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Monday, August 29, 2011

It's the skill, stupid

What do you bring to the table? Even a monkey can operate a remote   …

Light bulb patent application. Photolithograph...Image via Wikipedia

Related source » Works and Days » Strangers in a Familiar Land
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“Technologically we sit on the collective work of a few giants over the decades. Our phones, computer, Internet, and HD TVs provide us with options unimaginable in my youth; take away Urocit and I would have kidney stones weekly. But why and how we deserved our electrical appurtenances are not so clear. Most of us don’t know anything about how they work; few grasp the nature of globalized trade or the mechanisms of how a tiny few engineering high priests in Silicon Valley create ingenious designs and outsource the fabrication to hard-working and meticulous Asian fabricators. The result is sometimes an anomaly: an illiterate gang banger can, by folk instruction and tribal lore, become a master of I-phone apps, but not be able to read any of the small print manuals accompanying his phone. I see just that scene in action daily at Wal-Mart—or better yet the colored icons on today’s electric check out counters that allow one to see and punch at, rather than read or compute, a problem. Without bar codes, we would have mayhem: the more sophisticated the technology, the less educated those who use it. In place of a literate society, we need only a tiny literate cloister to invent and service inventions for the masses.”
— Victor Davis Hanson, August 29, 2011 (

“You can't make a head and brains out of a brass knob with nothing in it.”
— Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, Chapter XXIII (Machinery in Motion)

The know-nothing hippies of the sixties have spawned our techno-cognoscenti ignoramuses of the third millennium. These clowns, who strut through shopping centers armed with whizbang iGadgets, believe they are masters of the technological universe. In truth, they are less knowledgeable than drum-beating aborigines. Like their flower-power predecessors, they have the cognitive power of a doorknob in need of a tune-up.

Their double-thumbed dexterity at texting their bff is not the same as having a grasp of rudimentary verbal skills, let alone the ability to add 2 plus 2 and arrive at a sum of 4. Yet, they beam unashamedly on one of Leno's Jay-walking segments, making complete asses of themselves on national TV.

Ultimately, these same useless beings, whose like-minded juniors go-with-the-flow through the lazy-hazy school-days of fun and games, ultimately join the ranks of entitlementalia, publicly braying about all those good jobs that evil employers send overseas.

The capacity to imagine a holographic game, for example, does not enable one to conjure a technical specification and the manufacture of its corresponding gadget. That magic involves something that Thomas Edison said comprised 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. And Edison didn't even bother to mention what he assumed everyone already knew intuitively: every form of gainful employment requires a modicum of acquired skill.

Despite anything Obama may have promised, skill can be acquired only one way; the old-fashioned way — it has to be earned.

Post 1,697 It's the skill, stupid

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