I feel a bit rusty after this Christmas break, but hee we go: For a while, I’ve been endeavouring to develop skills that many of us have either never learnt, but that our grandparents knew how to do on a regular, often casual basis. Whether it’s baking bread, learning basic brick building, or pork butchery – I’ve even been accused of being a bit of a ‘prepper’. It’s not that I’m preparing for the end of civilisation via the inevitable zombie apocalypse, but an honest interest in a more sustainable, and enjoyable, less consumerist life-style – and the key to that is to develop skills from less technology dependent times. I like to eat, therefore I should know how to cook, therefore I should know how food is made – or even better, grow and make it myself. At the same time, I try to live firmly in the 21st century: I hold my data in the cloud, use social networks daily, strive for hardware independence, am online every waking minute, and believe in a paperless office (and pretty much succeed with it). It’s nothing I learnt recently (and therefore not yet this week’s lesson) – I seemingly am a man of many contradictions, striving to live somewhere in that imaginary space between The Good Life and The Big Bang Theory. What I’ve learnt though is that it’s not really contradictory to me – but in sync with my pursuit of completeness: technology is a tool for me, and it’s vital to understand and utilise it fully to navigate in a modern world (of work). For me it’s really about developing skills that prepare you for life (an not only the zombie apocalypse): digital literacy is really an extension of … literacy. The former without the latter doesn’t make sense. I think my lesson is that buying bread is pointless to me, if I don’t understand how it’s made – and that I can replicate it. It’s the same impulse that motivates learning such seemingly contradictory skill sets. Knowing you basics will ultimately limit your ability to deal with the more complex (see my recent reblog on touch typing).