machines are simple. they take energy and convert it to a specific set of movements. when a machine doesn't work well, trace the parts that are not moving until you find a stiff area, then clean it and adjust it until everything is balanced.

i think about the machines i've given up on, sometimes. a car with a blown transmission, traded to a mechanic in northeast ohio for a wad of cash that bought me a consolation dinner and a few weeks of groceries; a bicycle that bit everyone who tried to handle it, which i made even worse by lowering the fork with a replacement for one that bent in a crash; a motorcycle i took apart and reassembled over and over again and couldn't manage to get a good enough seal in the engine block, so i sold it to a teenager and a parent pair who wanted to learn about machines together.

but sometimes i can extract a brushless motor from a typewriter that an office gave up on because it wouldn't turn on, spray down the shaft with acetone, reoil, and put it all back together and have it hum away.

not everything is this straightforward. i try to simplify other problems, sometimes, and the details i inevitably throw out are the ones that make us human, not machines.

16 April 2018 21:24

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