Welcome to the site; I hope you find it informative. I'll discuss a wide variety of trades-related topics that reflect my own path in the trades, and issues relevant to what is happening with the new "College of Trades" here in the province of Ontario. Be sure to check older posts, and I'd welcome your comments


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What about the Luddites? Pt. 1

The Luddites, as explained in an excellent Wikipedia item http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite , were weavers who reacted against mechanization, therefore efforts to increase production, by destroying their looms. Luddism has therefore become a blanket term used to describe any effort to resist change in the workplace, as a deficiency to be remedied. In fact, while in Wikipedia, look up Neo-Luddism, an organized effort to promote technology as bad; and as a movement which has had its own promoters, such as the late Jacques Ellul.

My point is to challenge whether efforts to preserve methods and work should always be seen in a negative light. I have a reason for asking; I promote craft, and craft is passed on through apprenticeships, which was the way skills were developed within plants not so many years ago. One of the arguments against craftwork, beside keeping the knowledge within groups of workers, i.e. machinists, so that the front office could not control it, was that it is and was inefficient as a method of passing on skills. It is also, just as we saw with Luddism, seen as resistant to change. The reasons given for this are that efforts to alter production and speed up production are viewed individually and collectively with suspicion, for greater control of workers and reduce staff. These suspicions are not without reason.

I would like to suggest another approach to craft's arousing suspicion regarding resistance to change, that craft may be conservative, in the sense of conserving "a way of working" including methods, tools, etc. This I would like to further discuss including possible reasons. Also, I would like to continue by asking if craft is necessarily conservative; that is, does craft have to be resistant to change.

Blue Collar and Proud of it! by Joe Lamacchia

Here's a new book that's getting a lot of attention, one that puts in print ideas similar to those I've been working on, and in a format that the general public can bite into.

Joe runs a landscaping business as well as promoting his new book, and has a website to develop ideas. http://www.bluecollarandproudofit.com/
His site also lists some of the press coverage his book has garnered; anyone working to put an end to the prejudice against getting one's hands dirty has my support.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Been away for a while! Over at Mike Rowe's site, lots of interesting discussion at times, including this link about a book about trades' work as compared to the college path. I'm passing it on from the MRW site.

I'm glad Matthew B. Crawford's book is getting attention, it's another step towards respect for trades. Not that tradespeople merit adulation, just respect.

I'll try to keep up to date~