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I Forge Iron

rockstar.esq

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  1. Glenn, This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the difference between precision and accuracy. Precision is a measure of repeatability, accuracy is a measure of hitting the intended target. In this case, the intended target is to contrive an inexpensive way to approximate a set of kettle bells, presumably for strength training. Aside from competitions, or use in commerce, there is no reason to be concerned about how precisely the weights are labeled. If a given weight isn't suitable, the person using it goes up or down in their collection accordingly. The bucket allows this
  2. Water weights roughly 10 lbs per gallon, most buckets come with handles oriented like kettle bells. Depending on how you're planning to use these things, a really good bucket or two could be your solution.
  3. Peter, One mental trap of blacksmithing is to think that all operations are best done hot with a hammer. If you put a convenience bend in the tips, you can clamp the bit of the tongs such that you can use a hacksaw to perfectly center a cut along the length of the bit. Once you've cut to the desired depth, you can heat the bit, and use a hardie to open the cut. It takes a bit of patience, but you can also take a bit of square stock, and cut it corner to corner to make yourself a triangular prism with 45/45/ 90 degree corners. Place the hypotenuse side on your anvil face, and use the 9
  4. JHCC, I believe culture is learned, so it seems to me that people wouldn't internalize guilt unless they were instructed (shamed) into feeling that way by the herd. From there, I think it's largely personal preference as to whether consequences are internal or public. Even in situations where the dominant doctrine is established as either internal or public, people will comply on their own terms.
  5. Your comment reminds me of an episode of "Parks and Recreation" where the laughingstock character Jerry was retiring. Tom was worried that he would become the new laughingstock so he tried to ridicule Andy. Andy laughed at the ridicule completely unperturbed. Donna commented to Tom that his gambit would fail because "Andy is a big dumb animal with no shame". To speak to your point, I think social contracts are enforced to the extent that the "pack" holds individuals accountable. This is likely why my dog looks ashamed when I scold him, but my neighbor's cat is defiant. Frosty, I
  6. Frosty, you've hit upon many of the features of Guess Culture that caused me to shift towards Ask Culture. When I was a teenager, I noticed that virtually all romantic comedy stories involved a common plot device. There would come points where one party has the opportunity to answer honestly to get what they want. That party never answers honestly until "it's too late", then they make a dramatic confession. I suspect that guess culture comes from courtly manners and etiquette rules like chivalry which prescribed the behaviors of both parties in an exchange such that you could ask
  7. I came across a really concise explanation of a common communication breakdown that directly affects business. I got it third or fourth hand so thanks to "Tangerine" for sharing your idea. "In some families , you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you've got to realize that you might get a no for an answer. This is the Ask Culture. In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure that the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feel
  8. Twelve years ago I was and estimator for a General Contractor. We pursued a hard-bid project one time that attracted an incredible number of bidders in every trade. Placed in order from highest to lowest, there was a lot of obvious stratification. Companies with similar efficiency group together in a strata. Sometimes the efficiency is due to relative experience, other times the efficiency is due to relative ability. The difference between bidders in a strata was quite small, however the difference between strata could be pretty profound. Prior to that bid, my firm didn't know that
  9. Today marks the second time in four days that I've received bid results where the low bidder was 33% lower than consensus. By way of providing context, over the last twelve years, my bids have won or lost by an average of 4%. In the case of projects worth 25% of my average annual revenue or more, that percentage shrinks to 0.5%. My personal best was winning a $1 Million bid by $2,000 which is 0.2%. Speaking in broad generalities, the market tightens in proportion to the requisite skill necessary to compete. Firms that lack the resources to perform/ undertake larger projects don't get as
  10. Adding to Frosty, I would suggest that a flexible handle will also tend to make repeated blows harder since it dampens the hammer's bounce, as it inevitably alters the bounce path. Back when I was an apprentice, I knew a carpenter who was using a framing hammer made by Stanley that had a metal tuning fork design that was visible through whatever clear plastic stuff they made the handle out of. He swore up and down that it was noticeably better. At the time most rough framing carpenters went with a long handled and heavy (2 lbs) checker-face hammer. Recently, I was watching "Essen
  11. Chris, I have noticed that resource misalignment's are more common wherever competition and transparency are limited. I think it's critical to align incentives such that the wrong people find it profitable to do the right thing. This almost never happens because many people studiously avoid considering the complexity, and the potential, of their own nature. Consider the Pareto principal, which states that 80% of the consequences, come from 20% of the causes. On the one hand, every student who's ever done all the work for a group project knows something fundamental abo
  12. If more people believed that, we'd have mandatory applicable skills testing for every job in society. Not just for the initial hire, but for continued employment. As a thought experiment, I think the only thing more disruptive than shedding incompetents from job ranks would be the incredible reckoning many industries would have about what they actually do. A few local contractors would probably have to change the wording on their job openings. Something like "...a criminal record is preferred, but not required."
  13. There seems to be a consensus that the qualifications to be an expert are secondary to short-term aesthetic utility. George, you brought up conveying credibility, which is a real problem in industries like mine where trade associations do nothing to police their ranks. The biggest estimators association in my area lists their canons of belief, including very explicit language against unethical bid practices. It seems to have escaped the leaderships notice that unethical estimators have no compunction about lying, especially when the lie conveys credibility. The local membership roste
  14. I see a lot of articles with some version of the following in them; "Expert who predicted XYZ says this will happen next". Every time I see that, I think about a statistics class where we went over the prediction accuracy of some pretty basic stuff, weather, stocks, sports. The most popular and published experts in every one of these fields was less accurate than random chance. In fact, in most cases, a person would have better odds of success by opposing whatever the expert predicted. Yet in the past fifteen years or so, there's this incredible situation where we have experts wh
  15. JME, They are the "national account" holder for the client so contractors have no choice but to purchase from these people. Their performance is generally better after the quote but they have had some of the most spectacular screw-ups of any firm I've ever worked for. One time they went through all the paperwork to confirm every detail about some pole lights. Then, when it came time to place the order, they changed the paint color from black, to smurf Blue! That wasn't even a standard option which means they had to custom order that color which includes additional paperwork acknowledg
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