Valuing Attributes and Attributions

Arturo Schwarz (The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp) provides a bibliographic reference to a piece by John Cage “26 Statements Re Duchamp” and attributes the following statement to Duchamp

Tools that are not good require more skill.
The piece is reprinted in A Year From Monday. Although the sentence is surrounded by quotation marks it may not be from Duchamp but merely attributed to him. There are clues (“Say it’s not a Duchamp. Turn it over and it is.”) that indicate that one may take this route. And so one can pull some of the unquoted sections and play the attribution game. Cage or Duchamp?
We have no further use of the functional, the beautiful, or for whether or not something is true.
Games of attribution aside, what I like in the counterpoising of tools with skill is that it can give rise to a set of four pairings (good design, good skill; bad design, good skill; etc).

  Design    Skill  

One wonders about the outcome of the combination of poor skill and well-designed tool. And even more what happens when bad tools meet poor skills. Whatever the choices, the matrix is not fit to apply to gun control.

And so for day 1390