A couple years ago Matthew B. Crawford wrote this great essay for The New York Times as an adaptation of his book: Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. I haven’t yet read the book, but the NYT essay is just fantastic. In the process of sharing his story of how, after finishing his Ph.D. in political philosophy, he decided to start a motorcycle repair shop, Crawford talks about the good, the bad, and the stereotypes of a trade job versus “knowledge work”.
And, though this block quote certainly doesn’t “encapsulate” Crawford’s essay, it is too clever not to highlight:
It is a rare person, male or female, who is naturally inclined to sit still for 17 years in school, and then indefinitely at work.
(Thanks to reader, Justin.)