I'm a technologist. Sure, I'm an engineer, a computer enthusiast, an IT guy, a warfighter... but why I am all of these things is because I love employing tools and skills to solve problems. I employ technology, to do things better than the "other guy". Yet, I'm astounded by how often people are opposed to aquiring tools, and learning new skills. They see these things at best as inconveniences on the path to their destination, or at worst unnecessary obstacles!
The world isn't getting any simpler. There is a paradox brewing, and it's only getting worse. Every day, the technology becomes easier for the user to use, which breeds a less knowledgable user, but the level of engineering complexity required to beat the previous generation of technology becomes great, breeding a more knowledgable engineer. See the gap widening?
For example, take the automobile. A century ago, probably even half a century ago, if you owned an automobile, there was a great deal of maintenance that was common, necessary knowledge. You needed to change oil, replace brakes, adjust the carburetor when you drove up into the hills, but when you open the hood there was enough room to practically climb inside to do that work. In contrast, the modern car is a wonder of technology, that survives horror stories of people driving tens of thousands of miles without even changing the synthetic oil, and you can expect it to clock a couple hundred thousand miles before it heads to the junkyard. Yet the modern engine compartment is packed with computers, electronics, and technological widgets, which took a mountain of engineer effort to conceive, design, build, and test.
So how do we keep up? Tools and skills. We need to get better at doing more, and we need advanced tools to wield to this effect. At every opportunity, I wait for the chance to purchase a new tool, or learn a new skill, to get something done, instead of just having it done for me. Sure, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, and refine my own bauxite ore into aluminum ingots, though I'd even argue that such a skill would give valuable insight into metalurgy. When you restrict yourself to just stumbling through the off-the-shelf world, you restrain your capabilities to adapt to complex challenges and create innovative solutions.
It's a constant stepping-up process, each advancement standing on the shoulders of the previous stage, but this process is accelerating at an exponential rate. Early man used rocks to sharpen other rocks, then someone figured out that you could use a rock to sharpen metal. Then man used metal to cut other metal, building the early machines of the industrial revolution. Then those machines built more refined machines, leading to the high quality advances of the early 20th century. So on and so on, until computers were created, which were used to create faster computers, and this process cycled even faster.
If you want to stay in the game, as an individual or a corporation, you must constantly be learning and training, constantly gaining new tools to allow new capabilties, so that you can do better than has been done. If you don't place value on these things, you've already been left behind.