RE: Technical writing as a trade; was, RE: Give Me a Clear Thinker (was STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?)

Subject: RE: Technical writing as a trade; was, RE: Give Me a Clear Thinker (was STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?)
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>, Steven Jong <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>, "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 21:13:31 -0400



Chris Despopoulos emoted:
>
> That ethics bit kind of flies in the face of history, though. Trade
> guilds were nothing if not bodies to enforce codes of ethics (as well
> as provide social security, representatives in government, and a host
> of other contributions to social order).Â

Oh.

So, you're saying that after decades and centuries, guilds
didn't evolve into primarily restraint-of-trade mechanisms?

"We made the tree-house. Now we get to pull up the ladder
and decide who gets in... and to collect a pretty penny
while we're at it."

Here in Canada, the Medical Associations are pretty much
organizations - where it's difficult to tell if they are
a branch of government, or if government is a branch of
them - whose major purposes seem to be:

a) keeping the numbers of actively practicing physicians
well below the numbers that are needed at any given time

b) deflecting criticism and minimizing/preventing fitting
punishment of egregious breaches of trust by [some of]
their paid-up members.

In other old news, trade shows became hideously expensive in
many cities, because certain unions - whose name we dare not
speak if we wish to keep our knees and teeth - had sewed
up the "contract" for ALL handling of materials and services
to/from the show venue. That meant small exhibitors were
forbidden from lugging in their own booth hardware, materials,
etc. Weren't allowed to hook up an extension cord from a
power outlet that was right under their booth, and in some
cases not allowed to assemble their own booths (that they
brought).

For some years, that led to a boom in "self-erecting" trade
booths.

It takes a while to consolidate that kind of power. It
can, of course, go faster if you are willing to be
sufficiently ruthless, or if you can enlist the aid
of the biggest guns (government) to make your word law.

On the other hand, it appears that Engineering has
managed to have governing associations and standards
without becoming a government extension OR a bunch of hoods.
However that worked out, might be a good path for techwriting
to tread.

For that matter, the last couple of times the certification
debate rolled through Techwrl, there was some discussion
around having techwriters certify through existing engineering
organizations.

- k



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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Technical writing as a trade; was, RE: Give Me a Clear Thinker (was STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?): From: Steven Jong
Re: Technical writing as a trade; was, RE: Give Me a Clear Thinker (was STC certification: what's in it for tech writers?): From: Chris Despopoulos

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