About This Site

Rosie and Adam circa 1986

Organic/​Mechanic has been Adam Harvey’s weblog since 2002. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio and any­thing else you want to know can be dis­cov­ered by dig­ging through the archive.

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About the Name

Just Organic/​Mechanic. Two Adjectives. Not The Organic Mechanic. Just flip the switch.


“Isn’t every hu­man be­ing both a sci­en­tist and an artist; and in writ­ing of hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence, isn’t there a good deal to be said for rec­og­niz­ing that fact and for us­ing both meth­ods?”
James Agee from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

“The time of get­ting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about want­ing to be fa­mous will never make you fa­mous. Any fame is a by-pro­duct of mak­ing some­thing that means some­thing. You don’t go to a restau­rant and or­der a meal be­cause you want to have a shit.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stum­bles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them bet­ter. The credit be­longs to the man who is ac­tu­ally in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, be­cause there is no ef­fort with­out er­ror and short­com­ing; but who does ac­tu­ally strive to do the deeds; who knows great en­thu­si­asms, the great de­vo­tions; who spends him­self in a wor­thy cause; who at the best knows in the end the tri­umph of high achieve­ment, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while dar­ing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who nei­ther know vic­tory nor de­feat.”
Theodore Roosevelt — The Man in the Arena

“I wish to preach, not the doc­trine of ig­no­ble ease, but the doc­trine of the stren­u­ous life, the life of toil and ef­fort, of labor and strife; to preach that high­est form of suc­cess which comes, not to the man who de­sires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from dan­ger, from hard­ship, or from bit­ter toil, and who out of these wins the splen­did ul­ti­mate tri­umph.”
Theodore Roosevelt — The Strenuous Life

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the an­i­mals, de­spise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stu­pid and crazy, de­vote your in­come and labor to oth­ers, hate tyrants, ar­gue not con­cern­ing God, have pa­tience and in­dul­gence to­ward the peo­ple, take off your hat to noth­ing known or un­known or to any man or num­ber of men, go freely with pow­er­ful un­e­d­u­cated per­sons and with the young and with the moth­ers of fam­i­lies, read these leaves in the open air every sea­son of every year of your life, re-ex­am­ine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dis­miss what­ever in­sults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the rich­est flu­ency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and be­tween the lashes of your eyes and in every mo­tion and joint of your body…”
Preface to Leaves of Grass — Walt Whitman

A per­son comes forth to life and en­ters into death.
Three out of ten are part­ners of life,
Three out of ten are part­ners of death,
And the peo­ple whose every move­ment leads them to the
        land of death be­cause they cling to life
Are also three out of ten.

          What is the rea­son for this?
          It is be­cause they cling to life.

I have heard that
          One who is good at pre­serv­ing life
            does not avoid tigers and rhi­noc­er­oses
              when he walks in the hills;
            nor does he put on ar­mor and take up weapons
              when he en­ters a bat­tle.
          The rhi­noc­eros has no place to jab its horn,
          The tiger has no place to fas­ten its claws,
          Weapons have no place to ad­mit their blades.

          What is the rea­son for this?
          Because on him there are no mor­tal spots.

Tao Te Ching (50) (Translated by Victor H. Mair)