Holy Crap! I didn't realize that I'd stumbled into a major meeting of the Cranky Old Man Club!
-How many of you can plow several acres of ground, plant season appropriate vegetables, harvest them and put them up for preserves, WITHOUT those yard tractors that you love to go on about?
-How many of you can navigate from one end of your state to the other on horseback. without maps, without gps, without stopping at McDonald's for food?
-How many of you can change an old wooden buggy wheel?
How many of you can spin cotton into thread, weave it into cloth, dye it with roots and berries and turn it into functional clothing.
-How many of you can chase down a buffalo on horseback, bring it down with stone-tipped arrows, gut it and preserve it with brine for the winter?
-How man of you can get plopped down in the middle of a forest with an axe and make a home for yourself and your family?
-How many of you can skin and animal carcass, clean the skin, tan it, preserve it and make it into boots and clothes?
I think yesterday's cranky-old-men clubs would think that all of us are a bit lazy too!
-How many of you know how to take apart your iPods to replace a dead battery, with only a file?
-How many of you know how to search the torrents for the latest bootlegged Peter Jackson footage?
-How many of you can type 60 words a minute on your smart phones?
-How many of you know how to mod the latest X-Box or PS3 boards?
-How many of you can create a web page with just a text editor and HTML5 tags?
-How many of you understand the latest revisions of the HDMI specs and what that means for hooking up your equipment?
-How many of you could pilot a drone aircraft from thousands of miles away with accuracy?
My bet is that you've already been rendered obsolete by tomorrow's Cranky-old-men as well. Point being, human beings have had different skill sets throughout the history of the species. Somehow we have managed to make it this far. It seems unlikely that we are going to be the last decent, hard working generation before it all goes straight to hell.
That being said, and to bring it back to the topic of old tools, I do absolutely think that the practice of making tools, and other equipment, of more long-lasting materials and making them repairable instead of simply disposable, did foster an atmosphere of curiosity and innovation that doesn't exist as much in today's society. I also absolutely agree that in today's global society where we centralize the manufacture of electronics, equipment, etc. to one or two places, that we make sure that we retain the ability to make those things locally as well. We need to make sure that we have the capability of manufacturing critical equipment and supplies in the case of disaster or war.
In summary (or TL;DR for you youngsters): Remember the past, look to the future and hang on to quality, from any era.