Thursday, January 07, 2010

Architecture Debating and the State of the Industry (actually ANY industry)

UPDATE: Read the post below before checking out this link. Pixie continues the discussion with a great point, INDIVIDUALISM, which is a decidedly UN-Progressive idea.

I read quite a few architecture and construction blogs to get a feel on the state of the industry around the country and, to a lesser extent, the world. Most of the blogs concentrate on the "philosophy" of my chosen profession, but a couple delve into the actual practice. Those that cover literal practice are infinitely more interesting to me, but you have to keep an eye on the philosophy of anything to attempt to predict the future.

Yes, I know, y'all friggin' hate philosophy posts.

Anyhoo, Why Architects Drink is one of my favorite industry blogs, because it combines discussion of the actual work while covering a young architect fleshing out her career/personal life and attacking the problems of our industry. Since politics are really not the focus of her blog, I really have no clue what her personal ideology is, but architect, young, female kinda lends one to believe that she would fall much further toward the end of the "Progressive" line than I do and I certainly take no issue with that.

On this post, Mile High Pixie answers an e-mail she received from someone that is contemplating joining Crazyland. I commented and then a debate started about the length of time that someone should contribute to their job.** BLAM! Huge philosophical differences between me and most other commenters became utterly apparent.

The main gist of the debate came from Pixie's discussion of the nature of our business. We work seventy hour weeks through projects that are under-staffed and then sit idle other times trying to find stuff to do. This kinda has something to do with the weather and the envelope we have for building, but the main thing I notice is that architects are notoriously BAD, BAD, BAD businessmen. I can say from experience this utter failure in business administration comes from the fact that most architects are usually artists that want mainly to do the design portion of the work and care very little for turning out the actual end product, THE BUILDING.

Of course, with ARTIST comes a unique, stereotypical philosophy. Not only that, but those in my profession tend to think of themselves as intellectuals and certainly that brings still more evidence into the nature of the ideology of architects today. Sometimes it is a rude awaking to an intern that enters the field to find that they must produce an actual building in the end. They have been taught throughout college that the design work is the most important part and they have no concept of the billable time that is involved. Design is only around 25% (or less in my case) of our fee, so it is only a quarter of the receivable amount associated with a project. At an eight percent fee, design time should be at a premium, but with the artist mentality, that is SO usually not the case.

Remember, we are in business to make a freaking profit and profit is GOOD.

Anyhoo, the discussion was centered around quality of life and the ability to separate work and personal time, so I shall address that and the ideology associated with that.

In our country, business owners are FORCED to pay a certain amount for labor, they are FORCED to provide certain levels of safety, and soon, they are going to FORCED to provide a minimum of benefits. These rules apply to most businesses equally and government has become a huge, wasteful drain on all industries. Bottom line, making steel is a dangerous industry. If you want to avoid that danger, do NOT go into the steel making business, but government insists on making steel making as safe as office work. Safety standards should not be regulated by our government. Salary requirements should not be regulated by our government. Benefits above salary should not be regulated by our government. BUT THEY ALL ARE.

If you want to see the end result of these moves by government, LOOK AT DETROIT. Using these very same concepts promoted by labor unions, the automotive industry in the United States was effectively destroyed. But, with the incrementalism that the federal government uses, no one really notices the CHANGE. Of course, if the proposed increase in withholding tax is actually instituted, everyone's paycheck shall decrease and that SHALL be noticed. Maybe those wage slaves shall finally get enough of the federal government meddling in things the government does not understand.

And every single bit of this government interference was to increase the quality of life for NON-PRODUCTIVE time. The side effect was to reduce the quality of PRODUCTIVE time. This should be apparent to anyone that is intellectually curious. What this issue ultimately boils down to is that any time you have the opinion that a company is in business to provide a certain quality of life for the employees, you miss the ONLY REASON for a business to exist. PROFIT. Or TO CREATE WEALTH. Not only for the owners of the business, but also to provide incentives and additional wages, equipment, and benefits for the employees.

Again, the differences are all too apparent to someone that actually takes the time to study what is in actually fact and what is ideology. And yes, liberal ideology is WRONG.

Please take the time to comment.

** Forty hours a week represents fully 24% of the hours in a week. Weekly labor is limited to less than a quarter of your week without additional compensation. WTF?!?!?!

14 comments:

Andy said...

Paul, I am proud of you. I read that post, and waded through the debate in the comments.

You done good...and didn't drop one single F***, S***, or Moron.

Man, I have NEVER worked a 40 hour week. Even in my first jobs as an employee, it was 10 hours, 6 days.

Now that I work for myself, it is almost 24-7. But, it does provide flexibility that I enjoy. Good debate over there. Pixie shoulda let the games continue. But, she is "the moderator" after all. Nyuk... I'll bet she's a hoot on a date...

Skunkfeathers said...

I don't know squat about designing or building anything constructual, save for little Lincoln Log thingees as a kid, that my battery-operated tank would smash, but I digress.

When I worked as an hourly serf, I craved any OT I could get; now that I'm a salaried serf, I work what's needed to get the job done, but never less than 40 per week (usually 45 minimum).

As for liberalism, it sucks, but not well enough to serve as a credible vacuum cleaner.

Anonymous said...

Pual,

What are the wage slaves supposed to do??

Vote Republican? For what? What is the republican agenda??

The wage slaves will continue to get in the tookus until they realize being a wage slave is not the way to go.

They will get plenty of opportunity for this since more and more businesses are using contractors. Be a contractor, from the owners point of view this definitely disciplines the workforce (can fire a contractor very easily) and it helps the workforce think and behave more independently (develop your own designs, IP, etc..).

So maybe this big gov't thing is good afterall, it will make the masses wake up to stop wanting to be wage slaves..not because they don't want to but because big gov't policies will force them into contracting work arrangements.

So go big gov't go..put more costs on business owners! Keep piling up and take more out of the paychecks of the masses....what are they going to do about it??

The best thing to do about is to make less money and have gov't collapse on itself, but very few ppl understand the power of this concept. Let alone would do it.

Roderick

Andy said...

Ya' know, I like Roderick. I like him because he is a "thinker."

I don't always agree with him. But, I think it's because he's thinking way above my capacity to understand. And when he makes a point, I'm not able to decipher it. I'm saying this seriously...not joking at all.

Most folks don't really take the time to assess subjects in a broad way. And, if they do, most folks don't have the brain capacity to come to conclusions.

But Roderick does.

paul mitchell said...

Roderick, this is the revolution that has been coming for so long. Deadbeats are making a play for all the wealth by making it impossible to turn a profit. Maybe it shall make a few more folks wise up.

The only drawback to having Barry be the catalyst for it, is that is shall be many years before another "black man" is allowed to become president. Squat and watch, the race shall be blamed in a covert way.

Anonymous said...

Andy you should give yourself more credit. Personally I think people are afraid to look into the subjects/forces that affect them because they may realize the lack of control they have over them.

Look at the wall street bailout, the American ppl called their congress ppl and it happened anyway. They tell us about the "free market" and we see gov't money bailing out the "risk takers." Risk taking is supposed to involve something called losing.

Paul,

If a black man is never elected president again, so what? What effect has Obama had on black Americans? About the race getting blamed in a covert way, well all I can say is that is human nature. You can't avoid that issue, and besides there are bigger problems.

There is an article by Norman Podhoretz discussing the "black problem" ("My Negro Problem--And Ours") the article was very very insightful and it helped me understand what I see around me in society...the inevitable objectification of the minority/alien group and why black males so easily kill one another (self hatred, and a subconcious realization we don't belong here[we were brought here against our will and for most of history of the US not wanted..involuntary minorities]..we are an alien group). I can understand this issue without feeling any ill will toward the majority, because it is human nature..if the tables were turned the results would be the same, this is built-in(instincts) to all humans but we can overcome this with continued moral development.

Roderick

paul mitchell said...

Oh, Roderick, you are just so very, very cruel. You know that there cannot be any losers anymore. We all have to be given an equal outcome in everything.

On the black question, I have wondered non-stop of how blacks can still have a single bit of faith in the the party and now, the president guy, that is destroying the underclass. The black community has been devastated by the Democrats since the slaves were freed, yet now they vote Democrat en masse and it makes no sense. Dang, the Democrats were still stringing black folks up as recently as the mid-1970s. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan IS the Democrat Party.

I do understand that the black community would also breathe a sigh of relief that a half-black guy finally made it to the White House. But, no matter how much we try, until people actually do judge all that they deal with on content of their character, nothing shall be the way that it needs to be.

Anyhoo, just a few short years ago, here's what the Democrats thought of Barry Obama, when he was a Senator. It is kinda shocking, too. Wear your big-boy pants.

http://rightwingnews.com/2010/01/how-can-you-not-know-not-to-say-things-like-this/

Anonymous said...

Paul,

I don't think you understand what I am getting at (read the article I referenced)...there should not be a black community, you dig. Is there a German community (those who can speak German) in the US, yes about 200+ years ago but not now, or what about the Italian community. See where I am going with this, there cannot be any communities except one unless you want a society we have now where a significant portion are not invested in it or held to account by it.

The second you say blank community your saying not my community, not my rules of conduct or standards.

The democrats didn't do this to the black community, this destruction was baked-in to being involuntary immigrants...read that article, what Norman observed in the 1930's/1940's is still around (zero accountability from or incorporation into the larger society).

If a community is not properly incorporated, it means they may be incorporated by someone or somebody else and that may not be in society's interest. Once a community is incorporated, it disappears, and the remaining community is sill numbered at ONE!

Roderick

paul mitchell said...

Roderick, I just finished the article and I do agree with much of what was written. It is just that I have not ever held the opinion that he had because my environment was utterly different. Growing up around the black folks at the brick yard, I guess that I was fortunate to meet them in a setting where I was doing the same back-breaking labor that they were, so I assume I was assimilated into their community in theory.

As far as any white guilt, I have none. In my opinion, which I value highly, people that I meet must earn my respect and love. I have no obligation to respect anyone until I know them enough to offer that. My respect and admiration is incredibly important to me and I do not offer that without some value to me.

Also, there has always been a contingent of folks that did not care about the color of anyone, they expected results of performance instead. As Podhoretz discussed, even he had no animosity as a small child toward that Christian guy, it was only later that that was an issue. We teach our kids that shit. They do not come up with it on their own. Witness a social gathering where children of different races/religions/socio-economic backgrounds will gravitate toward each other. They do not pay any attention to the difference in those things, they congregate because of like age.

And yet again, it falls back on a philosophical base which allows me to attack the world on my own terms without any bullshit that doesn't equate.

By the way, when I made the comment about black voting blocks, it is because the Democrat Party is basically maintained to corral people into certain groups to continue the status quo, not necessarily because all blacks are a part of a specific community, even though with an Obama approval rate of around 90% of blacks, it does appear that the race has a collective brain.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

I don't think you understand what I am getting at (read the article I referenced)...there should not be a black community, you dig. Is there a German community (those who can speak German) in the US, yes about 200+ years ago but not now, or what about the Italian community. See where I am going with this, there cannot be any communities except one unless you want a society we have now where a significant portion are not invested in it or held to account by it.

The second you say blank community your saying not my community, not my rules of conduct or standards.

The democrats didn't do this to the black community, this destruction was baked-in to being involuntary immigrants...read that article, what Norman observed in the 1930's/1940's is still around (zero accountability from or incorporation into the larger society).

If a community is not properly incorporated, it means they may be incorporated by someone or somebody else and that may not be in society's interest. Once a community is incorporated, it disappears, and the remaining community is sill numbered at ONE!

Roderick

paul mitchell said...

Oh, Roderick, you are just so very, very cruel. You know that there cannot be any losers anymore. We all have to be given an equal outcome in everything.

On the black question, I have wondered non-stop of how blacks can still have a single bit of faith in the the party and now, the president guy, that is destroying the underclass. The black community has been devastated by the Democrats since the slaves were freed, yet now they vote Democrat en masse and it makes no sense. Dang, the Democrats were still stringing black folks up as recently as the mid-1970s. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan IS the Democrat Party.

I do understand that the black community would also breathe a sigh of relief that a half-black guy finally made it to the White House. But, no matter how much we try, until people actually do judge all that they deal with on content of their character, nothing shall be the way that it needs to be.

Anyhoo, just a few short years ago, here's what the Democrats thought of Barry Obama, when he was a Senator. It is kinda shocking, too. Wear your big-boy pants.

http://rightwingnews.com/2010/01/how-can-you-not-know-not-to-say-things-like-this/

Anonymous said...

Pual,

What are the wage slaves supposed to do??

Vote Republican? For what? What is the republican agenda??

The wage slaves will continue to get in the tookus until they realize being a wage slave is not the way to go.

They will get plenty of opportunity for this since more and more businesses are using contractors. Be a contractor, from the owners point of view this definitely disciplines the workforce (can fire a contractor very easily) and it helps the workforce think and behave more independently (develop your own designs, IP, etc..).

So maybe this big gov't thing is good afterall, it will make the masses wake up to stop wanting to be wage slaves..not because they don't want to but because big gov't policies will force them into contracting work arrangements.

So go big gov't go..put more costs on business owners! Keep piling up and take more out of the paychecks of the masses....what are they going to do about it??

The best thing to do about is to make less money and have gov't collapse on itself, but very few ppl understand the power of this concept. Let alone would do it.

Roderick

Anonymous said...

Andy you should give yourself more credit. Personally I think people are afraid to look into the subjects/forces that affect them because they may realize the lack of control they have over them.

Look at the wall street bailout, the American ppl called their congress ppl and it happened anyway. They tell us about the "free market" and we see gov't money bailing out the "risk takers." Risk taking is supposed to involve something called losing.

Paul,

If a black man is never elected president again, so what? What effect has Obama had on black Americans? About the race getting blamed in a covert way, well all I can say is that is human nature. You can't avoid that issue, and besides there are bigger problems.

There is an article by Norman Podhoretz discussing the "black problem" ("My Negro Problem--And Ours") the article was very very insightful and it helped me understand what I see around me in society...the inevitable objectification of the minority/alien group and why black males so easily kill one another (self hatred, and a subconcious realization we don't belong here[we were brought here against our will and for most of history of the US not wanted..involuntary minorities]..we are an alien group). I can understand this issue without feeling any ill will toward the majority, because it is human nature..if the tables were turned the results would be the same, this is built-in(instincts) to all humans but we can overcome this with continued moral development.

Roderick

paul mitchell said...

Roderick, I just finished the article and I do agree with much of what was written. It is just that I have not ever held the opinion that he had because my environment was utterly different. Growing up around the black folks at the brick yard, I guess that I was fortunate to meet them in a setting where I was doing the same back-breaking labor that they were, so I assume I was assimilated into their community in theory.

As far as any white guilt, I have none. In my opinion, which I value highly, people that I meet must earn my respect and love. I have no obligation to respect anyone until I know them enough to offer that. My respect and admiration is incredibly important to me and I do not offer that without some value to me.

Also, there has always been a contingent of folks that did not care about the color of anyone, they expected results of performance instead. As Podhoretz discussed, even he had no animosity as a small child toward that Christian guy, it was only later that that was an issue. We teach our kids that shit. They do not come up with it on their own. Witness a social gathering where children of different races/religions/socio-economic backgrounds will gravitate toward each other. They do not pay any attention to the difference in those things, they congregate because of like age.

And yet again, it falls back on a philosophical base which allows me to attack the world on my own terms without any bullshit that doesn't equate.

By the way, when I made the comment about black voting blocks, it is because the Democrat Party is basically maintained to corral people into certain groups to continue the status quo, not necessarily because all blacks are a part of a specific community, even though with an Obama approval rate of around 90% of blacks, it does appear that the race has a collective brain.

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