Open Source Wireless – Technique vs Feel


Freaklabs – Open Source Wireless – Technique vs Feel.

I recently got into an interesting discussion on Twitter with some other engineers regarding the parallels between dancing and engineering. I often get a surprised look from people when I tell them I used to be a professional dancer. Perhaps its because I look like a nerd, or perhaps its because I am one. In any case, its true and its something that I spent many years and countless hours doing. 

The strange thing is really that it’s nothing different from engineering. Engineering is also something that I’ve spent many years and countless hours doing. In both cases, they started out mostly just for fun, and once you get good, you can make money off it. But that’s not what I really want to talk about either. 
In dancing, there is “technique” and there is “feel”. To make money from dancing, you need to have technique. That means that you need to understand the basics of body movement, have strong fundamentals in the particular dance genre, and your body must be trained to imitate movements that you see someone else doing, usually quickly. Technique is something that you spend a lot of time in studios, rehearsals, and training to build up. You work with choreographers, work with other dancers, learn choreography, and get everyone synchronized. This is essential for productions such as concerts, recitals, musicals, film, etc. The majority of professional dancers have extremely strong technique and if you’re a choreographer, you generally look for dancers with strong technique because they’re easier to train for choreography.

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  1. Great read from a great engineer, and the guy who really got me into OSHW in the first place!

  2. Actually, the original idea for this post came from Phil. When LadyAda and PT were in Tokyo, we were talking about skating and OSHW and I mentioned that there are a lot of similarities between the underground dance scene and OSHW. He wanted me to write up an article about it. This one is slightly different and I really want to write something up on the similarities between the underground hip hop scene and OSHW. There are a lot of similarities and possibly some interesting insights.

  3. If you want to get a good grasp on the “feel” part of engineering just go watch old Jim Williams or Bob Pease videos.

  4. Yes, Bob Pease is definitely a master. I kept on thinking of Horowitz and Hill cackling as they wrote their precision op amp recommendations in “Art of Electronics” while I wrote that post. In general, people that look like they’re having too much fun while they’re designing something 🙂

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