It's easy enough to mourn the great shift in mental output from making durable goods with our hands to less worthy pursuits, like dreaming up food puns for old R.E.M. songs then spraying them all over the Twitters. But Haywood Jablomey had some constructive advice for those who complain about the way things are going.
Growing up, I was discouraged from using my hands, despite an aptitude for mechanical and electrical engineering (not the theoretical junk). So I pursued it the other way—the mathematical way—and a couple of years into college, I reached my boiling point and said fuck it all. That was 10 years ago. I have since rekindled my love of engineering and building simply—in wood this time round. I revel the fact that I have learned to solder. To diagnose and repair cars. To fix...and refix...and refix my old motorcycle.
And to that end, I recommend that you hit up your local Craigslist and get your hands on a basket-case CB750. It will cost you nothing and teach you everything you need to know about how a vehicle works.—and can be made better. Along the way, you will find the people you need to teach you the rest.