I drive a lot less than I did 10 years ago, even 4 or 5 years ago. I'm middle-aged, but the reason is related to the internet: I am a freelance designer and can work from anywhere.
I agree that meetings are a time-suck (for everyone but salespeople, who seem to thrive on that bullshit).
But, I also think that humans in physical proximity should have precedence over humans not in proximity. That's in business meetings, at the dinner table, while driving, while walking, or just about any other time.
OK, now get off my lawn, there are clouds that need to be yelled at.
All this time, I've been spraying vinegar to clean the kitchen floor. Silly me. I'm not doing anything to stop the... um what was it again... oh yeah! chem trails. At least the floor is clean.
Or how cold it is.
When we lost power for 10 days due to an ice storm, the generator was mostly for the propane furnace, and the well. In those 10 days, the temperature never got above freezing, so for us, a generator is a must. But, we're also in a rural area, we couldn't even get out for 2 days because the down trees blocked our road. Everything else was a lot like you describe, canned food, propane stove, handi wipes, etc. Except vienna sausages: I'd rather eat cat food
Wired and Smithsonian
I do get my information from the web, but it's nice to have something for time spent on the shitter. Short articles and nice pictures are good for that.
I can touch type, when I'm typing natural language, thanks to my father's insistence and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, on an old behemoth of a family PC in the late 80s. It irritated the crap out of me at the time (junior high) but the old man knew what he was doing, even if he didn't know I'd end up a pro keyboard jockey.
But, when I need to use many non-letter characters (HTML, PHP, nothing spectacular) not only does it take longer because more thought has to go into it, I do have to look at the keyboard.
I imagine that it could be frustrating for typing to be less ready-to-hand than handwriting or speaking, and that's how I imagine hunt and peck typing would feel.
Yes, my father could be a jerk, and worse. But, he wasn't a jerk for the sake of being mean, he had a goal for our family. He went from penniless immigrant to American retiree with four college-educated children in about 35 years.
The job of a parent is to prepare their children for self-sufficiency, not protect every widdle feewing. The world is not fair, and I'm better off by far, than my childhood friends who were never pushed to excel, never subject to the stresses of high expectations.
The moral of the story is that you can't let petty little assholes get in your way. The goal of a happy and fulfilled life is more important than who was mean to you in school. The point is that bullying didn't derail me, because I had the advantage of my parents' perspective on life and education.
"Don't let the bastards get you down."
As a shy person I might have gone this route, but no amount of bullying would have been worse than my parents' reactions to a low grade.
As my father once said "what the hell is this B doing on your report card?!"
It's unfortunate that jargon is mixed with / confused with plain language.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) is a technical term in this context, and not to be confused with plain old higher order thinking skills (like symbolic logic, algorithmic processes, the scientific method). Maybe the first one has a lot of baggage, but it's too bad that everyone can't get behind the teaching of how to think clearly about complex topics, which is how I would use the term higher order thinking skills. The ability to reason through an argument is far more useful in life than memorizing which authority to follow in all circumstances. Memorizing facts without context, or failing to teach how to figure things out or recognize false logic, are as poor teaching methods as giving everyone a good grade because everyone "tried hard".
Critical thinking (not their jargon, just plain old brain-engaged thinking) is important, more important than memorizing lists. Both sides may try to indoctrinate children to unthinking drones of their respective ideologies, but I don't have to think it's great for the future of our society.
Small businesses need people who are flexible, and who are ready and willing to learn. A business with the need for his skills might not be tech-focused, and might not be looking for someone with a CS degree. Having a degree in Philosophy has never hurt me, and it makes for a great interview question. In some respects, I have (and he has) a degree in "figuring things out".
Because small business need greater flexibility in their employees, and all the independent learning he's done would demonstrate that flexibility. There are down sides to working for small companies, but not everyone is cut out for corporate culture.
If he can combine his skills with another interest, he'll be valuable to a small company in that area.
"And do it for less money."
I think you've hit the nail on the head. It seems that "increasing shareholder value" has eclipsed every other goal in modern business, including quality and long-term thinking.
I wonder whether this really is a matter of a reasonably intelligent person, taking a test, and caring about getting the correct answer.
I think perhaps it's matter of a person who feels they are "very important" and that having to "know things" is beneath them, because they are a "leader" whose "vision" and "leadership" is more important than mere knowledge. They hire easily replaced people for the puny details of "knowing things", because "having a big brain" is less important than "the ability to lead".
I use the scare quotes because, I have met people like this, and I find their position to be pure bull****.