ia play

the good life in a digital age

book: Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford

I’ve been reading extracts of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford. Crawford has a PhD in Political Philosophy, once worked writing abstracts for an academic journal service and now runs a motorcycle repair shop. His book, which began as an article in the New Atlantis, champions the virtues of using your hands to make and repair things.

He tells some fairly depressing tales of cubicle life:

“The quota demanded, then, not just dumbing down but also a bit of moral re-education, the opposite of the kind that occurs in the heedful absorption of mechanical work. I had to suppress my sense of responsibility to the article itself, and to others — to the author, to begin with, as well as to the hapless users of the database, who might naïvely suppose that my abstract reflected the author’s work. Such detachment was made easy by the fact there was no immediate consequence for me; I could write any nonsense whatever….

A good job requires a field of action where you can put your best capacities to work and see an effect in the world. Academic credentials do not guarantee this…

The good life comes in a variety of forms.”

via The Case for Working With Your Hands – NYTimes.com.

Written by Karen

September 28th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Posted in craft,happiness,work