June 03, 2007

Eloi's Coming

There's an old joke, it probably predates the automobile in some other form, about the motorist who thought that he was being overcharged because all the mechanic did was tap the carburator with a hammer. The mechanic's response was to rewrite the bill, with a seperate charge, bearing most of the expense, for knowing where to hit the carburator (handy hint - stuck float valve, near the fuel inlet). The motorist actually got off easy. Plenty of mechanics would have sold him a rebuild at twenty times the price.

There is a blogosphere discussion going on about people who do not have basic material plane skills, and sometimes even disdain those who do. Getting overcharged for auto repairs is only the beginning of these people's problems. H.G. Wells postulated a future in which mankind has divided into those who produce and those who consume. Altho from my point of view, the Morlocks would have the better of that world, it behooves us to avoid such a future, and it is up to us Morlocks to do that.

This can be done at the most elementary level, as my wee wifey has done by working with Girl Scouts, first as a leader and now as a trainer of leaders. When she took her girls camping, her goal was not to teach them wilderness survival skills. It was simply to show those who had never been as far from home as a heated cabin, and those who had never prepared a meal more complex than cold cereal and milk, that they could do things they'd never done before and have fun doing them. Hopefully they carry this knowledge over into adulthood, and when the time comes to figure out which end of a screwdriver to use, or to survive a disaster, they can draw on what they learned and proceed.

For those who think I am exaggerating the divide, consider how far apart those who think we should be able to arm ourselves for self-defense, decide what substances and risks to expose ourselves to, and arrange for our own health care, and those who believe all of this should be handled on our behalf by the government.

Posted by triticale at June 3, 2007 10:33 AM | TrackBack

Both from the son and from people who've been there before, when their units in Basic went into the field for the first time, it was amazing how many had, for all practical purposes, never been closer to actual wild country than driving past it.

Which made it real interesting when the wood rat they were chasing ran into one squad's tent

Posted by: Firehand at June 11, 2007 12:06 PM
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