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It's pretty cynical to call that knowledge useless. It's learning to do a thing you want to know how to do. That has use to you and often those around you. As for hard engineering problems, just because they're more complex doesn't make the knowledge less available. There's a massive amount of engineering knowledge free online, it only takes the initiative to go out and use it to learn it. The curriculum of many entire university degrees is now available for free online in a way its never been before.

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