Where did you hear that idea?

Dr. Ken Hope | TLT President's Report October 2021

Sources of data in the Information Age.

Information has changed, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

How we obtain information today is much different compared to years ago (thank you, captain obvious!). If you remember days gone by when our source of information was the 5 o’clock news, the morning newspaper or perhaps the water cooler, then look to where we are now—you may feel like a train just passed, and you can feel the wind and hear the roar from it. It seems like it came so quickly. That is a bit like how I feel in reflecting on the pace of information flow.

Remember when we needed to go to the library to read up on a topic, say, if we were doing research or a report for a school assignment? Perhaps not, but it did happen! Before the internet and cell phones, people had time to actually digest information rather than have a constant bombardment from news sources vying for our screen time. Now, the ease of use is amazing, and I do appreciate the convenience—don’t get me wrong—but it can be overwhelming. I’ve heard it said many times before that we can always work for more money or more things, but we only have 24 hours in a day, and we cannot bargain for more time. I also remember the claim that, “When we all get computers, then we will be so much more efficient!” The implication is that the computer would do more work, and we would have more leisure time to enjoy life. How is that working out? It seems like the focus is back to being judicious about what we give our time to.

So, I say all that to bring up the topic of taking advantage of podcasts we can listen to during our “idle” time. This would be during a commute or perhaps while doing housework or some other task that does not demand our full attention. There are many podcasts I listen to for information and entertainment, such as “Stuff You Should Know” or “The Way I Heard It” with Mike Rowe. There are many podcasts out there, and you may already have your favorites. What I wanted to point out in this massive flow of information is that there is a good way to learn something about lubrication and tribology, too.

STLE has a new podcast hosted by Neil Canter, STLE Advisor – Technical Programs and Services, called Perfecting Motion: Tribology and the Quest for Sustainability. It covers some very interesting topics on fundamentals of lubrications and other relevant topics. Episode 1 is an introduction by Canter, and Episode 2 includes interviews on tribochemistry with STLE Board members Drs. Kuldeep Mistry (The Timken Co.) and Nic Argibay (Sandia National Laboratories). Listen to STLE’s new podcast at www.stle.org/podcast or through streaming services such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Information has changed, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While it’s still nice to read a magazine or newspaper at home or during a morning commute, listening to a podcast is a great way to obtain information as well. So why not listen to episodes featuring conversations with leading industry professionals who share their insights about current issues and trends impacting the global tribology and lubricants community?

Dr. Ken Hope, CLS, is global PAO technical services manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical in The Woodlands, Texas. You can reach him at ken.hope@cpchem.com.