phi (totient) wrote,
phi
totient

heinlein was all wet

Recently, I posted about how you can find anything on the internet. I think the glee I find from that is not so much that the 'net has enabled the collection of specialized knowledge (though it has), as that it reveals the inner wackiness of humanity through the dissemination of that knowledge. Specialization is what makes this species great. That's not just because it means that some member of the species will do or know anything you can dream of, but that our collective knowledge and ability bears the personal mark of whoever has chosen to specialize in that particular area.

Case in point: I am building a device which will have a number of connections to other electronic bits, some of them permanent and some not. I'm trying to cut down on the number of connectors in this device as connectors are a source of unreliability, so the thing I'm building will have some cords dangling off it. I want these to be springy cords, so that they get in the way less. But I also need 6 conductors in one of them, which is hard to find. The only retail source I've seen prices them at $90 -- absurd, when you can get a ham radio microphone containing the cord in question for $40. So I hunted around and quickly found that most of these cords are made by a company called Philatron. The plastic coating is called Philathane. In case you hadn't figured it out, the company is run by a guy named Phil, who's been doing this for about 30 years.

That's why I love mankind.

(Update: actually there's a second source which meets my requirements. The company in question has been around for 50 years; the founder has presumably kicked off as their web site has the lack of funkiness and personal touch that comes from being run by committee.)
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