It’s All About The Basics

Published online: Jan 16, 2022 Articles, Lifestyle Gregg Losinski
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I am not a rocket engineer. I am not any kind of an engineer, even though I now work at the Site. I am an informal educator who has spent the better part of the last 40 years trying to teach people the basic facts about the world and how everything fits together. While there certainly are rocket scientists out there in the world, the majority of us can survive pretty well if we learn the basics of whatever we are dealing with and go from there. 

Get the basics wrong and no matter how smart you are, you’re bound to run into trouble.

All the incredible technology we have today has certainly allowed us to do some amazing things. But if you think about it, incredible as it all is, most of it is built on principles and ideas that were created hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. 

How did humans ever manage to come up with complex formulas and equations without the aid of a computer or create beautiful works of art and music just by hand? The answer is that they used their minds and built on the basic concepts of whatever they were working on.

Once upon a time not that long ago, a farm boy in a field just down the road in Rigby was bored to death by the chore of planting spuds. He took the daydream in his head and used it for the basic concept behind what we call television. Without a single transistor, let alone a PC, he was able to create something that would alter the entire planet. Whether that was for good or bad is up for you to decide.

Not all original thought is good or leads to great things. Some ideas are just plain wrong, but at the time they seem to make sense. Junk Science or Fake News are not recent inventions. They have existed since the beginning. The difference is that the Internet and social media have allowed them to be amplified and distorted at a rate far beyond what was ever possible before. 

The idea of Spontaneous Generation was a scientific canon for centuries. Life arising from nothing. If people couldn’t see something, then it didn’t exist. Some people still think that way, but the rest of us learned that there is an entire universe out there in the unseen. Over 5 million souls are no longer with us because of something that they couldn’t see. I spent a career trying to educate people about coexistence with bears, but I always said it is the little stuff that is really out to get you!

There are all kinds of ways to learn. The important thing is to find the style that works for you. 

It really helps, of course, if you have an interest in whatever it is you’re trying to learn about. McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers were part of the foundations which helped create a generation of scientists that harnessed the atom and reached the stars. Messages and themes from any time can become dated or considered inappropriate, language can be a tricky thing. The basics of science and math hold firm, despite what Common Core may preach.

The important thing to remember is always to start with the basics. Somewhere over the course of my life, I was instructed to always check fluids and connections first when dealing with any problem. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind, whether the connections are mechanical, electrical, or foundational! Make sure your tank is full and everything is connected the way it’s supposed to be! 

Build on the basics and you can’t go wrong. 

Click here to read more of the January issue of Idaho Falls Magazine. 


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