The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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An End to Ghostly Labors
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I’m still working my way through The New Atlantis this month. The lead essay has the evocative title Shop Class as Soulcraft. Here’s the essence of the argument:

So perhaps the time is ripe for reconsideration of an ideal that has fallen out of favor: manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world. Neither as workers nor as consumers are we much called upon to exercise such competence, most of us anyway, and merely to recommend its cultivation is to risk the scorn of those who take themselves to be the most hard-headed: the hard-headed economist will point out the opportunity costs of making what can be bought, and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past. But we might pause to consider just how hard-headed these presumptions are, and whether they don

September 9, 2006 / Uncategorized