Skills for Modern Life

Or what they don’t teach you at college, but what you need to know to navigate modern life:

??It’s the 21st century. Knowing how to read a novel, craft an essay, and derive the slope of a tangent isn’t enough anymore. You need to know how to swing through the data deluge, optimize your prose for Twitter, and expose statistics that lie . . . Call it the neoliberal arts: higher learner for highly evolved humans.

??The courses Wired proposes are: 1) Statistical Literacy 2) Post-State Diplomacy 3) Remix Culture 4) Applied Cognition 5) Writing for New Forms (like Twitter) 6) Waste Studies 7) Domestic Tech.

The big one they are missing is home economics, or rather home sustainability.  Home Ec conjures an image of 50’s housewives making mac and cheese in an apron. It’s a terrible and unfortunate association.  But learning to take care of yourself is pretty important.  It’s something our grandparents were adept about: they could cook, grow food, butcher meat, fix furniture, sew clothing, make sweaters, repair the electric outlets, etc. with ease.  It seemed like they just knew how to do those things.  Everything and anything.

Now, an entire generation not so much.  We’re skilled at searching and finding and navigating a modern world, but we aren’t so skilled to actually do anything with it.  Home sustainability would be a welcome return to a macro-DIY worldview.

This is, of course, highly reminiscent of both Snarkmarket (here) and  Kottke’s “Liberal Arts 2.0“.  [via Kottke]

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