Clamp Camp

Day 149 Week 21 Q2 Tuesday, May 30, 2023

I have been using and therefore thinking about clamps. Even though the original impetus came from woodworking and acquiring several new super clamps, the recent action made me think of a clamp as some way to constrain in place. There are many meanings in many domains, but they all seem to point to constraining by fastening or holding in place, and this can be clamping down on a voltage or an insurrection or an unruly pile of stuff. 

To clamp is a simple kind of constraint, like holding things together. Whether it is to clamp down on a topic in a conversation or a tempo in a jam session, or a brake pad to stop a car, it is a simple kind of constant not requiring very much philosophy but nevertheless pointing toward a philosophy more than requiring a philosophical underpinning. 

A clamp implies a fixed relationship between more than one thing and, in fact, usually only two. The act of applying a clamp seems to imply the desirability for these two different things to be kept in a relationship, such as holding things together while an adhesive sets. Clamping implies some sort of temporary relationship.

Are there things you need to clamp together? Physical things or nonphysical things? Do you need to clamp down on your temper or eating?  Forever or until smoothing changes? And to use the woodworking metaphors, there are a lot of kinds of clamps, some of which can be used one-handed, some of which are very rapid to deploy, some are of steel, and others that are just as strong but made of plastic composites. Clamps have changed as much as everything else now that computer modeling of manufactured goods has become commonplace. 

Clamps have changed a great deal in many industries, but how about internally in your mind or in your behavior? Can you clamp together behaviors? Is camping just another name for bundling? I wonder if we have updated our mental models of what a clamp, or clamping, to be clamped means?  Can you send yourself metaphorically to clamp camp, where you explore the different kinds of temporary constraints that may be useful?  

Are there temporary constraints that would be helpful at this time but not necessarily forever? Are fashions style clamps? Are relationships with your local merchants clamps? Can you go to clamp camp and make yourself more aware of what clamps you have in place and which ones you think you would like to have in place? Are the clamps in your life the ones you want or not? Do some of them need relaxing? Do some new ones need to be installed? 

Clamp camp is about temporary constraints that are useful at a particular time, not necessarily forever. Woodworkers have a lot of clamps, some very specialized for particular projects and others extremely general. Do you?

Go to Clamp Camp in your mind and find out.