Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hammer Man

What does it mean to develop a meaning "operationally"?  I first answer:  is there any other way?  Sometimes what's hardest to define is that for which we have no counter-example.

Let me switch topics and mention the "hammer man" in Synergetics, whom I tend to think of as an art deco Olympian, somewhat cartoon-like.

He hammers, as when pounding some metal towards greater flatness.  We read about the molecules sliding around in response to these blows.  Sometimes, he hammers it thicker.

He swings his hammer, as an Olympian would, meaning he's to develop a lot of angular momentum as he swings the heavy device in a circular path, himself at the center, and then lets go in the direction of some eigenvector whereon every expended calorie counts for the most.

He sometimes is at the center of a gyroscopic device of many hammers, all radiating in a giant wheel, as he turns in place.  Tugging on the axis of this apparatus tilts the radial path into a dive, meaning the axis yields more at 90 degrees to the direction of your tug.  Such is precession.

The hammer man sees precession everywhere as he tucks himself in, after a long day.  Hammering, anchoring and letting go, getting hammered... time for some rest, before tomorrow's big adventures.