Found in 3 comments on Hacker News
I can't find the name of it, but I read a book a while back that discussed just this - the author had been an extremely successful intellectual, but quit to run a motorcycle repair shop. He found that the "big" work was absolutely unrewarding due to no real tangible feedback - he never knew if he was doing well, and had no payoff, but repairing a motorcycle is something that is extremely tangible and rewarding in that you can see the results of your effort.

Edit: Found it.

https://www.amazon.ca/Shop-Class-Soulcraft-Inquiry-Value/dp/...

I see someone already mentioned his name (Matthew Crawford) below.

jackhack · 2017-04-25 · Original thread
For those who enjoyed "ZenATAOMM", I found another in a similar vein: "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work"

"...author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world."

https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulcraft-Inquiry-Value/dp...

Crawford is touching the subject in http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Class-Soulcraft-Inquiry-Value/dp/...

I enjoyed reading that book and it relates to the topic.

I remember reading that 'industrial arts' were trashed in favour of computers and to prepare for the coming of the 'information era'.

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.