Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Skills Are Obsolete

I always thought journalism would be one of those fields that the world could never do without, but apparently I was wrong. Like so many other seemingly useful abilities, journalism is obsolete.

Before you comfort me and my poor choice of profession, check the complete list. Maybe your skills are obsolete, too!

Unfortunately, this wiki of invalid proficiencies must not have a dedicated community of eagle-eyed editors that watch over the content Wikipedia-style, so it's completely wrong about journalism and a few other still-valid skills. But it makes up for that by highlighting plenty of legitimately obsolete proficiencies, from asbestos installation to zipping archives across multiple floppy drives.

The majority of the entries are somewhat obvious, as they revolve around now-defunct technology, but it's still an entertaining way of thinking about your life. What skills do you possess that are simply no longer necessary? This begs yet another question: What skills are you honing right now that might appear on this list in the not-so-distant future?

Technology is advancing at a mind-boggling pace. My children will probably have a hard time believing that there was a time in my life when every phone conversation was tethered to the telephone on my kitchen wall. Or that I actually had to rewind a movie when I was done watching it. Will the word "rewind" even have the same meaning and connotations anymore? Changes in technology and the abolition of related "skills" might dictate changes in colloquialisms and catch phrases.

At the same time, some skills (like journalism!) are clearly timeless and should never appear on this list because they simply cannot be outmoded. I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a world where people don't know how to caulk their wagon to ford the river. That's a life skill.


Andrea said...

1. how is calling a phone sex line a skill?

2. that "read the rest" part that shows up in my reader is not even a link anymore. how misleading. and what do i click on to earn you money?

3. people are trying to make my profession obsolete too. there's a mini computer that's being marketed that you hook up to your kid that tries to measure how much language input the child receives and how much language output the child makes and then comes up with some number that tells the parent whether they need to worry or not. or something like that.

4. finally, about children. i can't even use "stamp" and "envelope" in therapy anymore because i can't be sure that kids are going to be familiar with it when shown a picture. too much emailing!

Matt said...

1. Excellent question.

2. That sounds frightening. How do the kids like being hooked up to a machine?

3. At least we'll always have postcards...or will we?!