The autodidacts' era

There has never been an easier time to teach yourself almost anything.

last updated: Apr 10, 2024

It struck me recently that this endeavor would not have been remotely possible pre-Internet, or even pre-YouTube. The ability to track down tutorials, instructional videos, and professional forum discussions on topics as diverse as structural engineering to how to stop a wedding (I kid you not).

And while the technology is the facilitator, content is paramount. A plethora of content created by regular people; sometimes in the service of profit, but seemingly more commonly just out of a desire to share their knowledge (although the cynic has trouble swallowing that and favors the former motivation).

So I’ve spent the last few weeks studying:

  • Preparation of architectural diagrams
  • Local planning and building regulations
  • Surveying
  • Demolition
  • Operation of excavators
  • Design of earth retaining structures
  • Cantilevered retaining walls
  • Concrete forms
  • Steel reinforcement design and construction (aka detailing),
  • Footing (foundation) design and concrete work
  • Bricklaying and brick wall design
  • Crane capabilities and local traffic control regulations
  • Pool plumbing design (filtration, pumping systems, water velocities, pressure testing),
  • Pool water chemistry
  • Stone paving
  • Tiling
  • Drainage and drain design
  • Fencing and electrical regulations
  • Equipotential bonding
  • Solar heating design and installation

and many other topics.

Now it’s time to put it to use. But first, we will ensure the process is documented.

Next: documenting the process.

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