The Spirited Man

It is characteristic of the spirited man that he takes an expansive view of the boundary of his own stuff—he tends to act as though any material things he uses are in some sense properly his, while he is using them [..].

Excerpt From: Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford

I read this book Shop Class as Soulcraft because a YouTuber named Van Neistat (yes, the brother of Casey Neistat) recommended it in one of his videos (all his videos, by the way, are worth a watch as well). His whole YouTube account is named after one key argument that the writer Crawford makes in his book: the spirited man. From his video linked on the top: “A spirited man is a man who takes matters into his own hands or who knows how to fix a dishwasher.”

The book by Crawford, and the videos by Neistat are both referring to the fact that Generation X (the ones before Millenials) are the last generation who are analog natives. Analog natives? According to Van Neistat, people born in a non-digital world who need to think about the fact that Googling is an option if you are searching for answers or information. And, according to both authors, analog natives are also the last generation who know how to fix a bicycle or a dishwasher.

I’m a millennial, I breathe digital, and Google is my number-one-first-stop-go-to whenever I seek for answers or more in-depth information. I can certainly fix a bike, but a dishwasher is going to be tricky. Both authors provide a refreshing look on our materialistic society and the disappearance of tools and manual competence within this society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *