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SamG has commented on (1) product.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work

SamG, August 2, 2009

Some of the comments are reading the book as a political manifesto - which is taking it too far.

Regardless of one's profession and education path, there are very introspective points made in this book. The most important point of all is the immediacy of one's work and influence on the outcome of one's efforts. If you are in the line of work that has customers, you can have the same "look and feel" of immediacy even though you don't have to have engine grease on your hands to experience it.

Another important point is that the educational system itself is abstract, often too abstract, in a sense that everything has to fall into a ballpark made of Costs and Benefits (however unprovable they may seem).

Third, and probably most disturbing point, is that the abstraction of work leads to devaluation of "knowledge" work in general (due to outsourcing and compartmentalization). As a consequence, number of students pursuing math, engineering, physics... is falling because it appears to be a wasted effort on the previous generation.
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