The Talent of Mechanics

Generally speaking, people have a very erroneous idea of the type of talent proper to the ideal mechanician. He is not a geometrician who, delving into the theory of movement and the categories of phenomena, formulates new mechanical principles or discovers unsuspected laws of nature.… In most other branches of science are to be found constant principles; a multitude of methods offer to the genius inexhaustible possibilities. If a scholar poses himself a new problem, he can attack it fortified by the pooled knowledge of all his predecessors. No elementary textbook contains the principles of this [new] science; no one can learn its history. The workshops, the machines themselves, show what has been achieved, but results depend on individual effort. To understand a machine it has to be divined. This is the reason why talent for mechanics is so rare, and can so easily go astray, and this is why it is hardly ever manifested without that boldness and the errors which, in the infancy of science, characterize genius.


It is highly intuitive and cannot be taught from a textbook. It sounds much like an art.

Folksonomies: knowledge skill talent mechanics

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Mechanics (0.928380): dbpedia | freebase
Physics (0.839739): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Science (0.772440): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Scientific method (0.732530): dbpedia | freebase
Epistemology (0.714365): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.701320): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Greek loanwords (0.700381): dbpedia
Machine (0.696523): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The discoverers
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Boorstin, Daniel Joseph (1983), The discoverers, Random House Inc, Retrieved on 2013-08-08
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