What Happened to the Craftsmanship Spirit? — Essay – NYTimes.com

23 Jul

Yes! Making things with your own hands is the most basic form of building things. All other forms are built on that. Whether you’re building a computer  program, an industrial empire, a philosophical system, or a social club, building takes skills and those skills start with learning how to build things with your body.

It’s all very handy stuff, I guess, a convenient way to be a do-it-yourselfer without being all that good with tools. But at a time when the American factory seems to be a shrinking presence, and when good manufacturing jobs have vanished, perhaps never to return, there is something deeply troubling about this dilution of American craftsmanship.

This isn’t a lament — or not merely a lament — for bygone times. It’s a social and cultural issue, as well as an economic one. The Home Depot approach to craftsmanship — simplify it, dumb it down, hire a contractor — is one signal that mastering tools and working with one’s hands is receding in America as a hobby, as a valued skill, as a cultural influence that shaped thinking and behavior in vast sections of the country.

via What Happened to the Craftsmanship Spirit? — Essay – NYTimes.com.

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