Sometimes I think that our laboratories are but little earthworks which men build about themselves, and whose puny tops too often conceal from view the Olympian heights; that we who work in these laboratories are but skilled artisans compared with the man who is able to observe and to draw accurate deductions from the world about him.
Gilbert Newton Lewis
Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.
Under the Providence of God, our means of education are the grand machinery by which the 'raw material' of human nature can be worked up into inventors and discoverers, into skilled artisans and scientific farmers, into scholars and jurists, into the founders of benevolent institutions, and the great expounders of ethical and theological science.
As I've said a million times, I'm obsessed with Liya Kebede's LemLem line. The pieces, made by artisans in her native Ethiopia, are perfect for summer! I'm also a big fan of jewelry line Lulu Frost. Designer Lisa Salzer and I have been friends forever, and I love how she incorporates vintage pieces into her jewelry.
It is appropriate to speak of the artisans as possessed of wisdom (and not just "skill"), because the biblical writers share the understanding common to most traditional societies that the active form of wisdom is good work. Wisdom does not consist only in sound intellectual work; any activity that stands in a consistently productive relationship to the material world and nurtures the creative imagination qualifies as wise.
Ellen F. Davis
Capitalism improves the quality of life for the working class not just because it leads to improved wages but also because it produces new, better, and cheaper goods.... Indeed, with capitalism, the emphasis shifted to producing goods as cheaply as possible for the masses--the working class--whereas artisans had previously produced their goods and wares mostly for the aristocracy. Under capitalism every business wants to cater to the masses, for that is where the money is.
And here we go creating great men out of artisans who happened to have stumbled on a way to improve electrical apparatus or pedal through Sweden on a bicycle! And we solicit great men to write books promoting the cult of other great men! It's really very funny, and worth the price of admission! It will all end up with every village having his own great man - a lawyer, a novelist, and a polar explorer of immense stature! And the world will become wonderfully flat and simple and easy to master...
At the Temple of the Seven-Handed Sek a hasty convocation of priests and ritual heart-transplant artisans agreed that the hundred-span-high statue of Sek was altogether too holy to be made into a magic picture, but a payment of two rhinu left them astoundedly agreeing that perhaps He wasn't as holy as all that. A prolonged session at the Whore Pits produced a number of colourful and instrutive pictures, a number of which Rincewind concealed about his person for detailed perusal in private. As the fumes cleared from his brain he began to speculate seriously as to how the iconograph worked.
Alice knows those stories. The routiers and condottieri of the Free Companies, who fight the wars of whichever prince will pay their fees, and amuse themselves in between times, are said to commit every kind of crime: from eating meat in Lent to slitting open pregnant women to kill their unborn and unbaptised children. The countryside of the southern lands is supposed to be full of their victims: a sea of vagabonds - priests without parishes; destitute peasants; artisans looking for work. 'So you', Alice says, 'were one of the famous sons of iniquity... ' The Pope calls them that when they rob churches. But the Pope also uses them regularly. Alice knows she sounds a little breathless. She can't altogether keep the admiration out of her voice. If she'd been a man, she thinks, she might have done exactly the same thing as Wat, to better herself fast.
Artists and artisans both demonstrate with perfect clarity that a person is least able to appropriate for himself those things which are most peculiarly his. His works leave him as birds do the best in which they were hatched. In this respect an architect's fate is the strangest of all. How often he employs his whole intellect and warmth of feeling in the creation of rooms from which he must exclude himself. Royal halls owe their splendor to him, and he may not share in the enjoyment of their finest effects. In temples he draws the line between himself and the holy of holies; the steps he built to ceremonies that lift up the heady, he may no longer climb; just as the goldsmith worships only from afar the monstrance which he wrought in the fire and set with jewels. With the keys of the palace the architect hands over all it's comforts to the wealthy man, and has not the least part in them. Surely in this way art must little by little grow away from the artist, if the work, like a child provided for, no longer teaches back to touch its father.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Just as the Mediterranean separated France from the country Algiers, so did the Mississippi separate New Orleans proper from Algiers Point. The neighborhood had a strange mix. It looked seedier and more laid-back all at the same time. Many artists lived on the peninsula, with greenery everywhere and the most beautiful and exotic plants. The French influence was heavy in Algiers, as if the air above the water had carried as much ambience as it could across to the little neighborhood. There were more dilapidated buildings in the community, but Jackson and Buddy passed homes with completely manicured properties, too, and wild ferns growing out of baskets on the porches, as if they were a part of the architecture. Many of the buildings had rich, ornamental detail, wood trim hand-carved by craftsmen and artisans years ago. The community almost had the look of an ailing beach town on some forgotten coast.
There, publicly throwing off the mask under which he had hitherto concealed his real character and feelings, he made a speech painting in vivid the cause of her death was an even bitterer and more dreadful thing than the death itself. He went on to speak of the king's arrogant and tyrannical behavior; of the sufferings of the commons condemned to labor underground clearing or constructing ditches and sewers; of gallant Romans - soldiers who had beaten in battle all neighboring peoples - robbed of their swords and turned into stone-cutters and artisans. He reminded them of the foul murder of Servius Tullius, of the daughter who drove her carriage over her father's corpse, in violation of the most sacred of relationships - a crime which God alone could punish. Doubtless he told them of other, and worse, things, brought to his mind in the heat of the moment and by the sense of this latest outrage, which still lived in his eye and pressed upon his heart; but a mere historian can hardly record them. The effect of his words was immediate: the populace took fire, and were brought to demand the abrogation of the king's authority and the exile of himself and his family.
Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They're nothing else - they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can't make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it's like taking a totalitarian state and saying 'Be less brutal!' Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that's not the point - the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press - there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there - they weren't asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there's nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism - namely Stalinism and Fascism - and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let's try and make the autocracy less brutal if that's the short term possibility - but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it 'those who work in the mills should own them ' And on to everything else, and that's democracy - if you don't have that, you don't have democracy.