Thursday, 5 July 2012
The internet has it's uses and as a source of quickly available, and sometimes accurate, information it takes some beating but when it comes to reading for pleasure the net just does not compare to the real world wide web of books, papers and magazines. I am especially fond of the tradition that we have in this country of independently produced magazines and journals. One of my favourites is the twice yearly publication devoted to land rights and small scale agriculture, The Land. The current issue of this cracking little mag, if you can call seventy four A4 pages little, is chock full of good things but one article in particular caught my eye. In Growing Up Dystechnic Simon Fairlie laments the fact that an increasing number of youngsters are entering adulthood without such basic life skills as being able to use hand tools, dig, tie a few knots or even write without the aid of a keyboard. The innate snobbishness of the English class system has always undervalued practical skills and we seem to have ended up with a situation where half the population have an encyclopedic knowledge of mobile phones and online social networking systems (and there's nothing wrong with that ) yet struggle to tie their own shoelaces unaided. In an uncertain world the basic skills of old may yet stand us in good stead.