As a society and an economy, we went from agrarian self-reliance to industrial inter-dependence over the last 100 years– during a time when the US had the most highly developed economy and the most plentiful natural resources in the world. It used to be reasonable to trust that jobs and resources would be there indefinitely, and that we’d earn enough money to buy what we need. ” Higher education long has been seen there as nonessential to land a job because well-paying mining and related jobs were once in plentiful supply. ” In that paradigm, people’s “human capital” didn’t need to be as highly developed to be successful– they just needed warm bodies. Now, we need highly developed, entrepreneurial people who can think critically, work flexibly, and solve problems creatively. As an Oaklander, a TechLiminal regular, and a college grad, I see a return to that era of broad-based self-reliance where people are once again learning to produce the things they need. People are growing and processing their own food, building their own tech tools, and experimenting with functional alternatives to “mainstream” forms of energy, transportation, education, family, business, housing, manufacturing, etc…. It means that we all need to be continually developing ourselves just to compete.
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.