PJ - There is much truth in your assessment of reality - but nobody likes to hear they have an ugly baby. I mentored high school kids in FIRST robotics for many years to expose them to STEM careers. Some come into this program having never touched a hand tool or knowledge of which way to turn a wrench. Yes, we all had to learn that - but I'd bet almost everyone that reads this forum learned that by age 7 (not 17). This does not paint too bright a future for a mechanically savvy workforce, not to mention the future impact of our hobby. A sad time ahead indeed.
Yep, mechanical skills and aptitude are being replaced by the computer and the electronically literate. Our cars that we grew up with are going the way of the horse replaced by machines, the electric trolley replaced by the bus, the steam train replaced by the diesel, and the piston engine planes replaced by the jet.
It is not that cars, or private modes of transportation will disappear, but they will be replaced with more advanced technology which we are now seeing. Hybrid and electric cars will be the wave of the future. Electric cars have been around since the advent of the automobile. They just were not practical or economical when compared to the gasoline auto. But I see that that will change due in part to the computer/electronics age we are witnessing and pushed along by the tree huggers, global warming believers, and those who fear we are destroying the earth with our fossil fuels. Not a bad thing I suppose.
But it is coming because there is a generation that looks forward to the electronics & electrification of vehicles that are self driving and "safer" so you can enjoy texting, tweeting, facebooking, shopping on amazon, or surfing the net, or watch TV while the car drives you to work or any other place you desire. Why waste your time driving when you NEED to stay connected to the outside world while inside your car. Paying attention to driving is not getting the latest scoop on facebook or taking in the Vue. And better yet, why drive at all when we are entering a stage where many things can be ordered off the internet and brought right to you like pizza, your groceries, medications, or dog grooming? Need to change a light bulb? Just call a specialist who will come to you and change it out for you and then accepts that effortless swipe of your credit or debit card. So simple right? And you don't have to miss a single minute of that drama that is taking place on facebook or step away from the computer game you were playing. Modern society is churning out adult children who don't want responsibility, don't want to work, feel entitled, and believe the world revolves around them and their needs - and just want to have fun and spend money.
People in the near future will be rummaging through antique stores looking at and picking up tools and equipment that is very familiar to us as they say "what do you think this was used for?" because they honestly won't know, anymore than we know when picking up something old not familiar to us in our generation and asking the same thing - but it was common back then and everyone knew what it was, like tongs used to pick up ice blocks that you used in your ice box to keep food cold (beer anyway LOL). Tongs? ice blocks? ice box???? Nooooo Way. How could anyone live like that?
The world is changing and we are in the midst of a new direction that is taking us into the future. Its called evolution.