Friday, May 29, 2009

Working with Your Hands

I saw a post on the blog A Shipwright in Training about the merits of working with your hands. It references the New York Times Magazine article The Case for Working With Your Hands by Matthew B. Crawford.

I know I like working with my hands after spending the last 20 or so years working entirely in my head as a computer program. Certainly many of our cable TV and Silicon Valley heroes these days combine skilled craftsmanship with a creative flair. I think of shows where people build motorcycles, houses or bust myths. In Silicon Valley, it is Make Magazine and people combining hardware and software into robots, cell phones and an array of other goodies.

The author Michael Ruhlman specializes in books about creative craftsmanship like The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection and Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard.

Marketing folks will tell you that customized products are the future in a cookie cutter world.

Fixing and building will become more important as the world's resources shrink. The trades have gotten a bad name. There is flexibility in the trade careers from entry level repair to full blown custom work affordable by only the rich.

I believe that these trade jobs are a lot more rewarding than flipping burgers or being a middle manager.

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