Work With Your Hands: It Makes You Honest
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2009 5:27 PM CDT
A carpenter works a single home site in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Greasy, sweaty manual labor instills a moral code that middle managers will never understand, Matthew B. Crawford writes in the New York Times. A doctoral graduate in poli-sci, Crawford parroted opinions at a Washington think tank before turning to motor bike repairs. Now he feels a deep satisfaction as customers rev their repaired engines. "It’s a ventriloquist conversation in one mechanical voice, and the gist of it is 'Yeah!'"

Not so in cubicle life, where corporate doublespeak covers mistakes and harried work hampers real concentration. “Nothing is set in concrete the way it is when you are, for example, pouring concrete.” But high-schools have sadly dropped shop programs in favor of numbing computer skills. Because manual work "is dirty, many people assume it is also stupid," writes Crawford. "This is not my experience."