Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Trades, Talent, and High Value Work


I returned to the office in June as part of a "Return to Office" pilot program because I am, in no way, set up to work from home. During this time, my employer has been doing renovations to prepare for the workforce to return after the pandemic. As part of the renovations, there is work being done on the escalator banks that require scaffolding. All of the escalator banks are 4 floors in height with the exception of one which is five floors in height. I am completely awestruck by the work it takes to build the scaffolding and the talent and skill that goes into it. There are several other trades in the building doing renovation work and I admire and value them all.

The skilled trades have not become irrelevant as society grows in technical sophistication, nor will they, but there is going to be a shortage of skilled trades workers if we don't do something about it.  High school curricula and guidance counselors push college as the future of choice for students; however, it is not the only route to professional success.  I had two fathers involved in racing (both were mechanics) and so was my brother, but I never got involved...and I wish that I had.  I wish that I had learned to build racecars, engines, transmissions, rear-ends, etc., but I was too involved with football and other not so healthy endeavors.  I took shop classes, but I sucked at them, thus never tried to become proficient (FYI - you always suck when you first try something).  

Getting back to the trades, we need to start following the lead of Mike Rowe and re-emphasize the skilled trades in schools and trade schools and apprenticeships after high school. I am a proponent of having degree programs that integrate professional programs with trades.  For example, combine a computer-aided machining trade with mechanical engineering or combine carpentry with architecture. I want to partner with the states' boards of higher education and colleges and universities to make this a reality.        

Thursday, October 8, 2020

I beg to differ Joe Rogan


I am a huge fan of Joe Rogan; however, he has repeatedly stated something in which I have a differing opinion.  Joe Rogan, and I am paraphrasing here, says that the difference between a cult and a religion is that in a cult the leader is alive and in a religion the leader is dead. I would like to offer my apologetics for Christianity to the discussion. 

My indefatigable truth - nobody would ever willingly die for a lie. Most people's argument against that statement has been that Muslim terrorists die for their religion.  That's fallacious reasoning and here's why.  Muslim extremists have no idea if their beliefs are a lie or not.  For that matter, neither do modern-day Christians, we have faith in the truth; we will not actually know until we die, which is the same for any other faith.  

In the case of Jesus, there are several differences.  There is no arguing that the physical man existed and that there was a crucifixion. Two historians, both of which were alive in the natural lifetime of Jesus, wrote about Jesus and the crucifixion (a natural lifetime being a period in which Jesus would have lived had he not been executed).  Josephus, a Jewish historian, refers to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate.  Tacitus, a Roman historian, referred to the same as well as referring to the early Christians in Rome. The natural lifetime context is important because people who actually knew Jesus were still alive during Josephus' and Tacitus' time.  There is no argument that the man Jesus existed during the timeframe that the Bible references and that he was executed (crucified).  The argument is over Jesus' divinity.  

Now, let's get to the point of nobody willing to die for a lie.  Of the twelve Apostles, who actually knew Jesus, all but one were martyred for their faith, some with more historical clarity than others. Other prominent disciples outside of the twelve who also knew Jesus were martyred.  Here is my argument - all of these men knew the truth, they knew whether or not Jesus was actually who he said he was, they were there during Jesus' life and resurrection.  Can you honestly say that these men would willingly be tortured and executed in very cruel ways if they knew that who they claimed Jesus to be was, in fact, a lie?  I have a hard time believing that, personally and intellectually.  Would you die for what you know to be a lie?  No, you wouldn't. The early Christian martyrs died because they knew the truth.  And that is my truth.   


There has been no credible anthropological or archaeological research that has disputed or dispelled the Bible, only confirmational findings.  To Joe's point that the early Christian bible was a product of the Church three centuries after the fact (the fact being Jesus, though the bible refers back many more centuries before Christ, mostly through the Jewish Old Testament), the church actually studied the documentation to determine authenticity and veracity just like scholars do today.  There were points of disagreement within the church; however, they came to a general agreement regarding what should be scripture and what shouldn't. And yes, they knew how to deal with the multiple translations (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin).