Changing skills

The skill set needed to survive in the world is constantly changing. Things your parents and grandparents knew how to do are no longer needed to survive.

Know how do drive a four in hand or even what it is?

Do you know how to use sealing wax or washboard?

How about wick trimming?

The interesting thing is that these skills still exist. Like the tools that never die, the skills live on as hobbies.

The reason these skills are no longer needed, despite the lamentations of some, is that new technologies require new skills and most people don’t need to know how to use obsolete technology.

You don’t need to know how to write cursive any more but you have to know how to type. You don’t need to know how to drive a horse and buggy but you need to know how do drive a car. You don’t need to know how to bake but you need to know navigate the Internet. You don’t need to know how to drive a stick because most cars no longer have a manual transmission. You don’t need to know how to use carbon paper because you can make unlimited copies by pressing a button, or just send it as a pdf attachment and save a tree. You don’t need to know how to use a card catalog but you have to know how to search a database.

The job I do didn’t even exist ten years ago and many jobs that used to exist are no longer around. Did you know computer used to be a job title?

The past is interesting but most of us wouldn’t want to live there.  Horse poop removal used to be a big business.  Aren’t you glad you don’t have to do that?

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11 Responses to Changing skills

  1. Ancient Woodsman says:

    Do you know the difference between ‘gee’ and ‘haw’?

    …how to de-beak a chicken (and why) or sex a day-old chick?

    …the difference between pea & stove coal?

    …a natural remedy for poison ivy that usually grows nearby?

    …how many rods to a chain; how many chains to a mile, or acres to the square mile?

    …how to measure height & volume of a tree with a Biltmore stick?

    Oh, boy. You picked a good one today. This will be fun to read.

  2. DirtCrashr says:

    The job I did ten years ago doesn’t exist anymore today.

  3. Kristopher says:

    People don’t remember how rope, burlap, and quicklime can be used to improve government.

    Some skills should be preserved.

  4. BobG says:

    “Horse poop removal used to be a big business. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to do that?”

    We still have to do it; it’s called voting…

  5. Old NFO says:

    Meh- I actually HAVE two washboards, and I do know how to use them… The four-in-hand I’ve seen done, but never tried it. AW has some good ones too! Gee is turn right (away), Haw is turn left (toward)…

  6. Bubblehead Les says:

    The GPS unit on your dashboard today used to take up the space of 3 Refrigerators on my Submarines 25 year ago. That’s why the technical Skills that the Navy taught me are useless today, and will be useless if TSHTF and TEOTWAWKI, so that makes me Doubly Useless!

    So where’s my Gov’t Job for Life?

  7. Silverevilchao says:

    And this is why my major is Computer Science. As long as computers are around, I’ll hopefully be fine job-wise. 🙂

    …that said, I know how to drive a stick (in fact, I PREFER driving a stick because it makes me pay more attention while I’m driving). I can make you a really good sub sandwich. I play the clarinet. I still have some skills left…

  8. breda says:

    No one knows the Dewey Decimal system anymore…sigh.

  9. mike w. says:

    I am proud to say I’ve never changed a diaper. What, that’s not what you were referring to?

  10. mike w. says:

    My sister spent part of her summer doing that at a barn in high school. Fun work.

  11. mike w. says:

    Isn’t that what your friendly neighborhood reference librarian is for?….

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