The death of the fix-it-yourself generation

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Quick question. Your car stops working. What do you do? Well, take it to the garage! They'll take care of it. They'll take care of it because the way things are being built now requires you to take it to them.

Forty years ago this wasn't the case. If you had time, the work ethic and the right tools; you could get a book and fix the damn thing yourself. Sure you had to pay for the parts but you didn't have to worry about labor. The shop was the "I can't get it to work" place where you would spend your hard earned money only after spending your time and effort trying to save it. If you bothered to take the time to learn about the mechanics of a car and applied yourself you could really save money for other things.

Things have changed. New cars no longer have the comfortably large spaces around the engine so you can work on it easily. Some things are impossible to fix yourself either due to the requirement of special tools or due to the onboard computer needing to be worked with. Sometimes it is still possible to fix it yourself but the way the vehicle has been designed requires you to actually remove the entire engine to do it. A fix that used to be a 5 hour fix turns into a 2 day fix.

You see having cars that can be fixed on the driveway isn't good for business. That encourages people to save money by, say, going to a wrecker and getting discount parts instead of new parts. How do you kill that off? Make it very inconvenient or impossible to fix at home. Sometimes this leads to ridiculous situations.

3 years ago my Dad's minivan would not start. Being a fix-it-yourself guy since he was 12, he tried everything he could think of to get it moving. Finally admitting defeat, he has to get it towed to the shop. Why wouldn't the van start? The computer detected that a switch for the signal lights had worn out so it would not start the engine. Where is this switch? Buried within the front dashboard of course!

So the switch cost about 400 dollars (which is insane in itself) and there is also the labor cost of getting to it to replace it. My Dad is still disgusted about the entire situation. Even if he had known it was the switch that was causing the problem and if he had already had a replacement switch... Even if he had gone through the trouble of ripping the dashboard open to replace it himself it still would have needed to go to the shop for the computer to recognize the switch.

Now I'm not saying that things haven't all gone to hell since my Dad was in his twenties. Cars drive much, much, much further without maintenance now. Tires last longer. Oil is better. Treat your car with respect and you can expect it to take you a long, long way before you need a new one. It's just that when something does go wrong, you can no longer take the initiative and solve it yourself.

When I'm 40 I fully expect to have people surprised when I tell them my Dad, until a certain point in the 20th century, almost never took his vehicles to the garage. It isn't just major fixes they're trying to stop you from doing at home too. It is very difficult to change the oil filter in my current car, a 2009 Nissan Versa, due to the way the structure is designed underneath. It's doable but it is obvious that they want me to go pay someone else to do it.

I am disappointed that I won't be able to save my money the way my Dad used to by doing things myself. Yes it would be boring, arduous, sometimes exhausting but I would much rather sweat it out myself and save the extra money. The way my car is designed? Well, if something really stops working with it I will be forced to get it taken to the shop. One could say this is the natural course of Capitalism, always paying others to do something for you. I just don't like it.

TL;DR: Read it. I didn't write it out for you to skip all the way to the bottom so you could comment faster... :P

Discussion value: What do you think of killing off simplicity or ease of repair in the name of profit?

Inspired by onesided conversations with my Dad throughout my childhood.

its true we live in a very disposable society

it maes me wonder if the "easy" shiny stuff that comes form apple will overtake the more veritile computer models

Im not computer savvy by any means but Id rather have somthing that can acutlaly play around with than some shiny thing made for retards

Vault101:
its true we live in a very disposable society

it maes me wonder if the "easy" shiny stuff that comes form apple will overtake the more veritile computer models

Im not computer savvy by any means but Id rather have somthing that can acutlaly play around with than some shiny thing made for retards

Sadly they seem to be here to stay. I am conflicted in my appreciation for them since on one hand I know nothing about computers (which is the only reason I don't play on pc) but on the other hand it is essentially a console (only specific programs and compatibility, non-modular, etc.) except you have to buy essentially the same thing every year.

Though this whole thread I was expecting it to be about how consumers are to lazy to research how to fix things rather than how products are seemingly designed to present consumers from fixing things.

I recently ordered an iPod touch screen online and with my older brother's help we replaced my older cracked screen ourselves, so it isn't impossible, just obtuse.

My late grandfather was a mechanic, and he HATED new cars because they started putting computers and more complex electricals in them. Mostly because he didn't have the testers to identify those problems. Anything after the 90s, he was disgusted with.

However, its relatively the same. The cars he used to work on had exposed fans. These things were phased out decades ago. So instead of losing your own fingers, you had to take it to the shop. The engines were actually more dangerous in the past than they are now. There was even a time where a fan came flying off the engine of second (?) generation Toyota Corona.

So its roughly the same. The older cars were taken in because they were downright dangerous in some situations, and you could lose an arm or half your face. The newer cars require computer testers for rather small issues.

So being someone who actually knew a mechanic and old cars, its roughly the same rate but different problems.

Its the price of industry i guess. Its much more cheaper to purchase new than to get it repaired. There is also the fact that some industries make products that wont last very long, so that people will keep buying their gear.

Its sad, but you also have to take into account that most people dont have the time nor the expertise to repair objects.

My dad always had a DIY attitude and that has rubbed off on me. Quite glad.

meh it's just the way it is... the more complex things get the more time it takes to learn a skill so the more specialized the fields get and the less skills a single person can learn... there simply isn't enough time in the day for us to learn how to operate, build, fix and maintain everything we use... it's also good for civilization as a whole because it creates more things for people to do... as things we need for pure survival like food production and whatnot become more and more efficient and produce more and more per person in the field you need something for rest of the growing population to do... it's like how a lot of products now a days are made to lesser quality than they could be... cause if they weren't the need for said items would shrink to the point of that industry collapsing

I tend to try to fix certain things myself, but I could never fix a car, I've never been good with electricity and engines and such, I can fix computers and software problems, but not hardware stuff

A lot of the complexity of this stuff seems highly arbitrary and ill thought out. There's no special reason why a car needs half a dozen bizarre chips in inconvenient locations when their functions could be merged to one that sits in the fuse box. You can buy yourself a Anduino programmable computer for less than a hundred bucks that could easily simulate anything those chips are doing.

But it's the parts that make the money. There's no incentive in the auto industry to standardize; right now each manufacturer can act as the monopolistic supplier for it's line of vehicles and reap the benefits of a captive market. They couldn't charge $400 for a switch if there were eight companies making them for fifty different models of car.

I don't believe so. My immediate family and I tend to fix a lot of things that we own and continue to use a lot of "outdated" products long before their expiration date.

It isn't just affecting big things, like cars, and it's not just a crushing realisation for people in their older years.

A few weeks the cord of a kitchen appliance accidentally fell into the gas stove flame, melting the plug slightly. Not really damaging it, but enough that it wouldn't fit the plug properly and would be dangerous.

Ten years ago, I'd have replaced the plug and carried on. Now I have to replace the whole appliance or get an electrician to replace the wire.

Sure. there are safety based excuses for this stuff.. and some things are so complicated due to useful new features that non trained people shouldn't mess with them. But for the most part, the companies like this stuff cos it makes it easier to sell is new things.

Since just about everything is computer based it's getting harder and harder for things to get fixed on your own and by yourself. I think that's probably why people don't do DIY fixes much anymore, that, and I hear 'it's too complicated'

I know there's a few things that I can fix myself, I can solder cables and patch things, but my car? Hell no, I'm taking that puppy to the dealership. If I know it's going to take me a while to fix it, then I will make time for it, but I just know it's going to be a pain to do it.

If I know I can fix then I will, if not, then I'm going to to find someone that can so I don't kill it and have to buy a new one.

You want simple? I have a bike. I replace the chain, the tires and oil it to prevent it from rusting in the joints. Done.

If I have a car I'll proably have enough money to be able to afford the rare trip to the mechanic.

Moo!

Liquidacid23:
meh it's just the way it is... the more complex things get the more time it takes to learn a skill so the more specialized the fields get and the less skills a single person can learn... there simply isn't enough time in the day for us to learn how to operate, build, fix and maintain everything we use... it's also good for civilization as a whole because it creates more things for people to do... as things we need for pure survival like food production and whatnot become more and more efficient and produce more and more per person in the field you need something for rest of the growing population to do... it's like how a lot of products now a days are made to lesser quality than they could be... cause if they weren't the need for said items would shrink to the point of that industry collapsing

You are right, it is not feasible for a single person to learn all those skills, but it is feasible to go onto Google and get free step by step instructions on many different projects from millions of other people who do have those skills individually.

Since I became a DIY in the past 3 years, I have learned how to grow/maintain a healthy lawn, research various illnesses I have had, fix my own car several times, build my own deck, build my own fence, play the violin(in progress), build my own computer, setup a network complete with my own family server, eat healthier/learned to cook, research a new career path and find a better job, get a great deal on a house, and I even learned how to garden as in grow my own fruits and vegetables.

Following step by step guides, I have saved over $3000 dollars on fixing my car alone.

I don't need to be a mechanic, a gardener, or a computer tech, there are tons of other people who are experts at those things and can post how to guides online for the rest of us.

Well for one things have complicated, anyone who does it from time to time can fix a purely mechanical car, fixing one with all the damn wiring and computer crap is a whole different story.

I've got my own ridiculous repair story.

A year or so ago the front right tire on my car came loose. The morons who changed it failed to secure it properly. As a result, the oil pan on the bottom of my car got crushed, fortunately little other damage occurred aside from some warping of the sidepanels. The oil pan on its own costs about $50, painful but manageable. I decide to look into replacing the thing myself.

I finally find a reliable guide to actually doing it. Step one: remove engine... Whoever designed my car decided that even though this particular component was on the very bottom of the car and was likely to need work on at least a few occasions, it could only be removed from above. Suffice it to say that even if my skills were up to that particular task, I simply did not have the equipment, and so I was stuck paying $1,500 for something that cost a thirtieth of that price. I tried to get the company that screwed up on the tire to foot the bill, but they claimed I messed with the tire since they had, and I couldn't prove otherwise.

I have to say it is not just the simplicity that is gone though that is a large problem, it is the fact that replacing the part is quite literally forced on just about every level, in the past most parts have been totally separate and interchangeable with supreme ease now if you take out a piece that has some computerized component it may be connected to another piece simply attached in a way it can no longer be removed as a single unit.

We may be forced to take things in to professional repairs but I must say that we have also decided things need to be "hacked" and not in the malicious way but rather in the "Hack-a-day" bend this item to do my will way. It is hopefully in some seance going to replace the quality in things that used to be able to simply returned to working order as they are now computerized they can now be remade or even changed in function with code.

I do not know if the fix it yourself generation is dead or merely needs to evolve and catch up with the manufacturers.

I know what you mean. I work in a tyre/repair workshop for a while and when a pre-1980's car arrived it was a huge relief as it meant I did not have to spend 15 minutes trying to get to the damn oil filter. I saw all to often cars that were designed to only come apart using tools that only the manufactures specialty workshop would have, and one one occasion, a 4WD that has most of its panels riveted on. This meant I had to drill the rivets out and make holes in the new panels so it could be fitted. So glad I brought an old cortina

I've changed the brakes, drained and replaced the oil, changed out lightbulbs, refilled the batteries on both mine and my mother's cars. I like to think I can handle the simpler stuff like that by myself (Heynes manuals are so helpful) but right now there's a blockage in the fuel line for my car after sitting for 6 months while I was overseas. I know I'm not handling that myself so I'll get it to a garage eventually.

You start out small and work your way up to the big stuff. I'd rather not spend the money unnecessarily. There's a scrapyard where I go to get new brake shoes for my cars, costs me maybe $40 for a full set and spares to boot, then an hour getting them put on.

So long as you've got the time you can certainly do a lot of the work yourself. Some is just beyond me though.

As technology advances, the level of insight into the relevant field needed to work with said technology increases.
It's a necessary consequence of more advanced machinery.

"50 years ago, when my computer stopped working, I could just dig out the motherboard and see which of the components were fried and change the relevant one. Now, computers are so advanced I have to take it to the shop to get it fixed. This is clearly a scam to rob me of my dear money."

If you want to have the luxury of driving technologically advanced cars, you're going to have to accept that it means you won't be able to work as your own mechanic.
If you so dearly want to drive a car that doesn't require loads technical knowledge and training to fix, you're free to buy an old car.

Well in some ways you can still work on the new cars, but the equipment you sometimes need to do so is price prohibitive. But yeah, the general consensus is that we live in a you can't fix it yourself society.

Jonluw:
If you so dearly want to drive a car that doesn't require loads technical knowledge and training to fix, you're free to buy an old car.

It's too much to ask for a new, cheap car that has the characteristics of the older generation of cars these days. And there becomes a point where old cars can no longer be fixed up. "Old cars" are rare on the streets here anyway, with models from the 90's being usually the oldest and a good number of those too have computers. There is also a lot of pressure by environmental groups to get all old vehicles off the road despite the fact some were deigned more fuel efficient than current models. I'm not sure if it is still in effect but the government here at one point was offering money for those who would trade in older vehicles for new ones.

And then there's the whole issue of manufactures raising part prices for older models. If you need a very specific part and the junkyard doesn't have it... It's hard to save money that way anymore. Trying to push out that mindset. Why fix it yourself when it is ten times easier to give your problem to someone else?

If there was a model of car, brand new, that was easy to repair by yourself but it did this at the cost of having ABS or air conditioning or having a computer HUD I'd get it if it was affordable. I just don't like having to hand off my problems and money to other people.

Redlin5:

Jonluw:
If you so dearly want to drive a car that doesn't require loads technical knowledge and training to fix, you're free to buy an old car.

It's too much to ask for a new, cheap car that has the characteristics of the older generation of cars these days.

Probably, yes. With new demands for fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, why would a company make a car that's less safe, less fuel efficient and lacks all the luxuries that an onboard computer grants. It's because of the computer that you no longer have to take your car to the garage every now and to get it tuned up/synchronized.
Lack of ABS in your car doesn't only concern you, you know. The people around you would also very much prefer it if you rode in a car with ABS.

Edit: 7000 posts. Woo!

Redlin5:

Discussion value: What do you think of killing off simplicity or ease of repair in the name of profit?

Yeah, it's part profit and part necessary. Yes, autorepair facilities and dealers would love to have a monopoly on maintenance and repairs (they don't - you can buy the computers servicers use to check for codes and such; and it will just take longer than your dad is use to in order to reach components - dealers and repair shops don't have special tools 99% of the time).

However, at the same time, it's also driven by necessity. The computers control dozens of things, and eventually some jagdick named Keith is going to turn off the computers making the noise instead of fixing them because it'll save him $250. The minute that guy gets on the road his power steering has a mind of its own and his brakes don't respond well. The minute Keith tries to drive in the snow his traction control doesn't work.

Engines are multiple times more complicated these days because they have to meet emissions requirements (which is a GOOD thing), they have to meet efficiency requirements (again, GOOD), and they have to entice buyers who only know how to rank an engine by Horsepower and MPG instead of other things (like average maintenance cost, average repair cost, etc.). So the automanufacturers have to fit more into a smaller engine space.

The same can be said of computers. Look at the iPad. Do you think anybody who's built their own computers over the last 20 years could repair their iPad? The vast majority will simply bring it to the store. It's too compact, the layout is unfamiliar, and - for those who are afraid of it - it voids the warranty.

That's the way things are going. It doesn't necessarily make our society disposable; there's absolutely nothing wrong with the original iPad (or even iPod), but a lot of people succumb to the artificial peer pressure of not having the latest and greatest.

Jonluw:

Redlin5:

Jonluw:
If you so dearly want to drive a car that doesn't require loads technical knowledge and training to fix, you're free to buy an old car.

It's too much to ask for a new, cheap car that has the characteristics of the older generation of cars these days.

Probably, yes. With new demands for fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, why would a company make a car that's less safe, less fuel efficient and lacks all the luxuries that an onboard computer grants. It's because of the computer that you no longer have to take your car to the garage every now and to get it tuned up/synchronized.
Lack of ABS in your car doesn't only concern you, you know. The people around you would also very much prefer it if you rode in a car with ABS.

It's called knowing how to brake and my current car, a 2009 model, doesn't have ABS. A good number of cars don't have it as standard. Even in the iciest streets I've managed to avoid collisions. Some ABS drivers get careless, relying on it to save their ass every time.

The point is moot though. The auto industry has bought up all the independent part distributors, destroyed any sense of standardization and is working towards a generation of drivers who won't ever consider trying to fix their cars themselves. The average car owner no longer thinks that fixing their vehicle is worth the effort due to problems mentioned before. Even though there would be a market for less reliable, moderately fuel efficient and simple to repair car for those with lower income... We don't care about those with lower income.

Get a job! What if you live outside of the city? Get a car! How do you get a car without a job? Take a loan. Buying used just means you'll get a problem vehicle that you have to take in to get fixed more regularly, which costs a fortune too. Buying really old and you get rising part prices. It's similar to how there is no more low income housing being built. All the new houses being built here are mansions compared to what there used to be but that's a topic for a different day. The point is inflation is working against those working on the bottom of the totem pole.

I was about to go off on you in the beginning of your post because I work on my own stuff and I have plenty of friends who do too. Then I finished your post and now I agree with you. Due to a complicated situation, I am forced into a 3-year lease with a 2010 Toyota Corolla. It's a great car and everything, but when I open the hood, all I see is a plastic case. I'm not allowed to take it off myself until after two years or else Toyota won't perform all that free maintenance on it I'm enjoying (tire rotation, full inspection, oil changes, etc). Once that's over and I can work on it again, I have all these fears of not being able to fix things that used to be easy. I changed my starter on my 1987 Camry in less than an hour, and the alternator was on top being held down by literally two bolts. If I look real hard, I can see both of them in hard to reach places... Not looking forward to having to work on it myself. Shops absolutely SCREW you with labor.

Redlin5:

Jonluw:

Redlin5:

It's too much to ask for a new, cheap car that has the characteristics of the older generation of cars these days.

Probably, yes. With new demands for fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, why would a company make a car that's less safe, less fuel efficient and lacks all the luxuries that an onboard computer grants. It's because of the computer that you no longer have to take your car to the garage every now and to get it tuned up/synchronized.
Lack of ABS in your car doesn't only concern you, you know. The people around you would also very much prefer it if you rode in a car with ABS.

It's called knowing how to brake and my current car, a 2009 model, doesn't have ABS. A good number of cars don't have it as standard. Even in the iciest streets I've managed to avoid collisions. Some ABS drivers get careless, relying on it to save their ass every time.

Now the question is, would you prefer to rely on all other drivers on the road having learned to brake properly, or would you prefer if they had some sort of backup mechanims to keep them from careening onto the pavement?
Even if a person is trained to brake properly, a stressful situation can make doing so quite difficult.
I'd rather rely on people's abs systems than rely on certain idiot drivers' abilities behind the wheel.

The point is moot though. The auto industry has bought up all the independent part distributors, destroyed any sense of standardization and is working towards a generation of drivers who won't ever consider trying to fix their cars themselves. The average car owner no longer thinks that fixing their vehicle is worth the effort due to problems mentioned before. Even though there would be a market for less reliable, moderately fuel efficient and simple to repair car for those with lower income... We don't care about those with lower income.

Those kinds of cars aren't being offered because we're trying to move forward. Away from that old technology. Those old cars cost about the same as new cars do now when they were new. You didn't see people complaining about the new cars then, demanding that the T-Ford should be brought back into production for people with a lower income.

Society and technology is trying to move forward. A consequence of this is that the technology becomes so advanced that dealing with it requires specialized knowledge.
That is simply the direction in which society moves as it evolves. Higher degrees of specialization. The logical conclusion is that people deal with one engine component each, because each component is incrediby complicated. It is not due to the market attempting to squeeze more money out of the consumers, it's because of progress.

In caveman times, each person could perform practically every function required in their society: Hunt, make fire, find shelter, etc.
As society has evolved, society has become more complicated, and we therefore need people to specialize on different fields. There are more roles to be filled, in other words.
Specialization is a good thing. It's what allows us to create more advanced technology and societies. A neccessary side effect is that it annoys you that roles you used to be able to fill now need to be filled by several people.
It's annoying, I see that. But it's necessary. This happens because of progress, not because of companies trying to keep you from fixing your own car.

Redlin5:

It's called knowing how to brake and my current car, a 2009 model, doesn't have ABS. A good number of cars don't have it as standard. Even in the iciest streets I've managed to avoid collisions. Some ABS drivers get careless, relying on it to save their ass every time.

This is why I think everyone's first car should be a total beater. It needs to be something they can cheaply fix in their driveway and something that has to be driven carefully or else something bad will happen. My first car was an '87 Camry with permanently awful alignment, a stiff-as-shit brake pedal, and a soft-as-shit gas pedal. You had to DRIVE that thing, and I remember no one else really COULD drive it. At least not comfortably. The brake pedal in particular didn't feel like it worked until you drove it for a while. Now that I have a new car, I still drive carefully while feeling every single bump, hum, and lurch my car might make so that I know exactly what to do in case of emergency. It's too dangerous when all a driver has known is "right go fast left go stop."

Get a job! What if you live outside of the city? Get a car! How do you get a car without a job? Take a loan. Buying used just means you'll get a problem vehicle that you have to take in to get fixed more regularly, which costs a fortune too. Buying really old and you get rising part prices. It's similar to how there is no more low income housing being built. All the new houses being built here are mansions compared to what there used to be but that's a topic for a different day. The point is inflation is working against those working on the bottom of the totem pole.

Exactly this. I needed a car to get to work and I needed money to get a car. When my '87 Camry officially took a shit too big for me to flush, I needed something I could get with no money down at an affordable rate. I managed to swing a new 2010 Corolla for $290 a month with nothing down on a lease, and because of how leases work I'm gonna have to refinance it once the lease is up and just buy it. It's not comforting to know I owned my first car when I handed that dude the $1000 on the first day, but I'm going to be paying off this car until I'm probably 27 (I'm 20 now).

I put new windshield wiper fluid into my car all by myself just the other day, so who are you to say that DIY is dead?

Seriously though, cars are quickly moving out of the informed amateur's realm of expertise, but I still try to find a solution for most things on my own. My computer is a piece of trash, and I've coaxed it through plenty of problems. I'm decent at carpentry, so I build things to help myself out every once in a while, or I try to solve plumbing problems myself before calling my landlord, though this has mixed results. I respect dedicated DIYers, but paying for quality service and peace of mind has its place as well

Wait wait wait wait...wait...wait.

Toyota Corona? Does it run on beer?

Jonluw:

Redlin5:

Jonluw:
Probably, yes. With new demands for fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, why would a company make a car that's less safe, less fuel efficient and lacks all the luxuries that an onboard computer grants. It's because of the computer that you no longer have to take your car to the garage every now and to get it tuned up/synchronized.
Lack of ABS in your car doesn't only concern you, you know. The people around you would also very much prefer it if you rode in a car with ABS.

It's called knowing how to brake and my current car, a 2009 model, doesn't have ABS. A good number of cars don't have it as standard. Even in the iciest streets I've managed to avoid collisions. Some ABS drivers get careless, relying on it to save their ass every time.

Now the question is, would you prefer to rely on all other drivers on the road having learned to brake properly, or would you prefer if they had some sort of backup mechanims to keep them from careening onto the pavement?
Even if a person is trained to brake properly, a stressful situation can make doing so quite difficult.
I'd rather rely on people's abs systems than rely on certain idiot drivers' abilities behind the wheel.

I don't rely on people or technology. Even the best brakes can't save you if an idiot decides to go 30 over the speed limit in a blizzard. I do as my father taught me to do when sitting beside him as a boy and drive as if every other driver will suddenly lose his senses. Defensive driving is my modus operandi.

ilovemyLunchbox:

Redlin5:
It's called knowing how to brake and my current car, a 2009 model, doesn't have ABS. A good number of cars don't have it as standard. Even in the iciest streets I've managed to avoid collisions. Some ABS drivers get careless, relying on it to save their ass every time.

This is why I think everyone's first car should be a total beater. It needs to be something they can cheaply fix in their driveway and something that has to be driven carefully or else something bad will happen. My first car was an '87 Camry with permanently awful alignment, a stiff-as-shit brake pedal, and a soft-as-shit gas pedal. You had to DRIVE that thing, and I remember no one else really COULD drive it. At least not comfortably. The brake pedal in particular didn't feel like it worked until you drove it for a while. Now that I have a new car, I still drive carefully while feeling every single bump, hum, and lurch my car might make so that I know exactly what to do in case of emergency. It's too dangerous when all a driver has known is "right go fast left go stop."

My first car was similar. You really had to be used to the brake. It also didn't have power steering and you had to work if you wanted to maneuver that car around. It was good until I just couldn't afford fixing it any more. I kind of wish my Nissan wasn't power steering as you don't feel the road the same way.

last few years one of my hobbies has been learning alot of old skills, everything from making lye, my own soap from scratch, making hardcover books, etc

its strange in a way no matter what i achieve with a computer or on the net its still not as satisfyinf at going out and doing something by hand

Things like cars have gotten infinitely more complicated over the years, so much so that without deadly specific knowledge and tools you'd be a fool to try and fix it yourself.

And most household appliances are made to be thrown away.

Sure it sucks, but that's the price you pay for more complicated amenities.

Redlin5:
mhm

So?
It's like being sad that the 20th century was the "death of the farming generation".
Different times, different lifestyles, different skills needed.

As technology and fields become more specialized, and our population increases, a DIY attitude is just bad for the society.

Think of us becoming less like a gang of 5 gorrilaz that sit around in the jungle and do everything ourselves, and transforming into a colony of a bajillion ants, each with certain roles.

Its the course of all expanding societies.

I would like to solve all my problems but guess what? Car repair doesn't interest a lot of people. ITS BORING. A lot of people would like to make their own food, but guess what? FARMING IS EQUALLY BORING. So if we can designate certain tasks to the individuals that ENJOY IT than everyone can be happy. I see no negative to relying on your fellow man for help. Screw old people and their selfish ways.

I'd say that there's at least an encouraging counter-point to all of this: Thanks to the Internet, consumers are becoming more aware of their options and more willing to shop around, or even to get the information they need to do something by themselves rather than forking over hard-earned cash for every minor annoyance.

This came to my attention more clearly recently, as I heard more news about the growing market for 3d printers, and some of the copyright/patent principles that apply when you're trying to replace a part for something you already own.

Imagine the day - perhaps sooner than you think - where you'll say "Hmm, my (random appliance) just broke its (random part); well, here's a perfect replacement and it'll print up in about an hour." Our economy is going to change a bit, to say the least. Not that we won't still be a capitalist economy (hooray for that), but a lot of things you've always had to go to a store for will be made in your home, not kludged together but made to factory specs, and without the time, effort, and cost it would take to run a hobbyist machine shop.

It's a fun world we're moving into :)

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