Alan Watts on "the wiggly world"

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by lumberjack_jeff, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. lumberjack_jeff
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    lumberjack_jeff Sawdust sweeper



    I think that the discipline of boat design is unique in the realm of human construction. Unlike buildings or other things, a boat MUST acquiesce to what water and wind do. They're wiggly, curvy and organic in form.

    The big picture requires a decidedly non-euclidian vision. To the extent that we use geometry to create rational design, we use it to dissect wiggly forms into something our brain can quantify. We can't quantify the curvy.

    There is something about designing boats which forces us to expand our limitations and see the world holistically.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Euclidian geometry is just as relevant on a marine structure as it is on a bridge. A triangle is still the lightest and most rigid simple structure. Whether you call it a gusset on a boat or a brace on a bridge, it is the same. Buildings that dont't "acquiesce" to their environment will fail and fall down.
     
  3. lumberjack_jeff
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    lumberjack_jeff Sawdust sweeper

    I think Watts would argue that euclidian geometry is relevant to a marine structure because that's how we puny humans quantify and understand forces. There are no right angles on birds or fish, so when we try to understand them, we superimpose a grid to put them into our conceptual box.
    Bamboo acquiesces to its environment. Buildings defy it. Boats do a little of both.
     
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