Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Dirge of Progress

My brother was pointing out to me the other day that there are certain finely crafted instruments which have been around for a long, long time. And even though they're obsolete today, they are still available, still finely crafted, still quite serviceable if their like happens to be up your alley. Take the stock ticker. Take the telegraph key.

I myself have long worn a mechanical wristwatch. No quartz movement, no battery. I wind it every day. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't that expensive either. The brand has been around for a long time though it's not well known; I'm sure most people have never heard of it. Sure, for pocket change I could've picked up a quartz watch at the discount store. But quality counts. For not so much more I got a finely crafted watch that's built like a tank, a watch that will last.

My watch keeps time to within 5 seconds per day, and not to within a few insanely quartz seconds per month. But either way is, as they say, close enough for government work. Quality counts. Only an era focused on obsessed with bare quantity to the exclusion of all other considerations could trick us into thinking otherwise.

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