November 18, 2015

Something different today!

In the past ten days, I’ve been fortunate in my reading to discover several good comments and observations relating to the three broad subject areas this blog has always addressed. Hope they stimulate your thinking, too!

RELIABILITY & MAINTENANCE (industrial skills training)

“Maintenance is considered an action; it is more of a joint responsibility than a function. Maintenance starts with selecting equipment and follows with installation. It is supported by the right operation and good maintenance, with support provided by purchases and inventories.

Those responsible for whether assets will be reliable or not are: design; selection; manufacturing; suppliers; installation; environment; operation; maintenance; stores; and purchases.” (Carlos Mario Perez Jaramillo, is a Mechanical Engineer and Information Systems Specialist for Soporte y Cía.)


“There has happily been a great deal of discussion of late about the importance of encouraging children, particularly young girls, to go into careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (so-called STEM subjects). From an economic perspective, it is good for the country, because in the twenty-first century those countries without a workforce with STEM skills will quickly fall behind the curve. It is good for the world, because the challenges of the twenty-first century, from global warming to energy production and storage, will require technological innovation as well as institutional changes at the global level. And it is good for girls and young women, because these careers will help empower them, raise many out of potential poverty, and free them from subjugation by men.

But exposing children to science is far more than merely providing them with Lego sets and playing “sink or float.” Moreover, providing a set of facts is not the primary purpose of education. Its primary purpose is teaching how to distinguish between fact and fantasy, along with how to derive facts by questioning and testing, and where to go to access reliable data.

The most important goal in educating our children should be to encourage them to question everything, to not be satisfied with unsubstantiated claims, and to be skeptical of a priori beliefs, either their own, their parents’, or their teachers’. Encouraging skeptical thinking in this way, as well as directing a process by which questions may be answered—the process of empirical investigation followed by logical reasoning—helps create lifelong learners and citizens who can responsibly address the demands of a democratic society.” (Lawrence Krauss has taught at Yale and Case Western Reserve University and is currently Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department at Arizona State University.)


“ What are key elements of American culture that make up the “secret sauce” of innovation? For a start, forgiveness of failure, tolerance of risk and an appetite for apparently off-the-wall ideas. In Silicon Valley, the saying goes that if you haven’t failed at least once or twice, you’re not trying hard enough. Try saying that to a Finnish bank or a Chinese government official. Tolerance of risk is an important enabler of entrepreneurial speed, which in turn is an important determinant of competitiveness. And a willingness to listen to ideas, no matter how outlandish, has been the seed corn for countless ventures that are now seen as mainstream.

In addition, the American idea is inextricably interwoven with the notion of the frontier, which, though historically complex, still figures in our imagination as a continuously self-refreshing horizon of opportunity and possibility, and a vision of ourselves as pioneers. A key element of American frontier culture was the barn-raising, the notion that a newcomer could expect a day’s labor from his neighbors to construct his or her barn, and that he or she would be expected to reciprocate in turn for the next newcomer. This barn-raising spirit is alive and well in the hotbeds of American innovation where newcomers are supported, connections are made and the whole continues to be much greater than the sum of its parts. ’ (John Kao is a former Harvard Business School professor and the founder and CEO of EdgeMakers.)

More on Monday – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)


( This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)