Wednesday, April 28, 2010

i-TFTD #276: Inspiration from Carpenters, Stonecutters and Car Reviewers

i-TFTD #276: Inspiration from Carpenters, Stonecutters and Car Reviewers

#276-1. When I was a carpenter, I once worked with this Russian lady architect. I would tell her, "Look, I'm terribly sorry, but I want to change that a half inch," and she would say, "No limit for better." I think that is a worthy credo. You keep on going until you get it as close to being right as the time and patience of others will allow.
-Harrison Ford, carpenter-turned-Hollywood-star, in an interview in Parade magazine in Jan 2010

276-2. When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
-Jacob August Riis, Danish-born American journalist and social reformer (1849-1914)

276-3. Many people claim to love inanimate objects. They say they love clothing from a particular store or a type of sandwich served at a specific restaurant or that restored Victorian over on Elm Street, the one with the porch swing. I've always thought that a statement like that was slightly dishonest, and that the more objects a person claimed to love, the less you could believe anything they said, whether it had to do with your new haircut or the latest release by R.E.M.
-Christian Wardlaw, Edmund's Automobile Road Tests (from a review of the Mazda Miata)

The itch to tweak, familiar to good software programmers and good artists and craftspersons of any kind, can be the path to excellence when indulged within limits.

Great output seems to come from magical abilities but those who produce it know the persistent effort that preceded the final exertion.

The love for such perfection is very different from the love of objects
; the limitation of language tends to mislead.

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