In the April Issue, I cited a trend by regaling a tale-of-woes-begotten for an unfortunate group of gorillas who were hosed. Through their learned behavior, which was passed along to the next group, the metaphorical hosing continued. Remember when you played “telephone (or telegraph)” where the first person in a line or circle of participants whispered a phrase into the next person’s ear who then repeated what they heard into the next person’s ear and so on until the last person said aloud what they had heard? I suppose some of the participants may have purposely changed a word or two but we definitely did have some laughs at the final phrase. The whole point is to show how we each pass along our understandings of learned information. I offer that we tend to “improve” the knowledge or processes we learn, and then pass them along as such, “improvements.” This begs the million-dollar question: what if you are wrong?
I witnessed a similar passing of knowledge in my local plastering industry, where we went through a genesis of sorts. The plastering industry of the past had a knowledgeable and highly skilled plastering workforce. The stucco world was three coat with EIFS just peeking its way in as a high-performance cladding. In fact, during the freshman years of the EIFS industry, only the “certified” applicators could apply it, of which most were union applicators. This was the era of a strong union market, where every person who was educated in their particular craft and further, was required to continue their education. Each person was trained, skilled and proud of it.