My shop is in an over-sized two-car garage attached to my home. My work is a calling, in the theological sense of the word. Ethical and moral questions arise every day – they are hard, sharp, unambiguous and unavoidable.

Scenes from a Renovation

Posted: November 17th, 2011 | Author: Administrator | Filed under: Around The Shop, Motorcycle Repair, Random Things of Interest | No Comments »

Most of the past month has been occupied with a major renovation and upgrade to the shop. Pretty much tore it out to the walls and put it all back with four years of experience informing the new ecology.

Is it terribly pretentious to speak of the ecology of a shop? Probably, but it’s my whimsy of the moment to do so.

My shop is a complex dynamic system – massively interconnected/interactive. Everything effects everything else – some interactions/relationships are insignificant, others focal. And these relationships change/evolve over time. After nearly four years, the fundamental structural relationships no longer supported the life of the shop but constrained it.

The fossil record shows that evolution has not been a smooth continuous process but what Stephan Jay Gould has called “punctuated equilibrium” – long periods of same-old same-old and then explosions of wild and crazy life forms – followed by a new period of quiescence.

So it goes with a shop – my shop anyway. Long periods of working within an established structure/conceptual order, adapting to/working around the accumulating inefficiencies/inconsistencies/incoherences. Until one day something happens – some small insignificant thing – and I say, enough. A small riot of creativity settles down into a new equilibrium – for a while.


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