I'm far more concerned that our youngest remain playful than if they if they know how to do "practical" things (which sounds vaguely Thatcherite -- didn't she want Brits, owing to the ostensible demands made by contemporary necessities, to stop studying English and the like, and learn how to make things?).
For sure, fear might inspire Spartan survivalist vigilance, but it won't do much to inspire Athenian play.
Maybe rather than look to Jane Jacobs, who with her depressing and conservative last book showed exactly why she ought to be left behind, we might look at other books to light the way forward. We might, for example, look to 1) Douglas Rushkoff's “Playing the Future,” 'cause he actually can say good things about what kids are doing on the net and with their Xboxs; and for sure to 2) Stanley Greenspan's “Secure Child,” 'cause here he really reminds us what happens to kids when they grow up forever worrying about wolves and scarcity.
Link: The Tyee