"Then I observed to my delight that I could visualize with the greatest facility. I needed no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind.
My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. I even note if it is out of balance. There is no difference whatever, the results are the same. In this way I am able to rapidly develop and perfect a conception without touching anything. " - From Nikola Tesla's Autobiography "My Inventions"
This is in the planning phase however. On the other hand, I extensively excel at intuition AS I'm working/experiencing. I will get flashes of insight not from linear thinking, and they guide me along (which often goes against what most people are used to, which is extensive planning). I suppose my way can come off more "off the cuff" but I have built some really complex systems really elegantly, but the entire time never feels like I'm sure of anything until the very last piece goes in and it "all comes together at once."
I sometimes envy people like this guy, or Tesla... with their incredible spatial awareness/visualization, where the entire thing can be planned entirely in the mind without rapidly "dissipating." That would be certainly less stressful than my way.
Quite interesting how minds work
More interestingly, some people don't have that ability in any capacity whatsoever, which is very interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphantasia
It's about as startling of a thought, as discovering that some people don't have any sort of a internal monologue either. Now and then you find an interesting thread where people share their experiences in this regard, for example, this one on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/NoStupidQuestions/comments/exan65/t...
The human mind is interesting stuff!
My friend has aphantasia and it's really hard for me to believe how difficult that must be. I've asked him... "so you can't even picture your parents face in your mind???" and he says no. That must be crazy...
Frequently I have an epiphany only for it to just poof away. The harder I try to remember it the further back it seems to get pushed.
Maybe I need to cut down on my cannabis use.... Lol
What's a lot harder than visualizing how it will all work and knowing you're right is sitting your ass in a chair and churning the goddamn thing out. Which, to his credit, this kid actually did. And which separates him from someone who just sees how the clock would work.
It can be really freeing / productive to "allow" yourself to put down a "crappy" rough draft in code with the mindset that you can rewrite it later when the whole domain is more clear.
Or become an unmaintainable mess because one person (not targeting anyone in particular) wrote the application to the best of their abilities. Never write the smartest code you can.
Yup. Planning a vacation and then doing the vacation is like doing it twice. I'm already bored. Better to just hop off the plane, wander around, and get lost.
I've got dozens of half-baked projects. Once I verify to myself that something is feasible, I lose interest. There's so many more fascinating problems to chew on!
I've wondered why I'm this way. A day dreamer, a space cadet. Maybe I'm addicted to novelty.
My sis seems to be more like Elon Musk; manic energy to execute.
I've met maybe a dozen people like my sis. People who's dopamine hit comes from checking off items on a task list. My hit apparently comes from solving puzzles.
My latest thing is dot journaling. To make the ideas and plans in my head concrete. I've tried so many times in the past. Now it's really not optional. Maybe this time it'll stick.
"Wintergatan - Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles)"
The video shows the details pretty well too, and the piece being played is of quite good quality. One can see that the machine can just play a pre-configured song, but the operator can add and/or change a lot while running it to create variations of that pre-configured song. The machine is programmable, so that song could be changed.
Like, there are dozens of ideas linked in the video description for a contraption to divide one stream of marbles into four: https://youtu.be/U4B0i0VzXuA
I'm half waiting for him to redo the track again with his latest marble machine. Only half waiting though, since there is no "stopping point" for a hobby project :)
Even though wooden clocks were once useful, this was not designed to accurately keep time but more to just be beautiful.
They were more accurate than people think.
If anyone comes across a wood movment, don't use oil on the pivots, and bushing (usually just a smooth hole in a piece of hardwood.).
Just dust, and use graphite.
On Nitter, for the un-signed-ups among us:
Here is a five-minute-long video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu2SPzv7gwY
It also reminds me of how some of Leonardo da Vinci's contraptions look like when they create them in real life (some museums do that).
In fact, this one only slightly newer (by a few decades) was damaged in a fire and then later repaired a century later:
The drawing mechanism reminds me of this technique from 1958 for generating vector characters entirely with analogue circuitry:
You can read about it here as well: https://alex.miller.im/posts/fourier-series-spinning-circles...
Everybody seems to talk about 3D printers, CNC routers, Waterjet cutters, pick and place machines...
But a lot of the things can be made just as well by hand. People have been making gears for a long time before there were CNC routers, all you need is patience.
So you can have lots of people who've never met quickly iterate on a design. Then yet other people customise or use it in unexpected ways.
The end result would be not a clock, but a species of mutant clocks spreading across the world.
With the right cams, I am sure it could trace some of its parts instead of drawing numbers.
I prefer spending time thinking about shapes, design and trying to model them. I suck at it. But I am getting better.
Many automata use a similar design to to achieve preprogrammed movements, like writing, drawing or playing an instrument.
Looking at the pictures, it looks like a two axis parallel robot where the arms are controlled by a cams with complex shapes. The cams can be seen in picture 11/16.
I've tried a quick search on Youtube for the video but couldn't easily find it.
The kid's friend joked about how soon HBO would hit him up on copyright.
People are not born with skills. Skills are acquired through practice.
Several years ago I went through several phases of "hands-on junk-to-art". The "third phase" was putting together clocks from found material.
So now I have a handful of unique clocks, lamps, and metal-pipe figures throughout my living space. Only one clock is misbehaving, but I'm taking my time in debugging and correcting it.
But it's a lot of clocks to circle about twice a year. I don't mind so much but it does remind me that perhaps something should be done.
They have some cool exhibits(i.e. https://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Ho.htm). Not sure what the physical museum is like(near San Diego), but the online museum has some cool exhibits, even though the site-design looks quite retro.
How could he possibly do it? There's a guy over on YouTube that is making a marble music machine:
He is very dedicated, is quite smart, but he has being trying to build one for years, and has been a never-ending mechanical engineering challenge.
Put into that perspective, the clock is no less than a work of pure genius.
And yes, I do know what a modern car ecu does.
I was with you until this point. When you have kids, your time is not entirely your own anymore. You have duties and responsibilities to them. The "choice" was made 9 months or so before they were born, not in the moment.
But yeah FT work and kids leaves little left for amazing creations like this requiring copious amounts of free time which is something that gets more valuable when you have little of it, just unfortunate to only appreciate it in hindsight.
It's just like the wealthy boys who buy high end mechanical watches.
The movements are breathtaking. Only the watchmaker usually gets to see the beauty though, or at most they might see the rotor, and movment back.
Realms of possibility range from personality type, depression, burn out, or simple disinterest as you age. You might know best or at least better than I/we here on HN for obvious reasons.
Granted that not all art is for all people. Many museums, I can be in-and-out in 90 minutes feeling satisfied and that includes the bathroom and gift shop ... and if I go with anybody I either have to loiter or leave and come back to pick them up. Other museums though it is the reverse. Could be that for you as well.
also, because art.