Monday, November 23, 2009

The Loss Of Apprenticeships Is A Tragedy By Max Kalehoff

"Why? The decline of apprenticeships signals the erosion of an important form of knowledge transfer -- both technical and cultural. It also signals a loss of grassroots enablement and inventiveness. That in turn fuels an imbalance of power, favoring mass manufacturers versus the people. Instead of a society of enterprising individuals who invent solutions to their own problems, this power imbalance fosters an ignorance of the tools we have to innovate. The result is a mindset that knows only how to purchase prefabricated solutions off the shelf... If there is no off-the-shelf solution, we're more likely to accept it and move on. It's a more passive, complacent and frustrating way of life."

Garrett:  "[W]e teach kids to do all sorts of things, but we don't teach them to think about things in the inventive way -- and why don't we? It's something you should be alert for from earliest childhood. You should be conscious that when you do devise something, when you fill a gap, you have invented."

He added, "I'd love to see kids thinking in that way, and growing up to be adults that think in that way... that solve their own problems, and [make] stuff for themselves that they want... The process of doing it is absurdly easy... it's ridiculously easy to get a machine shop to build you a gizmo. You sketch it, they'll help you make it, you try it, and if it doesn't work, you make another. You can't imagine how much fun that is."

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