. Sep 10, 2007 #19
    Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Humility is the most devalued quality.
  21. Sep 10, 2007 #20


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    And what makes you think that comment was directed at his mode of employment? I believe the thread was begun because he displayed quite clearly a lack of education, a willingness to show off how lacking it is, and further, an intent to prevent his children from obtaining an education based on his own ignorance. I'm pretty certain that most people working in garages would give an arm and a leg to ensure their kids have every opportunity possible in life and wouldn't decide to purposely keep them ignorant. This guy seemed to be showing off an especially strong desire to remain ignorant and keep his kids ignorant too.
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