Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Why do some people think like this?

Status
Not open for further replies.

ke5frf

New Member
I'm making a general observation here, a recent thread on this site got me thinking about this.

Why is it that some people have no respect for or understanding of what it takes to be good or knowledgeable at certain things?

Take electronics for example. I consider myself a reasonably smart person. I have a good comprehension ability when it comes to the field. But this has come with a lot of study and practical experience as well as tinkering. I didn't just walk into Radio Shack one day and buy a bunch of components and build a television set from scratch McGyver style.

Even in my early stages, when I first got interested, I bought and read several books and read them front to back more than once to take it all in...and even then I had more questions than answers at times.

But some people think electronics is no more complicated than roofing a house or laying floor tiles. Sometimes arrogantly so. Seems like some people just think any kind of mechanical work is for baffoons, something a monkey can do.

What is it that makes people so ignorant?
 

smanches

New Member
It's along the same lines as people who think that because you don't do it for a living, or didn't go to school for it, that you cannot do it as good or better than a "professional".

I actually think that it's the learning that frightens people. Too many people seem to think that learning is hard. When in reality, it's more likely they just never learned how to learn.
 

ke5frf

New Member
I think you both have points. The funny thing is, I work in an industrial environment with lots of people who are skilled at various mechanical crafts. Pipefitters, welders, machinists, electricians, all sorts of metal and electrical trades. It didn't take long for me to learn just how technical those jobs can be. There is an art to all of them, and some people can be quite masterful at their craft. I admire them for that.

Yeah, people who don't even change their own light bulbs have an "out of sight, out of mind" mentallity. They just want to go buy or pay for something to work, and if it breaks, getting it fixed is no more to them than paying someone to cut their grass. Heck, in my original post I kind of slammed "roofers and tile setters", when even those jobs can be quite admirable when the craftsman cares about his work and goes the extra mile to be good at it.

And yeah, I suppose the cost of 25 cent capacitors, 99 cent transistors, and 2.99 ICs gives the field a false illusion of being child's play.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
In part I think people equate inexpensive with simple.

3v0

A profound observation this. There are so many examples in electronics where the lay person simply cannot comprehend how extraordinarily complex the "cheap" thing is. Modern cellphones are an excellent example. The average user "buys" a cellphone for what they perceive is the price of 70 loaves of bread, give or take. If they only knew the amount of brainpower, sophisticated fabrication machines, scientific research, mathematical science, business risk, political effort, blood/sweat/tears, and just plain old guts that underlies the millions, perhaps billions of man-hours and certainly trillions of dollars that have gone into the technology behind the average smartphone these days, they would fall over in a dead faint.
 

colin55

Well-Known Member
There's a simple equation. You can be a lawyer and lose all your cases and still get paid.
In electronics, if you forget to make one connection, the circuit will not work.

And another point. Any fool can buy components. Any fool can put them together - but getting it to work is the skillful part.

After all, who made our TV sets and transistor radios? 14 year-old children on the floor of their Hong Kong apartments.

But who designed them and fixed them?

Electronics and programming etc takes the most amount of "thinking skills"
When I prepare papers for court, I operate at 10% of the level of electronics thinking.

That's why there are so many lawyers.

It took me a few weeks to do a lawyers job. And I win every case.
Get a lawyer to do an electronics job. . . .
 
Last edited:

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
I often think that lawyers and doctors are more successful at protecting their work and their rates because they have better "unions" of a sort. In the part of the world where I live, there are regulations that say that only professional lawyers can practice law, that only professional doctors can practice medicine and only professional engineers can practice engineering. But when it comes to enforcement, which comes down to the professional organizations (what I refer to as their "unions") to do, the lawyers have things under control and so do the doctors, but the engineers do not. As a result, the design departments in our industry are staffed mainly with people who do not belong to the professional organizations, and who charge their time out at rates that an electrician would not consider.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Lawyers and doctors are held more accountable for their actions by the organizations they must be members of, medical boards, law review boards etc. That is why they make the big bucks. Engineers usually have a blanket of protection provided by the company they work for.

I would imagine a lawyer who lost all his cases would not last long.
 
Last edited:

ke5frf

New Member
Lawyers and doctors are held more accountable for their actions by the organizations they must be members of, medical boards, law review boards etc. That is why they make the big bucks. Engineers usually have a blanket of protection provided by the company they work for.

I would imagine a lawyer who lost all his cases would not last long.


Well, as far as Doctors and Lawyers go, I think the consequences of their mistakes are more tangeable to the layperson. A lawyer messes up, an innocent person is in prison and we call it an injustice. A Doctor incorrectly diagnoses an illness, and potentially someone loses their life or has serious health consequences.

An electrical or electronic designer involved in commercial or industrial applications can very well screw up, and the consequences can be just as severe (Airplane controls malfunction, computer hardware failures cause financial losses, medical systems unreliable, home fires) etc. But generally speaking a lot of proof goes into a design before it is marketed, especially in such critical systems. If a mistake is made, it is often difficult to pinpoint and place blame. The accountability isn't as directly tangeable.

And realistically
 

Menticol

Active Member
Electronic engineers are irrespected. But Product designers are compared with hair stylers, decorators and "anyone who draw nice things". That's x1000 times more offensive.

All the formal characteristics (you can spent years learning about the form), interdisciplinary work with engineering and chemistry, usability tests, ergonomic studies, marketing, assembly, transport, recycling... yeap... hair stylist work.
 
Last edited:

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Well, as far as Doctors and Lawyers go, I think the consequences of their mistakes are more tangeable to the layperson. A lawyer messes up, an innocent person is in prison and we call it an injustice. A Doctor incorrectly diagnoses an illness, and potentially someone loses their life or has serious health consequences.

An electrical or electronic designer involved in commercial or industrial applications can very well screw up, and the consequences can be just as severe (Airplane controls malfunction, computer hardware failures cause financial losses, medical systems unreliable, home fires) etc. But generally speaking a lot of proof goes into a design before it is marketed, especially in such critical systems. If a mistake is made, it is often difficult to pinpoint and place blame. The accountability isn't as directly tangeable.

And realistically

But also keep in mind, if a doctor messes up, he or she can be sued for malpractice. How often does this happen to an engineer even if he or she was directly involved with design decisions?

I thought I made my point clear that engineers have somewhat of a protective umbrella where doctors and lawyers may not. As you must know engineers work in very large teams, and so blame can spread more like butter. Doctors on the other hand are often left with making dreadful choices that can have unforgiving impact.
 

Menticol

Active Member
Kid got his fingers trapped in the kitchen machine
Strange appliance, impossible to install
The thing breaks apart with the use
I'm left handed, I cannot use the product
The airplane didn't warned the pilots about the pitot tube obstruction: plane crashed

If the system fails, don't blame the engineer.

Blame the product designer: He's the link between the machine and the human

He didn't provided enough information to the user about the failure, how to fix it, or even how to make the system inmune to it.
 
Last edited:

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
I thought I made my point clear that engineers have somewhat of a protective umbrella where doctors and lawyers may not. As you must know engineers work in very large teams, and so blame can spread more like butter. .

There are two classes of professional engineers in my part of the world. The corporate engineer is indeed under a sort of umbrella as you say and has limited accountability. However, the consulting engineer is not and is held directly responsible for design work that he certifies. It is actually quite common for such engineers to be sued in court and also face disciplinary actions by their professional association.

Having said all that, i will agree that the world of electrical engineering has a very small number of "professional engineers" (those that join up and pay their P.Eng fees) and a huge number of technical people doing engineering. I try to equate this to there being a small number of doctors supported by a huge number of other medical and para-medical staff, but the comparison falls to pieces because the vast majority of technical people doing engineering are equatable to the doctor, not the support staff.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Why is it that some people have no respect for or understanding of what it takes to be good or knowledgeable at certain things?

It often comes down to a simple false belief in a 'Since someone else can do it I can too' attitude.

The problem is that most people cant even begin to grasp the details of another persons job or work unless they have in fact had some reasonable level of experience with it.
Many who do have experience unfortunately still have little to no knowledge in the often larger picture of how things work and in many ways that can play against things as well.
Some people would rather believe and assert that since they couldn't understand it or do it themselves it must clearly be impossible for anyone else to be able to do it as well so they do their damnedest to try and prevent that other person from proving that what they couldn't do or understand is in fact possible and may even be seen as simple from that persons experianced working perspective. :mad:

But some people think electronics is no more complicated than roofing a house or laying floor tiles. Sometimes arrogantly so. Seems like some people just think any kind of mechanical work is for baffoons, something a monkey can do.

What is it that makes people so ignorant?

Lack of experience in some aspects but mostly just clueless bloated over confidence in their perceived views of their own intelligence and abilities to actually do and understand things. They are too stupid to realize they are stupid! :eek:

For me I have came to understand that I am naturally able to learn and grasp most things with far less effort than most people. (not all things though) I at least know enough to realize I do not know everything.
But I do know that what I do understand can be used to point me in the right direction in order to find what information it is that I need when I need to learn about how to do something new. Basically I try and learn how someone else does what they do.
I also that realize that when I do learn something new there will be that inevitable learning curve time where I go from being inept and clumsy to proficient and skilled. For some things that time is short and others I may never fully master.

For me I am not afraid to find out that I didn't know something. Most people are it would seem. :(
 
Wow this seems to be a pretty popular post. But I would like to say that most of my understanding of electronics is derived from my EST (Electronics Systems Technology) class at the Technical College High School. However, it is also important to remember that ones interest does not usually come from a book, it comes from curiosity and interest in a certain subject, so anyone on this site that is asking a question no mater how basic, is possibly trying to increase their own interest and knowledge through experience.

Real men don't use volt meters, they stand in a bucket of salt water and test the live circuit by hand!
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
For me I have came to understand that I am naturally able to learn and grasp most things with far less effort than most people. (not all things though) I at least know enough to realize I do not know everything.

Well, you surely are well, um, uh, confident...
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Actually lack of confidence has been my stumbling block for most of my life. I was lead to believe that even though I could prove myself right I was still wrong because the powers that be said I was wrong.

It wasn't until I learned to accept that when I can do something and prove it that anyone else's opinions are of no value or use to me that my confidence levels grew. Unfortunately it had the side effect of my learning that those who have the power dont necessarily always have the capacity to use that power correctly. :(

If I can prove something is possible why should I berate myself if someone else thinks its still not possible or that I shouldn't be able to do something just because they cant.

I am only confident in that which the areas I have proven to myself and can prove to anyone else if need be. The rest is just still in the learning stages and I can be proven wrong at any time in those areas with out hurt feelings or ill will. ;)
 

HiTech

Well-Known Member
But some people think electronics is no more complicated than roofing a house or laying floor tiles. Sometimes arrogantly so. Seems like some people just think any kind of mechanical work is for baffoons, something a monkey can do.

What is it that makes people so ignorant?
Electronics is somewhat abstract to most common folk. To them it either works or it doesn't. When a roof leaks we all know the shingles have failed or similar. When a car suffers a flat tire, we can literally see and understand the what and why behind it. When a television decides to display retrace lines or project a pincushioned picture, all that a layperson can do is know something's gone wrong... afterall, those little colorful parts inside are meaningless to them, let alone understanding a schematic diagram. Given all that, plus the fact that much of today's electronic devices get tossed out and replaced with new, rather than repair it and that further serves to widen the gap between common folk and EETs.
 

Karkas

Member
It has happened to me that lots of people go against my search of knowledge even when it is not their business, only criticizing just because they see electronics as something not interesting or important. Albert Einstein said once "We are all very ignorant, but not all ignorant of the same things", so we could say we are all ignorant or none of us is, but that people, I would say is some other kind of ignorant people, maybe poor ignorants or "damaging ignorants" because they cause damage to the society in some way, they don't seem to have any respect for this profession or career, they don't know that every honest profession or craft deserves respect. I am just an engeeniring student, and some people ask me what do I do, and they say Electronics? do you really like that? it can get you really upset, and more when you think that they're people that can't be without getting on msn everyday, or listening to music, or watching TV.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top