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)