At 48, I finally understand why older people complained about the declining skillfulness of the younger generations. That means I also understand, frustratingly, that what I’m about to write will be dismissed as merely and only a “cranky old man yelling at the clouds.”
Mathematics, for one. I make myself balance my checkbook using mental arithmetic. I verify it later, since a mistake would be a problem, but the first pass is in my head, not on the spreadsheet or using a calculator. I want those skills to stay sharp.
Josh, you have to understand that human intelligence travels in an arc. A baby knows nothing but steadily progresses in knowledge as the months, then years go. Just going by my observations, I'd say this arc peaks at the age of 15 or 16. In fact, if you ask somebody of that age they will readily tell you that they know everything. Those who are more circumspect will backtrack from that claim but will add that at least they sure know a lot more than you do. Then something happens. As they continue into their 20s their intelligence level begins to decline. By the time they are in their 40s they are as dumb as we are. Fortunately for the world, the next generation has arrived by then to set us all straight.
I was taught how to parallel-park by helpful homeless alcoholics who happened to be on the street while I was practicing. They motioned for me to roll down my (manual) window so I could better hear their confident directives.
Everyone’s is directionally challenged because no one reads a map anymore. I can look at a map and fix it (generally and directionally) in my mind when in a new place. It’s crazy to be so dependent on a disembodied voice telling you where to a go all the time.
OMG, this gave me a flashback to an incident when my lack of skill at handling unexpected things that happen in heavy traffic.
Downtown Washington DC. Summer 2001. I was driving my stick shift car down some street that was one-way (like most streets in DC are). A little anxious, like I tended to be. Toddler nephew in the car seat in the back.
Well, it was June. And leave it to me to pick a street that would take me sideways into the Pride parade. Cars behind me. I was STUCK. In panic mode, because there was no way to avoid driving in reverse down a narrow street with parked cars taking up so much space. Also, people in front of me who needed to back out of there, too. Waiting on me.
I froze up, then stopped my car, got out of it, got back in, started it up, backed up two feet, then stopped.
Okay two different men walked up to my car, and leaned into my open window, and offered to back it up for me. Very kind gentlemen. Unfortunately, neither could drive a stick shift. So there I was too terrified to try backing up again, and forget parallel parking to get out of everyones' way, because I can't do that, either.
Finally, one of the guys convinced me to back out of that street, very slowly, with him guiding me so that I felt a bit more confident. When I got out of there, I was so relieved that I felt faint. I turned around to see my nephew hadn't awakened the whole time.
Well, thank you for reading that. I should have learned how to use calmness and ordinary concentration when stuff like that happens. But no one made me get used to thinks that happen with a car...so I didn't bother.
And the obvious tack on to this is - watch what happens if the "kids" working a check out counter have to count out change without the assist of The MACHINE. Of course since the goal is a centralized digital bank currency which we're being eased in to with credit and debit cards, no need to count change.
Of course a CDBC is exactly like those credit and debit cards you use, you luddite!!
I'm so tempted to skew everything like this into the category of "They've been at this for a very long time, accelerating with the imposition of government mandated schools". They being the socialist-marxist-communist factions that have been in this country since the day the Mayflower landed. Realistically, I doubt there was a detailed plan to slowly, inexorably implement the mechanisms by which to render the population as a whole into zombie-like Eloi's. No. They're just maniacally committed to their ideology, and the time it takes to reach it is of little consequence.
More likely it's the human desire to always take the path of least resistance. Why do some mundane task, especially a physical one, when a machine or app can do it for you? Gosh! Think of the time that would take away from posting on TikTok! Take food preparation for instance. Cooking from scratch (starting with basic ingredients) is almost a lost art for the average person under the age of 40, maybe 50. Gardening is the same way. Both of those tasks can be accomplished ready-made from the grocery store. Fat, dumb and happy. The human happy place😮💨
I parallel parked on my road test with a ‘65 Sedan de Ville Cadillac, similar to “Shelby’s” car that Josh has described to us, I think.
Two boyfriends and 1-2 brothers were not able to teach me how to drive standard. (I could shift on a tractor, though.)
*Long comment* Took my road test in an early 90's Ford Escort stick shift. Snow storm. First time ever driving in snow. Mom said it would be "good practice". Wind gusts and heavy snow drifts on roller coaster hills, sliding around winding roads, tractor trailers tailgating my little feather weight go-kart car or drifting into our oncoming lane. Me crying. Histrionic Mother reveling in every moment of gasping arm-flailing near-death agony she performed. Madness. The usual 40min drive (partly on routes 97 & 17 to Deposit, NY) took well over an hour. By the time the instructor got there I was so relieved to have made it safely and get my mother out of the car that I completely relaxed. He was convinced I was the niece of a football buddy from the glory days. I went the wrong way down a one way street because it was still snowing heavily and the sign was covered in snow. When I realized what I'd done I calmly said "Oops, this is a one way. Well I guess I might as well do that k-turn now." Stalled on the k-turn but calmly restarted. I was sure that I'd failed. He got out of the car and told me to say hi to my uncle Jimmy. I don't have an uncle "Jimmy" but I did pass my road test that day.
I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. So many things we learned to do are now relegated to the trash bin of history. However, none as important as a caregiver’s skill to address even the most common illnesses our children come down with. Everything has a “vaccine” to prevent it so no one knows how to deal with it and thus, fears illness. Nursing a sick kid through a fever from anything, even teething, is a lost art. Now we rely on doctors that only know how to diagnose based on lab tests and MRI’s. The practice of medicine was once an art. Technology has taken away the use of common sense. The need is still there but I fear it, too, has been relegated to the trash bin of history.
Love this. My husband searched far and wide for the car he wanted: diesel, manual transmission. He ended up with a Jetta wagon. Great car. It's a 2014 and I suspect he'll keep it forever because it is nearly impossible to find such a car.
Get off my lawn! 🤣
This was obvious to me as a teen who worked as a cashier and had to count change in my head. Lol Remember that? As soon as some machines came out to do it for you, we, “real cashiers “ instinctively knew the ones who rely on a machine are dumbed down. Its only gotten worse from there.
I wish it was just driving. I personally have problem parallel parking and hate doing it, but I also cannot see 3D. Nevertheless, I learned how to parallel park and I can indeed drive stick both left and right handed. I actually really truly enjoy driving stick. Sometimes, not being able to do things and learning hard things is a crucial step in the development. Not every disability requires accommodation. Sometimes we just have to learn to deal with our own shortcomings and we will be stronger because of it.
On a not so important side note: who needs this much snow???? It has been snowing non-stop today and I can barely find my car in the driveway now. Sigh.
*My father gave up and bought a heavy duty automatic truck so I could go on errands for his farm.
*using the rear view mirror