tools to make the tools - short story from the 50's (1950's, that is)

chuck

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Dec 19, 2010
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The story's main character ran a repair depot for spaceships in the neighborhood of earth. He was trying to expand into repairing those of the more-advanced alien species who visited earth. The problem - and maybe the title - was "the tools to make the tools". He finally gets the tech he needs by mind-scanning a visiting alien diplomat, who also turns out to be the inventor of the required technology. His success lets earth get "promoted" to a more senior membership in the alliance, or federation or whatever.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

hindu108

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Dec 20, 2010
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Hi,
This is so strange. The last couple of days I have also been thinking about this story. I have no idea why it came to mind. I was doing a google search on it an that led to your post. I am sorry I have no information for you. I will be looking in on this thread hoping you get an answer. There must be something in the air. If only I had the tools to make the tools to make the tools.......
Best Regards ~Mark~
 

MathArt

Stewart Dickson
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Sep 28, 2012
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I became a pioneer in Digital Sculpture in 1989
I read this story in grammar school (aged 10?) Here's why it made an impression on me: The tools to make the tools to make the tools ... is a recursive function. It enters into our current crisis of Post-Industrial economics and manufacturing -- And into the Convergence of Hardware with Software, particularly in the area of Additive Manufacturing (a.k.a. "3D Printing"). I'd really like to find the origin of this story. Thanks, -Stewart
 

MathArt

Stewart Dickson
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Sep 28, 2012
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I became a pioneer in Digital Sculpture in 1989
Cory Docrotow has started providing a litany of promotion for SFF bookstores in his books, "Little Brother" and "Homeland". I started at the top of "Homeland" and got a hit from the first one: "Bakka is the oldest science fiction bookstore in the world, and it made me the mutant I am today." -- Cory Doctorow

The good librarians at the Merril Collection (the Toronto Public Library's amazing collection of SFF) found the title for you. The story is: "Tools Of The Trade", by Raymond F. Jones. It was anthologized in SPACE, SPACE, SPACE, edited by William Slone.

Hope that helps,
Chris @ Bakka Phoenix
BakkaPhoenix Books: 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, Canada M5S
1G5, +1 416 963 9993
 
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