This blog is the brainspawn of myself and our dear friend, Atticus. God brought the two of us together, far from the homes of our respective childhoods, in a foreign land filled with strange sights and sounds. With all due respect to the native denizens of these lands but to an “offworlder” the transition can be a frightening experience. I enjoyed watching Atticus deal with the differences from the place of his birth and we began to discuss various issues local, national, and otherwise. Though we often agree on the symptoms of the great disease which afflicts our nation, in particular our post-graduate generation. We less often agree on the root cause of said symptoms, though we often have a causal accord. Very rarely do we concur on the fix or the cure for our cultural affection.
Through many of our discussions Atticus and I both said “we should start a blog.” Not so much to seek some kind of notoriety or following but a way to document our dialogues and thoughts with some accountability as several members of our local community are aware of our effort.
The conversation that truly awakened in me the need to stop talking and start blogging was a talk concerning things mechanical. Atticus and myself are both well entrenched in the “nerd” culture. We play boardgames, RPG's, and CCG's. We watch such things as StarWars, Battle Star Galactica, and read books like LOTR's and Dune. Our small talk concerns economic crisis and quantum computing. We discuss linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy for fun. That being said, we were discussing vehicles with a few of our friends and when the mention of having to install a $100 part at the mechanic costing $600 was made I promptly mounted my soapbox and began one of my most favored monologues.
Before I begin I want to clarify my use of Blue Collar vs. White Collar workers. I do not use Blue Collar in a pejorative or divisive way. Out of the last 8 working years 7 of those have been doing Blue Collar jobs. Much of what I learned during those years inspired this monologue in the first place. When I say, “my Blue Collar friend,” I am simply using a well established cultural naming convention. I am describing those who use their brains and hands to earn their keep. A good mechanic is a very intelligent person. A good carpenter, plumber, or “manual” other profession requires an intelligent and wise mind to the same degree as an engineer. I have worked with enough mechanical things to see that there are some less than competent engineers out there. I would rather have a good mechanic over a inept engineer any day of the week.
That being said...
My Blue Collar friend once told me, while we were getting my 1981 XS850 up and running, “This machine was designed by a man, it was built by a man, and it can be repaired by a man.” Many of my nerd friends feel that though they are intelligent people with functioning problem solving faculties; there exists some kind of dark rite, some mysterious gnosis, that places mechanical investigation and repair out of their scope. This outrages me.
I am sure I will speak to the mechanical mythos in particular later but the whole purpose of this post is to clarify why I, Khusrow, am involved in this blog. In a quick oversimplification I feel our cultural slide is due to 3 primary causes: decadence and over specialization.
I will expound on these thoughts another day.