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For those who enjoyed "ZenATAOMM", I found another in a similar vein: "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work"

"...author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world."


I really wanted to like Soulcraft, perhaps for an echo of ZAMM. But Crawford's writing lacks passion or verve, as only excess time in academia can do. Crawford's perspective remains strictly objective: ever the professor, never the investigator or mechanic. As I recall, the narrative lacks even a single hands on illustration akin to Pirsig's adjusting valves or shimming a handlebar, which left me unconvinced that the author had ever been one with his machines, much less with his thesis. Soulless.

In contrast, John Jerome's "Truck" was a light-hearted but engaging foray into the rebuilding of a 1950 era pickup truck. It lacked the philosophical ambition of ZAMM or impact, but it was an agreeable read that left me wondering what kind of renovation project I might choose, toward gaining insights from dirty fingernails.

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