I agree with a lot of what you say in your essay (Where Have the Models Gone), but I think it's not quite that simple. Yes, more and more people are losing the ability to manipulate their physical environment. (Although they are probably much better at manipulating their synthetic, i.e. computer, environment.) When I was growing up, my brother had no interest in building things, airplanes, etc. That was all my department. If he had been interested in that stuff he'd probably have completed 5 or 10 models for every one I built, as I DO have attention problems. Plus I want it to be about inventing different ways to get things done, which is slow the first time.
I used to build EZB's*. A few scale ff modelers would come up to me and say that they would NEVER have the patience for it. But I'm an impatient guy. I'd look at their scale jobs and feel the same. So many little details to get frustrated with. (I have built a little scale, some successfully, but not very many, and not all finished, either.)
I do worry that all the structured activities that kids have don't allow them to develop their initiative. Plus there seems to be a lack of judgment, proportionality, and tolerance on the part of their institutional supervisors, like teachers. Maybe because of the legal environment??? I'm pretty sure that kids whose lives have been completely structured will be easier to mislead, en masse.
There are neurological factors that affect patience. Not everyone has a strong forebrain. I don't. That's why it took me over a dozen years to graduate from (a school you've heard of).