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Thread: Neanderthal philosophy

  1. #31
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    This is an important point - automated tools dictate their method of use and the user becomes an "operator".

    Certainly some processes are improved by simple power tools.
    Boring hundreds of small holes, for example.

    Replicating the works of Grinling Gibbons in catalyzed lacquer over MDF completely missed the point of craft.

  2. #32
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    [QUOTE=Doug Dawson;2944932]
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens View Post
    I thought he was jerking your chain.../QUOTE]

    No. It is quite literally true.
    Now this thread drift is nearing an overtly political content, so I’ll say one more thing, and you or anyone else can have the last word. If you’d written “own” instead of “seize,” I’d have been right with you. I think it’s great for any worker to start and own a business, or for any business to give employees a practical way to own a share of the firm if they so choose. I like when people do things by mutual consent, not aggression. That’s all.
    What this world needs is a good retreat.
    --Captain Beefheart

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Tilson View Post
    I like the quietness of neander tools. [snip] The thing with, say, table saws is setting it up, then watching out for your fingers and thumbs. It's more safety than skill, so to speak. People in the neighborhood are asking me if I still do woodworking. I tell them yes, but have gone back to the older traditional woodworking style.
    Thanks Joe, so well put. Agreed.
    What this world needs is a good retreat.
    --Captain Beefheart

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens View Post

    Now this thread drift is nearing an overtly political content, so I’ll say one more thing, and you or anyone else can have the last word. If you’d written “own” instead of “seize,” I’d have been right with you. I think it’s great for any worker to start and own a business, or for any business to give employees a practical way to own a share of the firm if they so choose. I like when people do things by mutual consent, not aggression. That’s all.
    Even though the original idea of Karl Marx, which some may interpret as a political statement, has long since devolved into a meme, it has a very useful interpretation quite outside of politics. Namely, here. Like many ideas that contain the seed of genius, its true applicability had nothing to do with its original context.

    Let us get closer to what is being done. Let us seize the means of production.

    I also live just up the road from an outsized military-industrial complex.

    Just say, All hail Lennon, Marx. Etc.

  5. #35
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    Surely there are a wide variety of reasons to go fully or partially Neaderthal. For me, the most important are the enforced slower pace, the pleasure of working with my hands, and the feeling that my shop is a refuge from less pleasant aspects of modern life.

    In the 1980s I read the book Megatrends, by John Naisbitt. The only “trend” that stuck with me was “high tech - high touch”, which (as I remember it) predicts how people will choose to spend their free time based on a human need to balance activities involving new, unsettling, and perhaps dehumanizing technologies with activities that emphasize the natural world, human connection, and tradition. (I am sure I’ve taken liberties with the original.) At the time, I found this idea quite relevant to my life working in the computer industry in a busy urban environment.

    In 1999 Naisbitt wrote a second book just on this subject. I found this excerpt relevant:

    “When does high tech become low tech, and, more dramatically, when does high tech become high touch? High tech becomes high touch with longevity and cultural familiarity. Today a wooden shuttle loom warped with yarn is high touch. Four thousand years ago in Assyria and Egypt, the loom was the latest advancement in technology. The spear, the wheel, the wedge, the pulley were all once high tech. In the 1920s, a radio encased in plastic Bakelite was considered high tech. Today it is high-touch nostalgia. Eight-track players (a '70s technology) are now collectibles, as are phonographs and the accompanying collection of great 45s, LPs, or cassettes. Older technologies become nostalgic more quickly as new technologies are introduced more rapidly.

    “Old-fashioned technologies become reference points for us all. They mark a certain time in our lives, triggering memories. They evoke emotion. High tech has no reference point-yet. High tech holds the hope of an easier life but it does not provoke memory. High-tech consumer goods are only new toys to be explored. They are not yet evocative. The technologies and inventions of the American Industrial Revolution have aged enough now to be considered quaint-no longer obsolete, outdated, old-fashioned, or a symbol of bygone drudgery. Today we romanticize outdated technologies.”

    I don’t necessarily advocate reading either book – Megatrends and the snippets I’ve read from the later book are kind of fluffy – but "high tech - high touch" is a valid insight.

    Herv

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herv Peairs View Post
    Surely there are a wide variety of reasons to go fully or partially Neaderthal. For me, the most important are the enforced slower pace, the pleasure of working with my hands, and the feeling that my shop is a refuge from less pleasant aspects of modern life.

    In the 1980s I read the book Megatrends, by John Naisbitt. The only “trend” that stuck with me was “high tech - high touch”, which (as I remember it) predicts how people will choose to spend their free time based on a human need to balance activities involving new, unsettling, and perhaps dehumanizing technologies with activities that emphasize the natural world, human connection, and tradition. (I am sure I’ve taken liberties with the original.) At the time, I found this idea quite relevant to my life working in the computer industry in a busy urban environment.

    In 1999 Naisbitt wrote a second book just on this subject. I found this excerpt relevant:

    “When does high tech become low tech, and, more dramatically, when does high tech become high touch? High tech becomes high touch with longevity and cultural familiarity. Today a wooden shuttle loom warped with yarn is high touch. Four thousand years ago in Assyria and Egypt, the loom was the latest advancement in technology. The spear, the wheel, the wedge, the pulley were all once high tech. In the 1920s, a radio encased in plastic Bakelite was considered high tech. Today it is high-touch nostalgia. Eight-track players (a '70s technology) are now collectibles, as are phonographs and the accompanying collection of great 45s, LPs, or cassettes. Older technologies become nostalgic more quickly as new technologies are introduced more rapidly.

    “Old-fashioned technologies become reference points for us all. They mark a certain time in our lives, triggering memories. They evoke emotion. High tech has no reference point-yet. High tech holds the hope of an easier life but it does not provoke memory. High-tech consumer goods are only new toys to be explored. They are not yet evocative. The technologies and inventions of the American Industrial Revolution have aged enough now to be considered quaint-no longer obsolete, outdated, old-fashioned, or a symbol of bygone drudgery. Today we romanticize outdated technologies.”

    I don’t necessarily advocate reading either book – Megatrends and the snippets I’ve read from the later book are kind of fluffy – but "high tech - high touch" is a valid insight.

    Herv
    Good contribution Herv.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herv Peairs View Post
    Surely there are a wide variety of reasons to go fully or partially Neaderthal. For me, the most important are the enforced slower pace, the pleasure of working with my hands, and the feeling that my shop is a refuge from less pleasant aspects of modern life.
    Same. At first, productivity was important to me because of limited shop time. I assumed power tools would increase productivity—and they do when their set-up time is more than offset by their speed. When a slower pace and a “good retreat” from other cares became more important than productivity, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the reduced set-up time of hand tools more than offsets the slower speed...at least when when doing some of the the one-off projects that I Imagine from time to time...all while doing away with the noise and flying dust, so I can give peace a chance (as Lennon might have put it). It’s nice to own both means of production and be free to choose (as Milton Friedman would say) the Neander option depending on the circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Herv Peairs View Post
    In the 1980s I read the book Megatrends, by John Naisbitt. The only “trend” that stuck with me was “high tech - high touch”, which (as I remember it) predicts how people will choose to spend their free time based on a human need to balance activities involving new, unsettling, and perhaps dehumanizing technologies with activities that emphasize the natural world, human connection, and tradition. (I am sure I’ve taken liberties with the original.)
    I remember it as you do. Good observation for this thread. Thanks.
    What this world needs is a good retreat.
    --Captain Beefheart

  8. #38
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    THE main reason I am using all them hand tools? Haven't really all that much room for the bigger machines....even a Smart car would feel cramped in my shop....Tablesaw? older Craftsman 8".....there is an older 2 wheel 12" ( NOT the tilt head, either) Bandsaw....Grinder, the sanding center, and a benchtop drill press, all other corded tools are hand held.

    There is a bedroom right above the shop...floor joist for me to hang items on...yet, the Boss can hear all the cussing going on, when it is one of "them days"...

    Also find it is more about how the tools were/are used....then who made them.

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