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Thread: The old guys were smarter than most give them credit!

  1. #16
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    It is quite possible that we as parents are also to blame. When I grew up in the late 50s and 60s, - as teh elder son, I had to take part in all sorts of chores, as hiring people to do odd jobs was totally out of teh question. As a kid I often hated this, but as a seasoned (!) adult, I know what I learned from this. Kids today are far to busy playing PC games to take part in practical work, and parents are too busy watcing stupid TV series. My son is 26,and it wasn't until he passed 20 that he really took an interest in practical work, finally understanding that he had to pay others to do the fixes he didn't care to do

  2. #17
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    I just want to add a couple of thoughts here. Some of the marvels of old were built with slave labor. Very few people had an education and trade skills in Europe were closely regulated. It wasn't until the world expansion started that skills began to develop by the individual learning skills on his own. Most had simple tools up to the 18th century. So most of the items built by individual craftsmen did not become full scale until then. Sure there were beautiful things built in earlier times but most of those were built using cheap labor. Of course cheap labor is what makes the consumer world go round.

  3. #18
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    Physical stuff gets mass produced these days so most of us just don't need to make things. So it's only natural that skills with hand tools have declined. It isn't because we are any less skilled, dumber, or less coordinated than our ancestors. Just that we focus on different stuff. There is a lot of creativity and skill that goes into building apps, computer programs, websites, etc... If one of the "old guys" from the 18th century started digging around in source code his head would spin . Again, not because he was dumb, but because he focused on different things.

    Stop and look around at some of the truly incredible stuff that has been invented in the last few decades. We could argue if some of that stuff is good, but 30 or 40 years ago having a watch that you could use for communication was crazy science fiction. And now our phones / smart watches are more powerful than huge rooms full of computers from the 60's. It's really astounding when you think about it.

  4. #19
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    I would really like to see one of those old woodworkers sharpening a blade. It amaze me to see all that beautiful furniture they were able to built without our fancy sharpening systems. All old stones that I've seen were concave, very concave and rough. How were they doing?

  5. #20
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    Our closest neighbour when I was a kid, was an old carpenter. He died in -66 at 93 years old. He did not have a single jig for sharpening..... (his workshop was my favourite hideout..also because he was an interesting old man with fantastic stories. When he took the time...)

  6. #21
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    Hmmm, I am a little weak on crop rotation . . . Was Farmer John all that much brighter than I? Different world, different skills. There was a time when people didn't run for fun, eat at their leisure or walk about unarmed. Fun for discussion like any apples and oranges conversation ;-)
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Gornall View Post
    I like to point out to the younger people that no man has stood on the moon since the internet and cell phones were invented. But they were there before that.
    That has more to do with baby boomers' budget priorities than anything else. The moonshot effort cost close to 1% of GDP per annum at its peak, or the equivalent of $150B/yr today. We could do it more cheaply now, but you'd never get something like that through Congress all the same.

  8. #23
    We've had this shown before, but it's always fun and inspirational:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5OxVgH-T1I&app=desktop

  9. #24
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    A very interesting and good threads..I think we should respect the knowledge and skill of everyone we encounter.. They are doing best they can...everyone has a story and should be given dignity and respect...Even if we don't agree...Sometimes here at SMC that is overlooked.
    Jerry

  10. #25
    Wow, I have a contrarian opinion:

    The best way to preserve the past is to embrace the future.

    Without the Internet I would never have ironically connected with virtual mentors to open my eyes to the beauty of hand tool work.

    Stop hating the future, and jump in and learn about it as MUCH as you can. That's the way you'll connect with young people and get them to relate to the ways of the past.

    It's lazy to just complain about it.

    The old guys were not any smarter than we are today. The works and art and memories that survive the centuries give a false sense of all the useless garbage that was around also.

    In a few centuries, people will be pointing to the 0.05% of enduring, wonderful, meaningful, society-changing advances that are happening right now that we cannot even comprehend for our own myopia.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 05-11-2016 at 3:43 PM.

  11. #26
    It would be easier to embrace the future if it weren't so dead set on forcing me to use tools which I mislike.

    I really, really, really wish someone would make:

    - a replacement for Freehand --- I loathe Adobe Illustrator, accept Inkscape 'cause it's free, and dread having to install Windows 10 so as to be able to try out Affinity Designer by Serif
    - a Tablet PC w/ a truly daylight viewable display and reasonable battery life --- all I want is a replacement for my Fujitsu Stylistic ST4121
    - an OS which I would like as much as PenPoint or NeXTstep

    Most days, I regret buying the CNC instead of a Jointmaker Pro.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Adams View Post
    - a Tablet PC w/ a truly daylight viewable display and reasonable battery life --- all I want is a replacement for my Fujitsu Stylistic ST4121
    You do know that there's a physics problem, right? An emissive tablet-sized display with sufficient brightness to be daylight-viewable requires a lot of power, period. What you ask for would require a major breakthrough in displays, batteries, or both.

    The Fujitsu ST4121 was over 3 lbs with a 10" display, so that's just good old fashioned brute force. You could bolt a monster battery (they exist) to the back of a modern tablet and get similar results.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Adams View Post
    - an OS which I would like as much as PenPoint or NeXTstep
    I have the latest version of NeXTStep installed on my laptop. It's called "OSX El Capitan". Seriously, OSX is and always has been NeXTStep right down to the Mach/BSD hybrid underpinnings.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Thompson View Post
    ...Stop and look around at some of the truly incredible stuff that has been invented in the last few decades. We could argue if some of that stuff is good, but 30 or 40 years ago having a watch that you could use for communication was crazy science fiction. And now our phones / smart watches are more powerful than huge rooms full of computers from the 60's. It's really astounding when you think about it.
    In fact, Dick Tracy had a radio watch back in the 1950s. The biggest change that allowed all the digital devices we have was miniaturization. Even logic circuits have been around for 50 years or more. We're just making things faster and smaller. Programmers just build with existing sequences and make more complex sequences. We're also applying digital codes to more servos and mechanisms. I have to think it was as remarkable for the Germans, in particular, to make those complicated mechanical automatons centuries ago. It took the same sort of logical and sequencial thinking.

  14. #29
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    Feb 2007
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    Modern conveniences are a true blessing. They enable me to indulge in the manual pursuits.
    I do chores, make things and fix things because I enjoy it.

    Ironically, at minimum wage, most complex projects I undertake would be done faster and less expensively if I paid a pro.
    Simple repairs, not so much. But they aren't as much fun either.

    Living continues to be a pleasing paradox.

  15. #30
    Yes, a daylight viewable display is a solved problem, one which was solved by the transflective display on my ST4121.

    Mac OS X, since 10.6.8 doesn’t much appeal to me. It kills me that Apple isn’t maintaining Rosetta, or for that matter, Classic.app. I miss the pop up main menu from NeXTstep, repositionable/tear off menus, Display Postscript (and its programmability), &c. Apple also isn’t making a machine I want to buy — I prefer portables, and using a stylus, but need a full OS — if they’d just made the iPad Pro run a full OS, rather than iOS, I’d have one. Oh well, one of these days I’ll win an auction for an Axiotron Modbook — I’ll still be sad about the lack of a daylight viewable display.

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