SolidWorks 2012: Mike Rowe and the beauty of Dirty Jobs

"Dirty Jobs" is a well-known show on the Discovery Channel where a guy named Mike Rowe goes around and does the dirty jobs that most people look down on: cleaning out sewers, shucking mussels, and the like. But his presentation this morning at SolidWorks 2012 says that it is, in fact, regular Americans doing such jobs that makes civilization hum. He says there should be no distinction between "white collar" jobs and "blue collar" jobs because in the new paradigm, the changing face of modern manufacturing is that of connectivity. Thus, the guy who gets dirt under his finger nails can also be a brilliant inventor such as the person who invented a high contraption to boil down diner scraps into kind of a hard soup to feed to his pigs on his pig farm. The food would otherwise have gone to waste. He says "dirty" jobs involve the nobility of work and the hidden way we are all connected. HE SAYS MAYBE NOT ALL KNOWLEDGE COMES FROM COLLEGE, and there is now a lack of steamfitters and welders. The "dirty job" philosophy is that of team work; efficiency; and --- a big one here --- imitation. Imitation in his words is the capability to do the same thing over and over with excellence. A brilliant guy may have invented the cell phone, but everyday workers in China must put them together over and over and faultlessly so the phones work well. So, according to Rowe, it is possible to do "drudgery work" t with dignity and even joy. It is about the fun of the challange and even the pleasure and pain. So curiousity and motivation is the "sticky tissue" between innovation and imitation.

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