If you have a chance, take a look at Shop Class as Soulcraft, by Matthew Crawford. I think it will really speak to the Ignite audience on several levels, and hopefully get you to look at the world in a different way. In short, Crawford has a PhD in Political Philosophy, but finds his business repairing vintage European motorcycles more intellectually rewarding than the ‘normal’ career path at a think tank. He expands on this to champion the intellectual attributes of the manual trades, and ranges from how you should really advise a young person deciding on a career (given that a lot of knowledge work can actually be menial and easily outsourced), to how understanding and being able to repair your physical possessions is important to the spirited person’s sense of self-worth.
I think the ideas in this book are all over the place right now, in our culture generally and in Ann Arbor in particular. If you attend a GO Tech meeting you’ll see people engaging with their environment by making Rep-Rap machines or fabricating their own epoxy-granite lathe. At the cinema you can see Julia Child empowering household cooks to make their own mayonnaise from scratch. And at Ignite you can see talks like how to gather your own weather satellite images or make your own camping gear or electronic music.
So have a look, I think you’ll find it rewarding. You’ll have something to talk about with that interesting person you’re going to meet at intermission at Ignite 2. Here’s Mathew Crawford on the Colbert Report a month ago:
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