It's probably just my age leading me into curmudgeonly olde farthood, but I sense a general lack of curiosity about how things are made and how things work here in the 21st century. We've become so accustomed to appliances that think for us that we no longer consider what's going on inside the magic box. (Had a microwave oven years back that scrolled "Enjoy your meal" in its display after the cook cycle finished!) In another hobby activity, the ceramic arts, I hang around and work at my local community college art center. I wrote here several years ago about discovering a couple of twenty-somethings in the lounge area, one of whom was twiddling the agitator on a developing tank. Innocently I asked what film and developer the lass was using. "Kodak" and "dunno, they give it to us." I realize the goal of the class wasn't to create darkroom techs, but geeze!

I recall in my childhood, model airplanes were pre-marked balsa wood that had to be trimmed out with a knife, glued together and sometimes sanded a bit here and there. Now you snap together a plastic frame and heat-shrink plastic film instead of using tissue and dope -- there just isn't the same level of hands-on involvement. It seems to me very few people actually make things anymore. The upside of that is that for Christmas I can give a ceramic bowl to a relative, and even though I see it as being a little too thick and the glaze a bit messy, I get responses like "OH MY GOD, YOU MADE THIS??!!!!"

In theory, digit@l could be a good way to learn many aspects of photography, you have instant feedback (21st C Polaroid!), but many don't use it that way. I indeed shoot that evil technology for much of my travel shots these days, but I get the impression some folks shoot more in an hour than I shoot in a week. I assume that's because I am interested in getting the results by design, rather than plucking a couple of accidental good ones out of a bushel.

"The only thing constant is change!"