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May 1st, 2004

Tipping Points

Reliability, precision, and complexity are key aspects of any manufacturing operation. For example, a block of wood can, with difficulty, be whittled into a cylindrical shape to make a peg to fasten things together. With a lathe, the product can be made far more precisely. Until a couple of centuries ago, precision was a function of human labor and skill. The Industrial Revolution was enabled, at least in part, by methods that allowed precision to be a function of machinery. (Editor's note: recommended reading)

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