Mechanical passions

June 4, 2012

“The mind is made out of used parts, engineered by a blind watchmaker.”
-Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide

I was reading Lehrer’s book (in which he quotes Rene Descartes on emotions, which is where the title of this post comes from) while I was working on the lamp below. So in some sort of loose, off-kilter way, it all seems connected. Plus, I just love that quote. It perfectly describes the way I feel most days these days.

Schrödinger’s Parakeet

I suppose I could spin a line of BS that this thing is a model of the human mind, or make some joke about cartoon ideas (bubble, light bulb). Or I could repeat my usual story about patience: having one piece (thanks Dad!) and waiting around for its perfect mate to appear, but you’ve heard it already.

Mostly I just like how the lamp looks like some goofy Hammer horror movie/mad scientist apparatus. Oh, and then there’s the name I’ve given it – which is of course nonsense, but not much more so than its namesake.


  1. I love the lamp, particularly the tripod stand!


  2. Thanks! It is a very nice old tripod. I’m lucky to have such a generous and observant dad.

  3. Can’t quite figure out what the top is — birdcage or ??? Whatever, I highly approve!


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