January 22, 2011

There's No App for That.

Ah, the wonders of technology!
They've invented a computer that can answer the questions on Jeopardy faster and more accurately than any of its contestants.  It makes one question whether, eventually, there will be anything machines can't do.

But of course, there will.  Machines will never be able to impart to objects the peculiar beauty bestowed by the human touch.  There's an alchemy of sorts that occurs as an idea travels the distance from mind to fingertips, creating beauty where before there were only raw materials.  The imperfection in a handcrafted work is the thing that differentiates it from every other such object on the planet, and for this reason the hand will never be replaced.

There must be a hunger 
for that imperfection in the world --
witness the meteoric rise of Etsy, a site where millions of people spend untold hours buying, selling, and celebrating the work of human hands every day.

And no wonder.  After all, we could easily have learned the intrinsic value of imperfection merely by looking around us.  Because nature does not bestow its beauties with machine-like precision, but rather with a staggered hand, each bud unfolding at an unmeasured pace, each song unrehearsed. 

It's simple, really. You have the tools.  

Susan M. Hinckley
Small Works in Wool

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