Over lunch one day, colleagues and I were talking about students’ handwriting (mine is positively atrocious), and one of my colleagues suggested that students learn to write decently as they will at the very least need to be able to sign documents appropriately.

After using a service called DocuSign a couple of times, though, I’m not so sure it’s going to be that important. I make notes in the margins of books all the time and still take notes by hand, but my guess is that I probably type about 75% or so of the words I produce.

This, along with the debate over Uber, got me to thinking: which “essential” skills that won’t be within a generation or two? I doubt handwriting will go away, but I think The Oatmeal nails its future. I think driving is the most obvious candidate for a lot of people, first as ride-sharing grows more ubiquitous and then as self-driving cars come online. People might still drive for fun just as today they sew for fun, but I don’t think driving will be an essential skill for many people within a few decades.

Any other candidates?