Friday Funny – I can see technicians from my house

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. points out this nifty visual on the social order of science from  Matúš Soták. Well worth a look if you’ve ever been anywhere in the realm.

 

Advertisements

76 thoughts on “Friday Funny – I can see technicians from my house

  1. ROFLMOA!!!!!!!
    As a now former 20+yr technician in a university physics department, the truth in this has me in hysterics!!!!

  2. Well, I was once a MSc student, and that was a few decades ago. Then I graduated, found a real job in the real world, morphed from a social liberal who wanted to change the world to a realistic conservative who now knows that theory and practice seldom agree with each other. So which category do I fit in?

  3. “Alan says on August 12, 2011 at 8:43 am… So which category do I fit in?”
    This should have another row and another column…ADULT
    I think you’d find yourself there. :’P

  4. First time you’ve brought tears to my eyes, Anthony! 😀
    If ever a picture was worth 1000 words. . . .

  5. I assume the pictures along the bottom, of how I see undergrads, PhD students, postdocs.. that represents children in kindergarten? That’s pretty accurate. I don’t, however, see profs as That particular duck… Daffy, maybe… not Scrooge. And while I don’t see all techs as Chuck Norris, I do sorta see him peeking back from the mirror… coincidentally I started growing a beard at the beginning of this month.
    Only one group actually DOES something.. the rest just talk about stuff. Yep… pretty accurate.

  6. Paul Westhaver says:August 12, 2011 at 8:35 am
    Where did they get that picture of me with the knife?

    Could have been me with a pair of hotdog tongs experiencing a moment of discovery. Probably wasn’t dressed as nattily though.

  7. WOW! As a non-degreed engineer who worked through the ranks as a technician, I periodically like to tweak my highly educated co-workers, that techs are a superior life form, especially when something is broken and they don’t know how to fix it.

  8. Us technicians are always held in contempt…..till they need something. Then, we’re still held in contempt, they’re just nice to us.

  9. Oh no, trust me – The tech seeing a PI as Scrooge is right on the money. Since when as a PI ever paid a tech what he’s worth?

  10. RayG says:
    August 12, 2011 at 9:25 am
    Where is Darren McGyver on the technician row?

    LOL! My thought exactly. While we might like to think of ourselves as Norris, McGyver would be far more appropriate.

  11. One of the largest holes in our education system is a four year technician university. This would be one that teaches all kinds of real-world, functional problem solving and a whole lot less of fluff that has a small chance of ever being put to use. Meaning 140+ high intensity, 2 week cram sessions rather that 32 drawn-out semester courses including American History and volleyball. True we need the high level PhD+ institutions, too. For those who intend on getting into future teaching and/or heavy research. But the average 4 year degree has morphed into something almost useless to today’s employers. A technical university would teach many practical disciplines to the student so that when they exit they are almost as good as a trained engineer, and not just in one field, but in several. Hit the ground running rather than needing another year of on the job training…

  12. Usually things like this are cute, but a bit lame and predictable. This would have been more predictable had I not expected it to be a bit lame.
    A wonderful job on the photo selection (I’ve always felt sorry for that donkey, nice to see him again) and the undergrad column.

  13. Re: kid with knife- a fellow stand-up comic in Colorado Springs, Brad Hartman, had a great line, something to the effect of “My dad beat the hell out of me for putting my sister’s bobby pin in the electric outlet- that’s not fair, just ’cause it was in her hair…”

  14. @Jim, too:
    “One of the largest holes in our education system is a four year technician university. This would be one that teaches all kinds of real-world, functional problem solving and a whole lot less of fluff that has a small chance of ever being put to use.”
    Jim, the only place I’ve seen that really understands technician level training and apprenticeship these days is that grand institution, the US Military. Especially in the highly technical fields like IT.

  15. I really like the Undergrad as seen by post-doc… lol, a baby being handed beer by an adult and smiling. lol

  16. To Jim, too, at 09:43 – I refer you to Engineering Technology programs (B.S.E.T. or EE.T.) offered at a number of universities around the US. I did mine at Texas A&M. Never regretted the move from EE. The EEs I met in my other classes were always envious of my protoboard projects.

  17. Jake says:
    August 12, 2011 at 10:15 am
    Jim, the only place I’ve seen that really understands technician level training and apprenticeship these days is that grand institution, the US Military. Especially in the highly technical fields like IT.

    You said it. I often get to work with some Air Force programmers. All senior enlisted. Those guys are brilliant. What they’d be worth outside the military is tough to calculate. But they love what they do because they get to work on some really cool stuff.

  18. The process in the top row appears to involve some considerable damage to the brain, particualrly to the frontal lobe, which has not fully matured yet and is being exposed to mind altering substances, and years of teaching from Marxist professors. The damage continues as the individual experiences government funding while providing nothing of actual value to anyone. He emerges, finally, as an individutal who is able to set the population and temperature of the planet earth.
    They said it, not me.

  19. OUTSTANDING!!!
    (It also works rather well with the following category substitutions –
    “22” “32” “42” 52″ “62” – I’m talking about AGE here 😉

  20. As a non-academic, having been an undergrad, PhD, and then in oil refining ( research and engineering ) and wall street ( financial modeling etc ), i see all of the people ( including self ) as that baby lunging at the beer bottle ( oh so cute ), without even knowing what it is. Look at what we are doing to the economy!!!

  21. Omigawd – hilarious – just the tonic needed after this harrowing week.
    And yep, undergrads do see themselves just as that first pic shows!

  22. Was just thinking … could substitute secretaries -er- admins for the technician in the chart in the head post and that works too; what would the corporate (and even academic) world do without admins!.
    .

  23. Gary Mount says:
    August 12, 2011 at 10:47 am
    OK, what does PI stand for? I did a search, but you can probably guess what constant number I keep getting in my search
    Gary – PI is “Principal Investigator.” In scientific research, this is generally the person that is the public face of the research, often is the originator (or appropriator) of the big idea being investigated, and the one that gets and controls where the money is spent. In the “PI as seen by Technician” box, I think the photo of Scrooge McDuck is pretty good. Not only is he cheap, he also is the money bags for the project.

  24. Power Grab says:
    August 12, 2011 at 9:59 am
    Hairpins work even better than a knife (my earliest memory!!)
    If you’re old enough to remember the old Kodak Instamatic cameras with the flash cubes, try taking one apart sticking one of the flash bulbs in the socket (yes, I did…).
    Fortunately, my sight and hearing came back after a few minutes and my parents never knew how the burn mark got on the outlet.

  25. Gary Mount says:
    August 12, 2011 at 10:47 am
    Don’t believe them. Remember Magnum? Hawaii? Cool car.

  26. Steve Keohane,
    “Discoveries”!!! Aw… the 1950 and 1960s were great for jabbing things in those mystery slots! And all those great metal toys with folding tabs, sharp edges and actual danger. Them were the days!! My favorite was the funny plug on the conical surface of the CRT in back of the B&W TV. If you grab that plug just the right way, you get “teleported” to a really neat place with stars and blue lights… and this hollow echoing sound….but it makes Mom scream like heck. I wonder what happened?

  27. I haven’t laughed so hard in quite some time!! This one promptly moves into the classic category. Anthony and Dr. Peilke, Jr., thank you so much for bringing this one to our attention.
    I nominate Paul Westhaver “Where did they get that picture of me with the knife?” for a gold star for his response.
    Hi to fellow Texas A&M grad ‘Chuck (now) in Houston’, tho I was Biochem then Nuke E (Health Physics option), rather than Eng. Tech. I’ve no idea what it’s like there now, but sure have some pretty fond memories from a couple of decades ago. :0) Hope to heck it hasn’t been too taken over by political correctness, liberals, sheer size and bureaucracy.

  28. This is a great way to start the weekend. Thanks Anthony.
    It appears the post doc has the most hilarious perspective because I found the the best pics were: The eye of Sauron, donkey, boy with knife, baby going for beer, two women gossiping
    And I have never been a post doc.
    John

  29. reply to: d says: August 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

    i dont get it

    d, it’s a play on Punnett squares and mendelian genetics (I’ll let you look them up). In this case, however, rather than the interior squares showing the offspring of mating the corresponding x column to y row, it shows how people at each education level views others at various levels.

  30. That chart would also work for military ranks, eg Lt through Col with the technician being replaced by sergent.

  31. Jake says:
    August 12, 2011 at 10:15 am
    @Jim, too:
    “One of the largest holes in our education system is a four year technician university. This would be one that teaches all kinds of real-world, functional problem solving …..
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    We used to have these in the UK, they were called polytechnics. Their highest qualification was HND (Higher National Diploma), 3-4 years of mixed classroom/lab study and working in industry. The cream of the survivors from the top polys were fought over by mech,elec,etc companies. I had a buddy back in the 60s who went that route. He blew the socks off graduates from Imperial College, London when it came to getting a job. (Imps is among the top unis in UK, think MIT but smaller).
    Then the polys became 2nd-rate universities. And now they offer ‘degrees’ in such subjects as David Beckham studies, soap opera studies, ……

  32. Hilarious and too true!
    Alan says: August 12, 2011 at 8:43 am
    Well, I was once a MSc student, and that was a few decades ago. Then I graduated, found a real job in the real world, morphed from a social liberal who wanted to change the world to a realistic conservative who now knows that theory and practice seldom agree with each other.
    —————————————————————-
    The difference between theory and practice is that in theory they are the same, but in practice they are different. 🙂

  33. As a one-time senior technician at an observatory, I found that technicians had to be able to do everything, including operate all the equipment as well as maintain it, while academic staff had only one thing to do, and weren’t always good at that. The smartest academics had started off as technical people and then gone on to a PhD.

  34. d says: August 12, 2011 at 11:42 am
    i dont get it
    ———-
    d,
    Academic humor is . . . . ahhh, different.
    But not as difficult as some exceedingly dry Brit humour. :^)
    I’ve always found the most difficult humor to be DownEast Maine humor . . . man, I just don’t get it much.
    John

  35. Phil R says:
    August 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Power Grab says:
    August 12, 2011 at 9:59 am
    Hairpins work even better than a knife (my earliest memory!!)
    If you’re old enough to remember the old Kodak Instamatic cameras with the flash cubes, try taking one apart sticking one of the flash bulbs in the socket (yes, I did…).

    When my daughter was 2 or so, I was holding her by the work “island” in the kitchen. She immediately picked up a pair of tweezers and stuck them in an outlet before I had a chance to notice what she was doing. I didn’t drop her since I knew what that sound and flash meant. She was more than a little bit startled and the tweezers were no longer able to tweeze.
    Ok, more than a lot startled.

  36. A ‘technician’ is some one who can fix your computer/lab equipment with no loss of data, the first time, gets there quick, never gives up, does research(on your problem) while you are sleeping, and never treats with other than the utmost respect, even if you have caused all the problems, are rude, condescending, ignorant of the most current research of your subject, a lecher, psychotic fraud.

  37. I laughed pretty hard at that one.
    Our laboratory has a Methods, Research, and Development section that has about 6 PIs. We used to also have a “Physical Science Technician” who worked there (before the budget cuts). He was the only one that could keep all the PIs straight. He forced them to clean up their messes.
    Matúš Soták is going to have to do another similar matrix, but with People of Science on one axis and People of the Public on the other.

  38. Priceless, although I agree MacGyver would be better than Chuck Norris.
    Apprenticeship, the US military as the best. Maybe for most, but working for German engineering or technical types did me fine. Able to go from fixing embedded software to fixing hydraulic systems in one year. Warning – always carry spare clothes for the “afterbath”.

  39. Jack says:
    August 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    “A ‘technician’ is…”
    The technician actually read the user’s instruction manual!

  40. Not a knife, but my 3-yr old was left sitting ZAP-stunned in front of an electric cord about 1′ long still plugged in, and holding a (fortunately rubberized grip) wire cutter with a chunk of steel missing and presumed vaporized in one of the cutter blades. Unfortunately, did not go on from there to become a Technician.

  41. Ric Werme says:
    August 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    Heh, scares the h*ll out of you. My son tried to follow in my footsteps with my car keys once. Won’t touch my keys any more.

  42. Those that can do, those that can not teach. Those with opposing thumbs connected to a brain that is practical make the world go round. High IQ does not equate to common sense nor usefulness. A PHD often equates to employment at McDonald’s, The dumbing down of the population seems to be a purposeful thing.
    Practical engineers in the electrical side of things in some countries put switches on electric outlets, and put child proof covers on those reachable by small children. This however only makes discovery of adventure more of a challenge and the children are smarter for it. They are no less damaged however by the blinding flash.

  43. Beautiful! – and just as true on the British side of the Pond as Stateside.
    Declaration of interest: Technician (yes, including at a University), all my life! 🙂

  44. Works for music and business academics too. The vertical column of how various people view the utlimate position of power vs. their position seems accurate. I spit coffee at the point of the Dark Lord Sauron. (Could have perched that eye on the top of an ivory tower.) I can’t disagree – I’ve met a few who, despite their myopic vision, are a lot like a hobbit who believes in the one ring and thinks it belongs to him.

  45. The group with the most realistic view of themselves are the PhDs I think. They are frustrated to the point of mental illness–I knew quite a few of those types in the days before a person could just make-up data and write a dissertation.
    Everyone else seems to have a story about an electrical outlet. Here’s mine. I’m a trustee at a college and I spend more time around the place than I should. One day I am sitting at a computer in a big open area and down the hall come the 3-5 years-olds from day care. As one teacher rounded a corner out of sight, and the other was too far behind to see what was happening ahead, a little girl went down on one knee and began shoving something in an outlet. The kids around her were keeping watch–it was a cooperative experiment. “Hey,” I shouted, “leave that alone.” Most productive single thing I’ve accomplished at that place.

  46. Malcolm Miller says:
    August 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    As a one-time senior technician at an observatory, I found that technicians had to be able to do everything, including operate all the equipment as well as maintain it, while academic staff had only one thing to do, and weren’t always good at that. The smartest academics had started off as technical people and then gone on to a PhD.

    There is some truth to this, academics are wonderfully inept, but what I have found is that the smartest folks are those with an education, and who have to apply it to make things work. I can tell you stories about technicians who had a particular way of doing things, which was sometimes counter-productive and sometimes just plainly wrong.

Comments are closed.