Monday, September 19, 2011

Update on job and a C.S. Lewis Quote

My job is pretty amazing.  Everyday is filled with doing things I have never done and never thought I would do. I even managed to cut out a bit of my left tibia with an angle grinder.  I use blow torches, sledge hammers, and giant wrenches pretty often, but the thing I enjoy doing most is the fine work of re-building Graco Fire Ball Pumps. There is something very satisfying about taking a broken machine apart, cleaning it, figuring out what is wrong with it, and fixing it. I have a few of them sitting on my work bench in the shop. I work on them when I'm not out on a job site, which is where I usually am.  As I fix them my employer sells them to customers.  The goal is for parts and labor to be less than 70% of the selling price.  So far I have done one at 88% (The first one I did) and one at  61%.  I'd like to get good enough so that most of them are at 50%.  The hard part, is figuring out exactly what's wrong with them, but I should get better at diagnosis as time goes by.

Oh, while I'm here I should share with you this quote from C.S. Lewis' essay "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism."

All theology of the liberal type involves at some point — and often involves throughout — the claim that the real behaviour and purpose and teaching of Christ came very rapidly to be misunderstood and misrepresented by His followers, and has been recovered or exhumed only by modern scholars. Now long before I became interested in theology I had met this kind of theory elsewhere. The tradition of Jowett still dominated the study of ancient philosophy when I was reading Greats. One was brought up to believe that the real meaning of Plato had been misunderstood by Aristotle and wildly travestied by the neo-Platonists, only to be recovered by the moderns. When recovered, it turned out (most fortunately) that Plato had really all along been an English Hegelian, rather like T.H. Green. I have met it a third time in my own professional studies; every week a clever undergraduate, every quarter a dull American don, discovers for the first time what some Shakespearian play really meant. But in this third instance I am a privileged person. The revolution in thought and sentiment which has occurred in my own lifetime is so great that I belong, mentally, to Shakespeare’s world far more than to that of these recent interpreters. I see — I feel it in my bones — I know beyond argument — that most of their interpretations are merely impossible; they involve a way of looking at things which was not known in 1914, much less in the Jacobean period. This daily confirms my suspicion of the same approach to Plato or the New Testament. The idea that any man or writer should be opaque to those who lived in the same culture, spoke the same language, shared the same habitual imagery and unconscious assumptions, and yet be transparent to those who have none of these advantages, is in my opinion preposterous. There is an a priori improbability in it which almost no argument and no evidence could counterbalance.