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1 hour ago, Xoon said:

I really find the statement that "getting a Phd, higher education or alike gets you a job" is pretty much bullshit. Job opportunity gets you a job.

I does not matter if one spends 3-8 years extra on education if there is no work.  

 

Here in Norway, if you go get a certificate as a welder, industrial mechanic, carpenter, construction worker, electrician ect, you are guaranteed a job. Why is that? Because the industry is in need of these workers, a job opportunity. And because you do 2,5 years of apprenticeship at one of the companies, they will most likely hire you when you are done.

 

Compare this with a person following their parents wishes and goes for higher education, but have no idea what they want to do in life, just that higher education gets them a job. They will do general studies, take the most fun and effortless subjects, giving them the least amount of possibilities. Then when they finish high school they are forced to take a choice, they extend the time with people's college. Then finally they are forced to take a choice and they do some field they find fun, like community economics or psychology. Both which we have in such a huge demand that they will have a really hard time getting a job.  Or in the worst case scenario, they take something like music and philosophy, which makes them seem really cool during their campus years, but won't accomplish anything.

 

This is the reason the Norwegian government introduced the Y-way. Because the industry really disliked having engineers designing things  they had no idea how worked. This often caused cases of what we called "quality engineering", when a bolt is only able to be turned 1 degree at the time with a weird angle with a wrench, or a time when the engineers have a great idea of putting a air compressor under a train, causing it to continuously break down because of dirt and wear.

 

For clarification, I do see the statistics. But that is more because of signal theory and the tendency for more intelligent people to take higher education than average.  Some of the main reasons the industry cares about phds and such is because if is a sign of intelligence, the best pointer after IQ, which is illegal to put as a job requirement. 

 

Well I pretty much agree with what you said, but so is the society.

Without a degree you will have a hard time (or at least a much harder time) finding a job in France.

And not only because there is a correlation between being "intelligent" and doing long study, but also because there is a certain mindset (and a bad one) in France which make that skills acquired on the job are worthless without a degree for a job interview.

 

Even at higher education level the degree you get has still a huge impact. Depending on which engineering school you did there will be a huge disparity on wages regardless of the skills.

Like I said most people coming from "Grandes Ecoles" know each other, and it makes things smoother in the industry (just call your old prom friend working in another company or in the administration and that will accelerate a deal greatly).

The other side of the coin is that it create corporatism, if you're not from the same school or from a school with a lower reputation you will be seen as inferior. It's to the point that PhD holders (8 year of study) were seen as worse than Engineers (5 years of study), BS like "Yeah those guys don't know shit about the real world and all, they can't work in an effective manner".

Hopefully this kind of thinking is recessing, but it's still there.

 

It's often said that France in an Engineers Nation, and it is somewhat true. They have one of the highest social standing in the society (much like being a teacher was a most respected position in the past) and are effectively everywhere in key organisations.

It allow for big industrial achievement on the scope of the country (like building and putting 58 nuclear reactors in service in the span of 22 years), but also make the population see them as a kind of mafia controlling every important decision regardless of democracy (Don't know if you can find some critics on the "Corps des Mines" or "Les énarques" in english, but it's pretty salty).

 

Regardless of the bias of the society, our industry, much like Norway's is also in dire need of qualified workers but there is not enough of them because the society have a bad view on technical formations.

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1 hour ago, Alzoc said:

 

Well I pretty much agree with what you said, but so is the society.

Without a degree you will have a hard time (or at least a much harder time) finding a job in France.

And not only because there is a correlation between being "intelligent" and doing long study, but also because there is a certain mindset (and a bad one) in France which make that even awesome skills acquired on the job are worthless without a degree for a job interview.

 

Even at higher education level the degree you get has still a huge impact. Depending on which engineering school you did there will be a huge disparity on wages regardless of the skills.

Like I said most people coming from "Grandes Ecoles" know each other, and it makes things smoother in the industry (just call your old prom friend working in another company and that will accelerate a deal greatly).

The other side of the coin is that it create corporatism, if you're not from the same school or from a school with a lower reputation you will be seen as inferior. It's to the point that PhD holders (8 year of study) were seen as worse than Engineers (5 years of study), BS like "Yeah those guys don't know shit about the real world and all, they can't work in an effective manner".

Hopefully this kind of thinking is recessing, but it's still there.

 

It's often said that France in an Engineers Nation, and it is somewhat true. They have one of the highest social standing in the society (much like being a teacher was a most respected position in the past) and are effectively everywhere in key organisations.

It allow for big industrial achievement on the scope of the country (like building and putting 58 nuclear reactors in service in the span of 22 years), but also make the population see them as a kind of mafia controlling every important decision regardless of democracy (Don't know if you can find some critics on the "Corps des Mines" or "Les énarques" in english, but it's pretty salty).

 

Regardless of the bias of the society, our industry, much like Norway's is also in dire need of qualified workers but there is not enough of them because the society have a bad view on technical formations.

This is why I like the idea meritocracy.  Your skill is examined through exams and achievements and you are judged as such.

Same reason I am for legalizing IQ requirements for jobs and having a mandatory IQ test for the population.

 

You might call it unfair, since a person with a IQ of 100 won't get a engineering job in a firm because they set the requirement to 130 IQ. But let me put it this on the edge: Who would you want to oversee the construction of  a nuclear powerplant, a man with the IQ of 80 or a IQ of 160? Also, isn't it inherently unfair to the people of higher IQ that they are unable to use their talent?  And pushing people that are simple incapable to do too hard tasks?

 

By examining people's IQ, personality types and aspects we can figure out what job suits them the most.  And we can massively increase productivity of workers. 

 

This might spawn elitism, but honestly, doesn't western society already have a lot of elitism? 

 

In my perfect world view, everyone would be judged fairly and be able to use their potential to the fullest, with social mobility of 20%. Hard work would equal good pay. And anyone would have to ability to make their fortune if they set their minds to it, equal opportunity for all. 

 

And this might spawn urgency, which is a big motivator for wealth accumulation. And as they say, wealth only lasts 3 generations. 

 

 

So in my opinion, a large survey should be started. To analyze school systems around the world to reform the current educational system. The focus should be on getting people a job and being productive.  Not giving them a long vacation and enslaving them on debt, and using that money to push a political agenda. 

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1 hour ago, Xoon said:

This is why I like the idea meritocracy.  Your skill is examined through exams and achievements and you are judged as such.

Same reason I am for legalizing IQ requirements for jobs and having a mandatory IQ test for the population.

 

The fun part is that our system was intended to be a meritocracy by all mean, and still is to some extent.

 

During your primary and secondary education a very important parameter to asses your capacity will be your maths grades since it was believed that it is the subject that is the least affected by your socio-cultural background.

The assumption is that, even if you don't have a great general knowledge because your parents didn't took you often to a museum, that they were immigrant and couldn't  help with learning French, etc. Anybody who was intelligent enough and hard working could achieve proficiency in maths, thus it is a fair way to asses people capability.

Plus they allow to grade objectively and to assess things like reasoning, abstraction capability, conceptualization, etc.

 

It worked rather well when mass education started, when most parents were uneducated or had a low education and couldn't help their kids at home, but the more time passed the more social reproductivity grew.

Parents that were good at schools could help their kids to do their homework, since they got a good job, they had enough money to pay for extra lessons for their kids (and maths are particularly sensitive to practising).

Same happened with schools where the disparity between them grew bigger over time (more renowned school often mean bigger budget and more graduates in the industry which mean more partnership with said industry).

 

The idea nowadays is to try to correct the bias created by social reproductivity.

Limiting the influence of family education level by allocating teacher time to do the homework at school after class and not at home.

Allocating more teaching staff to poor area.

Allocating scholarship based on financial resources of the parents and ofc the merits of the student.

Having a free education was also part of that.

 

All those systems are in place to ensure that a capable and working student can go up in the social ladder even with the odds stacked against him.

 

Where all of this backfire is that with a system seen as meritocratic with mechanism to help with inequalities  the society suppose that you will aim as high as possible: an education level as high as possible, the most renowned school possible.

And if you didn't go that way for various reason (not interested, not the right kind of mindset for science or maths), in the eyes of the society you are only amounting to as much as your highest/most prestigious degree: "In the end he could only go that far."

 

The core problem is that we value degree as a perfect representation of skills and capability (which they are not, they only certify a minimum of knowledge and skill sets) and that graduating from the most prestigious "Grandes Ecoles" is seen as the pinnacle of climbing in the social ladder.

 

While it is true that they do overlap, there is a confusion with the merits and the "value" of an individual with the value of his degrees.

 

The other problem is that since every parent is certain that their kids are genius, they push them to go as far as they can with their study so that they can obtain a good social standing and what's supposed to be a rewarding life.

A lot of people do study (at least in the beginning when they don't have a clear choice of what they want to do) simply to go as far they can in their study, and to do that the easiest way is to have a scientific background (Hence the "classification" being S > ES > L > Pro). Disregarding if the person have the capability to do so or even if it's what they want to do.

 

And the gap being huge between the last year of secondary education and the first year of higher education (both in the level of the class and the way of working/learning), a lot of people that were doing "ok" in secondary get into university automatically (since the university does not have the right to select the candidates) and end up failing badly because the expectation were too high.

 

And they do that because what people tell them is "go through the general path, it won't close any door to you and allow you to chose" instead of "Go through that path if you want to do that kind of job". They go as far as they can get and eventually end up failing at some point and having wasted time.

A lot of them fail during their first year in university because it's the hardest step up in our system (a lot less in schools and degree that can select their applicants on their supposed ability to cope with the increased expectations).

 

Finishing your secondary education (getting your bac) used to be the exam allowing you to go in higher education. But now that most people of an age class get it (78% in 2015) it has no value as a selective tool anymore, hence the idea to allow university to select their students as well. But that is seen as a denial of rights by our SJW and is a highly polemical topic.

 

The idea is that if we manage to have selective university, the teachers in the secondary will be able to tell, "you most likely won't be accepted in university, so you better look for a professional formation leading to a job you would like to do" Ofc people would still be free to apply, but the university would also be free to refuse.

Hopefully those peoples will be happier learning a job that suit them rather than trying to pursue an unattainable dream and over time the view on professional formation may improve.

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On 25.11.2017 at 1:38 AM, Alzoc said:

 

The fun part is that our system was intended to be a meritocracy by all mean, and still is to some extent.

Progressiveism and meritocracy does not mix well. They almost oppose each other. 
I presume that France is alike to the rest of the west in terms of progressive-ism, maybe not as high as in Scandinavia, but still prominent. 

 

On 25.11.2017 at 1:38 AM, Alzoc said:

During your primary and secondary education a very important parameter to asses your capacity will be your maths grades since it was believed that it is the subject that is the least affected by your socio-cultural background.

The assumption is that, even if you don't have a great general knowledge because your parents didn't took you often to a museum, that they were immigrant and couldn't  help with learning French, etc. Anybody who was intelligent enough and hard working could achieve proficiency in maths, thus it is a fair way to asses people capability.

Plus they allow to grade objectively and to assess things like reasoning, abstraction capability, conceptualization, etc.

 

 

It worked rather well when mass education started, when most parents were uneducated or had a low education and couldn't help their kids at home, but the more time passed the more social reproductivity grew.

Parents that were good at schools could help their kids to do their homework, since they got a good job, they had enough money to pay for extra lessons for their kids (and maths are particularly sensitive to practising).

Same happened with schools where the disparity between them grew bigger over time (more renowned school often mean bigger budget and more graduates in the industry which mean more partnership with said industry).

I agree here, except at one thing. Though grades strongly correlate with intelligence, they are not a sign of intelligence. Simply repeating lines from a book is not intelligence, it is just a memory game. Take the same person, and put them in a situation where they have to solve a completely new equations. They will fall short, even if they aced every test up til then. A lesser intelligent person can practice very hard to achieve the same result as a genius. 

 

This is why I prefer IQ, since it is not affected by practice, socio-economic status, parents, or renowned schools. 

You can be a homeless poor immigrant with no parents and no education, no tutoring and not know the language of your country.  And you can still score 160IQ, which makes you a genius, while a person growing up in a perfect environment could score 100, the average IQ. The only thing that affects IQ is genetics. Well, you can lower your IQ by heavy drinking, drug use, poising, brain damage etc, but that is obvious. 

 

On 25.11.2017 at 1:38 AM, Alzoc said:

 

The idea nowadays is to try to correct the bias created by social reproductivity.

Limiting the influence of family education level by allocating teacher time to do the homework at school after class and not at home.

Allocating more teaching staff to poor area.

Allocating scholarship based on financial resources of the parents and ofc the merits of the student.

Having a free education was also part of that.

 

All those systems are in place to ensure that a capable and working student can go up in the social ladder even with the odds stacked against him.

The problem with such a system is quite simple. Either you make all education government controlled and outlaw all private education, tutoring and such. 
Or you can give school vouchers to students, so that the school can compete between themselves, but force them not to be able to take more than the school voucher. 

 

Both systems are to a point impossible to do perfectly because students can simply study abroad. And the education would be too expensive unless you dramatically innovate. 

 

Or you can use a completely meritocratic system, where the smart are put in the good schools, and the average go to average schools, and those in need gets special education to help them catch up.
Let people go to private school, do tutoring, and everything.  The two earlier mentioned are a by-product of a bad educational system. 

 

 

On 25.11.2017 at 1:38 AM, Alzoc said:

 

Where all of this backfire is that with a system seen as meritocratic with mechanism to help with inequalities  the society suppose that you will aim as high as possible: an education level as high as possible, the most renowned school possible.

And if you didn't go that way for various reason (not interested, not the right kind of mindset for science or maths), in the eyes of the society you are only amounting to as much as your highest/most prestigious degree: "In the end he could only go that far."

 

The core problem is that we value degree as a perfect representation of skills and capability (which they are not, they only certify a minimum of knowledge and skill sets) and that graduating from the most prestigious "Grandes Ecoles" is seen as the pinnacle of climbing in the social ladder.

 

While it is true that they do overlap, there is a confusion with the merits and the "value" of an individual with the value of his degrees.

 

The other problem is that since every parent is certain that their kids are genius, they push them to go as far as they can with their study so that they can obtain a good social standing and what's supposed to be a rewarding life.

A lot of people do study (at least in the beginning when they don't have a clear choice of what they want to do) simply to go as far they can in their study, and to do that the easiest way is to have a scientific background (Hence the "classification" being S > ES > L > Pro). Disregarding if the person have the capability to do so or even if it's what they want to do.

 

And the gap being huge between the last year of secondary education and the first year of higher education (both in the level of the class and the way of working/learning), a lot of people that were doing "ok" in secondary get into university automatically (since the university does not have the right to select the candidates) and end up failing badly because the expectation were too high.

 

And they do that because what people tell them is "go through the general path, it won't close any door to you and allow you to chose" instead of "Go through that path if you want to do that kind of job". They go as far as they can get and eventually end up failing at some point and having wasted time.

A lot of them fail during their first year in university because it's the hardest step up in our system (a lot less in schools and degree that can select their applicants on their supposed ability to cope with the increased expectations).

 

Finishing your secondary education (getting your bac) used to be the exam allowing you to go in higher education. But now that most people of an age class get it (78% in 2015) it has no value as a selective tool anymore, hence the idea to allow university to select their students as well. But that is seen as a denial of rights by our SJW and is a highly polemical topic.

 

The idea is that if we manage to have selective university, the teachers in the secondary will be able to tell, "you most likely won't be accepted in university, so you better look for a professional formation leading to a job you would like to do" Ofc people would still be free to apply, but the university would also be free to refuse.

Hopefully those peoples will be happier learning a job that suit them rather than trying to pursue an unattainable dream and over time the view on professional formation may improve.

I like this idea. But I think schools would oppose this. At least here in Norway, school are payed by how many students they educate. So by taking in as many as possible and lowering requirements, they can make a bigger profit. 

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1 hour ago, Xoon said:

Progressiveism and meritocracy does not mix well. They almost oppose each other. 
I presume that France is alike to the rest of the west in terms of progressive-ism, maybe not as high as in Scandinavia, but still prominent.

 

I would say that it's fairly balanced between the two here.

Our current president is openly liberal (both sociologically and economically) and believe in meritocracy, saying that we  must aim not for egalitarism but rather making sure to give a way/chance for everybody to get out of their situation on their own.

But egalitarism have always been deeply rooted as an idea in France, we still have amongst the last socialist and communist party in Europe (even if they are slowly dying).

 

And the motto of the country being "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" doesn't help with the common misconception that equality = egalitarism.

 

1 hour ago, Xoon said:

This is why I prefer IQ, since it is not affected by practice, socio-economic status, parents, or renowned schools. 

 

You can be a homeless poor immigrant with no parents and no education, no tutoring and not know the language of your country.  And you can still score 160IQ, which makes you a genius, while a person growing up in a perfect environment could score 100, the average IQ. The only thing that affects IQ is genetics. Well, you can lower your IQ by heavy drinking, drug use, poising, brain damage etc, but that is obvious.

 

Although I'm not well versed in this matter, IQ have it's own bias too.

We still haven't reached a consensus on the definition of "intelligence"

So basing a system on IQ could work, but would also discard a number of valuable people at the same time and would be viewed as a totalitarist regime by the population.

And totalitarist regimes never last long.

 

1 hour ago, Xoon said:

The problem with such a system is quite simple. Either you make all education government controlled and outlaw all private education, tutoring and such. 

 

Or you can give school vouchers to students, so that the school can compete between themselves, but force them not to be able to take more than the school voucher. 

 

Both systems are to a point impossible to do perfectly because students can simply study abroad. And the education would be too expensive unless you dramatically innovate.

 

Well private schools are authorized in France but since they have a convention with the state to be able to deliver the same degree than public schools, the program is determined by the state so pedagogy wise private schools have next to no liberty.

They do have the liberty to choose who they'll hire however (contrary to public school).

 

Most people who put their kids in private education do it to give them a religious education since it's strictly forbidden in public school (and I'm happy it is).

The others chose privates schools in order to avoid their local public schools which happen to have a particularly bad reputation (but you can ask for a derogation to go to another public school anyway).

 

Honestly you can do your whole education in the public sector (like I did) without being penalized, private and public schools are just as good.

 

1 hour ago, Xoon said:

I like this idea. But I think schools would oppose this. At least here in Norway, school are payed by how many students they educate. So by taking in as many as possible and lowering requirements, they can make a bigger profit. 

 

Here the budgets for schools are allocated by the state and managed by local government representatives:

 

-Primary shcools are managed by the city/village

-Collèges (part one of secondary education) are managed by "départements" (sub division of regions)

-Lycées (part two of secondary education) are managed by regions

-University are managed by an elected president working at the university and report to the ministry of research and higher education

-Grandes écoles are managed by a president appointed directly by the tutoring minister (Energy, Industry, Economics etc)

 

Their budgets are allocated by the state and decided by a number of parameters amongst them being the number of student, but the catch is since all of them are public organization they are strictly forbidden to make a profit.

The allocated budget must be spent within the year, the excess will simply go back to the state's chest.

Budgets coming from industrial partnership are different but how this money is used is strictly controlled (you can't use it for anything else than the original purpose).

 

 

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Getting this thread back on track, The Hill writes that as many as 30 Democrats are thinking of running for President in 2020. While it doesn't list all 30, it has the "Top Six" with Crazy Bernie Sanders leading the pack. Also Handsy Joe Biden, Sen. Pocahontas Warren, Sen. Kamela "I'm no even relevant enough for Trump to give me a nickname" Harris of California, Sen. Sherrod "Will Ohio Even Reelect me in 2018?" Brown and Deval "Yet Another massachusetts Politician Running for President" Patrick. 

 

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/361607-how-dem-insiders-rank-the-2020-contenders

 

The Democrats better hope they can do better than this lot. 

 

 

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Of all the people who have been beaten to death by gangbangers, or dismembered by a pack of wild Dachshunds, why hasn't one of them been James O'Keefe?

 

It certainly challenges one's belief in a fair and just God. 

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James O'Keefe isn't nothing but a tapeworm residing in the lower colon of the body politic. You see his sort all the timeThe guy is a little gadfly who pulls stunts like this in order to dupe people into giving him donations... so he can do more stupid stunts like this and not have to work a real job. He'd be lucky to hold down a job as an assistant manager at Payless Shoes if jobs were assigned by merit.

 

O'Keefe is in it for himself. 

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1 hour ago, Donward said:

James O'Keefe isn't nothing but a tapeworm residing in the lower colon of the body politic. You see his sort all the timeThe guy is a little gadfly who pulls stunts like this in order to dupe people into giving him donations... so he can do more stupid stunts like this and not have to work a real job. He'd be lucky to hold down a job as an assistant manager at Payless Shoes if jobs were assigned by merit.

 

O'Keefe is in it for himself. 

Not too often Don and I agree, but I think he's on point with this. :P

 

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Not to defend O’Keefe’s motivations, but I have to ask a philosophical question.

 

If O’Keefe uses a shady method to reveal a bias or narrative, does that shady method invalidate the ‘whistleblowing’?

 

Edit: To give an example, if WaPo had ran this story would the lack of due diligence/fact-checking/journalistic ethic be excused because O’Keefe tricked them.

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      In short, the moon has large amounts of oxygen, silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium and titanium in it's soil.
      How do we refine them? By doing this.
       
      Aluminum could be used for most kinds of wiring to requiring high conductivity to density ratio. Meaning power lines, building cables and such. Aluminum is not very suited for building structures on the surface because of the varying temperatures causing it to expand and contract. Iron or steel is better suited here. Aluminum could however be used in underground structures where temperatures are more stable.  Aluminum would also most likely end up as the main lunar rocket fuel. Yes, aluminum as rocket fuel. Just look at things like ALICE, or Aluminum-oxygen. Aluminum-oxygen would probably win out since ALICE uses water, which would be prioritized for the BFRs, since I am pretty sure they are not multi-fuel. 
       More on aluminum rocket fuel here:
      https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/88130-aluminum-as-rocket-fuel/&
      http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/realdesigns2.php#umlunar
      https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/2016/04/15/weve-got-rocket-chemistry-part-1/
      https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/2016/04/21/weve-got-rocket-chemistry-part-2/
       
      Believe it or not, but calcium is actually a excellent conductor, about 12% better than copper. So why do we not use it on earth? Because it has a tendency to spontaneously combust in the atmosphere. In a vacuum however, this does not pose a problem. I does however need to be coated in a material so it does not deteriorate. This makes it suited for "outdoor" products and compact electrical systems like electric motors. Yes, a calcium electric motor.  
       
       
      Lastly, a few articles about colonizing the moon:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_the_Moon
      https://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-scientists-say-we-could-colonise-the-moon-by-2022-for-just-10-billion
      https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/HEP_Lunar.html
       
      NASA article about production of solar panels on the moon:
      https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20050110155.pdf
       
      Map over the south pole:
      http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/images/gigapan
       
       
      Feel free to spam the thread with news regarding colonization. 
       
       
    • By Khand-e
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35333647
       
      Like I said a couple days ago actually, I said I thought it was very likely that Ma Ying-Jeou would lose the next election as he and his administration are very unpopular, and I guess it turned out to be true, also, aside from being the first female president, She's also the second candidate to win under the Democratic Progressive Party as opposed to the more traditonal Kuomintang which has held it for 5 (arguably 6) terms. and her party has also won a majority in the legislative Yuan, which is actually a pretty significant swing.
    • By Jeeps_Guns_Tanks
      I thought it was disgraceful we had a thread on Russian race cars, and other cars, but not one on American muscle cars and race cars, IE the best cars. 
       
      Over the weekend I'll put a little write up on the GTO and why it kicked off the musclecar, and why the Mustang was an overrated econo box for girls until the 67 model, more akin to a nova then a truly great car like a Pontiac GTO. 
       
      UPDATE:
      My thoughts on why the muscle car era was teh awesome.
       
      The reason 64 to 73 was one of the most interesting era for American cars, is they went a little nuts on how much power they started putting into cars, and all the GM brands for the most part still had their own engine types.
       
      The birth of the muscle car era started in 1964 when John Delorean, Jim Wangers and Pete Estes snuck the GTO option on the 64 mid-size Pontiac Tempest/Lemans platform that was based on GM A-Body platform. There were a few reasons it had to be snuck in, all mainly the fault of GM head executives being stodge old fogies. They had come up with two policies that caused boring cars. The first was their decision to pull out of any GM sponsored racing and the ban on developing performance parts. They also had a ban on putting motors bigger than 330 cubic inches in mid-size cars.
      The sad thing is GM had a thriving race scene and a set of dealers and race teams using their products. Pontiac and Chevrolet in particular had really bumped up their market share through their winning race teams. They were doing crazy stuff like Swiss cheesing frames, producing aluminum front ends (hoods, fenders, bumpers), and producing multi carb manifolds and there’s more I’m sure I’m forgetting. Then BAM, in the span of weeks GM killed it all off in 63.
        
      The heart of GTO option on the Lemans was the 389 cubic inch V8 used in Pontiac full size cars. The V8 was rated a 325 horsepower. The biggest V8 the car came with normally was the 326. The GTO option also included the choice of a close ratio four speed Muncie transmission, and heavy duty suspension and brakes. It could also include Pontiacs Safe-T-track limited slip differential with gear ratio choices of 3.23, 3.55, 3.90, 4.10, and if I recall right, 4.56.  The name was strait up ripped off from Ferrari, by Delorean. You could also order the package with triple carburetors, also known as tri-power, and it upped the engines horsepower to 335.
       
       
      GM and Pontiac found out about it, but Wangers had gone out and showed the car to some big dealers in the Detroit area and they already had big orders so GM corporate, and Pontiac let it be produced, the general manager told Delorean he would have the last laugh because there was no way they could even sell the 5000 that had been authorized, and Pontiac would have to eat the loss on inventory they couldn't sell, and it would be his ass. It sold more than 32,000 units, as a really un advertised option, so Delorean and Estes won the day, and the ban on big engines in mid size cars was lifted, and the GTO became its own model, still based on the Lemans/tempest platform,  but with no small engine choices.
       
      The other GM brands caught up with their own special models in 1965, Chevrolet with the SS 396 Chevelle, Oldsmobile with the 442, and Buick with the GS. GM still put a size restriction on motors and their A-Body mid-size models, but it was now 400 cubic inches, and all the brands had motors that could be grown well past this and already had been and were used in the full-size car lines.  Even this restriction would be pulled in 1970 because other major brands were stuffing huge motors in mid and even the newer smaller cars and GM was losing out.
       
      Ford and Chrysler and even AMC didn't just sit back and watch GM reap the reward, Ford had come out with their ‘Pony’ car the Mustang, in 1964, and it was also a huge success, but it was no performance car, even with the top of the line V8 option, a GTO would eat it alive, handing and acceleration wise.  Ford also had mid-size cars with large V8 options, but none that had been packaged like the GTO and they were light on good large V8s in the early 60s, plus their mid-size cars were ugly as hell.  The Mustang would grow into its own later in the 60s, in particular, when Carol Shelby started playing with them. They never had a great mid-size muscle car that wasn't ugly though.
       
      Chrysler had cars that could be considered muscle cars, but before 68 they were all so ugly, no one but weirdos drove them. They did have some very powerful engine combos, and they really hit the scene hard with the introduction of the cheap as hell but big engine powered Plymouth Road-Runner in 1968, you could buy a very fast Road-Runner for a lot less than you could even a base model GTO.  For a classier Chrysler they had their Plymouth GTX line, and Dodge had their beautiful Charger. The Cuda got an update in 1970, so it wasn’t really really ugly anymore, and the same platform was used to give Dodge the Challenger.  These cars fit more into the pony car scheme though. The main point is Chrysler produced ugly cars until 1968.
       
      GM would jump into the pony car scene in 1967 with the introduction of the first gen F-body. Chevrolet got the Camaro, and Pontiac got the Firebird. These cars were introduced with engine options up to 400 cubic inches, though, when they got a 396, or 400, they were slightly detuned so the mid-size cars still had an ‘advantage’, there was just a little tab that restricted the secondaries on the quadrajet carb.
       
      The whole thing came crashing down and by 1973, the muscle car was all but dead, and the US car industry was in a slump it would not recover from until the late 80s, also when the muscle car returned in a weird way with the Buick Gran National. While it lasted the muscle-car era produced some iconic cars, and some very rare but interesting ones. Most of them looked pretty damn cool though, and by now, they are very rare to see as daily driven cars. They exist; I pass a 68 SS Camaro all the time. Now even a base model muscle car or pony car that's rusted all to hell can be more then 8 to 10 grand, and you will spend triple that making it into a nice car.
       
      1970 was probably the peak year, and some very powerful cars came out that year and that year only. Chevrolet offered the SS Chevelle with the LS6 454, pumping out 450 HP. Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac all had very high horsepower 455 cubic inch V8s in the GSX, 442, and GTO models. Government safety restrictions, smog restrictions that required a lot of crap to be added to the engines, and high insurance prices all worked to kill these cars, and the final straw was the gas crisis.  The US Auto industry was a barren waste land unless you liked trucks, until about 1986.
       
      The cars never lost popularity though, but their worth has fluctuated a lot. You could buy just about anything in the late 70s and early 80s, and you could gate rare stuff a low prices, but by the late 80s the collectors had started getting into muscle cars and the prices went crazy. No, unless you want to spend a lot of money, you’re not going to be driving around a classic car from that era. On the upside, the aftermarket parts scene has gotten so extensive, you can build a 1968 Camaro, or 1970 Chevelle almost from scratch, since the body shell and just about all the body panels are being produced. You’re looking at about 14 grand just for the body shell of a 1970 Chevelle, from there you looking at a huge chunk of change to build it all the way, but it could be done. I suspect they are used to put a very rare, but totaled cars back into shape.
       
      It’s nice to be helping with the restoration of one of these cars, without being tied to the cost. I can have fun taking it apart, and putting it back together without worrying about how I was going to fund it. I also have more tools for working on cars than my father in law, and know more about GM cars, so I’m appreciated, and that’s nice. I just with the owner was willing to upgrade the thing a little, you can really go a long way to making an old muscle car handle and stop well, and be more reliable and safe with upgrades not much more than rebuilding everything dead stock, and putting upgraded suspension on a otherwise numbers matching car really doesn't hurt the value, especially if you put all the stock shit in boxes and save it. I’m not paying for it though so it is of course his call, and putting it back together stock is easier in most cases. I really wish it was a 68 GTO because, man I still know those cars, and every time we run into some stupid Chevy thing, I’m like, man, Pontiacs are so  much better, and I get dirty looks.  BUT THEY ARE!!!
       
      Anyway, I said I would write something up, and there it is. 
       
       
       
      Hopefully we have a few guys in here who dig on American Iron and will post about the cars they loved, and yes, I mean in that way,

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