Friday, September 12, 2014

North Carolina Woodworker Chat...

Today I've been preparing for a chat on next Thursday night, September 18, 8 PM Eastern Time with the North Carolina Woodworker organization. I was sent a set of interesting questions to help me to prepare. Blog readers will need to register to participate. You can register now at

If you are not a resident of North Carolina or one of the surrounding states, you will need to be approved for membership. This is a simple process but you must register before the evening of the event in order to give the administration of the site time to approve your membership.  I will give the address again next week and again provide the link.

One question I've been asked to address is as follows: "What do you see in the future as potentially having an impact on the craft?"
I am concerned that the digital age has some negative impact in the short term. Kids are engaged in investing their energies in digital devices at such an early age, doing things that have been made easy for them by the intelligence invested in chips and software. As human beings, we have always discovered our senses of self by doing difficult and challenging things. We are hardwired for discovery, and expenditure of effort. We feel better when we have worked ourselves full out towards some noble goal. We feel pride when we can demonstrate craftsmanship and at some point, perhaps we will make a distinction between demonstrations of artificial prowess in which we demonstrate the power of our machines, and that prowess that comes through concerted effort and practice.

One thing you will notice about the world of digital devices and software development is that every new development is to make things easier and more powerful, so that everyone with the right software and the device to run it can do whatever it does with as little effort, as little skill and as little practice as possible.

If people don’t rediscover their hands (and feet), human culture will be made worse by it. On the other hand, if we find a balance with our digital devices and override the inclination to allow our senses and creativity to be stolen from us, the hands will always offer the potential of doing incredible, mind boggling things. You can’t simply erase the 10 million years of human development in which the hands played such a major part, in one digital age.
Make, fix and create...

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