Saturday, August 03, 2013

Ockham's razor...

Normally summers in the Ozarks are hot, dry and humid, with high temperatures over 100 degrees F. and drought lasting from late June into September. This summer has been different. We've had rain and more rain.  And today we're having still more rain. Where was this rain last year when we needed it most?

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about my next box project, and could not turn my mind off. By the time I was done thinking, I'd designed more than a few boxes in my mind, and came up with a new method for securing corners. I have two more chapter projects to do for the new book, and have come to the understanding that simple projects will be best. It is enough to illustrate the principles and elements of design without making the book a compendium of complex joinery and difficult to explain techniques demanding too many photos and pages. I start each book with an allowance, knowing that only a certain number of photos will fit, so I have to be careful and not use too many photos and pages on a single project.

I was surprised that when I did my box making presentation at the Technology teachers meeting in Springfield, that they were asking for plans for making some of the designs for students to make. That was a good reminder that some of the things I take for granted because I do them all the time, may be completely new to others  and interesting even though they don't express the highest level of craftsmanship. As folks (even teachers) have less experience these days in making things, the need to find suitable points of introduction to the craft of woodworking suggests that I keep things fun, interesting and relatively simple.

My friend Jerry had accused me of being parsimonious, which I had thought of as a bad thing, until he explained that I've managed to eliminate steps, reducing their number and refining processes toward greater simplicity.
1. Unusual or excessive frugality; extreme economy or stinginess.
2. Adoption of the simplest assumption in the formulation of a theory or in the interpretation of data, especially in accordance with the rule of Ockham's razor.
The law of parsimony or Ockham's razor, named after a 14th century mathematician, "is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In other words, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one." In my work, the simplest method is often the correct one and easiest for my readers to follow toward their own success.

In the wood shop, I can hardly wait to get back to making boxes. I'm ready to begin assembling the parts I've been working on for a couple days, and starting the 7th chapter book project.

Make, fix and create...

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