Historically, the Luddites, who caused ructions against machinery way back, were pissed off because they could see, or claimed to be able to see, that these new-fangled contraptions which could do the equivalent work of ten men, and could do it faster, would pose a major threat to the livelihood of those, say, weaving and spinning by the existing hand-powered methods. The arrival of steam power made the old ways obsolete.
Since the Fourteenth Century this mechanisation process has been in continuous development with the result of today’s mass production.
But I’ve had a thought. Mass production produces itself for the mass, both of which – people or product –
can be measured. They’re both examples of what you get in an age of quantity.
But there’s still such a thing as Quality, and I don’t mean in this context something which is inherently expensive or valuable in monetary terms. Surely what most clearly separates Quality from quantity is that quantity can be measured; Quality can’t. Quality can only be perceived.
I reckon to learn how to recognise Quality – be it the talents of a group of musicians, the virtues of a mate, or the lines emanating from a piece of sculpture – is what a real Education is all about.
It’s because what passes for ‘education’ (small ‘e’) in most schools doesn’t even consider the existence of what you might call the ‘Quality level of Life’ that lads leave school and are only able to recognise what they’re stuck with, it being the ‘mass mentality’.
What I’m wondering is to what extent it might help a lad to draw himself away from this if he has to use tools to enhance what he does, what he’s trying to achieve – which, let’s hope, is something which embraces Quality, even if it only concerns his Dad’s old banger.
And if, by his skill and ingenuity – plus his tools – he gets the car working again, can’t I claim that as a ‘Quality repair’?
Truth to tell, I’m getting a bit lost in what passes for my thinking. It gets me narked from time to time though the negative feelings never last long.
With or without tools, Struggle holds no fear for me. Lacking what I think of as a Quality education, it strikes me that Struggle is an inevitable part of my existence if I persist in trying to live where Quality reigns.
Machines and their mass produced ‘other’ hold no appeal for me.