Friday, 7 January 2011

Part of the Machine

Recently my night time wanders have carried with them observations from the day before. I find that on many occasions I have no objections to such passengers and with a little peace and quiet I can begin to resolve issues. For what it is worth here has been my passenger for the last day or so.

Like many who live in this age I am often using or repairing machines. These vary wildly from the utilitarian and crude to superb, elegant and efficient machines. The detail and craftsmanship are fascinating to me, they reveal the purposes and skills of the designers and craftsman who built them. When machines are understood they provide a far better indication of the minds and motives of the makers than the promotions and images that try to make a sale.

I have often seen parallels drawn between machines and aspects of human society. From my former days of being within and working with large companies I have had the pep talk, the business leader pointing out that we are all part of the machine working within our place towards a cause, the same parallels can be drawn to other aspects of living within a "civilised" society.

If we are to compare people to components of a machine there are a few issues that stand out. Some components fit easily into the machine, they require little effort to refine and adjust them to their roll. Some require considerable work in either continual disruption to the parts around them or intensive work removing and adjusting the initial component. This results in much of the raw material being removed until it is barely recognisable from its original self. Also there are some parts that will not fit at all or will simply break under the strain of the machine.

Stepping back and looking at the wider issue, we have to look at the purpose of the machine itself. This is to undertake a task for the owner. If a better machine becomes available the original will of course be discarded or possibly at best some useful components reused. In my mind there is always the thought that no matter how well a component works, there is always the chance of being discarded.

Without questioning thought and reasoning we will only dwell on the superficial and a part within a machine will beckon.

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