Saturday, October 9, 2010
Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers
The industrial revolution brought on the comparison of the monkey grinder and the unseen maker. The time represented a shift from people being mostly involved in farming or related fields to being somehow connected to manufacturing. There was resistance to the change of the time period. There was probably resistance from people moving from being mostly hunter-gathers to domesticating animals and harvesting seed. There is always resistance to change. During the time of agriculture if you wanted something you either made it yourself, churning butter to making nails on your anvil or you found a member of your community a specialist, the butcher, baker or candle stick maker. to do it for you. Most people were makers of something. Chairs, tables, chimneys, cups, saddles, rope, wheels, clothing, blankets, were all things people made within a community. Today the making of those things is often a forgotten craft.
We've made another change, some say. The times might be described as the information age. I'm not sure I entirely buy the concept but I have noticed there are very few farmers. I have trouble finding things made here. Manufacturing moved.
If Twitter and Facebook are the best the information age has to offer, we are in serious trouble! Maybe Google has the right idea? I can remember that the two biggest sources of information I ever got excited about were the Encyclopedia Britannica and National Geographic Magazine. Maybe forums will fill our desire for information, except they keep answering the same questions. No one ever looks through archives. I suspect the information age will be a time of discovering community again. We'll discover our connectedness.to a larger group of people. Makers of things will continue to make things. We may have climbed out of the Tupperware age!