Currently I am quite obsessed about the idea of doing things “nude”, that is not necessarily without clothes, but rather without much preparation and equipment. That might range from entertaining a crowd with just being yourself and showing a few tricks. Just look at Bobby McFerrin at TED for an example.
He has fun, involves the audience, and everyone feels the magic. But it does not stop there, your body is a powerful tool, but being surrounded by equipment and machinery, diminishes our perception of what is possible without crutches and prosthetics.
There are many sports and forms of entertainment, that require equipment like skiing, biking, golfing, etc. but have you experienced the pure joy of just running through the woods, jumping broken trees and grown out roots, smelling the nature, feeling your feet adjusting to the ups and downs of the ground? Yeah, that might require running shoes, but there is even a growing movement of barefoot running proponents. And as a middle ground, there are lightweight shoes like Vibram Five Fingers and Nike Frees.
Or enjoying activities with other people, that do not require gadgets or consumption. Feel the pure and raw energy of human bodys crushing together in some martial arts lessons. I’ve taken up dancing recently, and alas, physical interaction with a person does posses quite a different quality than holding the handles of your bike or pounding away on the lifeless plastic of your computer-keyboard. The mechanical interface to satisfactorily satisfy the precise quality of the human ability to perceive tactile information is still to come. Learning a skill that involves physical interaction, is like learning a new language. A language to often neglected I believe, when interacting with people not yet trained in a language of physical expression, their movements being imprecise, uncontrolled hard and inhuman. Like the’ve become the plump machines themselves that were supposed to make our lives more pleasurable.
Physical movement can be a language, there are even deaf people that “think” in gestures.
And stying with language learning, of course this is another skill that requires no tools. Books maybe, to get you started, but once acquired, the skill is yours, embedded in your soul, ready to be applied.
Being the Movie Buff that I am, I rewatched one of the “Jason Bourne” movies yesterday with a friend, and it always fascinates me how Jason Bourne is able to “act” nude in almost every situation. Just imagine yourself, drifting on the ocean, no money, no tools no equipment, yet being able to deal with everything that comes thrown towards you. Being able to speak every language, being able to fight, improvise, understand technology, etc.
btw. technological understanding is an important nude skill in itself. Being able to use found equipment, computers that you’ve never used before, can alleviate the need to carry your own familiar technology with you all the time. And also, technology is built by humans, so by understanding technology you understand humans, and vice versa ideally.
And the last, and eventually most important nude skills is that of being able to build tools. And here I am mostly thinking about the entrepreneur. Imagine yourself stranded in a foreign country, no identity, no money, no job, nothing. How long will it take you to indulge into the local economy, build networks, found organizations, provide value to the community and work your way to a joyful existence?
Knowledge is the new capital, and I have good news, there is plenty and its free for everyone. I’ve learned more from the internet and from interaction than I ever could from a university.