When I look around, I am constantly reminded just how little I know … which, at my age is becoming a bigger and bigger reminder. I am however, equally reminded by my friends and associates when they make comments about me and my time in the CCTV Industry by saying things like; “You have forgotten more than most folks will ever know about CCTV.” I don’t know if that statement is true or not, but I do know that many of the lessons that I had to know just five years ago are no longer necessary. Equally, I know that the more I see has changed within our great industry of CCTV, the more I realize that nothing has changed.
If you have ever spent any time listening to my long winded speeches or read any of my wordy articles, you then know that I have been making the above comment about change for almost all of my life. But, is it true? Can it be proven? Is there a formula that can be applied to the CCTV Industry that will prove how much change has occurred without affecting any change? ABSOLUTELY yes to all questions above, there are various methods to prove my point and I will get to them in a moment. When Before I demonstrate the proof of my statement, let me first say that I have also proven that there are only two kinds of people in the world … color, language, religion and other such trivial crap withheld, there are only two people in the world and you know them both or you have known them both at one time or another … they are Stupid and Ignorant.
Stupid, although a good friend to have with you when things get boring is … well … forever. Stupid is incurable … unforgivable … able to be tolerated but barely … Stupid is responsible for racism, poverty, most wars, hate, almost all injuries caused by accidents, and almost all law suits. This is my opinion of course and the best part of having my own corner is that I am allowed my opinion. We all know at least one Stupid person … We all are stupid from time to time and at different levels. Stupid is forever because Stupid does not know how to affect a cure.
Ignorant is temporary and fully curable. Ignorant is the basic lack of knowledge about something … ignorant is what we are before we ask a question (sometimes we are still ignorant if we ask a question of a Stupid Person … and they answer … and we take it for granted that they know what they are talking about). Ignorant is how a Dictator or Politian keeps his/her people … Ignorance is easy to control if you add hunger and poverty to the mix … keep the people working for food and they will not have time to ask questions. Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that Poverty and Stupidity are kissing cousins … they are not. Some of the greatest innovations of our races have come from impoverished individuals … so poor that they were literally eating the soles of their shoes to stay alive. In the same fashion, riches do not a intelligent man/woman make … I know several very rich individuals that cannot tell you why you should use a bow instead of a know on your shoe laces … sorry, that is not ignorance … it is Stupidity.
So moving on, I have now defined Stupid and Ignorant … if you are still reading it is because you are ignorant. This is a good thing. It may also be because you want to know how I am going to prove how much has changed without changing anything … either way, you are not Stupid. Stupid does not care about intellectual statements. So my ignorant friends how can I prove my first statement to the utter satisfaction of your curious intellect? It really is simple if we first agree that the physical change in the shape, size, and/or technology of an item, as imposed over a period of time is not change but evolution.
So let’s start with the pan/tilt unit. When I was young to the industry, we had two basic types or styles of Pan/Tilts … interior and exterior. Interior units were a bit bulky, but overall effective and very seldom used in any mode but “Auto-Pan”. Exterior units ranged from heavy duty to extra-heavy duty. They were also bulky but very strong as they were able to move the entire camera, housing, cabling and anything else that was attached to the camera. They were also designed to contend with wind speed, ice and other exterior aliments that could cause additional drag. I worked with units that were designed to be able to competently move 1,200 pounds (544 kg) of drag. Since then we moved into the dome attitude … where the camera is on a sliding disk, inside a dome, protected from weather, wind and cable drag. The cameras have dropped in size, shape and weight to be mere ounces as opposed to tens of pounds. Everything changed … Nothing Changed. In today’s market, we are moving to “Digital Panning” effects. This is where nothing moves … a computer pulls different sections of the image from the camera and causes the illusion of movement. Everything is changing … nothing has changed.
Ok, with the above example, you are probably thinking that I have proved nothing except that everything about a Pan/Tilt has changed over the past 40 years. It’s true, I did prove that. However I have also proven that the important things about a Pan/Tilt have not changed a bit since its original inception 50 some years ago. Think about it … whether or not we are dealing with a physical unit of some mass or a miniature copy of it or even a fully digital illusion of the Pan/Tilt, we are still talking about moving a camera or examining a broader area than the camera would normally see if it was sitting still. Such motion of camera and image have basic design and concept rules as they apply to the Security Industry. For instance, we have taught, at all levels of security that five fixed cameras in one area will almost always provide more detail than one moving camera watching the same area. We teach that for every 3 to 5 fixed cameras you should have one Pan/Tilt unit assigned. The fixed units provide the general, overall view while the Pan/Tilt mounted unit provides support and investigation capabilities.
Yes, there is much more to the overall concept and to what we teach than the little bit listed above. However, the net result is the only result that ever matters and you will find that if you apply the same logic to every piece of equipment in every Security Application available, you will find that it is still a true statement: “No matter how much change there is in the Industry, there is no change.” The rules remain the same … granted the new equipment allows us to improve the rules of design and engagement, but otherwise it is only an upgrade from the original idea of it.
This brings me to my final statements and summary. Education is not the only thing that stands between a Stupid person and an Ignorant person … it is however, one of the key factors. Keep in mind that you are learning this from a man that has made it through life on the back of a 9th grade education. That was the formal side of things … I also have another 40 years of learning from the street, the job, associates and a whole slug of really intelligent individuals that took their time to teach me because I wanted to listen and learn … they also listened and learned from me as it is all part of the catch 22. The smartest often learns from the most ignorant and visa versa as we all move forward on our ultimate path of knowledge.
The final point … no matter what you know about the equipment, you are nothing but dangerous to yourself, your client and your family and friends if you do not understand, know and apply the structures and applications of Security to your work. Come with me sometime and let us see what I have forgotten and you have remembered … it’s a great path filled with many wonders and marvelous people. Until that opportunity presents itself, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you … I am in your Service!
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