Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Set and setting...

Back in the seventies as young folks experimented with LSD, they were advised that set and setting were important to control the outcome of the trip. A trip could be good or bad depending on the circumstances set up in advance. What you expected and the reasons for it (set) had impact on whether you had a good or bad trip. Where you did it and who you did it with (setting) were the other parts... So hang out in lovely places with good folks unless you want to suffer needlessly.

An article in CNN ( https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/23/opinions/surprising-solution-to-gun-violence-ludwig/index.html) discusses how to approach the problem of gun violence, centered on research done in 1973 in which divinity students were presented the opportunity to be "good samaritans" while walking to a venue in which they were to lecture on "the Good Samaritan." Whether or not they acted along the way as "good samaritans" depended on whether they were part of the group told that they were running late. Those who were "late," were not to be bothered with the needs of others. So, set and setting have real consequences even for those who are not experimenting with drugs.

Our predispositions can have dire consequences. If you think the world is a dangerous place, your attitudes may have helped shape it to be such a place, at least for you. If you are angry about gas prices, will you carry your anger out into the roadways where consequences of your anger can lead to your death or the death of others? Big terrible things fester from small wounds to fragile egos.

Perhaps that's where craftsmanship might come in. In the woodshop, I take matters and materials into my own hands. Sometimes, things work out. When they don't, I take my emotions in hand and shift to "Plan B." Sometimes to C or D, if necessary. Perhaps if more of us were "set" on creating useful beauty the setting in which we find ourselves would be vastly improved.

I've been at work on torsion style hall tables. The torsion style is of my own invention and relies on round round mortises and tenons adjusted and glued into simple, rigid forms. But I'm struggling a bit with the top. I had intended to use spalted maple, but I'm going to use a plank of curly maple instead that I've been saving for just such a time. I decided that the table is too tall, so I'm going to cut it down by 3 inches in height. An attitude of willing adjustment can play wonders in life, just as in the wood shop. The photo shows the table in test assembly mode. It will get better, just as I've described. And life in the larger world will get better also,  I hope.

Make, fix, and create... Assist others in learning likewise.

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