Subjects — T
Don’t force it … get a bigger hammer.
There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use.
But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.
A worker may be the hammer’s master, but the hammer still prevails. A tool knows exactly how it is meant to be handled, while the user of the tool can only have an approximate idea.
A tool is but the extension of a man’s hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. And he that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well-being of mankind.
Man is a tool-using animal…. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
— Sartor Resartus
Every tool carries with it the spirit by which it has been created.
What matters most is … one comes to appreciate how certain ideas can be used as tools to think with over a lifetime. One learns to enjoy and respect the power of powerful ideas. One learns that the most powerful idea of all is the idea of powerful ideas.
— Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas
I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
— The Treasury of Sherlock Holmes, “A Study in Scarlet”, p. 6, Wilder Publications, 2007
He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.