Obsolete skills

Francine Hardaway is here and we’re talking about obsolete skills. Things we used to know that no longer are very useful to us. Here’s some we came up with. How many can you come up with?

1. Dialing a rotary phone.
2. Putting a needle on a vinyl record.
3. Changing tracks on an eight-track tape.
4. Shorthand.
5. Using a slide rule.
6. Using carbon paper to make copies.
7. Developing film/photos.
8. Changing the ball or ribbon on your Selectric Typewriter.
9. Getting off the couch to change channels on your TV set.
10. Adjusting the rabbit ears on your TV set.
11. Changing the gas mixture on your car’s carburetor.

By the way, the domain “obsoleteskills.com” is still available. I almost registered it, but how about if one of you does that and put a wiki there so we can keep track of all of the things we know that are pretty much useless now?

UPDATE: somebody put up a Wiki which is really cool.

Comments

  1. RE: No. 2

    I work in the Hifi industry in the UK, and we’re currently selling turntables over CD players around 2:1. Also, i run an indie label, and like most others, we primarily press to vinyl…

  2. RE: No. 2

    I work in the Hifi industry in the UK, and we’re currently selling turntables over CD players around 2:1. Also, i run an indie label, and like most others, we primarily press to vinyl…

  3. And here I am sifting through negatives today.

    Actually, rabbit ears have made a bit of a comeback. I know people who use them to pick up OTA HDTV signals.

  4. And here I am sifting through negatives today.

    Actually, rabbit ears have made a bit of a comeback. I know people who use them to pick up OTA HDTV signals.

  5. I still have records which I listen to, and I’ve been to places where they still had rotary phones.

    But I do not miss carbon paper.

    Strangely enough I am actually thinking about getting a film camera again, as b/w photos are not really cutting it when it comes to digital photos.

  6. I still have records which I listen to, and I’ve been to places where they still had rotary phones.

    But I do not miss carbon paper.

    Strangely enough I am actually thinking about getting a film camera again, as b/w photos are not really cutting it when it comes to digital photos.

  7. @7 Julie: Pens with correction fluid? That’s after my time — I was thinking of stencil correction fluid for mimeos, or Wite-Out in the bottle, both of which I hope are obsolete.

  8. @7 Julie: Pens with correction fluid? That’s after my time — I was thinking of stencil correction fluid for mimeos, or Wite-Out in the bottle, both of which I hope are obsolete.

  9. Shorthand is still alive and well in the medical community. Especially with those of us who do mental health work where we try not to take notes in front of the client.

    Rewinding VHS tapes, man that sucked…

  10. Using carbon paper to make copies.
    Developing film/photos.
    Adjusting the rabbit ears on your TV set

    are not dead for me.

  11. Shorthand is still alive and well in the medical community. Especially with those of us who do mental health work where we try not to take notes in front of the client.

    Rewinding VHS tapes, man that sucked…

  12. Using carbon paper to make copies.
    Developing film/photos.
    Adjusting the rabbit ears on your TV set

    are not dead for me.

  13. Skills long dead:

    - making a deer fat poultice
    - vending spirits of turpentine as a medicament
    - making change in shillings and pence
    - playing whist

    Skills recently dead:

    - adjusting the ignition point gap in a distributor
    - adjusting a television’s horizontal and vertical holds
    - operating an IBM 029 key punch
    - syntax of HIMEM.SYS, EMM386.EXE
    - making an answering 2400 baud modem think I am a calling modem by whistling at the correct frequency

    Skills soon to be dead:

    - talking to people on a “telephone”
    - cooking food from “scratch”
    - filling up a car with “gasoline”
    - speaking any language other than English

  14. Skills long dead:

    - making a deer fat poultice
    - vending spirits of turpentine as a medicament
    - making change in shillings and pence
    - playing whist

    Skills recently dead:

    - adjusting the ignition point gap in a distributor
    - adjusting a television’s horizontal and vertical holds
    - operating an IBM 029 key punch
    - syntax of HIMEM.SYS, EMM386.EXE
    - making an answering 2400 baud modem think I am a calling modem by whistling at the correct frequency

    Skills soon to be dead:

    - talking to people on a “telephone”
    - cooking food from “scratch”
    - filling up a car with “gasoline”
    - speaking any language other than English

  15. Editing movies with a cutter knife and glue?

    Good one. Don’t you look forward to the day when the child in the back of the class raises their hand and asks why are the menu items called “Cut” and “Paste?”

  16. And even as tedious as some of these are…I miss pretty much all of them. Give me the good ol days…and penicillin.

  17. Editing movies with a cutter knife and glue?

    Good one. Don’t you look forward to the day when the child in the back of the class raises their hand and asks why are the menu items called “Cut” and “Paste?”

  18. And even as tedious as some of these are…I miss pretty much all of them. Give me the good ol days…and penicillin.

  19. Developing film and printing photos is far from obsolete. Digital cameras can not match large format film, and that is widely used for large photos. Far from dead. This is a very shortsighted list.

  20. Developing film and printing photos is far from obsolete. Digital cameras can not match large format film, and that is widely used for large photos. Far from dead. This is a very shortsighted list.

  21. Tankko: from what my pro photographer friends tell me you’re wrong. Hasselblad already has a 25 megapixel camera and it’s hardly the highest resolution ones. I’m interviewing some really killer photographers soon and we’ll take that issue more on then.

    But for most people anyway this is definitely an obsolete skill.

  22. Tankko: from what my pro photographer friends tell me you’re wrong. Hasselblad already has a 25 megapixel camera and it’s hardly the highest resolution ones. I’m interviewing some really killer photographers soon and we’ll take that issue more on then.

    But for most people anyway this is definitely an obsolete skill.

  23. “- speaking any language other than English”

    Depends whether you want to talk to a) your landscaper b) the Chinese or Saudi guy who just bought your company.

    Obsolete skills:

    –filling in paper bank deposits slips.

  24. “- speaking any language other than English”

    Depends whether you want to talk to a) your landscaper b) the Chinese or Saudi guy who just bought your company.

    Obsolete skills:

    –filling in paper bank deposits slips.

  25. While the “skills” (I don’t know if dialing a rotary phone is really a skill) or actions may be obsolete, how long will it take for language to change? We still talk about CC: (carbon copy) even when we e-mail a copy to someone. And how can you say a cell phone “rings”?

    And for photography, how much longer will we be comparing digital sensors to the size of a 35mm film frame? What happens when DSLR sensors become larger than this, will we call them *super* full frame cameras?

  26. While the “skills” (I don’t know if dialing a rotary phone is really a skill) or actions may be obsolete, how long will it take for language to change? We still talk about CC: (carbon copy) even when we e-mail a copy to someone. And how can you say a cell phone “rings”?

    And for photography, how much longer will we be comparing digital sensors to the size of a 35mm film frame? What happens when DSLR sensors become larger than this, will we call them *super* full frame cameras?

  27. @18,

    Way off on a couple of counts.

    Cooking from scratch will never die. It’s actually coming back into fashion in a major way. There are more and more cooking shows as a testament to this. Only this generation eats everything out of a microwave-frendly bag. Cooking is a skill.

    The US has millions and millions of Spanish-speaking people, more every year, illegal or not. Spanish is growing by leaps and bounds. In my state, it’s an official language, and in some cities, almost everything is in Spanish. By 2050, whites will be a minority in the US, with hispanics the majority. Go read up on it. Americans are having fewer and fewer children. The Spanish are having more and more. English may be the language of business, but only a handful of countries speak it officially: Australia, Philippines, Canada, US, the UK/Ireland, South Africa, Liberia, India, and a couple of others. Most countries speak French, Spanish, Chinese, or Portugese as their dominant language. Most of Africa was either French or Portuguese or Dutch at one point. Interestingly enough, Portuguese is spoken by like a quarter of the world’s population. There are over a dozen African countries where it’s the dominant language, Brazil, Macau, Portugal itself and in a few other places. Chinese, French, and Spanish make up the rest. English is spoken by the vast minority of peoples.

    Scoble,

    as far as rotary phones are concerned, I always take the option on phone calls and pretend I have a rotary phone. I always get someone on within a few seconds rather than go through the push button hell and automaton voices.

  28. @18,

    Way off on a couple of counts.

    Cooking from scratch will never die. It’s actually coming back into fashion in a major way. There are more and more cooking shows as a testament to this. Only this generation eats everything out of a microwave-frendly bag. Cooking is a skill.

    The US has millions and millions of Spanish-speaking people, more every year, illegal or not. Spanish is growing by leaps and bounds. In my state, it’s an official language, and in some cities, almost everything is in Spanish. By 2050, whites will be a minority in the US, with hispanics the majority. Go read up on it. Americans are having fewer and fewer children. The Spanish are having more and more. English may be the language of business, but only a handful of countries speak it officially: Australia, Philippines, Canada, US, the UK/Ireland, South Africa, Liberia, India, and a couple of others. Most countries speak French, Spanish, Chinese, or Portugese as their dominant language. Most of Africa was either French or Portuguese or Dutch at one point. Interestingly enough, Portuguese is spoken by like a quarter of the world’s population. There are over a dozen African countries where it’s the dominant language, Brazil, Macau, Portugal itself and in a few other places. Chinese, French, and Spanish make up the rest. English is spoken by the vast minority of peoples.

    Scoble,

    as far as rotary phones are concerned, I always take the option on phone calls and pretend I have a rotary phone. I always get someone on within a few seconds rather than go through the push button hell and automaton voices.

  29. Sometimes I think people on the East/West coast forget there is a lot of people inbetween those two coasts and they might not always be as “advanced” as some of us.

    I personally know people who have or do many of the things you listed above.

  30. Sometimes I think people on the East/West coast forget there is a lot of people inbetween those two coasts and they might not always be as “advanced” as some of us.

    I personally know people who have or do many of the things you listed above.

  31. - Learning Morse code, although not for most folks, in the olden days everyone knew the Morse code for SOS.
    - Knowing how to write a telegram
    - Darning socks

  32. - Learning Morse code, although not for most folks, in the olden days everyone knew the Morse code for SOS.
    - Knowing how to write a telegram
    - Darning socks

  33. @33,

    Amen. Face-to-face communication is dying rapidly. People now use craigslist or any other numerous services to meet rather than just meet in meatspace.

    I for one hate phone conversations unless there is no other way. I don’t really like email, either.

    Whatever happened to hooking up the old-fashioned way? Yes, the net can “facilitate” these things, but if I’m going to meet a yound lady for dating/romance, I’m want to meet her while at church, shopping, at a restaurant, the library (yes, the library. they are still useful), sports games, etc.

  34. @33,

    Amen. Face-to-face communication is dying rapidly. People now use craigslist or any other numerous services to meet rather than just meet in meatspace.

    I for one hate phone conversations unless there is no other way. I don’t really like email, either.

    Whatever happened to hooking up the old-fashioned way? Yes, the net can “facilitate” these things, but if I’m going to meet a yound lady for dating/romance, I’m want to meet her while at church, shopping, at a restaurant, the library (yes, the library. they are still useful), sports games, etc.

  35. - Making an exclamation mark on your manual typewriter by typing a period then backspacing and typing a single quote over it

    - As a cashier, making change without having to punch the amount tendered into the cash register (i.e. MATH)

    - Lead bodywork

    - Writing a letter in cursive

    - Courting

    - Bagging groceries in a paper bag

    - Listening

    - Using your turn signal

    - Merging in traffic

  36. - Making an exclamation mark on your manual typewriter by typing a period then backspacing and typing a single quote over it

    - As a cashier, making change without having to punch the amount tendered into the cash register (i.e. MATH)

    - Lead bodywork

    - Writing a letter in cursive

    - Courting

    - Bagging groceries in a paper bag

    - Listening

    - Using your turn signal

    - Merging in traffic

  37. Robert,

    You’re missing the point in a way.

    What I’m lamenting is the fact that in many ways, the Internet and cellphones are “replacing” REAL face-to-face convos. People no longer leave their homes to talk with their friends as much as they used to; they do it over some device. I disagree with this. In my circle of friends, we conduct everything in meatspace. All planning is done the same way. We use the phone or email only to say we cannot make it for some reason.

    It’s a shame people cannot meet each other at the mall (or wherever) anymore. We use proxies like online dating. Whatever happened to networking with people in the flesh? Hanging out at the mall? Chatting up the cute blonde at the cash register? There are whole studies done that show people are less and less interested in meeting people face-to-face for first dates or initial meetings. Sad.

    I, for, one, miss the late 70s/early 80s when everything was done in the real. Hell, I’d rather be in the 50s if the truth be known.

  38. Robert,

    You’re missing the point in a way.

    What I’m lamenting is the fact that in many ways, the Internet and cellphones are “replacing” REAL face-to-face convos. People no longer leave their homes to talk with their friends as much as they used to; they do it over some device. I disagree with this. In my circle of friends, we conduct everything in meatspace. All planning is done the same way. We use the phone or email only to say we cannot make it for some reason.

    It’s a shame people cannot meet each other at the mall (or wherever) anymore. We use proxies like online dating. Whatever happened to networking with people in the flesh? Hanging out at the mall? Chatting up the cute blonde at the cash register? There are whole studies done that show people are less and less interested in meeting people face-to-face for first dates or initial meetings. Sad.

    I, for, one, miss the late 70s/early 80s when everything was done in the real. Hell, I’d rather be in the 50s if the truth be known.

  39. More recently dead skills:

    - Long division.
    - Looking up a word in the dictionary.
    - Looking up a phone number in the phone book.
    - Finding a street on a map by finding the name in the list and then using the grid coords (like C4-6).
    - WordPerfect.
    - Lotus 1-2-3.
    - Addressing an envelope and putting a stamp on it.
    - Writing a check.

    More skills soon to be dead:

    - Knowing the times tables.
    - Knowing how to borrow during subtraction.
    - using the shift key to make upper-case letters.
    - Spelling. or shud i say “teh speling”.
    - Navigating the yahoo directory.
    - Questioning authority.
    - Voting.

  40. More recently dead skills:

    - Long division.
    - Looking up a word in the dictionary.
    - Looking up a phone number in the phone book.
    - Finding a street on a map by finding the name in the list and then using the grid coords (like C4-6).
    - WordPerfect.
    - Lotus 1-2-3.
    - Addressing an envelope and putting a stamp on it.
    - Writing a check.

    More skills soon to be dead:

    - Knowing the times tables.
    - Knowing how to borrow during subtraction.
    - using the shift key to make upper-case letters.
    - Spelling. or shud i say “teh speling”.
    - Navigating the yahoo directory.
    - Questioning authority.
    - Voting.

  41. Putting a needle on a vinyl record is most definitely not obsolete and according to a recent WSJ article is actually on the rise.

    Seattle record label The Control Group specializes in putting out vinyl for NEW albums by bands like The Killers and Kings of Leon. They also handle vinyl output for other labels that no longer deal in vinyl.

    In several musical genres, vinyl is still widely released and highly collectable.

  42. Putting a needle on a vinyl record is most definitely not obsolete and according to a recent WSJ article is actually on the rise.

    Seattle record label The Control Group specializes in putting out vinyl for NEW albums by bands like The Killers and Kings of Leon. They also handle vinyl output for other labels that no longer deal in vinyl.

    In several musical genres, vinyl is still widely released and highly collectable.

  43. Driving stick. (Disclaimer: I drive stick, and I think it’s way more fun, and has a bunch of other advantages, but I have a feeling that by 2015, it’ll basically be impossible to buy a new car with a standard. If better automatics don’t kill them outright, hybrids and electrics will.)

    Other already-useless car skills: Cranking your engine with a hand crank. Three on the Tree. Double clutching. Pumping your (non-ABS) brakes. Rolling up a window with a crank. Reaching across to unlock the passenger-side door. Hand signals (even though we’re still required to know them).

    Sharpening wooden pencils. (I think my grandfather is the last one in my family to do it well with a knife, and the way things are going, I think I may be the last to do it with a pencil sharpener, even.)

    Sharpening a knive with a sharpening stone. (Everybody has those “just stick the blade in the slot” jobs now.)

    Converting units by hand. Using log tables.

    The dewey decimal system. (My elementary school had the only library I’ve ever seen that uses it. Everybody else uses Library of Congress.)

    The British system of measures? Eh, well, I can dream.

  44. Driving stick. (Disclaimer: I drive stick, and I think it’s way more fun, and has a bunch of other advantages, but I have a feeling that by 2015, it’ll basically be impossible to buy a new car with a standard. If better automatics don’t kill them outright, hybrids and electrics will.)

    Other already-useless car skills: Cranking your engine with a hand crank. Three on the Tree. Double clutching. Pumping your (non-ABS) brakes. Rolling up a window with a crank. Reaching across to unlock the passenger-side door. Hand signals (even though we’re still required to know them).

    Sharpening wooden pencils. (I think my grandfather is the last one in my family to do it well with a knife, and the way things are going, I think I may be the last to do it with a pencil sharpener, even.)

    Sharpening a knive with a sharpening stone. (Everybody has those “just stick the blade in the slot” jobs now.)

    Converting units by hand. Using log tables.

    The dewey decimal system. (My elementary school had the only library I’ve ever seen that uses it. Everybody else uses Library of Congress.)

    The British system of measures? Eh, well, I can dream.

  45. @Wreck (#32)… actually, cooking from scratch is on the decline. A recent “Progressive Grocer” article noted 2007 was the first year better than 50% of all dining was done “out”.

    Cooking from scratch is on the decline in the US no matter how badly all the cooking shows want it to the contrary. It’s a great way for the consumer packaged goods manufacturers to get their products in front of you (since the newspaper’s circulation… you know the one you no longer take… is in the tank)

  46. @Wreck (#32)… actually, cooking from scratch is on the decline. A recent “Progressive Grocer” article noted 2007 was the first year better than 50% of all dining was done “out”.

    Cooking from scratch is on the decline in the US no matter how badly all the cooking shows want it to the contrary. It’s a great way for the consumer packaged goods manufacturers to get their products in front of you (since the newspaper’s circulation… you know the one you no longer take… is in the tank)

  47. I actually tried to dial a rotary phone the other day, just for fun. There are obsolete skills, and then there are things you just forget how to do. It took me at least 4 attempts to dial the right number.

    I never did really learn how to do long division properly so I’m not sad to see that go.

  48. I actually tried to dial a rotary phone the other day, just for fun. There are obsolete skills, and then there are things you just forget how to do. It took me at least 4 attempts to dial the right number.

    I never did really learn how to do long division properly so I’m not sad to see that go.

  49. Using a paper template underneath typing paper to estimate the spacing for footnotes (this was grueling) in term papers.

  50. Using a paper template underneath typing paper to estimate the spacing for footnotes (this was grueling) in term papers.

  51. @44,

    I don’t think many of the skills you listed are dying.

    Any school that does not teach loads of math, including long division, is doing the kids a disservice. Kids should be well versed in math by an early age. By 8th or 9th grade, they should already be well versed in trig, calculus, advanced algebra, geometry. American schools are far behind their european and asian counterparts.

    Learning how to read a paper map is essential. What happend if that precious GPS system dies for whatever reason. Knowing how to use a compass and a map should be a required skill. It’s easy to learn and remember. I learned land navigation in the military and it’s come in handy many times. Knowing how to shoot an azimuth and reverse azimuth has saved many a camper and hiker, even in recent times. People rely too much on technology.

    American kids are among the least educated in the 1st world when it comes to math and the sciences. The scandinavians and europeans in general, along with the asians, consistently score leaps and bounds above American students in math and sciences. Math in the US is looked upon as a requirement to graduate, not as the science it is. Kids are taught only enough the graduate in most cases. There are exceptions to this, but they are few and far between.

    Want proof? Go ask the average person where Guatemala is on a map, or even Israel. Ask these same people who Galileo or Kepler were, let alone Archimedes. Ask geeks where “moveable type” comes from and they’ll probably tell you about the blogging company rather than the Chinese and German history behind it. Sad. So much for moving the US forward. Kids are less concerned with learning and more caught up with IM, blogging, and the net in general. While these can be useful and fun, a well-rounded education includes math, science, astronomy, home economics, athletics, art, literature, writing, reading, debate, law, experiments (theory and proofs). I see very little real education in American schools. Language aside, you take an American in, say, 10th grade, and language barriers aside, and drop him in, say, Finland, they would be hopelessly behind. What we are learning in the 10th or 11th grade, they learned in what we call 7th grade. Sad for us.

  52. @44,

    I don’t think many of the skills you listed are dying.

    Any school that does not teach loads of math, including long division, is doing the kids a disservice. Kids should be well versed in math by an early age. By 8th or 9th grade, they should already be well versed in trig, calculus, advanced algebra, geometry. American schools are far behind their european and asian counterparts.

    Learning how to read a paper map is essential. What happend if that precious GPS system dies for whatever reason. Knowing how to use a compass and a map should be a required skill. It’s easy to learn and remember. I learned land navigation in the military and it’s come in handy many times. Knowing how to shoot an azimuth and reverse azimuth has saved many a camper and hiker, even in recent times. People rely too much on technology.

    American kids are among the least educated in the 1st world when it comes to math and the sciences. The scandinavians and europeans in general, along with the asians, consistently score leaps and bounds above American students in math and sciences. Math in the US is looked upon as a requirement to graduate, not as the science it is. Kids are taught only enough the graduate in most cases. There are exceptions to this, but they are few and far between.

    Want proof? Go ask the average person where Guatemala is on a map, or even Israel. Ask these same people who Galileo or Kepler were, let alone Archimedes. Ask geeks where “moveable type” comes from and they’ll probably tell you about the blogging company rather than the Chinese and German history behind it. Sad. So much for moving the US forward. Kids are less concerned with learning and more caught up with IM, blogging, and the net in general. While these can be useful and fun, a well-rounded education includes math, science, astronomy, home economics, athletics, art, literature, writing, reading, debate, law, experiments (theory and proofs). I see very little real education in American schools. Language aside, you take an American in, say, 10th grade, and language barriers aside, and drop him in, say, Finland, they would be hopelessly behind. What we are learning in the 10th or 11th grade, they learned in what we call 7th grade. Sad for us.

  53. @48,

    I think people are lazy at best. The vast majority of the world still cooks from scratch. The microwave has been the death knell to good, home-based meals. People would rather nuke their dinner than take time to make a meal and spend time with the family.

    There is no reason families cannot enjoy cooking together and have family time at the table. The lion’s share of the planet’s people remain focused on the family and meals. Tell a Greek to nuke their food and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. Same goes for the Chinese. Even the richest Chinese and Japanese still largely prepare steamed rice and veggies/meat/fish on a daily basis.

    The US has become nothing more than a shell of what it once was. This country was at its best in the 50s, all discoveries aside. Family means less and less to the average person now. Eating with family is declining in this country. Eat and go is the new mantra. Restaurants want you in and out as quickly as possible. Back in the day, restaurants wanted you to sit, take your time, eat, be merry. Now, they remind you by bringing you the bill (get out).

    Ever been to Europe, especially France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, where they spend copious amounts of time at the table talking, eating, drinking. That’s the ways it’s supposed to be. Americans rush, rush, rush. There’s no need for it. Our processed food has seen a rise in cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

  54. @48,

    I think people are lazy at best. The vast majority of the world still cooks from scratch. The microwave has been the death knell to good, home-based meals. People would rather nuke their dinner than take time to make a meal and spend time with the family.

    There is no reason families cannot enjoy cooking together and have family time at the table. The lion’s share of the planet’s people remain focused on the family and meals. Tell a Greek to nuke their food and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. Same goes for the Chinese. Even the richest Chinese and Japanese still largely prepare steamed rice and veggies/meat/fish on a daily basis.

    The US has become nothing more than a shell of what it once was. This country was at its best in the 50s, all discoveries aside. Family means less and less to the average person now. Eating with family is declining in this country. Eat and go is the new mantra. Restaurants want you in and out as quickly as possible. Back in the day, restaurants wanted you to sit, take your time, eat, be merry. Now, they remind you by bringing you the bill (get out).

    Ever been to Europe, especially France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, where they spend copious amounts of time at the table talking, eating, drinking. That’s the ways it’s supposed to be. Americans rush, rush, rush. There’s no need for it. Our processed food has seen a rise in cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

  55. Wreck: I totally disagree with your characterization of Europeans. I found they rush just as much as we do (I’ve been in Europe three times in three months).

    I’m so glad, though, that they are starting to ban smoking. Damn, is that a disgusting habit and ruins people’s dinners.

    If Europeans are so smart how come it took so long to get a clue about that issue?

  56. Wreck: I totally disagree with your characterization of Europeans. I found they rush just as much as we do (I’ve been in Europe three times in three months).

    I’m so glad, though, that they are starting to ban smoking. Damn, is that a disgusting habit and ruins people’s dinners.

    If Europeans are so smart how come it took so long to get a clue about that issue?

  57. Scoble,

    Smoking is a nasty habit. I had it for years.

    Smoking, while nasty, has no bearing on intelligence whatsoever. Yes, it’s stupid. Yes, it’s committing slow suicide, but there are, and have been, very intelligent smokers. That aside…

    The reason the EU is cracking down on smoking with a renewed vengeance because of economics. What with socialized medicine being in virtually all EU nations, no one wants to pay for the mistakes or stupidity of others. I’ve spoken with friends in the EU about this very topic.

    It’s true, however, that EU/Asian kids are far and away better educated than our own kids. There are exceptions, but like I said above, they are few and far between. Americans tend to look at education the wrong way.

    For example, in the US, what with this “no child left behind” nonsene, a smart/gifted kid in a classroom (with exceptions), gets taught the same boring curriculum that his lesser-minded peers get taught. He stagnates and begins to dislike school. The US is largely opposed to “gifted” programs because they see them as unfair. I’ve got friends that are teachers and school administrators. Schools receive little to no money for gifted programs, but, I learned, get about $10k per every child that has learning disabilities (special ed). Schools actually encourage teachers to pick out the special ed kids and get them enrolled in special ed. More money for the schools. Well, life can be unfair. Some people are actually smarter than others, and to not allow gifted students to get ahead is a crime. In the EU, if you are gifted, you go into a gifted program and move ahead at your own pace, kind of like the Montessori schools here in the US. Another disturbing trend in the US school system is to pull kids out of class for the slightest distruption and have them labelled “bi-polar” or ADD. Some states actually mandate that if chosen by a school to be tested for such things, and found to be “true”, the child cannot return to school unless medicated. This is an evil practice. It’s a proven fact, but often overlooked, that “bi-polar” or ADD kids are really just hyper, and interestingly enough, tend to be actually more intelligent. They get bored in class and tend to act out their boredom in negative ways. Put them in a gifted class and they would likely accel since they are not bored stiff with less-than-useful baseline curriculums.

    Being gifted is nice, but not all of us are. But, the average US school teaches (and I use “teaches” loosely), uses an outdated curriculum model that imparts only the bare modicum of skills required to pass the state assessment exams. Critical thinking is not taught in the US like it is elsewhere, but you know full well that sports gets the largest budget in the school system. It’s a proven fact that less than 1% of students go on to play professional sports. And we wonder why our kids can graduate without being able to find countries on a map. They can dunk a bball or play football, but they cannot use a semicolon properly or tell you the difference between an adjective and adverb. Ever notice that the minimal acceptable grade in most schools to play sports is a C average. It should be a B- at the very least. A C average encourages mediocrity.

    Talk to an Indian, Chinese, or European. They are so far ahead of us in general education it’s silly. I’m ashamed to even talk with these people about American education. India is one of the poorest nations on earth, but man do they graduate some smart kids. China, too.

  58. Scoble,

    Smoking is a nasty habit. I had it for years.

    Smoking, while nasty, has no bearing on intelligence whatsoever. Yes, it’s stupid. Yes, it’s committing slow suicide, but there are, and have been, very intelligent smokers. That aside…

    The reason the EU is cracking down on smoking with a renewed vengeance because of economics. What with socialized medicine being in virtually all EU nations, no one wants to pay for the mistakes or stupidity of others. I’ve spoken with friends in the EU about this very topic.

    It’s true, however, that EU/Asian kids are far and away better educated than our own kids. There are exceptions, but like I said above, they are few and far between. Americans tend to look at education the wrong way.

    For example, in the US, what with this “no child left behind” nonsene, a smart/gifted kid in a classroom (with exceptions), gets taught the same boring curriculum that his lesser-minded peers get taught. He stagnates and begins to dislike school. The US is largely opposed to “gifted” programs because they see them as unfair. I’ve got friends that are teachers and school administrators. Schools receive little to no money for gifted programs, but, I learned, get about $10k per every child that has learning disabilities (special ed). Schools actually encourage teachers to pick out the special ed kids and get them enrolled in special ed. More money for the schools. Well, life can be unfair. Some people are actually smarter than others, and to not allow gifted students to get ahead is a crime. In the EU, if you are gifted, you go into a gifted program and move ahead at your own pace, kind of like the Montessori schools here in the US. Another disturbing trend in the US school system is to pull kids out of class for the slightest distruption and have them labelled “bi-polar” or ADD. Some states actually mandate that if chosen by a school to be tested for such things, and found to be “true”, the child cannot return to school unless medicated. This is an evil practice. It’s a proven fact, but often overlooked, that “bi-polar” or ADD kids are really just hyper, and interestingly enough, tend to be actually more intelligent. They get bored in class and tend to act out their boredom in negative ways. Put them in a gifted class and they would likely accel since they are not bored stiff with less-than-useful baseline curriculums.

    Being gifted is nice, but not all of us are. But, the average US school teaches (and I use “teaches” loosely), uses an outdated curriculum model that imparts only the bare modicum of skills required to pass the state assessment exams. Critical thinking is not taught in the US like it is elsewhere, but you know full well that sports gets the largest budget in the school system. It’s a proven fact that less than 1% of students go on to play professional sports. And we wonder why our kids can graduate without being able to find countries on a map. They can dunk a bball or play football, but they cannot use a semicolon properly or tell you the difference between an adjective and adverb. Ever notice that the minimal acceptable grade in most schools to play sports is a C average. It should be a B- at the very least. A C average encourages mediocrity.

    Talk to an Indian, Chinese, or European. They are so far ahead of us in general education it’s silly. I’m ashamed to even talk with these people about American education. India is one of the poorest nations on earth, but man do they graduate some smart kids. China, too.

  59. Wreck: I’ll go further. I’ve been to China and Europe. I agree with you that their education systems are ahead of ours in a lot of ways.

    One interesting thing is that we keep importing smart people from around the world. Ask Loic Le Meur why he didn’t stay in France, for instance.

    Or my wife. Ask her why her parents sent her away to a foreign land from their home in Tehran.

    And this trend continues to this day.

    Yes, there are lots of smart smokers, but it does indicate some level of stupidness to pick up smoking in the past 20/30 years since every scientific study shows that’s bad for you.

    Plus it just plain stinks. It’s amazingly rude to light up inside when other people who aren’t smokers are around.

  60. Wreck: I’ll go further. I’ve been to China and Europe. I agree with you that their education systems are ahead of ours in a lot of ways.

    One interesting thing is that we keep importing smart people from around the world. Ask Loic Le Meur why he didn’t stay in France, for instance.

    Or my wife. Ask her why her parents sent her away to a foreign land from their home in Tehran.

    And this trend continues to this day.

    Yes, there are lots of smart smokers, but it does indicate some level of stupidness to pick up smoking in the past 20/30 years since every scientific study shows that’s bad for you.

    Plus it just plain stinks. It’s amazingly rude to light up inside when other people who aren’t smokers are around.

  61. Scoble,

    I forgot to address one thing you brought up. You said Eropeans rush as much as Americans do. Remember, you were at a conference, hung out with geeks, that while from the EU and everywhere else, tend to have the same characteristics as all geeks: always moving, thinking, rushing around, never having enough time to do this or that.

    I’m talking about real, everyday people like farmers, office workers, etc. Not geeks. Europeans tend to move more slowly than we do. The Spanish have it right. Siestas should be mandatory. Go to any major city in Spain during the workweek and when siesta time comes, the city largely comes to a crawl. That’s great. It’s good for morale and the health. I also like the fact that the EU has a 35-hor work week (UK not included), a minimum of 6-8 weeks paid time off, socialized medicine, PATERNITY leave, even. The US should have all this.

  62. Scoble,

    I forgot to address one thing you brought up. You said Eropeans rush as much as Americans do. Remember, you were at a conference, hung out with geeks, that while from the EU and everywhere else, tend to have the same characteristics as all geeks: always moving, thinking, rushing around, never having enough time to do this or that.

    I’m talking about real, everyday people like farmers, office workers, etc. Not geeks. Europeans tend to move more slowly than we do. The Spanish have it right. Siestas should be mandatory. Go to any major city in Spain during the workweek and when siesta time comes, the city largely comes to a crawl. That’s great. It’s good for morale and the health. I also like the fact that the EU has a 35-hor work week (UK not included), a minimum of 6-8 weeks paid time off, socialized medicine, PATERNITY leave, even. The US should have all this.

  63. When I left university in the late 80s, I fell axx-backwards into doing freelance radio work for the CBC (Canada’s NPR).

    I started out using a Sony cassette recorder to do field work, then the big move — the Walkman PRO! Wooow. But still, what we did back then was have our tape dubbed onto 1/4″ tape, then we edited our clips with a razorblade and a yellow grease pencil, using splicing tape to hold stuff together.

    I still do some work for CBC and some podcasting, but it isn’t like that any more.

  64. When I left university in the late 80s, I fell axx-backwards into doing freelance radio work for the CBC (Canada’s NPR).

    I started out using a Sony cassette recorder to do field work, then the big move — the Walkman PRO! Wooow. But still, what we did back then was have our tape dubbed onto 1/4″ tape, then we edited our clips with a razorblade and a yellow grease pencil, using splicing tape to hold stuff together.

    I still do some work for CBC and some podcasting, but it isn’t like that any more.

  65. Obsolete Celebrity Tech Blogger skills
    ————————————–
    Steady Camera Skills and Focusing
    Fact-checking
    Reading anything more than a summary
    Researching the topic(s)
    Calling up people who know the issue, to get a background
    Using a source not from Wikipedia. Original souces, how time-wasting heady.
    Doing independent verification of claims made by conference trade-show vendors.
    Actually having a clue about anything

  66. Obsolete Celebrity Tech Blogger skills
    ————————————–
    Steady Camera Skills and Focusing
    Fact-checking
    Reading anything more than a summary
    Researching the topic(s)
    Calling up people who know the issue, to get a background
    Using a source not from Wikipedia. Original souces, how time-wasting heady.
    Doing independent verification of claims made by conference trade-show vendors.
    Actually having a clue about anything

  67. Gee, sounds to me like a lot a huff and puff here… what you REALLY seem to be talking about is MONEY, not ‘obsolete’ and/or ‘essence’ and/or smoking and/or EU educational standards etc …. Come on now – FOCUS BOYS !

    ‘Twill all be a bit of a non-issue when the lights go out and the ‘power’ goes off anyway and SUDDENLY we gotta start doing EVERYTHING again by hand … the TRAGEDY is that so few have a CLUE. Labour is not respected in America.

    My old mum still uses a rotary phone, on principle, she REFUSES to pay the jacked-up rate for ‘touch’. And my pop often used a slide rule when woodworking. I personally REALLY like to cook – AND, o’dear, I like to have an after dinner cigarette and do my very own huffing and puffing … quel horror !

    Guess I’ll just have to bumble along and try to make the best of it anyway …. Coming? Or, are you gonna STAY in HERE FOREVER fellas???

  68. Gee, sounds to me like a lot a huff and puff here… what you REALLY seem to be talking about is MONEY, not ‘obsolete’ and/or ‘essence’ and/or smoking and/or EU educational standards etc …. Come on now – FOCUS BOYS !

    ‘Twill all be a bit of a non-issue when the lights go out and the ‘power’ goes off anyway and SUDDENLY we gotta start doing EVERYTHING again by hand … the TRAGEDY is that so few have a CLUE. Labour is not respected in America.

    My old mum still uses a rotary phone, on principle, she REFUSES to pay the jacked-up rate for ‘touch’. And my pop often used a slide rule when woodworking. I personally REALLY like to cook – AND, o’dear, I like to have an after dinner cigarette and do my very own huffing and puffing … quel horror !

    Guess I’ll just have to bumble along and try to make the best of it anyway …. Coming? Or, are you gonna STAY in HERE FOREVER fellas???

  69. Scoble, I just thought of another one to add

    - Sending your colleagues stuff via the yellow inter-departmental envelopes. Maybe the MacBook Air will bring those back

  70. Scoble, I just thought of another one to add

    - Sending your colleagues stuff via the yellow inter-departmental envelopes. Maybe the MacBook Air will bring those back

  71. #60: “Yes, [smoking is] committing slow suicide”.

    It’s much worse than that. Thanks to secondhand smoke, it’s actually a really slow suicide *bomber*.

    I don’t know why more isn’t being done to combat this ubiquitous terrorist threat.

  72. #60: “Yes, [smoking is] committing slow suicide”.

    It’s much worse than that. Thanks to secondhand smoke, it’s actually a really slow suicide *bomber*.

    I don’t know why more isn’t being done to combat this ubiquitous terrorist threat.

  73. Just guessing here, but I don’t think going to Europe 3 times on business and spending your time in hotels, restaurants and conference halls gives anyone any insight whatsoever on what life is like in Europe. Me thinks one might have to actually LIVE there for an extended period of time to form an intelligent opinion beyond: “Hey!,some restaurants have banned smoking! They are making progress!”

  74. Just guessing here, but I don’t think going to Europe 3 times on business and spending your time in hotels, restaurants and conference halls gives anyone any insight whatsoever on what life is like in Europe. Me thinks one might have to actually LIVE there for an extended period of time to form an intelligent opinion beyond: “Hey!,some restaurants have banned smoking! They are making progress!”

  75. Ken: I’ve been to Europe dozens of times in my life. The three trips is just in the past three months. My mom was born in Germany, many of my relatives still live there. My wife’s brother lives in Wales. So, I have a pretty good insight into life there.

  76. Ken: I’ve been to Europe dozens of times in my life. The three trips is just in the past three months. My mom was born in Germany, many of my relatives still live there. My wife’s brother lives in Wales. So, I have a pretty good insight into life there.

  77. Yeah, the “putting the needle on a vinyl record” has been justifiably demonstrated to be a currently in-demand skill (in fact, it could be argued that anyone who dismisses vinyl as readily now as they did 10 years ago may be a bit out of touch with the music industry).

    But I understand the reasoning for including it on the list – so you could get hits for another FC video. Good on ya for your slickness.

  78. Yeah, the “putting the needle on a vinyl record” has been justifiably demonstrated to be a currently in-demand skill (in fact, it could be argued that anyone who dismisses vinyl as readily now as they did 10 years ago may be a bit out of touch with the music industry).

    But I understand the reasoning for including it on the list – so you could get hits for another FC video. Good on ya for your slickness.

  79. @66,

    Amen. When the lights do go out, the satellites fail, or we get hit with a big EMP, people with no old-skool skills are the ones going to be rioting for food and goods.

    Skills that I consider mandatory, even today:

    1) math with pencil and paper
    2) hunting using various methods
    3) fishing using various methods
    4) start a fire with stuff from the forest or desert
    5) land navigation, map reading, how to use a compass
    6) self-defense using various methods
    7) build an expedient shelter

    I think Robert Heinlein puts it perfectly:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

  80. @66,

    Amen. When the lights do go out, the satellites fail, or we get hit with a big EMP, people with no old-skool skills are the ones going to be rioting for food and goods.

    Skills that I consider mandatory, even today:

    1) math with pencil and paper
    2) hunting using various methods
    3) fishing using various methods
    4) start a fire with stuff from the forest or desert
    5) land navigation, map reading, how to use a compass
    6) self-defense using various methods
    7) build an expedient shelter

    I think Robert Heinlein puts it perfectly:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

  81. While I am a necrocomputing hobbyist (DECSYSTEM-20 in the garage and all that), I don’t have to draw upon that to gainsay one item on your list.

    Pilots of aircraft still use sliderules, usually called the E6B. Yes, there are battery powered calculators that do the same thing, but they don’t fit around the bezel of a watch.

    Oh yeah, we read paper maps too.

    It’s an odd industry. General aviation is only now coming around to such “novelties” as Full Authority Digital Engine Control. There are also more than a few carbureted engines still in service.

    Even I have to admit that I prefer electronic ignition to magnetos, but there is a quaint and unmistakable reliability to that technology.

  82. While I am a necrocomputing hobbyist (DECSYSTEM-20 in the garage and all that), I don’t have to draw upon that to gainsay one item on your list.

    Pilots of aircraft still use sliderules, usually called the E6B. Yes, there are battery powered calculators that do the same thing, but they don’t fit around the bezel of a watch.

    Oh yeah, we read paper maps too.

    It’s an odd industry. General aviation is only now coming around to such “novelties” as Full Authority Digital Engine Control. There are also more than a few carbureted engines still in service.

    Even I have to admit that I prefer electronic ignition to magnetos, but there is a quaint and unmistakable reliability to that technology.

  83. My daughter recently asked me why I had all these “giant CDs” in the closet. They are old records. I finally decided it was time to throw out the record *player* at least because the needle was missing. I threw out the rotary phone, too. I kept the Stereopticon. There are certain things that will be antiques, collector’s items, but I think not rotary phones from the 1990s.

    You still have to know shorthand and use envelopes, stamps, and checks, however, because there are institutions and meetings where you can’t take in a cell phone or laptop to the meeting and they don’t have online payments yet.

  84. My daughter recently asked me why I had all these “giant CDs” in the closet. They are old records. I finally decided it was time to throw out the record *player* at least because the needle was missing. I threw out the rotary phone, too. I kept the Stereopticon. There are certain things that will be antiques, collector’s items, but I think not rotary phones from the 1990s.

    You still have to know shorthand and use envelopes, stamps, and checks, however, because there are institutions and meetings where you can’t take in a cell phone or laptop to the meeting and they don’t have online payments yet.

  85. My 80 year old grandparents in Portugal have a rotary phone. I was there for 3 weeks recently and it was driving me mad. When i first got there my cell phone’s international plan wasn’t working so i called AT&T-of course i could not use the prompts to get to the right person, after a long time (a long distance call) on hold finally someone came on- when i told him i couldn’t hit the prompts because i was on a rotary phone the guy goes- ‘what is that?’ after explaining he probably though Portugal was a backwards country- i told him that my grandparents are just slow to change!

    I have told them that it is not safe- if they have an emergency dialing a rotary phone is probably not the quickest way to get the ambulance to come. But she likes the way it looks (it is a nice old phone)!

  86. My 80 year old grandparents in Portugal have a rotary phone. I was there for 3 weeks recently and it was driving me mad. When i first got there my cell phone’s international plan wasn’t working so i called AT&T-of course i could not use the prompts to get to the right person, after a long time (a long distance call) on hold finally someone came on- when i told him i couldn’t hit the prompts because i was on a rotary phone the guy goes- ‘what is that?’ after explaining he probably though Portugal was a backwards country- i told him that my grandparents are just slow to change!

    I have told them that it is not safe- if they have an emergency dialing a rotary phone is probably not the quickest way to get the ambulance to come. But she likes the way it looks (it is a nice old phone)!

  87. Other “skills::

    Setting the station on a push button radio.
    Checking the water level in the car battery
    Using three buttons to adjust the color on the TV
    Three button TV remote
    Replacing tubes in the TV.
    Watching music videos on MTV
    Driving a manual column shifting transmission
    Manually calculating change when using a cash register
    Filling out a withdrawal slip to take cash out of your bank account
    Dialing “O” and actually talking to an operator.
    Dialing the number for the correct time
    Understanding what to do about Global Cooling
    “Danger, Will Robinson”
    “Phasers on stun”
    “To the Bat Cave!”
    The code to silence the screeching sound of a modem
    Sending a Telex
    ride in a car without seat belts
    sitting next to your ‘boyfriend/girlfriend” on the bench seat in the front of your car.
    Anticipating the cartoon before the movie
    Eventually..Drive-In movies
    putting in that insert in the 45 record
    listening to the “B” side of a 45 record
    Riding in the third seat of a station wagon facing out the back window
    Playing “Pong”
    How to format a 5.25 floppy disk
    creating a batch file via edlin
    Reel-to-Reel tape recorders
    Look something up in an encyclopedia
    How to really “steal” music (walk out of the store with a record”
    To get “porn” you had to steal if from your older brother, or bribe some homeless person to buy it for you.
    Using a TV Guide to see what was on TV.
    Waiting ALL week for cartoons–only on Saturday mornings
    Making popcorn by heating up oil in a pan an waiting for it to start popping

  88. Other “skills::

    Setting the station on a push button radio.
    Checking the water level in the car battery
    Using three buttons to adjust the color on the TV
    Three button TV remote
    Replacing tubes in the TV.
    Watching music videos on MTV
    Driving a manual column shifting transmission
    Manually calculating change when using a cash register
    Filling out a withdrawal slip to take cash out of your bank account
    Dialing “O” and actually talking to an operator.
    Dialing the number for the correct time
    Understanding what to do about Global Cooling
    “Danger, Will Robinson”
    “Phasers on stun”
    “To the Bat Cave!”
    The code to silence the screeching sound of a modem
    Sending a Telex
    ride in a car without seat belts
    sitting next to your ‘boyfriend/girlfriend” on the bench seat in the front of your car.
    Anticipating the cartoon before the movie
    Eventually..Drive-In movies
    putting in that insert in the 45 record
    listening to the “B” side of a 45 record
    Riding in the third seat of a station wagon facing out the back window
    Playing “Pong”
    How to format a 5.25 floppy disk
    creating a batch file via edlin
    Reel-to-Reel tape recorders
    Look something up in an encyclopedia
    How to really “steal” music (walk out of the store with a record”
    To get “porn” you had to steal if from your older brother, or bribe some homeless person to buy it for you.
    Using a TV Guide to see what was on TV.
    Waiting ALL week for cartoons–only on Saturday mornings
    Making popcorn by heating up oil in a pan an waiting for it to start popping

  89. handwriting. the nuns beat it into me, and I used to turn out quite a nice and legible chicken scratch. Now, because of the computer keyboard, when I try to write with a pen and paper, I’ve actually forgotten how.

  90. handwriting. the nuns beat it into me, and I used to turn out quite a nice and legible chicken scratch. Now, because of the computer keyboard, when I try to write with a pen and paper, I’ve actually forgotten how.

  91. That’s funny. A lot of the 20-somethings here in S.F. still use/buy records and at least one or two people I know use medium-format film cameras.

    Also: a lot of young people still use MySpace instead of Facebook. Why? Every MySpace band lets you stream their music on your page, and you can customize the hell out of your page. Facebook is ugly and no one’s profile looks interesting.

  92. That’s funny. A lot of the 20-somethings here in S.F. still use/buy records and at least one or two people I know use medium-format film cameras.

    Also: a lot of young people still use MySpace instead of Facebook. Why? Every MySpace band lets you stream their music on your page, and you can customize the hell out of your page. Facebook is ugly and no one’s profile looks interesting.

  93. -Skill #1: used a rotary phone for a few years when growing up (thanks to being in rural Alaska).
    -Skill #5: I own, and know how to use, a slide rule
    I still use skill 10 regularly.
    -Skill #8: My typewriter wasn’t even electric.
    -And I regularly use skills #9 and #10 even now (old television set, lousy reception, and no cable).

    How about these:
    -A slideshow with actual slides
    -changing the ribbon head in a dot-matrix printer

  94. -Skill #1: used a rotary phone for a few years when growing up (thanks to being in rural Alaska).
    -Skill #5: I own, and know how to use, a slide rule
    I still use skill 10 regularly.
    -Skill #8: My typewriter wasn’t even electric.
    -And I regularly use skills #9 and #10 even now (old television set, lousy reception, and no cable).

    How about these:
    -A slideshow with actual slides
    -changing the ribbon head in a dot-matrix printer

  95. I think a lot of dj’s and the audiophiles prefer Turntables for mixing.

    And as the last generation that just about learned slide rules before switching to calculators – I must get a slid rule to keep on the desk to go with my RPN HP Calculator – though I believe that Pilots still use a special purpose slide rule.

    Re Europe

    Yes an no to the slower pace some areas are still some what in the 70′s (try getting Telephonica to fix a phone quickly in Spain) and its only France that has the 35hour work week though the non uk states do have more public holidays.

    I used to work with some one who had managed peoplein SV and in the uk and he reckoned that in SV people spent a lot more time goofing off at the water cooler and taking long weekends to go skiing. That there was effectively no difference in the amount of work even with the 4-5 week holidays we had in BT vs 2 weeks in SV.

  96. I think a lot of dj’s and the audiophiles prefer Turntables for mixing.

    And as the last generation that just about learned slide rules before switching to calculators – I must get a slid rule to keep on the desk to go with my RPN HP Calculator – though I believe that Pilots still use a special purpose slide rule.

    Re Europe

    Yes an no to the slower pace some areas are still some what in the 70′s (try getting Telephonica to fix a phone quickly in Spain) and its only France that has the 35hour work week though the non uk states do have more public holidays.

    I used to work with some one who had managed peoplein SV and in the uk and he reckoned that in SV people spent a lot more time goofing off at the water cooler and taking long weekends to go skiing. That there was effectively no difference in the amount of work even with the 4-5 week holidays we had in BT vs 2 weeks in SV.

  97. How about fast-forwarding a cassette tape while holding the Play button down slightly to listen for the gaps between songs? With CDs and mp3s, this is definitely an obsolete skill.

  98. How about fast-forwarding a cassette tape while holding the Play button down slightly to listen for the gaps between songs? With CDs and mp3s, this is definitely an obsolete skill.

  99. We’re still teaching shorthand to Journalists here at CJS in Cardiff (possibly the UK’s most renowned journalism school). Lecturers here could name plenty of big court cases that revolved around the use of shorthand.

    As for film photography… Shame on you, Mr. Scoble. There are plenty of reasons that film photography will be with us for many many years, and not all of them are cold and rational :)

  100. We’re still teaching shorthand to Journalists here at CJS in Cardiff (possibly the UK’s most renowned journalism school). Lecturers here could name plenty of big court cases that revolved around the use of shorthand.

    As for film photography… Shame on you, Mr. Scoble. There are plenty of reasons that film photography will be with us for many many years, and not all of them are cold and rational :)

  101. 1. Using a DOS prompt.
    2. Using an 8″, 5.25″, 3.5″ floppy disk/drive.
    3. Using a CRT monitor.
    4. Being able to locate my shoes quickly.
    5. Bathing at 4 AM before my now obsolete commute.

  102. 1. Using a DOS prompt.
    2. Using an 8″, 5.25″, 3.5″ floppy disk/drive.
    3. Using a CRT monitor.
    4. Being able to locate my shoes quickly.
    5. Bathing at 4 AM before my now obsolete commute.

  103. I get so sick of the SELF RIGHTEOUS. Every time you step on a jet and zoom off to destinations unknown for a ‘visit’ you are spewing more toxic noxious ‘obnoxious & offensive’ TONS of crappola into the atmosphere than ANY itty bitty ‘smoker’. Get off your high horses and put away the whip. Smokers ae AWARE of their ‘obsessive-compulsive addiction’. Are YOU – high-end disposable gadget geeks?

    Not everyone on the planet wants to live like you guys … Peas are not pumpkins, horses are not bears … Bio-diversity and individuality is essential for species survival.

    And, for all of those of you who are somewhat cavalierly just ‘throwing stuff’ out …. SHAME.
    WHERE do you think all that extraneous JUNK goes?

  104. I get so sick of the SELF RIGHTEOUS. Every time you step on a jet and zoom off to destinations unknown for a ‘visit’ you are spewing more toxic noxious ‘obnoxious & offensive’ TONS of crappola into the atmosphere than ANY itty bitty ‘smoker’. Get off your high horses and put away the whip. Smokers ae AWARE of their ‘obsessive-compulsive addiction’. Are YOU – high-end disposable gadget geeks?

    Not everyone on the planet wants to live like you guys … Peas are not pumpkins, horses are not bears … Bio-diversity and individuality is essential for species survival.

    And, for all of those of you who are somewhat cavalierly just ‘throwing stuff’ out …. SHAME.
    WHERE do you think all that extraneous JUNK goes?

  105. @87,

    One of the problems with the western world in general is that we devloped a “throw-away” mentality. If it’s broken, toss it out and acquire a new one.

    I remember as a kid (I’m 40 now) seeing quite a few TV and stereo repair shops. They’re all gone. People don’t repair stuff anymore — they throw it out and make another trip to their local Best Buy or Fry’s.

    I know people who buy laptops and when anything breaks, they buy a new one.

    I honestly do believe, though, that there is some planned obselescence in modern electronics, but not so much with older stuff.

    My grandparents bought one of those huge Zenith console TVs back in the early 70s. It still works, but I replaced it with a modern flat panel because of the digital-only broadcasts coming up soon. Had it not been for this, they would still be using it. It was over thirty years old and still just fine.

  106. @87,

    One of the problems with the western world in general is that we devloped a “throw-away” mentality. If it’s broken, toss it out and acquire a new one.

    I remember as a kid (I’m 40 now) seeing quite a few TV and stereo repair shops. They’re all gone. People don’t repair stuff anymore — they throw it out and make another trip to their local Best Buy or Fry’s.

    I know people who buy laptops and when anything breaks, they buy a new one.

    I honestly do believe, though, that there is some planned obselescence in modern electronics, but not so much with older stuff.

    My grandparents bought one of those huge Zenith console TVs back in the early 70s. It still works, but I replaced it with a modern flat panel because of the digital-only broadcasts coming up soon. Had it not been for this, they would still be using it. It was over thirty years old and still just fine.

  107. Well, you know what the say about the ‘original’ lightbulb … obselescence was a deliberate ‘marketing’ ploy.

    Wreck, do you have a ‘site’? There’s no ‘link’ here.

  108. Well, you know what the say about the ‘original’ lightbulb … obselescence was a deliberate ‘marketing’ ploy.

    Wreck, do you have a ‘site’? There’s no ‘link’ here.

  109. @89,

    No site yet. I’m toying with the idea of starting my own blog, but I haven’t figured out what kind of angle I want to launch it from or who the audience might be.

  110. @89,

    No site yet. I’m toying with the idea of starting my own blog, but I haven’t figured out what kind of angle I want to launch it from or who the audience might be.

  111. You Could Add

    Wireing a plug/Changing a fuse in a plug

    Soldering your own rs232 leads – and the anoyance you felt when you reaised you hand’t put the hoods on first :-)

    I still think you can’t be a real programmer with being able to use a soldering iron

  112. You Could Add

    Wireing a plug/Changing a fuse in a plug

    Soldering your own rs232 leads – and the anoyance you felt when you reaised you hand’t put the hoods on first :-)

    I still think you can’t be a real programmer with being able to use a soldering iron

  113. I forgot to add that western peoples have this hangup with having the latest and greatest. For some people, it’s a disease almost.

    My last trip to the EU a couple of years ago really opened up my eyes to some things I was wondering about.

    How does the average European live in terms of gadgets?

    How do they see gadgets compared to Americans?

    Well, I visited a few home while over there, people from all walks of life and people with a range of salaries. Not one — NOT ONE — had a big screen TV. They all had average sized TVs. None of them had more than one laptop or desktop computer. One family had two, but that’s because the daughter was a student at university. Dad told me they would have never bought it otherwise.

    Europeans love texting. They use it so much more than Americans do. There are phone plans in the EU that only offer texting. Everyone almost uses it. I hate it, but that’s me.

    I have a plain jane phone that does calls only. I need nothing else. I have no interest in being bothered unless required.

    I personally know people who buy every iteration of Mac or other computer brand that comes out, and they wonder why they cannot afford to ever eat out once in a while. They also buy every stupid tech toy they see that they like. Computers should last at least 3 years, preferrably 5, but the hardware/software companies keep ugrading stuff forcing new hardware/software if you want to use the newest stuff. No thanks.

  114. I forgot to add that western peoples have this hangup with having the latest and greatest. For some people, it’s a disease almost.

    My last trip to the EU a couple of years ago really opened up my eyes to some things I was wondering about.

    How does the average European live in terms of gadgets?

    How do they see gadgets compared to Americans?

    Well, I visited a few home while over there, people from all walks of life and people with a range of salaries. Not one — NOT ONE — had a big screen TV. They all had average sized TVs. None of them had more than one laptop or desktop computer. One family had two, but that’s because the daughter was a student at university. Dad told me they would have never bought it otherwise.

    Europeans love texting. They use it so much more than Americans do. There are phone plans in the EU that only offer texting. Everyone almost uses it. I hate it, but that’s me.

    I have a plain jane phone that does calls only. I need nothing else. I have no interest in being bothered unless required.

    I personally know people who buy every iteration of Mac or other computer brand that comes out, and they wonder why they cannot afford to ever eat out once in a while. They also buy every stupid tech toy they see that they like. Computers should last at least 3 years, preferrably 5, but the hardware/software companies keep ugrading stuff forcing new hardware/software if you want to use the newest stuff. No thanks.

  115. @99,

    I agree with your assessment of real programmers. The Steve Wozniaks are few and far between.

    A good programmer should know things down to the machine level. They all used to back in the day, but now, if you can type, you can call yourself a programmer.

  116. @99,

    I agree with your assessment of real programmers. The Steve Wozniaks are few and far between.

    A good programmer should know things down to the machine level. They all used to back in the day, but now, if you can type, you can call yourself a programmer.

  117. Love this topic!
    How about opening the garage door manually, popping popcorn on the stove, tea in a kettle, looking in the newspaper for movie times at the cinema, buying a map instead of mapquesting directions,……
    The list is endless.

  118. Love this topic!
    How about opening the garage door manually, popping popcorn on the stove, tea in a kettle, looking in the newspaper for movie times at the cinema, buying a map instead of mapquesting directions,……
    The list is endless.

  119. @75: I prefer Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who didn’t hold back at all:

    “A person who is said to be proficient at the arts is like a fool. Because of his foolishness in concerning himself with just one thing, he thinks of nothing else and thus becomes proficient. He is a worthless person.”

  120. @75: I prefer Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who didn’t hold back at all:

    “A person who is said to be proficient at the arts is like a fool. Because of his foolishness in concerning himself with just one thing, he thinks of nothing else and thus becomes proficient. He is a worthless person.”

  121. Wreck, pls let me know when you strike an angle … Happy Huntin’.

    Setting up a blog is ‘easy’, relatively speaking. I mean, it’s not as though you have to CARVE something with the strength and finesse of your own BARE HANDS ….

    You can keep a blog ‘private’ until you’re ready to ‘launch’. If unfamiliar with the basics it can be a rather steep ‘learning curve’, […methinks you do have programming under your belt…). It soon all becomes second nature. Part of the ‘fun’ here is to ‘jump in’ with others in the WordPress community. Lots of alternate p.o.v.’s, some wise, some dull, some brilliant, some insipid. Generally there is something of ‘interest’.

    Alternatively, give ‘Stumbleupon.com’ a gander. Now that’s REALLY a wacky fun invigorating and interesting ride …

    Then again, CARVING is a far more demanding, exacting, time consuming personal CREATION that challenges the ever-fluctuating balance between your hand, eye, mind and heart. The ‘audience’ is limited, but the net result is something you can actually GIVE your grandchildren ….

  122. Wreck, pls let me know when you strike an angle … Happy Huntin’.

    Setting up a blog is ‘easy’, relatively speaking. I mean, it’s not as though you have to CARVE something with the strength and finesse of your own BARE HANDS ….

    You can keep a blog ‘private’ until you’re ready to ‘launch’. If unfamiliar with the basics it can be a rather steep ‘learning curve’, […methinks you do have programming under your belt…). It soon all becomes second nature. Part of the ‘fun’ here is to ‘jump in’ with others in the WordPress community. Lots of alternate p.o.v.’s, some wise, some dull, some brilliant, some insipid. Generally there is something of ‘interest’.

    Alternatively, give ‘Stumbleupon.com’ a gander. Now that’s REALLY a wacky fun invigorating and interesting ride …

    Then again, CARVING is a far more demanding, exacting, time consuming personal CREATION that challenges the ever-fluctuating balance between your hand, eye, mind and heart. The ‘audience’ is limited, but the net result is something you can actually GIVE your grandchildren ….

  123. Umm, you call these “Skills”?
    A skill is Carpentry.
    A skill is Autorepair.
    A skill is “a craft, trade, or job requiring manual dexterity or special training in which a person has competence and experience: the skill of cabinetmaking.”

    Using Carbon paper is NOT a skill.
    Neither is adjusting your tv’s antenna!

  124. Umm, you call these “Skills”?
    A skill is Carpentry.
    A skill is Autorepair.
    A skill is “a craft, trade, or job requiring manual dexterity or special training in which a person has competence and experience: the skill of cabinetmaking.”

    Using Carbon paper is NOT a skill.
    Neither is adjusting your tv’s antenna!

  125. The fact is many people every year get lost in the wilderness, due to their lack of knowledge in LAND NAVIGATION skills. BUT, how does one improve on their LAND NAVIGATION skills. There are outdoor wilderness navigators of various skill levels out there that can use these lessons, to improve their skills and introduce others (beginners and those unfamiliar) into the world of Land Navigation.
    The lessons are FREE to download, informative, and can be used to teach yourself and others in the knowledge of “LAND NAVIGATION with MAP and LENSATIC COMPASS”. http://WWW.LANDNAVIGATION.ORG
    Very Respectfully,
    Jimmy D.

  126. The fact is many people every year get lost in the wilderness, due to their lack of knowledge in LAND NAVIGATION skills. BUT, how does one improve on their LAND NAVIGATION skills. There are outdoor wilderness navigators of various skill levels out there that can use these lessons, to improve their skills and introduce others (beginners and those unfamiliar) into the world of Land Navigation.
    The lessons are FREE to download, informative, and can be used to teach yourself and others in the knowledge of “LAND NAVIGATION with MAP and LENSATIC COMPASS”. http://WWW.LANDNAVIGATION.ORG
    Very Respectfully,
    Jimmy D.

  127. Technology-wise: Terminating SCSI cables and being worried about too many text boxes in a document in a page-layout program.

    In general: Card catalogs at the library and paying 15 cents or more, each, for black-and-white copies.

  128. Technology-wise: Terminating SCSI cables and being worried about too many text boxes in a document in a page-layout program.

    In general: Card catalogs at the library and paying 15 cents or more, each, for black-and-white copies.

  129. Wreck, in Oz the government buys the big screen TVs for people! IT’s called a baby bonus. The govt pays $5000 for each baby born. Many folks splash out and buy a big screen TV. Consequently down here, kids born in the last 5 years are called the “plasma generation”.

    Re your blog, I think you’ll do well. But it is hard to find your niche. Maybe start with something generic, just your thoughts and ramblings, and as canadada says you don’t even have to make it public. Then thru that you might find what you want to write about.

  130. Wreck, in Oz the government buys the big screen TVs for people! IT’s called a baby bonus. The govt pays $5000 for each baby born. Many folks splash out and buy a big screen TV. Consequently down here, kids born in the last 5 years are called the “plasma generation”.

    Re your blog, I think you’ll do well. But it is hard to find your niche. Maybe start with something generic, just your thoughts and ramblings, and as canadada says you don’t even have to make it public. Then thru that you might find what you want to write about.

  131. Bragging about your blood type. (I’m the last person in my family who was blood-typed at birth. Apparently they stopped that in the early 80′s.)

  132. Bragging about your blood type. (I’m the last person in my family who was blood-typed at birth. Apparently they stopped that in the early 80′s.)

  133. Shorthand obselete? Tell that to court reporters in the UK? I trained as a journalist 20 years ago and shorthand was the most useful skill I acquired. Still use it. Wish I’d known it before I went to university (would have been a real help in lectures).
    To be able to take notes that few others in the meeting can read can be very helpful, very often…

  134. Shorthand obselete? Tell that to court reporters in the UK? I trained as a journalist 20 years ago and shorthand was the most useful skill I acquired. Still use it. Wish I’d known it before I went to university (would have been a real help in lectures).
    To be able to take notes that few others in the meeting can read can be very helpful, very often…

  135. I live in Northern Vermont, and I’m here to tell you that many of the obsolete things you listed are still alive and well here. I still write checks, make out deposit slips, use Windows and WordPerfect, correction tape when necessary. I even cook, sew, sing, and am able to put windshield wiper fluid in my car.
    You people need to get a life. Sitting in front of a computer is nowhere.

  136. I live in Northern Vermont, and I’m here to tell you that many of the obsolete things you listed are still alive and well here. I still write checks, make out deposit slips, use Windows and WordPerfect, correction tape when necessary. I even cook, sew, sing, and am able to put windshield wiper fluid in my car.
    You people need to get a life. Sitting in front of a computer is nowhere.

  137. A lot of things people list as obsolete skills are not skills at all.

    Writing checks is not a skill.
    Dialing a phone is not a skill.
    Watching TV and hooking up DVD player is not a skill.

    Skills are learned and maintained. Woodworking is a skill. Being a mechanic is a skill. Hunting and fishing are skills. Living on the land is a skill. Riding horses is a skill. Using a map and compass are skills. Gardening well is a skill. Knowing what plants and animals to eat in the forest are skills.

    Skills require training, whether formal or self-learned. They are something you master or come close to mastering, and only come with repetition and making mistakes.

    Programming is a skill, but it’s useful only in the context of having a computer. Life goes so far beyond tech. The vast majority of the world could care less about tech. They are too worried about eating and surviving.

    We in the western world are blessed in that we have these technical things to make our lives easier and fun, but the real skills our children should be developing are not being addressed anymore. Some school systems don’t even teach cursive anymore. Shame on them.

    I can tell you that my kid will learn how to fish, hunt, shoot, clean animals, make a fire with only things found in nature, read a map and use a compass, cook, change a car tire, basic electricity (compute voltage, ohms, amp requirements), and a whole host of other useful things.

    I was fortunate to have been raised in an area that values the old skills — and still does. People here have computers, yet they see it as a tool, like a hammer. There is not an abundance of tech here.

    I recall when living on the east coast, the power went out when I was at a doctor appointment. The entire place relied on computers and electricity. Since the doctor could not pull up my info on his laptop, I was forced to make another appointment, but I had to call in the next day to do so, because the receptionist couldn’t log the new appointment in her computer. They couldn’t even get their backup generator to work that day. I’m glad this was a clinic and not a hospital with patients tied to life-saving machines like breathers and dialysis. Losers.

    Oddly enough, the same thing happened after I moved back to the southwest. I was at the doctor with my kid when a thunderstorm overhead caused the power to go. The doctor had paper records and a flashlight. He was able to see my kid with no problems. He wrote a prescription on a paper chit and we left. I made a follow-up appointment with the receptionist before leaving. She did this using a paper calander for that particular doctor. Old school? Yes. Effective? You betcha!

    We will one day regret our reliance on tech and it’s going to sting mightily. Those people with the skills that the east and left coasties (and other big city dwellers) deride as being “old-skool” or “redneck” will serve well. They will eat, drink, and go about life fairly well, while their tech-reliant counterparts will be reduced to groveling for government handouts — or worse, rioting in the streets to meet their basic reqirements.

    When that happens, I’ll be down at the river with a fishing pole catching bass or catfish or in the forest with a recurve bow perforating Bambie. We’ll eat and drink well. Tivos, blogs, and the Java vs .NET arguments will be useless and forgotten.

  138. A lot of things people list as obsolete skills are not skills at all.

    Writing checks is not a skill.
    Dialing a phone is not a skill.
    Watching TV and hooking up DVD player is not a skill.

    Skills are learned and maintained. Woodworking is a skill. Being a mechanic is a skill. Hunting and fishing are skills. Living on the land is a skill. Riding horses is a skill. Using a map and compass are skills. Gardening well is a skill. Knowing what plants and animals to eat in the forest are skills.

    Skills require training, whether formal or self-learned. They are something you master or come close to mastering, and only come with repetition and making mistakes.

    Programming is a skill, but it’s useful only in the context of having a computer. Life goes so far beyond tech. The vast majority of the world could care less about tech. They are too worried about eating and surviving.

    We in the western world are blessed in that we have these technical things to make our lives easier and fun, but the real skills our children should be developing are not being addressed anymore. Some school systems don’t even teach cursive anymore. Shame on them.

    I can tell you that my kid will learn how to fish, hunt, shoot, clean animals, make a fire with only things found in nature, read a map and use a compass, cook, change a car tire, basic electricity (compute voltage, ohms, amp requirements), and a whole host of other useful things.

    I was fortunate to have been raised in an area that values the old skills — and still does. People here have computers, yet they see it as a tool, like a hammer. There is not an abundance of tech here.

    I recall when living on the east coast, the power went out when I was at a doctor appointment. The entire place relied on computers and electricity. Since the doctor could not pull up my info on his laptop, I was forced to make another appointment, but I had to call in the next day to do so, because the receptionist couldn’t log the new appointment in her computer. They couldn’t even get their backup generator to work that day. I’m glad this was a clinic and not a hospital with patients tied to life-saving machines like breathers and dialysis. Losers.

    Oddly enough, the same thing happened after I moved back to the southwest. I was at the doctor with my kid when a thunderstorm overhead caused the power to go. The doctor had paper records and a flashlight. He was able to see my kid with no problems. He wrote a prescription on a paper chit and we left. I made a follow-up appointment with the receptionist before leaving. She did this using a paper calander for that particular doctor. Old school? Yes. Effective? You betcha!

    We will one day regret our reliance on tech and it’s going to sting mightily. Those people with the skills that the east and left coasties (and other big city dwellers) deride as being “old-skool” or “redneck” will serve well. They will eat, drink, and go about life fairly well, while their tech-reliant counterparts will be reduced to groveling for government handouts — or worse, rioting in the streets to meet their basic reqirements.

    When that happens, I’ll be down at the river with a fishing pole catching bass or catfish or in the forest with a recurve bow perforating Bambie. We’ll eat and drink well. Tivos, blogs, and the Java vs .NET arguments will be useless and forgotten.

  139. Robert, congrats on a great thread. My contributions:

    - Listening
    - Having equity in a house
    - Paper routes
    - a federal balanced budget
    - Carrying your clubs while playing a round of golf

    btw, I must strongly disagree with your premise that Europeans “rush just as much as we do”. I lived in Europe for 6 years. Dining out there is a wonderful, languid experience that can take 3-4 hours. Dining out in the U.S. is like being in fast forward, with those idiotic, blaring TVs mounted everywhere to ensure an actual conversation doesn’t break out!

  140. Robert, congrats on a great thread. My contributions:

    - Listening
    - Having equity in a house
    - Paper routes
    - a federal balanced budget
    - Carrying your clubs while playing a round of golf

    btw, I must strongly disagree with your premise that Europeans “rush just as much as we do”. I lived in Europe for 6 years. Dining out there is a wonderful, languid experience that can take 3-4 hours. Dining out in the U.S. is like being in fast forward, with those idiotic, blaring TVs mounted everywhere to ensure an actual conversation doesn’t break out!

  141. Personal Ensign: heheh, when I have a meal like that in Europe I chalk it up to poor service. I don’t try to justify it to foreigners as a “feature.” :-)

    Seriously, you are eating in the wrong places in the United States. If you want to slow down and take three hours for a meal I know quite a few places to send you.

  142. Personal Ensign: heheh, when I have a meal like that in Europe I chalk it up to poor service. I don’t try to justify it to foreigners as a “feature.” :-)

    Seriously, you are eating in the wrong places in the United States. If you want to slow down and take three hours for a meal I know quite a few places to send you.

  143. Wreck: funny enough, I have all those skills (my dad taught them to me). My son, Patrick’s new step-dad is a guy just like you, by the way. So he’s learning all those skills too.

    The thing is that if there were some major disaster that took down our power and connectivity grids for weeks enough of us would self teach each other these skills that we’d fish out every single lake and stream within a three day drive of the coasts. So, what will you do then? I guess eat dandelion leaves for a while. Wonderful world you conjure up in your head.

    I sure hope I never need those skills again, but if I do they don’t take more than a few hours to relearn (or teach to other people).

    You also miss that I live walking distance to the ocean. So, as long as our fishing boats can go out to sea we’ll have lots of food where I live. No skills needed other than something of value to trade for the food.

  144. Wreck: funny enough, I have all those skills (my dad taught them to me). My son, Patrick’s new step-dad is a guy just like you, by the way. So he’s learning all those skills too.

    The thing is that if there were some major disaster that took down our power and connectivity grids for weeks enough of us would self teach each other these skills that we’d fish out every single lake and stream within a three day drive of the coasts. So, what will you do then? I guess eat dandelion leaves for a while. Wonderful world you conjure up in your head.

    I sure hope I never need those skills again, but if I do they don’t take more than a few hours to relearn (or teach to other people).

    You also miss that I live walking distance to the ocean. So, as long as our fishing boats can go out to sea we’ll have lots of food where I live. No skills needed other than something of value to trade for the food.

  145. Scoble,

    I’m glad you have some good skills; most geeks don’t.

    I haven’t conjured up any wonderful world in my head. It’s called being prepared. I spent 7 years in the military. I learned to adapt, overcome, or die. No more, no less. I don’t dwell on the possibility, but I’ll be ready should it happen.

    You have to remember the old adage, though. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.

    Scoble, running out of food will never be an issue. It’s the coasts and big cities that will have issues with food, since 80% of the population lives on the coasts. Us “rednecks” in the middle of the country have far fewer worries. :) There are more cattle and fish here than humans by about 1000 times over. One benefit of living in the middle of nowhere is there are fewer mouths to feed.

    Skills that you would need would have to be great ones:

    - medical skills would be chief among them
    - mechanic, ability to fix things right up there
    - ability to actually sail a boat and fish
    - ability to hunt
    - self-defense
    - ability to leave the coast and find a better life

    Great little article on a basic survival kit that actually fits in an Altoid tin.

    There are 19 slides to this…

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/photogallery/article/0,13355,1225788,00.html

  146. Scoble,

    I’m glad you have some good skills; most geeks don’t.

    I haven’t conjured up any wonderful world in my head. It’s called being prepared. I spent 7 years in the military. I learned to adapt, overcome, or die. No more, no less. I don’t dwell on the possibility, but I’ll be ready should it happen.

    You have to remember the old adage, though. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.

    Scoble, running out of food will never be an issue. It’s the coasts and big cities that will have issues with food, since 80% of the population lives on the coasts. Us “rednecks” in the middle of the country have far fewer worries. :) There are more cattle and fish here than humans by about 1000 times over. One benefit of living in the middle of nowhere is there are fewer mouths to feed.

    Skills that you would need would have to be great ones:

    - medical skills would be chief among them
    - mechanic, ability to fix things right up there
    - ability to actually sail a boat and fish
    - ability to hunt
    - self-defense
    - ability to leave the coast and find a better life

    Great little article on a basic survival kit that actually fits in an Altoid tin.

    There are 19 slides to this…

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/photogallery/article/0,13355,1225788,00.html

  147. Are dames allowed to ‘play’ survival too?

    Or is it just back to barefoot in the kitchen for us wenches as we shake rattle & roll them big ol’ pots and pans ???

    I STILL think that most of this post is about MONEY, one way or the other, who’s got it to ‘throw it away’ – and who don’t.

    Happy Huntin fellas.

  148. Are dames allowed to ‘play’ survival too?

    Or is it just back to barefoot in the kitchen for us wenches as we shake rattle & roll them big ol’ pots and pans ???

    I STILL think that most of this post is about MONEY, one way or the other, who’s got it to ‘throw it away’ – and who don’t.

    Happy Huntin fellas.

  149. Don’t discount # 11 just yet. I have a 68 corvette stingray that I adjust the mixture on frequently. Anyone restoring old cars would use that skill. I don’t know if you’ve seen the auctions lately for restored cars, but they ain’t cheap.

  150. Don’t discount # 11 just yet. I have a 68 corvette stingray that I adjust the mixture on frequently. Anyone restoring old cars would use that skill. I don’t know if you’ve seen the auctions lately for restored cars, but they ain’t cheap.

  151. As for #10, I was at a biker’s house one time and the only way we were able to see the channel was when his ol’ lady was holding the rabbit ears. So, he made her hold them while we watched TV. We brought her beer and passed the smoke to her. I guess she’s out of a job now.

  152. As for #10, I was at a biker’s house one time and the only way we were able to see the channel was when his ol’ lady was holding the rabbit ears. So, he made her hold them while we watched TV. We brought her beer and passed the smoke to her. I guess she’s out of a job now.

  153. Man this is a short-sighted list… old things do not die that quickly.

    I’m 22 and have done many of the things on that particular list within the last 10 years, and I know others who have more often, too. Not quite sure that allows them to be considered “obsolete”.

    Don’t court reporters still use shorthand? They did when I was a kid!

    Response to other comments:
    In my field (engineering) we have to know how to do everything on the fly… napkins are more useful than you think… mental math is required frequently. For tests, we’re often not allowed to use calculators (one of my professors did let us use slide rules just for fun). All of Europe it seems writes ONLY in cursive… I write in cursive to write more quickly sometimes.

    Anyways, many people are busy keeping up with the Joneses, but there are trade-offs involved with using any new technology, and many of us do not see a reason to switch from some old methods. Many times I’ve found it’s good I kept a “paper” copy in this digital age. And we all know how wonderful these new cars with all the electronics are to fix… but then, this is just an engineer talking, and we’re known to be a strange minority in this nation.

  154. Man this is a short-sighted list… old things do not die that quickly.

    I’m 22 and have done many of the things on that particular list within the last 10 years, and I know others who have more often, too. Not quite sure that allows them to be considered “obsolete”.

    Don’t court reporters still use shorthand? They did when I was a kid!

    Response to other comments:
    In my field (engineering) we have to know how to do everything on the fly… napkins are more useful than you think… mental math is required frequently. For tests, we’re often not allowed to use calculators (one of my professors did let us use slide rules just for fun). All of Europe it seems writes ONLY in cursive… I write in cursive to write more quickly sometimes.

    Anyways, many people are busy keeping up with the Joneses, but there are trade-offs involved with using any new technology, and many of us do not see a reason to switch from some old methods. Many times I’ve found it’s good I kept a “paper” copy in this digital age. And we all know how wonderful these new cars with all the electronics are to fix… but then, this is just an engineer talking, and we’re known to be a strange minority in this nation.

  155. sounds similar to one of the above:

    using a floppy to boot up an apple IIe or one of those that have 8-in. screens…back in the early 90s

  156. sounds similar to one of the above:

    using a floppy to boot up an apple IIe or one of those that have 8-in. screens…back in the early 90s

  157. @121,

    “Dames” as you put it are always welcome. :)

    Women are just as intelligent as men, despite what some men like to think.

    Women, however, still the hell out of me when they are behind the wheel. :)

  158. @121,

    “Dames” as you put it are always welcome. :)

    Women are just as intelligent as men, despite what some men like to think.

    Women, however, still the hell out of me when they are behind the wheel. :)

  159. Just because I work with digital media all day doesn’t mean I don’t still listen to music in vinyl.
    In fact my 3 year old daughter is competent enough to use my vinyl collection needple drop and all.

    The reason vinyl still wins for me is that it’s an excellent user interface for manipulating music, none of this ‘vinyl sounds warmer crap’ it’s all about scratching and cutting.

  160. Just because I work with digital media all day doesn’t mean I don’t still listen to music in vinyl.
    In fact my 3 year old daughter is competent enough to use my vinyl collection needple drop and all.

    The reason vinyl still wins for me is that it’s an excellent user interface for manipulating music, none of this ‘vinyl sounds warmer crap’ it’s all about scratching and cutting.

  161. In my office I have the LARGE Faber Castell slide rule, used in tuition, mounted on one wall as well as an IBM golf ball typewriter, a single cylinder steam engine and my IBM systems design template.

  162. In my office I have the LARGE Faber Castell slide rule, used in tuition, mounted on one wall as well as an IBM golf ball typewriter, a single cylinder steam engine and my IBM systems design template.

  163. Though I have high speed internet and can’t live without it, I can live without television so I utilize the rabbit ear adjusting daily.

  164. Though I have high speed internet and can’t live without it, I can live without television so I utilize the rabbit ear adjusting daily.

  165. I know how to operate all the hot-type equipment necessary to produce printed paper documents, like a Mergenthaler linotype, and I could take a pretty good swing at operating the photogravure end of the shop as well.

    That’s where you prepare to print photographs on paper without a computer, by shooting a line negative and using the resulting “xx dots per inch” negative to etch zinc plates using nitric acid.

    I can also milk a cow or goat, although my experience is all with cows I’ve seen others do goats and it looks pretty easy compared to a cow.

    Butchering in the back yard, OK, gross but necessary if you farm and keep pigs or chickens.

    Producing canned food from a garden in my kitchen? Been there, like it OK.

    Hex debugging, the worst bug I ever found was an unprintable character that occurred right where a decimal point should have been!!

    I could go on, this is very interesting… debugging electronics by turning off the lights and looking to see the dark tubes…

  166. I know how to operate all the hot-type equipment necessary to produce printed paper documents, like a Mergenthaler linotype, and I could take a pretty good swing at operating the photogravure end of the shop as well.

    That’s where you prepare to print photographs on paper without a computer, by shooting a line negative and using the resulting “xx dots per inch” negative to etch zinc plates using nitric acid.

    I can also milk a cow or goat, although my experience is all with cows I’ve seen others do goats and it looks pretty easy compared to a cow.

    Butchering in the back yard, OK, gross but necessary if you farm and keep pigs or chickens.

    Producing canned food from a garden in my kitchen? Been there, like it OK.

    Hex debugging, the worst bug I ever found was an unprintable character that occurred right where a decimal point should have been!!

    I could go on, this is very interesting… debugging electronics by turning off the lights and looking to see the dark tubes…

  167. I have never seen such a small-minded, parochial, ego-centric group as you lot. Look at what you’re writing: “X will be obsolete just because I don’t do it”.
    Judging by a lot of the comments, a significant proportion of the posters can’t differentiate a “skill” from an activity. For example, putting a needle on a vinyl record is not a skill, it’s simply a mechanical action. Getting off the couch to change TV channels is another example.

  168. I have never seen such a small-minded, parochial, ego-centric group as you lot. Look at what you’re writing: “X will be obsolete just because I don’t do it”.
    Judging by a lot of the comments, a significant proportion of the posters can’t differentiate a “skill” from an activity. For example, putting a needle on a vinyl record is not a skill, it’s simply a mechanical action. Getting off the couch to change TV channels is another example.

  169. What about all of the rituals related to superstitions which are no longer followed. For instance…

    It was bad luck to light three cigarettes with one match. Even now, I have warned people about doing this with a lighter. The theory was that if you were in a foxhole the enemy had a better chance of seeing where you were the longer the match was lit.

    Another good one is finding a penny on the ground with tails side up. Long considered to be bad luck, there was a way around the jinx. If you look and consciously read the date and mint mark you would be fine. But does anyone care nowaday? Nope. Now you’re lucky to even find someone who’ll take the time to pick up a penny.

  170. What about all of the rituals related to superstitions which are no longer followed. For instance…

    It was bad luck to light three cigarettes with one match. Even now, I have warned people about doing this with a lighter. The theory was that if you were in a foxhole the enemy had a better chance of seeing where you were the longer the match was lit.

    Another good one is finding a penny on the ground with tails side up. Long considered to be bad luck, there was a way around the jinx. If you look and consciously read the date and mint mark you would be fine. But does anyone care nowaday? Nope. Now you’re lucky to even find someone who’ll take the time to pick up a penny.

  171. Mr. Scoble,

    Just because you are a new tech geek, does not make these older technologies obsolete.

    A true audiophile does vinyl.

    A car hobbyist adjust carburetors.

    Shorthand has morphed to typehand.

    Plenty of writers still use a typewriter.

    Older folks still need rabbit ears, or those who like living in the mountains or deep in the heart of the country. Of course, they are about to have the rabbit die with the Draconian Digital Directive.

    And don’t turn a blind eye to the rest of the world – most of it depends on older technology.

    Next you will be telling me rolling dice is obsolete because of computer gaming; not me, I am a dedicated boardgamegeek!

  172. Mr. Scoble,

    Just because you are a new tech geek, does not make these older technologies obsolete.

    A true audiophile does vinyl.

    A car hobbyist adjust carburetors.

    Shorthand has morphed to typehand.

    Plenty of writers still use a typewriter.

    Older folks still need rabbit ears, or those who like living in the mountains or deep in the heart of the country. Of course, they are about to have the rabbit die with the Draconian Digital Directive.

    And don’t turn a blind eye to the rest of the world – most of it depends on older technology.

    Next you will be telling me rolling dice is obsolete because of computer gaming; not me, I am a dedicated boardgamegeek!

  173. #11. Lots of motorcycles still use carburetors and with fuel prices being up, people are digging out older 80s cars and firing them up. Also the high performance crowd still uses carburetors and in my experience can often get better mileage!

  174. #11. Lots of motorcycles still use carburetors and with fuel prices being up, people are digging out older 80s cars and firing them up. Also the high performance crowd still uses carburetors and in my experience can often get better mileage!

  175. After reading through the comments, it strikes me that many feel that “survival” and “tech” are mutually exclusive… This isn’t the case and never has been.

    Many of us tech “reliant” are truly just tech “fanatic.” I sit in front of a PC for most of my waking hours for work and play. I also have to rebuild the master cylinder on my 1957 MGA 1500, weld a new bracket for the oil filled air cleaner on our 1960 Nash Metro, get on the roof to tighten the supports for the covered patio I built last spring (by myself, using rope and pulley) and head to the range to sight in my firearms… all of which I will do myself.

    I will also occasionally light a smoke whilst performing many of these activities.

    And vinyl is dead, I’ve seen the same reports for 15 years about it making a comeback… yet you still have to go looking for LPs and a large majority of new wax is DJ music.

    Learn to cook, learn to hunt/fish/farm, learn to keep an automobile running, and strive to always keep learning new things, including how to sync your mobile device. And write your grandmother a letter, she’ll appreciate it.

  176. After reading through the comments, it strikes me that many feel that “survival” and “tech” are mutually exclusive… This isn’t the case and never has been.

    Many of us tech “reliant” are truly just tech “fanatic.” I sit in front of a PC for most of my waking hours for work and play. I also have to rebuild the master cylinder on my 1957 MGA 1500, weld a new bracket for the oil filled air cleaner on our 1960 Nash Metro, get on the roof to tighten the supports for the covered patio I built last spring (by myself, using rope and pulley) and head to the range to sight in my firearms… all of which I will do myself.

    I will also occasionally light a smoke whilst performing many of these activities.

    And vinyl is dead, I’ve seen the same reports for 15 years about it making a comeback… yet you still have to go looking for LPs and a large majority of new wax is DJ music.

    Learn to cook, learn to hunt/fish/farm, learn to keep an automobile running, and strive to always keep learning new things, including how to sync your mobile device. And write your grandmother a letter, she’ll appreciate it.

  177. How about:

    – Paper data tape? I could read it visually.

    – Edge punched cards.

    – Impact printers, especially the drum type.

    – Magnetic data cards. Looked like 80 column cards but were magnetic.

    – Magna-see, a freon fluid with iron particles suspended that would attach to magnetic tape so you could see the blocks of data to see where there was an error.

    – Pinch roller reel data tape drives with vacuum columns. Man I spent alot of time cleaning those puppies.

    – Oh yeah, wire punch board programming…card sorters…card intrepreters…yikes!

  178. How about:

    – Paper data tape? I could read it visually.

    – Edge punched cards.

    – Impact printers, especially the drum type.

    – Magnetic data cards. Looked like 80 column cards but were magnetic.

    – Magna-see, a freon fluid with iron particles suspended that would attach to magnetic tape so you could see the blocks of data to see where there was an error.

    – Pinch roller reel data tape drives with vacuum columns. Man I spent alot of time cleaning those puppies.

    – Oh yeah, wire punch board programming…card sorters…card intrepreters…yikes!

  179. [...] Scobleizer hat einen interessanten Beitrag geschrieben, welche Fähigkeiten in dern letzten Jahrzehnten immer mehr an Bedeutung verloren haben und in Zukunft obsolet werden. Aus diesen Überlegungen und den Kommentaren in seinem Blog ist ein Wiki enstanden, in dem jeder Fähigkeiten beschreiben kann, die in Zukunft nicht mehr gebraucht werden und die den Menscheit nicht mehr nützlich sind. Eine interessante Sache, wie ich finde, denn viele Dinge, die vor einigen Jahrzehnten noch zum Handwerkszeug bestimmter Berufsgruppen gehört haben sind heute mittlerweile überholt und werden unter Umständen gar nicht mehr gelehrt. Tags » Obsolete Skills, Vergessene Fähigkeiten « Autor: Nicolas Dorwig Datum: Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2008 15:42 Trackback: Trackback-URL Themengebiet: Allgemein Feed zum Beitrag: RSS 2.0 Diesen Artikel kommentieren [...]

  180. @149,

    Writing letters. THAT is a dying craft if there ever was one, at least in the western world.

    My kid loves to get mail. I told her that if you want to get mail, you have to send mail. So, she colors/draws and what not, and we send it to “grannie” in the mail so she can get something in return.

    The benefit of this is that you have something to keep and remember people by. Email is amorphous and ethereal, and while it can be printed out, has not the same meaning as a physical letter.

  181. @149,

    Writing letters. THAT is a dying craft if there ever was one, at least in the western world.

    My kid loves to get mail. I told her that if you want to get mail, you have to send mail. So, she colors/draws and what not, and we send it to “grannie” in the mail so she can get something in return.

    The benefit of this is that you have something to keep and remember people by. Email is amorphous and ethereal, and while it can be printed out, has not the same meaning as a physical letter.

  182. RS232 is alive and well :) high end Unix systems/routers/switches still use this technology and probably will for many more years. Certainly not obsolete. Although I had one sysadmin trying to figure out how to plug his serial cable into his video port on his laptop. Kept asking me where to find a serial male connector :P

  183. Circular slide rules are still used all the time. In aviation, my E6B flight computer is a circular slide rule and every student (at least in 1994) was required to buy and use one.

    They don’t use batteries so you don’t have to worry about losing power to them during flight. They calculate fuel consumption, crosswind correction and much more. Very useful. Most people don’t know they’re actually slide rules.

    I also have a rotary phone in the basement. :) Admittedly obsolete (I’ve heard grumblings that pulse dialing is going away) but fun to use now and again — I just like that purring sound.

  184. RS232 is alive and well :) high end Unix systems/routers/switches still use this technology and probably will for many more years. Certainly not obsolete. Although I had one sysadmin trying to figure out how to plug his serial cable into his video port on his laptop. Kept asking me where to find a serial male connector :P

  185. Circular slide rules are still used all the time. In aviation, my E6B flight computer is a circular slide rule and every student (at least in 1994) was required to buy and use one.

    They don’t use batteries so you don’t have to worry about losing power to them during flight. They calculate fuel consumption, crosswind correction and much more. Very useful. Most people don’t know they’re actually slide rules.

    I also have a rotary phone in the basement. :) Admittedly obsolete (I’ve heard grumblings that pulse dialing is going away) but fun to use now and again — I just like that purring sound.

  186. Obsolete Skill – getting out of lazy boy to change tv channel with rotory switch and then fine tune it to the station

  187. Obsolete Skill – getting out of lazy boy to change tv channel with rotory switch and then fine tune it to the station

  188. [...] Robert Scoble wrote a post about obsolete skills, which has spawned an Obsolete Skills wiki. Yeah, assembly language programming made the list pretty quickly. Fine, be that way … just try starting your computer with out me. Yeah, thought so. Even the new-fangled Unified EFI (UEFI) products that I’m working with to slowly put my old product to pasture requires a little assembly language skill. See also security products, performance-optimized drivers, household appliances and anything automotive with electronic timing. [...]

  189. I think this list should be renamed “Obsolete skills for the Computer Geek”.

    So basically a bunch of computer geeks who have no social skills and who just sit in front of computers all day come up with a list of obsolete tasks that they would not (or know how to) do. Many of these tasks are performed on a regular basis by many people around the world. Remember there are still many more people who don’t own, use or have even seen a computer in real life than there are people who do. So just because you don’t do these things does not mean others don’t.

    Maybe you all should climb down from your ivory towers, get out in the sun, go meet and talk to people and figure out what is really going on in the world. You might like it.

    Thanks!!

  190. I think this list should be renamed “Obsolete skills for the Computer Geek”.

    So basically a bunch of computer geeks who have no social skills and who just sit in front of computers all day come up with a list of obsolete tasks that they would not (or know how to) do. Many of these tasks are performed on a regular basis by many people around the world. Remember there are still many more people who don’t own, use or have even seen a computer in real life than there are people who do. So just because you don’t do these things does not mean others don’t.

    Maybe you all should climb down from your ivory towers, get out in the sun, go meet and talk to people and figure out what is really going on in the world. You might like it.

    Thanks!!

  191. I can go the other way – skills so ubiquitous that what was once something to brag about is now common place.

    Specificly, I’m thinking of typing and shorthand. Used to be that they were taught in schools, and clssified ads would specify words per minute applicants could type.

    A decade and a half later, it’s taken for granted that most anyone can type fairly well. And informal shorthand is just as complex, if not more efficient, than formal versions.

    -Frank Blissett

  192. I can go the other way – skills so ubiquitous that what was once something to brag about is now common place.

    Specificly, I’m thinking of typing and shorthand. Used to be that they were taught in schools, and clssified ads would specify words per minute applicants could type.

    A decade and a half later, it’s taken for granted that most anyone can type fairly well. And informal shorthand is just as complex, if not more efficient, than formal versions.

    -Frank Blissett

  193. 1) I still have and use a rotary dial phone. :-)
    2) I still have and use vinyl records, but my latest turntable does automatically load/unload the needle.
    5) Pilots still use slide rules all the time (E6B flight computers!)
    10) Rabbit ears… Yep, still got ‘em and still use ‘em.
    11) No carb on the car, but now we have electronic devices that you use the same way to tweak the fuel mixtures… And of course, I *do* still manually adjust the carb’d fuel mixture on the airplane.

  194. 1) I still have and use a rotary dial phone. :-)
    2) I still have and use vinyl records, but my latest turntable does automatically load/unload the needle.
    5) Pilots still use slide rules all the time (E6B flight computers!)
    10) Rabbit ears… Yep, still got ‘em and still use ‘em.
    11) No carb on the car, but now we have electronic devices that you use the same way to tweak the fuel mixtures… And of course, I *do* still manually adjust the carb’d fuel mixture on the airplane.

  195. While I do regret learning the comptometer (see http://www2.cruzio.com/~vagabond/Models.html), it introduced me to machine shorthand, which, as it turned out, reinvented itself and is now used for real-time, high-level litigation work and live closed-captioning. Formerly known as court reporters, real-timers and captioners are now in demand. The US government is spending millions on training in this ‘obsolete’ shorthand (see http://ncraonline.org/NewsInfo/MediaRoom/House+passes+Higher+Ed+Reauthorization+bill.htm), for which my IBM Mag Card word processing skills still come in handy.

  196. While I do regret learning the comptometer (see http://www2.cruzio.com/~vagabond/Models.html), it introduced me to machine shorthand, which, as it turned out, reinvented itself and is now used for real-time, high-level litigation work and live closed-captioning. Formerly known as court reporters, real-timers and captioners are now in demand. The US government is spending millions on training in this ‘obsolete’ shorthand (see http://ncraonline.org/NewsInfo/MediaRoom/House+passes+Higher+Ed+Reauthorization+bill.htm), for which my IBM Mag Card word processing skills still come in handy.

  197. Wrong…

    I still develop and print film by hand. In fact, a lot of professional photographers do. Digital photography is nice and has many uses but nothing will ever replace film.

  198. Wrong…

    I still develop and print film by hand. In fact, a lot of professional photographers do. Digital photography is nice and has many uses but nothing will ever replace film.

  199. I and many others still use carbon paper and the white equivalent tracing paper… It’s a must for making copies on anything you can’t print to, like wood to be carved, metal templates, transferring a design for airbrushing….

  200. I and many others still use carbon paper and the white equivalent tracing paper… It’s a must for making copies on anything you can’t print to, like wood to be carved, metal templates, transferring a design for airbrushing….

  201. [...] do for you, feel free to drop me a line.An wiki about Obsolete Skills has recently been started, inspired by Robert Scoble. The wiki is a list of skills that used to be useful, but aren’t that useful anymore. [...]

  202. Heh. I grew up with calculators (I’m 39), but I still taught myself to use a slide rule. Great hobby for a math geek, and I still use it sometimes. You have to carry the decimal point in your head, but otherwise it’s perfectly adequate for lots of things.

    They landed on the moon with slide rules. They built the atom bomb with slide rules. The Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building–all built with slide rules.

    And they even built the first computers–wait for it–with slide rules!

    So don’t knock ‘em. :-)

  203. Heh. I grew up with calculators (I’m 39), but I still taught myself to use a slide rule. Great hobby for a math geek, and I still use it sometimes. You have to carry the decimal point in your head, but otherwise it’s perfectly adequate for lots of things.

    They landed on the moon with slide rules. They built the atom bomb with slide rules. The Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building–all built with slide rules.

    And they even built the first computers–wait for it–with slide rules!

    So don’t knock ‘em. :-)

  204. Programming my mom’s VCR to record soap operas, now THAT’s obsolete.

    I do still have a use for my carburetor adjusting skills, however. Fuel injection is still a fairly recent happening in the motorcycle world.

  205. Programming my mom’s VCR to record soap operas, now THAT’s obsolete.

    I do still have a use for my carburetor adjusting skills, however. Fuel injection is still a fairly recent happening in the motorcycle world.

  206. 11. Changing the gas mixture on your car’s carburetor.

    I’m sorry, this is necessarily true… Only the “true” enthusiasts will know this skill… but for the average joe non-racer will never understand air-fuel mixture ratios…

  207. 11. Changing the gas mixture on your car’s carburetor.

    I’m sorry, this is necessarily true… Only the “true” enthusiasts will know this skill… but for the average joe non-racer will never understand air-fuel mixture ratios…

  208. @132. 154 – Wreck
    Gee. Still at it … this musta hit a NERVE.

    Family men are good men. They’ve stopped thinking about themselves, first and foremost, all the time.
    Writing a real letter to your grandmother gets mega points.

    Adapting is critical to survival. Choosing the right adaptation is also critical to survival. The car replaced the horse. And what did it give us? Short term seeming convenience, freedom and POWER, but LONG TERM? Imagine America without them … IMAGINE it. Consider the IMPACT socially, economically, environmentally, architecturally, spiritually. How would America look tomorrow without cars choking the life blood out of it? How OBSOLETE is that?

    Women behind the wheel, by the way, ain’t nothin’ compared to a drugged-out transport-truck driver careening down your backside … The worst driving I’ve ever experienced in my life was around Washington … NO-ONE keeps their hands on the wheel or their eyes on the road – the drivers are too engaged with their gadgets – their GPS systems, Blackberrys, cellphones, coffee cups , Big Macs and subwoofer surround sounds system CD’s – ETC. My back was broken in a car crash by such a ‘disengaged’ lunatic.

    Give me a horse any day.

  209. @132. 154 – Wreck
    Gee. Still at it … this musta hit a NERVE.

    Family men are good men. They’ve stopped thinking about themselves, first and foremost, all the time.
    Writing a real letter to your grandmother gets mega points.

    Adapting is critical to survival. Choosing the right adaptation is also critical to survival. The car replaced the horse. And what did it give us? Short term seeming convenience, freedom and POWER, but LONG TERM? Imagine America without them … IMAGINE it. Consider the IMPACT socially, economically, environmentally, architecturally, spiritually. How would America look tomorrow without cars choking the life blood out of it? How OBSOLETE is that?

    Women behind the wheel, by the way, ain’t nothin’ compared to a drugged-out transport-truck driver careening down your backside … The worst driving I’ve ever experienced in my life was around Washington … NO-ONE keeps their hands on the wheel or their eyes on the road – the drivers are too engaged with their gadgets – their GPS systems, Blackberrys, cellphones, coffee cups , Big Macs and subwoofer surround sounds system CD’s – ETC. My back was broken in a car crash by such a ‘disengaged’ lunatic.

    Give me a horse any day.

  210. I still have a rotary phone. About forty years old. Works well. Works when the power is out. The cordless phone batteries eventually fail, every touch-tone phone gets crud in the keys and starts to stick and fail. But that old ATT black slug just works. Probably will until the phone companies just stop supporting pulse technology.

  211. I still have a rotary phone. About forty years old. Works well. Works when the power is out. The cordless phone batteries eventually fail, every touch-tone phone gets crud in the keys and starts to stick and fail. But that old ATT black slug just works. Probably will until the phone companies just stop supporting pulse technology.

  212. My wife is an educator, and I have been all over the world in the military. It is a common misconception that we Americans are behind other countries in education. In most European countries, they only test the brightest. In the UK for example, if you don’t do well in high school you just don’t go to college, you work at a factory or something like that. Everyone doesn’t get the opportunities we do. When you compare our kid’s test scores with European scores, you have to remember we’re comparing Europe’s best with our average. If it was our best we’d be just as good as them. People put out stories about our test scores to make news. I’m not saying our system’s perfect, but we’re not doomed. If we were, we would have been overtaken by the Soviets. We were afraid of their test scores decades ago too, and look where we are today.

  213. My wife is an educator, and I have been all over the world in the military. It is a common misconception that we Americans are behind other countries in education. In most European countries, they only test the brightest. In the UK for example, if you don’t do well in high school you just don’t go to college, you work at a factory or something like that. Everyone doesn’t get the opportunities we do. When you compare our kid’s test scores with European scores, you have to remember we’re comparing Europe’s best with our average. If it was our best we’d be just as good as them. People put out stories about our test scores to make news. I’m not saying our system’s perfect, but we’re not doomed. If we were, we would have been overtaken by the Soviets. We were afraid of their test scores decades ago too, and look where we are today.

  214. @158,

    I like my car, but we would be better of without them in the long run.

    I’m still waiting for the transporter, ala Star Trek — clean, efficient, fast. I could by fly fishing in Montana every weekend, or watching the wolves play in Alaska. Back to nature is where I long to be in quite a few ways.

    I would miss watching Lost, Jericho, and Stargate Atlantis, though…

  215. @158,

    I like my car, but we would be better of without them in the long run.

    I’m still waiting for the transporter, ala Star Trek — clean, efficient, fast. I could by fly fishing in Montana every weekend, or watching the wolves play in Alaska. Back to nature is where I long to be in quite a few ways.

    I would miss watching Lost, Jericho, and Stargate Atlantis, though…

  216. I have a rotary phone in my house. It’s hard wired to the wall and has a cloth chord to the receiver. When I first bought my house, I had a flat tire. I asked my then 9 year old (1995) to please to go the one phone the house had (rotary) and call for assistance. He comes back and says to me “Mom, I cant push the buttons.” I was stressed and annoyed. I go over to the phone and realize that he has NEVER SEEN a rotary phone. He didnt know how far to turn the dial. That room is now his (2007) and he shows off the rotary phone to all his friends!

  217. I have a rotary phone in my house. It’s hard wired to the wall and has a cloth chord to the receiver. When I first bought my house, I had a flat tire. I asked my then 9 year old (1995) to please to go the one phone the house had (rotary) and call for assistance. He comes back and says to me “Mom, I cant push the buttons.” I was stressed and annoyed. I go over to the phone and realize that he has NEVER SEEN a rotary phone. He didnt know how far to turn the dial. That room is now his (2007) and he shows off the rotary phone to all his friends!

  218. Obsolete Skills:
    - How to remove a bottle of soda from one of those old-school soda machines…then opening it with a bottle opener.
    - Opening old beer cans, actually had to pull off the tab…without breaking the key ring.
    - How to survive without items that use electricity (grin). Any one with camping skills can do it.

    Recently mostly-obsolete computer skills:
    - How to download a file through a modem or serial port using Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem, Kermit.

    Computer skills that aren’t obsolete, even though lots of people think they are:
    - RS232. There are tons of “headless” servers and electronics equipment that still have it as primary console or debug port. RS232 is too flipping cheap to add and get a connection to an embedded processor. I didn’t say that I love RS232, just that it isn’t obsolete as some of you dumbasses think it is.
    - DOS prompt. Yes, we don’t do things at a true DOS prompt, but there is a console prompt that everyone in Linux and Unix still use, thus it isn’t obsolete. The DOS prompt is nothing more than a console prompt.

    Very much obsolete computer skills:
    - How to duplicate a Punch Card, how to submit a job batch using Punch Cards, and all Punch Card related skills.

    Mostly obsolete computer skills:
    - This list is extremely long, and not useful unless you need to restore data from an old computer.

  219. Obsolete Skills:
    - How to remove a bottle of soda from one of those old-school soda machines…then opening it with a bottle opener.
    - Opening old beer cans, actually had to pull off the tab…without breaking the key ring.
    - How to survive without items that use electricity (grin). Any one with camping skills can do it.

    Recently mostly-obsolete computer skills:
    - How to download a file through a modem or serial port using Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem, Kermit.

    Computer skills that aren’t obsolete, even though lots of people think they are:
    - RS232. There are tons of “headless” servers and electronics equipment that still have it as primary console or debug port. RS232 is too flipping cheap to add and get a connection to an embedded processor. I didn’t say that I love RS232, just that it isn’t obsolete as some of you dumbasses think it is.
    - DOS prompt. Yes, we don’t do things at a true DOS prompt, but there is a console prompt that everyone in Linux and Unix still use, thus it isn’t obsolete. The DOS prompt is nothing more than a console prompt.

    Very much obsolete computer skills:
    - How to duplicate a Punch Card, how to submit a job batch using Punch Cards, and all Punch Card related skills.

    Mostly obsolete computer skills:
    - This list is extremely long, and not useful unless you need to restore data from an old computer.

  220. Multimedia skills that are becoming obsolete:

    threading a 8-mm or 16-mm film projector (except in schools)
    splicing/editing film
    placing slides in rotary/tray projectors

    typesetting
    manual kerning
    correct ligature usage

    using a payphone/emergency callbox (getting pretty rare in my state, even on rural roads)

  221. Multimedia skills that are becoming obsolete:

    threading a 8-mm or 16-mm film projector (except in schools)
    splicing/editing film
    placing slides in rotary/tray projectors

    typesetting
    manual kerning
    correct ligature usage

    using a payphone/emergency callbox (getting pretty rare in my state, even on rural roads)

  222. I love these comments from folks who proudly proclaim “X is not dead because I still use it!” At least TRY to understand the pont here, dude. If you’re not dead yourself you are clearly obsolete.

  223. I love these comments from folks who proudly proclaim “X is not dead because I still use it!” At least TRY to understand the pont here, dude. If you’re not dead yourself you are clearly obsolete.

  224. Knowing how to dial a rotary phone, or at least knowing how one works is a useful skill. You can dial the operator with 10 fast clicks of the hook switch, which emulates dialing a 0 on a rotary. This works even if the DTMF decoders are down because of power loss at the head end. I used to dial out regular numbers on a “one button dial-free phone” that was supposedly only capable of calling one number, simply by repeating this process for each of the digits I wanted to dial.

    By the way, U.S. West installed a new electromechanical switch outside of St. George Utah in 1994, and tends to amortize equipment costs of a period of 20 years, so system support for rotary phones will continue to be alive and well there until at least 2014, even if it’s replaced with keypad to make/break converters on things that look like DTMF phones.

  225. Knowing how to dial a rotary phone, or at least knowing how one works is a useful skill. You can dial the operator with 10 fast clicks of the hook switch, which emulates dialing a 0 on a rotary. This works even if the DTMF decoders are down because of power loss at the head end. I used to dial out regular numbers on a “one button dial-free phone” that was supposedly only capable of calling one number, simply by repeating this process for each of the digits I wanted to dial.

    By the way, U.S. West installed a new electromechanical switch outside of St. George Utah in 1994, and tends to amortize equipment costs of a period of 20 years, so system support for rotary phones will continue to be alive and well there until at least 2014, even if it’s replaced with keypad to make/break converters on things that look like DTMF phones.

  226. When somebody on TV tells me not to change the channel, he tells me “don’t touch that dial!”

    Ain’t no dials on my TV.

  227. When somebody on TV tells me not to change the channel, he tells me “don’t touch that dial!”

    Ain’t no dials on my TV.

  228. I’ve had entire jobs in the past that have depended on now obsolete skills. For example, I in college I worked in the language lab as an equipment tech. That involved:

    Repairing/replicing cassette tapes
    Copying cassette tapes with a high speed copier
    Cleaning tape decks with alcohol and swabs

    Even less than 10 years ago part of my tech support job involved dialing into systems remotely via modem. When we were having problems connecting with a customer, I’d go into the modem room to listen to the sounds and diagnose the the connection problem based on that. Evidently being able to tell the difference between modem speeds based on the sound is now a seriously obsolete skill, but it used to be really important.

  229. I’ve had entire jobs in the past that have depended on now obsolete skills. For example, I in college I worked in the language lab as an equipment tech. That involved:

    Repairing/replicing cassette tapes
    Copying cassette tapes with a high speed copier
    Cleaning tape decks with alcohol and swabs

    Even less than 10 years ago part of my tech support job involved dialing into systems remotely via modem. When we were having problems connecting with a customer, I’d go into the modem room to listen to the sounds and diagnose the the connection problem based on that. Evidently being able to tell the difference between modem speeds based on the sound is now a seriously obsolete skill, but it used to be really important.

  230. @159.

    Well, until a transporter is ‘reality’, I guess we’ll just have to keep using our limitless imaginations to take us to places in both past and future time: the hopelessly obsolete – and the not even imagined yet.

    In the meantime I guess we’ll also just have to keep using those old clunker-vehicles wedded to miles and miles of life-defying concrete to carry along our increasingly obsolete body parts …

  231. @159.

    Well, until a transporter is ‘reality’, I guess we’ll just have to keep using our limitless imaginations to take us to places in both past and future time: the hopelessly obsolete – and the not even imagined yet.

    In the meantime I guess we’ll also just have to keep using those old clunker-vehicles wedded to miles and miles of life-defying concrete to carry along our increasingly obsolete body parts …

  232. How about AOL mass mail warez trading? you would sign up for a free account with a bogus CC using a CC# generator, then join the warez or zeroday chat room and ask for a mass mail (mm me!). People would forward you warez from their inbox. you would then download the attachments. and return the favor when someone else asked for a mass mail. It died when AOL started authorizing CC before you could sign up.

  233. How about AOL mass mail warez trading? you would sign up for a free account with a bogus CC using a CC# generator, then join the warez or zeroday chat room and ask for a mass mail (mm me!). People would forward you warez from their inbox. you would then download the attachments. and return the favor when someone else asked for a mass mail. It died when AOL started authorizing CC before you could sign up.

  234. Hahaha, since when digital photograph is better than film?

    1. Ever try using your best digital camera and shoot the color purple or violet? And seeing the image afterward?

    2. Moire is still a big issue with bayer CCD type – which currently represent 99% of digital camera.

    3. Ever shoot real b+w film and print on high silver ? compare it to a b+w digital, the film knock the socks off digital anyday.

  235. Hahaha, since when digital photograph is better than film?

    1. Ever try using your best digital camera and shoot the color purple or violet? And seeing the image afterward?

    2. Moire is still a big issue with bayer CCD type – which currently represent 99% of digital camera.

    3. Ever shoot real b+w film and print on high silver ? compare it to a b+w digital, the film knock the socks off digital anyday.

  236. I’m 16, but I have a healthy appreciation for the old stuff. I learned how to set the needle down carefully after far too many times watching it skate across my precious thrift store vinyl; I not only learned how to change tracks on 8-tracks, but how to manually resplice the tape so it wouldn’t unspool when it hit the automatic track change; I’ve not only used a Selectric but regularly use an old Panasonic dot-matrix printer.

    Old stuff is still cool stuff.

  237. I’m 16, but I have a healthy appreciation for the old stuff. I learned how to set the needle down carefully after far too many times watching it skate across my precious thrift store vinyl; I not only learned how to change tracks on 8-tracks, but how to manually resplice the tape so it wouldn’t unspool when it hit the automatic track change; I’ve not only used a Selectric but regularly use an old Panasonic dot-matrix printer.

    Old stuff is still cool stuff.

  238. The one skill above all others that is about to become obsolete is that of Fathering. 1 in 4 fathers in the western world will not see their children grow up due to divorce or separation. Check out URLs on parental alienation and the related issues. Within ten years 1 in 2 fathers will not see their children grow up. The second lost skill that is a direct result of this is that of being a child who can grow up with the support of two parents.

  239. The one skill above all others that is about to become obsolete is that of Fathering. 1 in 4 fathers in the western world will not see their children grow up due to divorce or separation. Check out URLs on parental alienation and the related issues. Within ten years 1 in 2 fathers will not see their children grow up. The second lost skill that is a direct result of this is that of being a child who can grow up with the support of two parents.

  240. I don’t know about most of you but I still use the majority of those “skills” on a regular basis. Because equipment is old doesn’t not make it obsolete.

    Stan H. brings up an interesting, and important, issue, fathering. Stan, I up the ante to use the term parenting which seems to have become obsolete as evidenced by the rude and dumber-than-dirt young people in the ole US of A. But maybe that is being driven by the media.

  241. I don’t know about most of you but I still use the majority of those “skills” on a regular basis. Because equipment is old doesn’t not make it obsolete.

    Stan H. brings up an interesting, and important, issue, fathering. Stan, I up the ante to use the term parenting which seems to have become obsolete as evidenced by the rude and dumber-than-dirt young people in the ole US of A. But maybe that is being driven by the media.

  242. First of all: I still have, and occasionally use, a rotary telephone. And, “developing film/photos” is definitely NOT an obsolete skill! Though I must admit, my darkroom has been mysteriously overrun by computers…

  243. First of all: I still have, and occasionally use, a rotary telephone. And, “developing film/photos” is definitely NOT an obsolete skill! Though I must admit, my darkroom has been mysteriously overrun by computers…

  244. writing with the correct use of language rules (i.e. spelling, grammar, style, etc). That’s all pretty obsolete these days.

  245. writing with the correct use of language rules (i.e. spelling, grammar, style, etc). That’s all pretty obsolete these days.

  246. setting up pointless wikis will be an obsolete skill within a week of this post. It should have been before this post started. How about stoking a steam engine boiler or hunting buffalo with flint spears. Get real everybody!

  247. setting up pointless wikis will be an obsolete skill within a week of this post. It should have been before this post started. How about stoking a steam engine boiler or hunting buffalo with flint spears. Get real everybody!

  248. NASCAR still uses carbureted engines. The day there are no more carburetors just bury me in my Firebird. EFI is ok, but nothing rumbles like a classic car where the only electronics in the thing are the lights and the radio.

  249. NASCAR still uses carbureted engines. The day there are no more carburetors just bury me in my Firebird. EFI is ok, but nothing rumbles like a classic car where the only electronics in the thing are the lights and the radio.

  250. 1. manually clicking over to pick up someone on the other line of the phone.
    2. paying attention to how hard you hit your brakes.
    3. pinball. real pinball.
    4. presets on an old car radio

  251. 1. manually clicking over to pick up someone on the other line of the phone.
    2. paying attention to how hard you hit your brakes.
    3. pinball. real pinball.
    4. presets on an old car radio

  252. I’ve got one genuinely obsolete skill. I know how to adjust and repair all the old purely mechanical (non-electric, non-electronic) vending machines.

  253. I’ve got one genuinely obsolete skill. I know how to adjust and repair all the old purely mechanical (non-electric, non-electronic) vending machines.

  254. This list is halfway to idiotic. It represents the can’t-do list of a couple of coastal American white boy geeks who live in a tiny world whose world is limited to the computer screen. These people think they are in some position to declare something obsolete because they themselves don’t use a skill in their tiny, uniformed world? Can you spell h-u-b-r-i-s or is that obsolete? The skills on the list that are truly obsolete are limited to the flash-in-the-pan world of computers. The rest are things the boys are just not familiar with. Duh.

  255. This list is halfway to idiotic. It represents the can’t-do list of a couple of coastal American white boy geeks who live in a tiny world whose world is limited to the computer screen. These people think they are in some position to declare something obsolete because they themselves don’t use a skill in their tiny, uniformed world? Can you spell h-u-b-r-i-s or is that obsolete? The skills on the list that are truly obsolete are limited to the flash-in-the-pan world of computers. The rest are things the boys are just not familiar with. Duh.

  256. I’m raising teenagers here in america, and am embarrassed to admit that since velcro replaced laces/grommets, my daughter took her time learning how to tie her shoes. When I was a youngster, that was an acknowledged mileston.
    Also, my kids, until they were fairly old, would double check an analog clock with a digital. They stiil aren’t comfortable with the “to” or “til” side of the clock. It’s 9:45, NOT a quarter to ten. Yikes. And these kids have brains the size of planets, excellent teachers, and two old fart engineers for parents!

  257. I’m raising teenagers here in america, and am embarrassed to admit that since velcro replaced laces/grommets, my daughter took her time learning how to tie her shoes. When I was a youngster, that was an acknowledged mileston.
    Also, my kids, until they were fairly old, would double check an analog clock with a digital. They stiil aren’t comfortable with the “to” or “til” side of the clock. It’s 9:45, NOT a quarter to ten. Yikes. And these kids have brains the size of planets, excellent teachers, and two old fart engineers for parents!

  258. [...] month also saw the launch of the Obsolete Skills Wiki, an idea originally proposed by journalist Robert Scoble, which preserves such knowledge as how to dial a rotary phone or how to use the eraser ribbon on a [...]

  259. @87 Tuning a crystal set radio. Most of you do not even know what I am talking about since that was about 82 years ago. Enjoyed the comments.

  260. @87 Tuning a crystal set radio. Most of you do not even know what I am talking about since that was about 82 years ago. Enjoyed the comments.

  261. I have a rotary phone in my living room…I rarely use it, the cordless gets all the attention. It still works just great! I hated it as a teenager we were the only people I knew who owned one. We keep it around as a conversation piece, and my kids think it’s funny.

  262. I have a rotary phone in my living room…I rarely use it, the cordless gets all the attention. It still works just great! I hated it as a teenager we were the only people I knew who owned one. We keep it around as a conversation piece, and my kids think it’s funny.

  263. Geez.

    Fishing? Do you know how to design, build and repair a boat? Make fishing line from animal gut? Carve hooks? Make a stone or metal tool to carve the hook with?

    Cooking with charcoal for 11 days :rolleyes:? Do you know how to make charcoal?

    Do you plan to eat anything but fish and meat, or do you know how to sustainably garden? Do you know how to make hunting weapons?

    What about digging a safe well? Constructing a pump? Making pots to cook food and purify water? Making baskets to gather food?

    Tanning animal hides? Retting or combing, spinning and weaving fibers?

    It’s amazing what passes for “survival skills” among people who’ve never had to do it for more than a couple of days. I guarantee you each one of the skills on this list takes more than “a few hours” to learn.

  264. Geez.

    Fishing? Do you know how to design, build and repair a boat? Make fishing line from animal gut? Carve hooks? Make a stone or metal tool to carve the hook with?

    Cooking with charcoal for 11 days :rolleyes:? Do you know how to make charcoal?

    Do you plan to eat anything but fish and meat, or do you know how to sustainably garden? Do you know how to make hunting weapons?

    What about digging a safe well? Constructing a pump? Making pots to cook food and purify water? Making baskets to gather food?

    Tanning animal hides? Retting or combing, spinning and weaving fibers?

    It’s amazing what passes for “survival skills” among people who’ve never had to do it for more than a couple of days. I guarantee you each one of the skills on this list takes more than “a few hours” to learn.

  265. Miller Time Stratumseind

    I know that some people shower a lot, but was surprised by the results of this poll showing that 23% of people shower more than once a day, and that an additional 55% shower every day or almost every day. Several people in the comments on that page als…

  266. For some of poorer folks who couldn’t afford a mimeograph machine, there was the hektograph. You bought a can of this liquid you poured into a large, flat dish and it gelled. Then you used an indelible pencil or a spirit master on a typewriter and made an original. This was “blotted” onto the surface of the gel and subquent sheets of blank paper were pressed onto this transferred image in the gel to create your copies. Slow, crude and CHEAP! I remember using this thing every year when as a kid, Dad sent out reminder cards to members of the community to send in their dues for the volunteer fire department. You could by the gel liquid at office supply stores.

    Dean

  267. For some of poorer folks who couldn’t afford a mimeograph machine, there was the hektograph. You bought a can of this liquid you poured into a large, flat dish and it gelled. Then you used an indelible pencil or a spirit master on a typewriter and made an original. This was “blotted” onto the surface of the gel and subquent sheets of blank paper were pressed onto this transferred image in the gel to create your copies. Slow, crude and CHEAP! I remember using this thing every year when as a kid, Dad sent out reminder cards to members of the community to send in their dues for the volunteer fire department. You could by the gel liquid at office supply stores.

    Dean

  268. I was thinking about how the middle of generation X (born in the late 60s and early 70s) is a transitional cohort with regard to digital technology. Although we were children in a mostly analog world, and learned many of the obsolete skills in this list, we were exposed to microcomputers as children, too. We’re natives of both the digital and pre-digital worlds.

    How do you know you’re part of this lucky group? Identifying obsolete skills include playing Space Invaders on an Atari 2600, and programming BASIC on a Commodore whose programs load from cassette.

  269. I was thinking about how the middle of generation X (born in the late 60s and early 70s) is a transitional cohort with regard to digital technology. Although we were children in a mostly analog world, and learned many of the obsolete skills in this list, we were exposed to microcomputers as children, too. We’re natives of both the digital and pre-digital worlds.

    How do you know you’re part of this lucky group? Identifying obsolete skills include playing Space Invaders on an Atari 2600, and programming BASIC on a Commodore whose programs load from cassette.

  270. I completely disagree with the needle on the record player one. There is no better quality method of sound reproduction out there yet. Digital may be more portable but the quality just isn’t quite there. I have a turntable, use it often, have hundreds of records, and am only 26 years old. Some artists still produce vinyl for those with ears that know the difference.

    Vinyl forever!

  271. I completely disagree with the needle on the record player one. There is no better quality method of sound reproduction out there yet. Digital may be more portable but the quality just isn’t quite there. I have a turntable, use it often, have hundreds of records, and am only 26 years old. Some artists still produce vinyl for those with ears that know the difference.

    Vinyl forever!

  272. Dkny Wallets…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

  273. Personally filtering the noise by reading every tweet and feed…

    Really, Google Wave and Twitter's Search are about to make our over-friend-subscription tendencies a thing of the past. I'm subscribing more and more to search based feeds instead of individual bloggers. My news consumption is now an aggregation of search based aggregations.

  274. I hope you're wrong about film becoming obsolete. I prefer working at capturing a great picture to the easy does it approach. Shoot, view, erase, retake. Where's the art in that?