OK, it's Sunday- maybe the reason I'm feeling so preachy & peachy!
We have a thread active now, asking for the hack-job you've ever seen. Hackwork is nothing new; in some ways, that's what makes this site possible. So I had to wonder: WHY is there so much kludge?
I conclude hackwork is the unintended result when several virtues combine.
The first is our tradition of the rugged, self-sufficient individual. We feel pride when we say 'I did it myself.' One of the box stores even bases its' business model on this pride.
Then there's the 'self-esteem' we're taught. No need to listen & learn; we're all clever enough to figure things out.
Then there's the virtue of 'waste not, want not.' Currently marketed as 'being green,' we are all told to re-use, repair, recycle. We're told to never throw things away.
There's the virtue of being cheap. The less you spend, the holier you are. We're told to shop around, get bids, etc.
Even our concept of 'quality' tends to focus on the final appearance and the use of expensive finish materials. When all the money is spent on $20 floor tiles, is it any wonder the electrical work is marginal?
Put these together, and you get someone powering the ceiling fan with phone wire.