Any of you who have spent any time in the virtual world of online discussion forums will instantly recognize the “first post” meme. Users will come online and literally just write “first post.” Pretty much all sites now have a way to deal with that (for example http://www.fark.com uses a filter that changes “first post” to “Boobies” often to great comic effect.) For me, what it highlights is how the promise of the internet to “aggregate intelligence” and come up with better and more profound solutions fell apart under the scrutiny of humanity’s baser instincts. Thus, I always say, the internet doesn’t make for smarter conversation, but instead the sheer number of stupid comments tends to bring down the level of conversation.
Fortunately, there are so few people who will read this blog, much less comment, and they are all so well educated that I doubt we’ll actually get a “first post” mentality here. If we do, I’ll just ban you. JUST KIDDING OMG LOL.
Anyway, on to the news and we’ve got some pretty cool stuff going on. First off there’s some pretty cool people pushing the boundaries of what we all think of as a “keyboard” and here’s an article that links to someone’s arbitrary “Top 10.” I’m rather intrigued by the game controller style keyboard, I dunno, something about the way it looks fits my idea of how my hands would best work a keyboard. They are $100 though, so maybe I’ll have to wait to order one for the library.
Speaking of rising costs, there’s going to be a Net Neutrality summit in San Francisco on the 26th. You all remember that whole net neutrality thing, right? Maybe we’ll see a good suggestion come out of this, but I seriously doubt it will matter. After all, the FCC says they have the final say.
Over at O’Reilly Radar, their Tim is making a pretty good case that the “Make,” or DIY, and “Open Source” people are like a canary in the coal mine for technology change. And that we ought to be paying close attention to what they are doing so that we can plan for the future of technology. There’s some pretty neat stuff going on at some of these conventions and even with some of our local groups. Tim says:
But to return to the “maker” movement, the big tent includes not just “DIY,” as the mainstream media is thinking of it, but the way in which computing is re-engaging with the physical world. For the last few decades, we have associated technology with a world that is increasingly virtual. What the makers are telling us is that the physical world is the next frontier for technology.
In addition, what today is “do it yourself” is tomorrow’s big business. The hacker building homebrew robots shows us something about the future of robotics. The crafter incorporating technology into traditional crafts shows us something about how computing is becoming pervasive. The folks playing with laser cutters and 3D printers are telling us something about the future of manufacturing. The folks hooking up sensors to tie physical buildings to their analogues in Second Life are telling us that the future may not be in virtual reality but a new kind of augmented reality.
That’s pretty heady stuff and something I’ll be keeping in mind as we all plan for the new buildings and formulate our strategic plan. I’ll be posting some things from sites like Instructables, Make, and Video Jug from time to time. So keep an eye out for updates from the “Make” movement.
Ok, that’s it for now. I’ll post another blog when Pharos goes down again.