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Thursday, December 27, 2012

What we carry in our head



When it's very easy to get any information you need at a few moment's notice, it's easy not to memorize anything. When I was growing up, it wasn't all that uncommon to have arguments about some fact or another. Now it seems that as soon as someone asks a question, the answer gets googled. The younger generations don't know what's it's like to go around not knowing something and not being able to find out quickly.

Of course, previous generations complained that the young didn't memorize anything as it was all written down somewhere in a book. My dad, back in the dark ages, remembers a teacher telling him everything he needed to know could be found in a library. His response was, “Then what I'm I doing here?”

Having the resources of a world wide information net in one's pocket has put the biggest library, with the fastest card catalog, in people's pocket. There's less and less need to keep information in one's head. Besides, there's so much information out there that it's impossible to memorize it all. The days of the well rounded Renaissance Man ended with the Renaissance.

It's all wonderful, except when a person finds is cut off from all that information and has to figure out a way to survive. The grid goes down. A smart phone with a dead battery are of little use. In short, technology fails. Then you are stuck with what you've stuff into your little gray cells. If all it has is web addresses, you are in trouble.

What you need are skills. Skills are more than just information. If you've ever tried to start a fire with a bow drill, you know there's more to it than knowing how. Skills have to be practiced. It's not enough that the head has information. The hands must know what to do and hands learn by doing.

So sure, use the Internet to discover new skills, but then practice them in the real world to make them your own.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. I love the Internet as there is so much availible to learn if you will put in the "skull sweat". I have worked very hard on my real world "Finacial education" next year I'm going to learn 1800's tech especially the steam engine as well as food preservation, (I'm planning an Ice House) and recipes for the 1800's to the Medieval period. Making that knowledge my own is facinating as well as fun. Especially as I know how to be safe and not just shooting in the dark like those folks.

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    1. I've plans of building a spring house one of these days.

      I know a few steam nuts and they are a fun crowd.

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  2. Yes, it doesn't seem there are too many practical survival skills learned by the young these days. You have to wonder what might happen in a situation where those skills are needed and not known... Survival of the fittest or the smartest...

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    1. Of survival of those willing to learn from old timers with knowledge in their heads and hands?

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    2. That's the one... I've plans afoot to set up a system in New Zealand that encourages men and women who are no longer working to pass their considerable knowledge and skills on to anyone who wants to know, all free of course... it's not far from getting off the ground, it has a name and is requiring a sponsor but, watch this space...

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    3. That's wonderful! Many say something has to be done, but few do anything.

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  3. I ran into a kid about ten years ago who was amazed when I wrung out a towel. He'd never seen it done! Of course, most kids don't know how to clean, sew or cook. No wonder there are so many divorces; the kids probably both expect the other one to take care of them. And that's before you even get to SHTF!

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    1. That's a pretty basic skill not to have. My girls learned how to do those things -and how to swing a hammer.

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  4. I am blessed by being born before computers and smart phones. We had books and a rotery dial phone on a party line. Each person on the party line had a difference ring. Now I have lived long enough to be in this techno age. Had the best of both worlds.

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    1. They still had the party line out here on the lake back when I was a kid. Still remember the different rings.

      Those old rotary phones were bullet proof though. Well built.

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  5. We had the last rotary phone on a party line in this county, since we went to a single line we had to buy let's see 2 phones, they don't last long.Because my Mom died when I was young, I had to learn to do everything, my brothers but not the baby sister who was spoiled & has a hard time in her life, always an excuse for some shit after another.What a mess, don't see her at all, cause she always asked for money from me and after I gave it to her she was so mean spirited I had to almost call the police to get her to leave our tiny home we paid off in 12 years & 4 months! Most kids today are so damn spoiled they would not survive that Sandy storm or anything, always being spoiled rotten, most of the gals in my only childs class could not sew, iron, wash laundry, cook, clean or anything, our babydoll learned those things from me believe you me, I was not about to die and leave her up the creek, my mother never did, when she passed I could do everything even knew about a check book budgets, bills everything, my Mom was from a foreign country and you just had to work like hell to get anything Spain, she went to the university because many familias helped her but she worked like hell to no freeloading at all, men & women cooked, cleaned, helped. It is a big shame home economics is out of most junior/middle schools, I went to catholic school til the 8th grade they never had those courses so i took 3 years of home economics and bookkeeping, budgeting, oh, my when I turned 18 went to california to live with my only surviving grandmother I got a job, we lived together, she cooked and helped me we lived in a tiny place one bedroom hers, one bathroom, she did not live to see me graduate from college passed a week before the graduation, but always told me she and my Mom and my ancestors would be with me in my heart and soul forever, guiding me, she was smart, gorgeous and frugal, she said boyfriends will come and go, girlfriends will come and go, but your blood family will be with you in your heart and soul forever and when in a jam look up to the heavens call out to God and your familia and we will help you I have done that for most of my life.I use my head and hands and heart..my hubbs is from a similar background one has to step up in life no matter the circumstances, we were the kids in school who actually listened to the teachers when they said do this don't do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We figured they survived the wwII and lots of lean time and teachers did not make much money at all in the late 50 and 60's so they knew what they were talking about indeedy! love you blog, love where you live, happy new year..peace, joy & love to you and your!

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  6. Thank you. I'm hoping that those who've learned the hard way will be able to teach those who know little. When push comes to shove, I'm guessing many "spoiled" kids will rise to the challenge. In today's world they have so little chance to physically do things that it might be welcome.

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