Friday Argument - are our problem solving skills in decline?

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Wrightpayne
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Friday Argument - are our problem solving skills in decline?

I know its not Friday!!

A frequent a few different forums and find that quite a few people are quick to post for help and advice to solve a particular problem without really attempting to solve themselves. Often the answer is a google away.

Do you think that people are simply getting lazy or is our skill base diminishing?

What do you think is the best response - LMJGTFY, ignore or a laboured condescending response?

I am honoured to help those who are prepared to have a go/suggest a solution, but those who dont even try annoy! I do remember a post about someone struggling to change a spark plug thinking perhaps you should take to a mechanic!

Perhaps I should just help as practical skills are dying!?

Debate!!

Regards

Ian

Toby S
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I think the problem is age.

If you were a kid growing up in the 60's or 70's and even the 80's  loads of Dad's serviced their own cars - I remember Dad opening the bonnet of his Vauxhall VX4/90 when I was about 8 or 9 and pointed to the carburettors, coil, distributor cap, battery, plug leads, spark plugs (popped the dizzy off and showed me the points - remember them !!) and explained what everything did and what needed servicing etc - everything was mechanical and was pretty simple to understand - engine bays in those days seemed to have loads of room in them, even when there were 3+litre lumps in them - roll forward 20 years and  the first thing is there is a plastic over over the engine (which effectively says do not touch) and  you need to a computer to diagnose a problem - I'll happily play about working on my 92 Caterham but as for the modern tin top - forget it - crikey you have to be a contortionist to change a bulb.

So in answer to your question - firstly lack of passed on skills base, and secondly built in complexity - and then 3 thirdly pure laziness 

Kind regards

Toby S

Wrightpayne
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Ditto here - Dad was a 50's GPO engineer fitting telephony equipment in hospitals, police stations and RAF bases. He taught me to service cars in the late 70s - tappets (valve clearances), points, plugs, filters, SU carbs, grease nipples etc. We always had projects going on around the house so have applied those skills to many other applications - electrics, building, carpentry, plumbing, tiling etc.

With the advent of the internet its so easy to research but many seem to ask questions first!

Ian

Aeroscreens
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Perhaps some of the change is simply down to the 'evolution' of the Throw Away Society where for many people it is much easier to replace rather than repair. Even if I have to eventually replace an item it will only be after I've had a go at repairing it.

www.C7CAT.com

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Golf Juliet Tango
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If one is talking of cars, then modern cars can easily require equipment beyond most of us. Few are made along the lines mentioned above or as in the Ladybird Book of the Car I had as a child.

Away from cars, some questions are easily answered using any search engine, others don't have a single answer. Advice is only that, based on opinion and not definitive (but don't give me information I can easily find for myself (I will have found that already) give me your personal experience).

Not all "problems" have a single answer.

Stephen

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

DougBaker
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Not much need for trouble shooting with modern car as they never seem to break down.

1.6K Roadsport SV

Wrightpayne
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A real life example - VW Transporter owner had some California floor rails fitted to their van (bit like slotted roof bars but for securing seats to the floor) asked for suggestions for fixings dog cages to the floor. I googled a select few words which came back with two perfectly good solutions - OEM flat headed anchor bolts and generic T bolts with thumb screws.

Quicker to google than type the question!

Me - If I was unsure, I'd post my findings / research and ask for opinions on which is best.

I guess lazyness just grates!!

Ian

abbot
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I agree if somebody is simply being lazy and not doing a search.  However it is not as easy to find stuff that you can beleive in.  If you search for help on a subject that you know nothing about then you very quickly find that there ia a lot of carp on the internet and a large number of conflicting opinions therefore it is assuring to talk to people that you have some trust in. I have recently been looking for info on repairing a hole in an inflatable boat, baking a cake and making elderberry gin.  So much crap to wade through and still none the wiser at the end.

Wrightpayne
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Abbot,

I get that but if you posted I'm trying to do A I've found x,y and z but am still not sure, then I'd view that differently - you've identified the problem / question and tried to find an answer and perhaps narrowed down the solutions.

I guess I'm trying to teach people to self help rather than giving them the answer.

Ian
 

 

 

Golf Juliet Tango
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For baking I'd trust Delia first because she keeps things straight-forward. Obviously Mary Berry has established herself as primus inter pares recently but Jane Asher also bakes a mean cake.

On the gin, I have only tried sloes.

Stephen

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

varadybj
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Here’s an example on the topic. In the USA we have the Soap Box Derby where teens used to built their own gravity powered car using hand tools, parental guidance and general rules.  Creativity with in the rules was encouraged.  The problem gradually became bigger as entries dwindled.  Young people didn’t know how to create something from nothing and their parents didn’t have the skills or maybe time to teach them.  Answer, the Derby made kits, follow picture diagrams and build a model car to race.  No problem solving, no creativity, no mechanical skill needed. Today’s youth lost the ability to solve problems.  Look at race cars today (NASCAR/Indy etc) they are basically all the same.  Guess the fathers of soap box derby builders have lost the skill too.

Bert Varady, USA