Simply for means of survival, traditional skills are transmitted from generation to generation, often as soon as a child can walk; for example, a three year old may be started into a future of ropemaking. However, the doubling of human inventions during the past decade has created a gap between the common sense previously adequate for practical productivity and the functional living skills now required for effective social participation. Although local communities may need and wish to profit from modern technology, without the functional skills to provide them with the practical means, people have no way to develop their community in harmony with the rest of the world. Even the limited formal and technical training available competes with time which needs to be used for production, making it virtually impossible to explore and tap other communities' operations and specialized resources.
Such experience provides no means of imagining practical alternatives to the proven inadequacy of traditional methods, leading to undirected fears of inevitable catastrophe: livestock will perish, crops will fail, drought will hit, sons will not be born to relieve the burden of marginal subsistence. The minority who have received formal academic training soon discover that it does not relate to the real needs for operational knowledge in water resource development, agricultural techniques, health care methods, leadership facility or industrial variation. Indeed, because academic skills appear unmarketable in the village context, those few who do develop them eventually move away.