Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.

— Richard Sennett

The most mind-blowing Richard Sennett quotes to get the best of your day

We are more likely to fail as craftsmen due to our inability to organize obsession than because of our lack of ability.

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Tocqueville saw the brute repression of deviants as a necessity if men were to keep convincing themselves of their collective dignity through their collective sameness. The "poets of society," the men who challenged the norms, would have to be silenced so that sameness could be maintained.

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The pleasures of relaxed chat, of casual conversation, encourage the ethnographer in everyone

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Authority is itself inherently an act of imagination.

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Issac Stern rule: the better your technique, the more impossible your standards.

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Like the Roman town grid, the New York plan was laid down on largely empty land, a city designed in advance of being inhabited; if the Romans consulted the heavens for guidance in this effort, the city fathers of New York consulted the banks.

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Our modern economy privileges pure profit, momentary transactions and rapid fluidity. Part of craft’s anchoring role is that it helps to objectify experience and also to slow down labor. It is not about quick transactions or easy victories. That slow tempo of craftwork, of taking the time you need to do something well, is profoundly stabilizing to individuals.

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