A future in dirty jobs: The NY Times argues for 'real' work

A friend who teaches classes on food preservation and "house holding" believes in the power of the plumber. Even before Joe became famous for the work, she was arguing that this economy called for our youth to learn trades, not technology. She has been urging her son to skip college and do something with his hands.

So, too, does author Matthew B. Crawford in an illuminating piece in this weekend's New York Times Sunday Magazine. He argues that "real" work, with one's hands, can be far more rewarding, more respectable, better for your soul, and even more mentally challenging than the newly prestigious "knowledge" work (which often, he points out, includes a "real stupidification" -- in other words, you're asked to think in a prescripted way, to make arguments you "don't fully buy" yourself, in the name of something you may or may not believe in).