Posted by: andy idsinga | October 14, 2009

What’s gained by fixing the thing we have

One of the themes of this blog is “fixing things” and the value fixing things brings.

We’re frequently confronted with the dilemma : fix it or get a new one.

I think there is a lot to be gained by fixing the thing we have beyond just bringing the thing back into service.
For instance:

  • You learn how to fix it
  • Success is a fixed thing. Failure is knowledge and practice gained for next time. All good.
  • You may be able to help your neighbor fix their thing(s) in the future
  • One of your kids, neighbors or coworkers may have been hanging around. Guess what – they learned something!

Below is a link to a wonderful video from PBS about fixing the Hubble telescope. In addition to marveling about the technology and magnitude of what they did, look for the little things that they learned and the value they bring to us when we’re fixing things.

A little thing: I noticed they stripped the head of a philips screw. That reminded me to use square drive (aka: robertson) or torx screws when I’m joining something that may need to be taken apart occasionally.

A bigger thing: pay attention to all of the interesting tools they develop to solve problems – these are tools, that in some incarnation may start appearing at your local home improvement or auto parts store. The technical achievements of our space programs have a massive multiplier effect.
By the way, creating interesting tools and jigs isn’t just in NASA’s domain.

Enjoy! : Hubble’s Amazing Rescue


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