A guide to hiring women.
Obsolete technical skills (I have them all except #11!)
The social source of religion.
Charles Barkley for President!
I have done all obsolete skills except #4. But I wouldn’t guarantee that I could still do all of them without taking someone’s eye out.
Oh, thanks, I also cannot say I can do #4 (a father of a friend of mine was a courtroom shorthand-person and tried to teach us, but I never caught on).
Have you checked the wiki linked in that post? More examples (as well as a list of counter-examples, i.e., new skills).
The “develop and print film” item reminds me that there are some obsolete laboratory skills that could be included on the wiki:
Process, embed, and section tissues on a microtome
Run sections through any one of several standard histological staining procedures
Pour, load, and run a sequencing gel
Cesium chloride gradient centrifugation
Correctly load a slide carousel
Find an old journal article in a bound volume in the library
Window a fertilized chicken egg
Maintain several different strains of mice, flies, or fish using phenotype (no PCR genotyping)
Isolate growth factors from slaughterhouse tissues, using biochemical techniques
Take photomicrographs with a 35mm film camera (and correctly load and unload the film)
Make microsurgical instruments (e.g. sharpened tungsten needles) and repair/sharpen damaged surgical instruments (e.g. watchmaker’s forceps)
The first two are not really obsolete, as much as they are skills that are typically farmed out to a service core (=$$$$)
Again, I can do most of those as well! Furthermore, as metal tools are too crude for embryo manipulation, I also know how to make surgical tools out of cactus needles and human hair!
And it’s not just technical skills, but implicit knowledge of all sorts of things that changes over time.
Heh. I knew that butter isn’t spreadable when refrigerated, and I can’t even eat the stuff. I’m so allergic to milk, butter would most probably land me in the ER again. On the other hand, having a food allergy to something that’s as ubiquitous as dairy products (many processed meats, potato products, almost all prepackaged dinners) and a bunch of other items that make one’s stomach cranky does in fact cause one to relearn the ostensibly lost art of cooking from scratch.
Personally, I suspect people in the US don’t cook from scratch, but given how crappy your ingredient quality tends to be, how limited most grocery stores’ selections are, and how expensive actual spices (as opposed to flavouring mix packages) tend to be, that’s not surprising. A friend of mine setting up housekeeping in the US for the first time told me that to equip her kitchen with what she considers to be the basics would cost $100 there, and $40 here.
A truly obsolete (to the point where knowing how to do it is actually arcane) technical skill would be something like operating a Nipkow disc camera. I grew up not far from an urban centre of 300K people and we didn’t get touch-tone service there until 1990 or so. Scoble and their commenters need to get their heads out of their class privilege.
I woke up this morning thinking about this list and some on the amazing technical skills I have (or have had) and remembered this one. Who knows the skill that includes the following jargon?
I also posted the list at my place to see if anyone can still do it.
Personally, I suspect people in the US don’t cook from scratch, but given how crappy your ingredient quality tends to be, how limited most grocery stores’ selections are, and how expensive actual spices (as opposed to flavouring mix packages)
Errr, wrong. I cook from scratch almost all of the time, and I certainly didn’t learn to do so during the three years I lived in Europe. Many of my fellow USAmerican friends also cook from scratch…and by that I don’t mean chucking things like Twinkies, Snickers bars, or roadkill into a turkey deep-fryer.
John McKay’s terms above refer to making candy from scratch, and judging the temperature of the mix from its behavior when dropped into water. Didn’t learn to do that in Europe, either.
The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.
Earlier this morning, I have moved my blog over to the Scientific American site – http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/.…
This blog can now be found at http://blog.coturnix.org and the feed is http://blog.coturnix.org/feed/. Please adjust your…
It is with great regret that I am writing this. Scienceblogs.com has been a big part…
The list is growing fast – check the submissions to date and get inspired to submit…
At bottom every man know well enough that he is a unique being, only once on…