Re-Thinking Our Certification and Training Society.

Training in the Office

One thing I’ve noticed in the last few years across various industries and workplaces is that many workers are hampered by something this buzzword concept you always hear a lot about, “Training.” In theory it’s the be all, end all. Struggling? You need more training. Promotion? More training. Attempt to troubleshoot? More training is needed first. Want to problem solve a bit more? You need this certification. It’s a disaster and monster’s own creation. It’s become worse then just a vague buzzword.

Years ago I was looking to move up the ladder a bit as a 3rd shift stocker, at a grocery store – perhaps take on more responsibility, place some orders, do inventory, etc. My manager didn’t mind the idea, but mentioned that you needed to take some classes on the computers in the back of the store to make a bit more money and move up. I remember thinking to myself, “What and how does training courses on a computer help me better in my current role?” Obviously, it didn’t.

It wasn’t just there. I worked at a big box home improvement store with the same emphasis on training courses on a computer. None of them had anything to do with mixing paint or learning more about “wall coverings” – basically everything interior and exterior painting related. That was on top of having to meet corporate requirements to have these training courses completed by a mandated date regardless of peak hours and the season. If it didn’t get done, our managers got threatened. Our much emphasized and lauded customer service would suffer because of “training”. Yep, all that for training and to get a rubber stamp. (In hindsight, it felt like those courses were all about reducing liability risks at the store.)

To do anything outside the normal work criteria for your position or role, you must have that training – otherwise stay in your lane as it’s the safest option. It also ensures you never build that much job knowledge making you easily replaceable; just another cog in the machine. Convenient right? It’s everything that’s wrong with today’s approach to generating necessary skills for success in today’s workplace.

Now sure, I get that and why “training” is the golden bullet. In today’s liability risk-adverse workplace, a wrong answer might end up costing the company money or the wrong kind of attention. So to minimize this you are given as little room-to-work outside your box as possible. Encouraging ideas where you can take on additional responsibility, troubleshoot, or exhibit too much helpful information might be a liability issue. Can’t have that for all sorts of factors involved.

Instead you get additional training. Yep. Amazing is how great this buzzword looks great to outsiders, shareholders, the managerial class, and even customers who assume the more training you have – the better. Truth is that too many people with plenty of “training” can’t think their way out of ground level complications , troubleshoot, problem solve, or out of a card-board box for that matter. I guess that’s part of the point.

At my work I lament that there is so much more I could do, but am unable because it’s outside my “role” and I’m of course not trained for it – even though I’m already doing it and plenty more. Again, I get why but it’s frustrating and goes to show that inefficiencies are constantly perpetuated by places which keep sending out the usual corporate emails that laud and enthusiastically proclaim how much they are doing to make everything more… efficient.

Writing this, I feel somewhat irritated and irked with the way the entire “training” concept is applied these days. Is it just me? Is this something other people are starting to notice? Of course, there’s definitely a legitimate purpose and need for applicable training and improvement to one’s position, but what’s key is that actually APPLIES to what you do. Too often today, that’s just not the case.

Rant over?

Predictability Determines the Success of Human Capital

The Z-man had a post about human capital and if people are better of today than in the past. He theorizes both yes and no and about genetics playing a part, besides the Pinkerton analysis that the decline of interpersonal violence means we are better off. (I do think Pinkerton makes a good point on that subject.)

My thoughts however diverged in a different direction from his initial post. There’s a key element to human capital that we tend to overlook; predictability. I’ll try to hastily summarize it here and perhaps better think through it for the future.

So why does predictability matter?

The more predictable your local environment, situation, workplace, neighbors, laws, and daily life are in general, the better off you will be. Knowing that your farmland is NOT going to be burned by invaders,makes it far easier and logical to make plans for the future such as planting crops, crop/field rotation, etc.

You know there is less risk. That’s a big deal in terms if you have limited time and resources. Back in the day, alot of people didnt live past 45 and had limited resources. They had to plan their families future with that in mind. You try that all of that without the convenient crutches our modern society offers us today.

For instance, if you know that an invading army isn’t going to burn down your home, you can invest in it and the village/city you live in. That’s definitely a big deal. You might even build furniture, create a sculpture, build roads, walls, etc. The Mongols aren’t coming through to devastate the countryside, so you know you can go for a walk and even trade in the next town. Commerce can commence. Capital can flow.

Our intelligence may be declining, but our capital continues to grow in certain aspects with technology making many daily tasks easier as well as making many aspects of production quicker and easier. (Imagine constructing a building 500 years ago vs now and the difference in the availability of tools.)

This all assumes predictability though. With the decline of social trust – and all the various factors that contribute toward that loss of trust – the world becomes less predictable. Those factors can be everything from “diversity” to the globalist push for open borders to the internet revealing human nature’s apparent weakness for fake news and social media lynch mobs fueled by appealing and exploiting our base emotions such as anger.

Some aspects of predictability aren’t as predictable – pun intended – or at least as flushed out.

Modernity has also reversed predictability in aspects of culture and society. That matters. No one is fiddling on the roof anymore. Divorce, family separation, and children growing up in various different homes is becoming the norm – which it certainly wasn’t just 100 years ago.

Assuming your parents are actually married, which is about 50% likely now, you really dont know if they will stay together – something that was almost assured barely 100 years ago. Apparently that’s now more true of the elites and upper classes instead of the working class and poor who arguably need that marital stability the most.

Men, women, and families knew for the most part what to expect when it came to family stability. That’s no longer the case with part of the blame lying in no fault divorce laws regardless of intention. Some of the unforeseen consequences now result in families where often there is no father to guarantee stability. He can after all be undermined by the numerous other partners the mother may have. (The reverse may happen, but 90% of custody lies with the mothers.)

I’m a bit exhausted by hearing MRA talking points and the rage of MGTOW/Incel types, but unpredictability in cultural and societal assurances that you as the father wont be divorce raped, reduced to seeing your kids every other week, possible child support, etc doesn’t exactly provide incentives for the peter pan video game-playing-man childs we hear about to lay down roots and get busy working full time jobs to help fuel the tax base.

Bottom line is that it’s just another form of unpredictability with consequences for our society we are just starting to understand. To make that unpredictability even worse, a “culture war” adds fuel to it’s wildly spread fires as people start to lose a firm grasp of the social implicit scripts for daily interaction with each other.

What may have been comedic harmless fun in the past may be dug up in your 1980 year book by a twitter lynch mob, cost you your current job, and possibly endanger your ability to pay your mortgage and put food on the table for your family. Even video footage and pictures are now easily manipulated to drive whatever narrative one may wish about a person or an event which manifested in horrid fashion via the #CovingtonGate incident.

That’s just yet another aspect of the current unpredictability which keeps getting more volatile and scary. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great time to be alive and I’d choose today’s unpredictability over that of just a few centuries ago. But today’s challenges are a series of unfortunate events with stacking and cascading unpredictability with consequences for society we should start grappling with – or at the very least and quite ironically attempting to plan and accommodate for. When life gives you lemons, adapt.

Elderly Wisdom: Realizing You Were Never As Smart As You Thought You Were.

I suppose this happens when you get older, get married, hit that magic 30, grow some gray hairs in your fatherly beard, and of course have some kids. For others it just a slow unraveling of the established wisdom you learned as a kid through “young” adulthood.

My kids – toddlers or not – when at restaurants weren’t going to use our phones to entertain themselves to stop them from tantruming and screaming. They weren’t going to toys in Walmart when they threw tantrums. (Yea I was definitely wrong on that one.) You have a specific way of thinking about your present circumstances and a supposed plan for the future.

One thing I’ve realized in the last few years coming off my self identified edgelord time – if it can even be called that – is that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. This realization applies to all aspects of life. I’m in a different season of life now and not only have my circumstances changed, but this isn’t 2006 or 2008 anymore.

You think you’ve reached the peak of your understanding and how things really work. You have it all figured out. I was an ardent libertarian, door-mat nice guy who didn’t get the girl, et cetera. I’d read everything I needed to and basically had arrived at the mountain top. Then you start to notice holes in your perfect utopian plateau.

This doesn’t mean I become jaded, miserable, depressed, or even necessarily resigned to a dismal future of some sort. It just means I’ve developed a bit better understanding of how the world ACTUALLY works, rather then some of the lofty idealism that fuels your youth.

When I was a younger buck, I loved controversy because it was exciting, thrilling, and often brought some spark to the usual boring tedium and routine of life. Yes, it does make for exciting stories. It made forums more lively and often encouraged people to engage in off-game forums once you irked them enough to respond. That was 2008.

Real-life however doesn’t necessarily translate similar results, especially in 2019. Controversy now is often bad for your personal, relationship, and economic health in a culture dominated by social media trending hashtags. Sure, plenty of people don’t care. I admire them. Those that do though can make other’s lives hell and they often do because misery loves its company.

That’s both a blessing and a curse.

My wife for one hates politics, drama over culture war stuff, et cetera. It’s forced me to stop paying so much attention to these matters. It’s driven me to simply not care or invest as much as I used to with the outrage of the day. Honestly I feel that much better for it.

I look around at the other “normies” around me and I notice they have their own issues in life to work through, but they are that much happier. Perhaps that’s a key lesson in and of itself. Sure some things are worth fighting for, but when you get older you finally start to grasp what those things are. Often they really aren’t what you wasted much your time on before. (Granted you have to make mistakes to learn from them.)

There’s always something new in the 24/7 hour news cycle, but your kids are only toddlers once. Time spent with them is far more important, valuable, and rewarding then time spent leaving troll comments, arguing on social media, or at some protest. There are better uses of my time.

I still care about understanding the Truth and much of what I’ve found and uncovered in the last few years has made me question just about everything I thought I knew already (No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist). I loved reading history as a kid, and now I wonder how much of what I read was simply the victor’s narrative of events.

Perhaps that all sounds vague, but I’ve had my own Tucker Carlson moment on quite a few issues now – and that goes all ways on the political and cultural spectrum. (Including one similar to his own thoughts in that now famous monologue.) Perhaps single payer isn’t such a bad idea. Maybe the free market needs some regulations. Open borders may not be the best thing for the country.

What I do with this all that uncovered knowledge and realizations is what matters. Hopefully I don’t squander it. One thing I’ve noticed in some of the “manosphere”, Red Pill, edgelord, SJW, woke, et cetera communities is what happens to people once they think they are on to something , their entire life’s purpose becomes and consumes them. It becomes their identity.

Yea I get it. However I notice these same people end up becoming Nietzsche monster from the abyss they’ve constantly looked, fought, attacked, and obsessed over. Look at what happens to them over time. Do you really want that? If you briefly browse through their social media profiles, you’ll notice they see enemies, ists and isms, misery, oppression, misogyny, “Red Pill truths”, and problems everywhere all the time.

It’s one reason these same people complain they are constantly depressed, filled with anxiety, and even have panic attacks because in addition to dealing with the increasing stresses of the modern internet age, they add additional layers of supposed responsibility on their shoulders.

Sure alot of it includes virtue signaling on social media and on-the-ground activism, but it’s very difficult to always be perfect and with out ever “sinning” in today’s charged climate. One wrongly interpreted remark and the mob is after you. Since forgiveness is no longer a valued aspiration in our post-Christian society, there is no possibility of amends and moving forward. It’s quite scary. Everyone is throwing the first stone and plenty of them.

It’s obvious when you think about it that you don’t want to be like that, but the slope is far more slippery than we realized in the dial-up days of the internet. Perhaps this will all pass, but time neglected with family and close friends will not. Priorities, right?

Sure, be aware of the current situations and events of the day so you are always prepared for what may happen. Be aware of the newest outrages and how best to deal with them if they ever happen to yourself or friends and family. Don’t obsess over them though. Certainly, we live in an age of outrage.

That doesn’t mean we need to dwell in that outrage, fuel it, and become it. I wish had stressed this to myself sooner. Some people consider it to be a form of unplugging, and perhaps it is. The world goes on though in the 24/7 news cycle to the next day’s outrage. Remember that in evaluating the importance of each day’s insanity. Just make sure to sit down, take a sip of coffee, and relax in the meantime.

#Gillette Shows Us The Timeless Activity of Wrestling Is Apparently Toxic Masculinity

Lost in the twitter chaos and YouTube backlash to that Gillette commercial – now the 5th most down voted video in YouTube history is something that really leaps out and grabs you by our apparent toxic natures:

Take a second look. No, it’s not that this commercial doesn’t actually bother discussing anything about shaving.

Catch that? The rolling around in the dirt, trying to get the best position and hold? It’s quite an ancient and historied activity throughout many cultures across the world since the beginning of time. Wrestling. In all of it’s forms. Olympians of old and new, rituals, state competitions, any old tussle in the backyard; it’s apparently a demonstration of the ever widening examples of toxic masculinity.

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