I had a wonderful talk with my neighbor Hector yesterday. He has been building these Tiny Homes locally here. They seem to be the rage on the east coast, and I think they were first created to get people off-the-grid, so to speak, but I am not sure this is why Hector’s tiny homes are so popular.
From hearing Hector talk, apparently his homes are so popular because they actually pass being dropped from 10 feet and survive. If I was understanding Hector correctly, this is the test a manufactured home needs to pass, if it is going to be sold as a manufactured home that travels on federal highway. Maybe this is a State spec, I really don’t know, because we didn’t get into Construction (C of “D&C” according to Boyd) that much, just Destruction.
Hector says he is keeping the secret to his homes passing the drop test to himself, which I thought was real interesting. Everyone loves a secret, and his bring the fact up that he had a secret reminds me of a friend of mine who made some tools out of a “secret” material that can be found in most households.
My friend kept asking me if I wanted to know his secret, and after telling him that I wasn’t interested in guessing what the material was, nor interested in his secret, he finally told me. I guess my friend told me his secret, because he really wanted me to know how clever he was, because his secret was a very clever answer to a problem of what to build his specifically set of tools out of. By the way, his tools were used to pick locks with, and he could open most locks in a matter of seconds. As these tools are illegal to own, I can’t go into details, so I guess I got a secret :)
From my experience as a student enrolled in Mount Hood Community College‘s Mechanical Engineering program, I have to wonder if Hector understands the trailer’s success himself, maybe that is why he mentioned the fact that he has a secret.
The reason I have to wonder if Hector understands the secret is that much of his trailer’s success in surviving the fall of 10 feet has to do with the trailer’s moment of inertia and the impulse produced at that moment. While this doesn’t sound too complicated, but, from what I have gathered in my studying of Boyd and how energy distributes, there might be only one way the trailer travels the 10 feet, but there are three simultaneous paths the trailer takes in reaching the ground.
If much of Hector’s trailer’s success in passing the drop-test has to do a moment of inertia, as an example of complexity, when my statics class at Mount Hood Community College got to a moment of inertia, most of the mechanical engineering class didn’t do so well. I talked with one classmate and he said this was about his third time trying to pass, with his last grade being a “D”.
Now a D seems to me to be a passing grade, but, OTOH, it really might not look good on your class records. Statics class was where the “rubber meets the road” so one really needs to do good in statics class, for safety’s sake.
He did seem to land a fairly nice job with a local manufacturer of modified pickup trucks, so I hope the class turned out alright for him.
Anyway, let’s see, those that did well…?
I got an A-, so there was me and…?
Anyway, Hector is probably an engineer, or one of those polymaths that just seem to know everything.
As for the 3 paths the trailer takes in the fall of ten feet, the first path is in Hector’s strategy in building the trailer. Most likely his “secret” is tied up in the strategy he used to build his trailer.
The second path is in the process Hector goes through in building the trailer. As the trailer follows the second path, it goes through the same process that Hector used in building the trailer. Hector Observed materials needed to build the trailer in the environment of the fall, he Oriented the materials according to the greatest advantage they have in surviving the fall, then he Decided on how to put them all together, and then he Acted against the force produced in the trailers fall. This is the OODA loop that Boyd talks about.
The third path the trailer takes in the fall is in its Destruction and Construction caused by the feed-forward from where is was to the feedback from where it is going. While this sounds complex, what really is happening to the trailer as it moves towards the ground, it is being destructed from one point and constructed back together again closer to the ground, until it hits.
It is because of the third path of D&C that for safety’s sake, one needs to understand completely all the secrets to the trailer. The reason is that when something is destroyed and put back together again, all the energy that represents the mass in the distribution of energy (the 10 foot fall) becomes available. This means any energy that is not available in the construction or destruction of the trailer may become available as the trailer hits the ground, In other words, as the trailer is being destroyed and put back together in another place and time there is a tendency to change the trailer, because of what we know and what we see along its three paths as it falls.
We know what resources we have to make the trailer, who is going to build it, and how much everything costs. This information comes from the past–we also look into the future and this information may tell us to take another path.
In other words we may “see” something in the future that we want to change. We may want to use other resources, have the trailer built by someone else, and we may need the trailer to costs less. If we don’t know why the trailer survived the fall, any change, even of equal strength may make the trailer fail its test, because all the forces, even those that are entropy, can act as the trailer is destroyed and constructed.
OTOH, It would seem to me that Hector doesn’t really need to tell the secret to his trailers successful drop-test, as long as he wants to keep building all the trailers himself.
He probably will only have to give the “secret” out if he wants to sell the business for gobs and gobs of money :).
As it is, he is making $15,000.00 per trailer, and is able to build one a month. Not bad wages for one guy, and a product worth, I think he said, around $32,000.00. This is good money as long as there is no one pushing you to build more, faster, and less costly.
Hector doesn’t seem like the type of guy to get pushed around, so he will probably do OK.