By Noah Graff
For an extra $5,800, buyers of a Corvette Z06 or ZR1 can go to the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., and assemble their own car’s engine. Even car maintenance novices will have the opportunity to build their own engines because as part of the deal a GM technician supervises the process.
“Corvette owners are some of the most passionate—and most involved—enthusiasts in the industry,” Jim Campbell, vice president of Chevrolet marketing in the United States, said on Monday. “The Corvette engine build experience offers customers an unprecedented opportunity to participate, hands on, in creating the car.”
Now I’m not the most mechanically inclined (ironic for an editor at Today’s Machining World), but I still think that it’s a way cool idea. But why?
Why are people fascinated with doing things independently and creating things themselves? I know, some of you are skeptical of this commentary, because after all, in America we are notorious for watching copious amounts of TV, eating fast food and going to Wal-Mart to buy everything we need.
Most people reading this article do a least one of those things, but still, tons of Americans like watching reality shows about hands on topics like cooking, building customized motorcycles, and restoring houses. Americans like to go to restaurants like Big Bowl where we pay for the right to create our own Asian dishes. We go to fish hatcheries and go berry picking where we hunt and gather our own food and then pay someone for the experience. Along with that caveman phenomenon, it seems like every other American is proud to have created his or her own HD home video.
Is it human instinct to want to build and create? Or maybe even just animal instinct? I believe it is. Many people don’t create things on a regular basis because we’ve been conditioned that the ideal is for other people or machines to do things for us, whether it be cook, farm, program computers, or fix our car engines.
But if you put kids together in a sandbox, or in a room with Legos, or even in a kitchen with pots and pans, there is a good chance they will create something, be it be a structure or a story or a work of art.
Question: Is it human nature to create things?
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