Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Specialization and Work

In today’s A Word a Day, Anu Garg quotes that great science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein. If you don’t know him, get a copy of his Stranger in a Strange Land, and move on from there. He makes you laugh, and cry, and THINK. I am in the middle of reading World War Z, very different from the movie, very thought provoking, and this quote fits beautifully the mid-crisis work of survival after society has collapsed. People need to be able to do things with their hands, things that help with the very real business of survival:

Science-fiction author Robert Heinlein once said, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

(How can you not love a man who believes that everyone should be able to change a diaper?)

I’ve always wanted to spin wool. I think I need to learn. I’ve often thought about how we would manage the basic necessities in a post-unthinkable-collapse society, you know, the basics like food, shelter, clothing, medications . . . Maybe, living in the South, I should learn how to work with cotton . . . or linen. Now I have to find out if flax will grow in Florida . . .

July 15, 2013 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Experiment, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Survival, Technical Issue, Work Related Issues


  1. I’ve been thinking about learning to spin wool also. There is a weavers guild here that does all of that. Also my daughter’s mother-in-law is totally into all the fiber arts and raises sheep and llama for her own wool. She does some amazing dying and quilting art with it.

    Comment by momcatwa | July 15, 2013 | Reply

  2. I think it would be very calming. I would also be very interested in figuring out how to dye the wool 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 15, 2013 | Reply

  3. She does hers all with natural dyes-a lot of experimentation. Things like berries, roots etc.

    Comment by momcatwa | July 15, 2013 | Reply

  4. I would love that, wouldn’t you? Is she going to teach you?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 16, 2013 | Reply

  5. she would if I asked her. Maybe next year when I have more time.

    Comment by momcatwa | July 16, 2013 | Reply

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