Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tools Drive the Work ...

I’m pretty sure when I was starting to learn blacksmithing I was thinking “work drives the tools”.  This is a version of the “chicken or the egg” conundrum.  I wanted to heat and move iron to make creative things I was imagining so I needed to make and acquire the necessary tools.

It wasn’t long before I began to see it the other way around.  Since I had such and such tools, I could do so and so with them.  Tools were driving the work possibilities.  Each new major tool seemed to greatly change the prospects for work.  Treadle hammer led to the Little Giant which lead to the Hydraulic forging press.  There were many smaller intermediate steps but those three brought the greatest transformations.

Of course it is an equilibrium equation where the back and forth is inseparable.  Maybe it is actually more like the rock-paper-scissors game.  Experience/Skill allows creation of a Tool Inventory.  The Tool Inventory facilitates the production of Creative Work.  Creative Work grows the Experience/Skill.  One never really gains an advantage over the other and the creative cycle is unbounded.

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