What few maths skills I once possessed rusted away at the hands of a calculator. And similarily, I used to be a whiz at turntable setup, but now it all looks like a mystery. And it’s been 10 years since I sat at my design bench and plugged transistors and resistors into my protoboard. Today, high-level concepts and new applications are more my style than the nuts and bolts that once ruled my world.
The question I often ask myself is whether or not progress that relieves us of our hard-won skills is moving us forward or backward? Do we squander our skillsets when we replace them with technology? And if so, who cares?
If I want to know the wavelength in feet of a frequency, do I rack my brain for formulas I once memorized or click here? And if I want to understand Boltzmann’s Constant do I go to the public library or click on Wikipedia?
I suspect as long as we’re not soon reverting back to a world without technology, that we’re better off shedding years of training in exchange for quicker access to answers.
Squandering time might be a worse sin than letting go of hard-won skills.