I’m reading this new book by Matthew Crawford. He makes the case for managing our ‘highly engineered culture’ and our ‘mental fragmentation’ what with the constant stream of information we have nowadays. This kind of material is always intriguing to me because of its relevance to craftsmanship and artistry. Early in the book he mentions the above quote that likely came from management in the early days of the twentieth century. The assembly line had made its way into the industrial revolution where jigs and other labor saving devices were the order of the day. It allowed unskilled labor to accomplish the task at hand, and of course, unskilled labor was cheaper than skilled labor. My, how far we’ve come since then!
Ranchers, artists, carpenters, furniture makers, and all manner of craftsmen, show up for work with no help from an expensive jig, just a set of tools, an independent spirit, and a willingness to solve problems on a daily basis. There is value in the work of their hands and their minds.