[jhb_airlines] Re: Microsoft

  • From: "bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2007 16:36:11 -0000

I haven't used a scythe for 20 years and doubt I will again. A brilliant
tool for the job and, once mastered, very satisfying to use. Having said
that I don't know how to make flint knaps from a flint pebble, build a
barrel or a cartwheel or put up a dry stone wall.

Throughout the ages people have evolved skills for their present needs. I
can't drive a Mastodon over a cliff so my family can eat and I bet Health
and Safety would kick up a stink if I did. Our ancestors used to though - if
they hadn't I wouldn't be typing away on a little plastic keyboard. Physical
evolution is well covered by Darwin but social evolution is just as
fascinating - we develop increasing skills whilst leaving others behind.

People often regret the passing of hard earned skills but it often seems to
be those lost in living memory. There is more sympathy for cart wheel making
and Morris dancing than say for skills from the stone age - can you skin a
buffalo or make a window out of cow's guts. I know how to make a fire in
theory but it's a long time since I tried it.

Even today some skills erode. I can't remember the last time I got flour,
eggs and milk out to make a pie and I'll bet many of the younger generation
haven't got a packet of flour in the house. In my yoof two essential items
in any house were brown paper and string - and every kid had a bit in his
pocket for one reason or other. String disappeared though, or the use for it
did because I don't have any in the house - not even a modern day


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Peter Dodds
Sent: 18 November 2007 13:13
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: pdodds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Microsoft

Although I am very sceptical about the huge volume of regulations and paper
needed to do simple tasks in todays world, I still normally disagree with
"it was better in my day" because it very rarely was.  In this case too I
lean towards the opposition.

First I've heard of it(the MPL), so this is a gut reaction - This may turn
out to work OK because the pilots do not learn skills which they will never
use. I was taught a huge amount of stuff in school and uni which I have
never used and would not have missed not learning.  We no longer make fire
by rubbing boy scouts together and we have to drop old skills as new ones
come along because there's isn't room for them all. If and one would
emphasis the "If", they get the balance right, I can't see that it would be
so very bad.

We had a flat battery on Alpha Victor a few months ago. We pondered for a
while then decided that hand swinging without having someone there who had
done it before was too dangerous. Fortunately we found someone, and our QFI
was able to do the deed without trouble.  That's once in 14 years at least.
That's why they no longer teach hand swinging as part of the PPL syllabus I
guess. Had we not found someone we would have simply recharged the battery
and flown next day.  Knowledge of the old skill was useful but not vital.

When was the last time you mowed your lawn with a scythe?


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