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On Technique, Muscle-power, and Complexity
On technique, muscle-power, and complexity. - Pure muscle power is closer to the steam ship than the sailing ship. In sailing one must have an intimate knowledge of lines, knots, winds, and currents. There is an inner complexity of the schooner which makes it not only beautiful but elegant. Working with nature, the sea, is not the question, but rather elevating it. The old tall ships give us a sense of peace because they are part of a metamorphosis of the sea element. Old technology held a protean, inner force of change, despite the often simple outer appearance.
Perhaps a common example would be helpful. Today one has access to an incredible selection of clothing and footwear, the outward complexity is almost magical, changing from year to year, season to season, and even day to day. Yet there is something lacking that the old uniforms had. The custom fit, now limited to a minor class of clothing, was once standard. Old army boots have stamps which most would not even recognise today. They refer not only to length, but width, arch type, and height. Shoe size was customized to the individual, and was considered essential in his elevation as a type of man.
More could be said in regards to size and measurement, particularly in regards to old tools and weapons. Ancient measurement was tied directly to the body, its movement, and even change s in power – often the standard was the sitting king. The cubit and gladius is the most common example. Today we are three to four inches taller than a century ago, yet standardization has only increased. Custom clothing and tools are limited to elite competition and niche areas of craftsmanship, with costs amounting to ten times the standard.
Suffice to say, complexity and simplicity are not the only question, not clear opposites. An important consideration is inner and outer complexity, and where that force is directed. This changes with the spirit of man, and the distance to the object which he is compelled to move, whether it be the first item he approaches in his morning ritual, or the earth itself.