May 17, 2008

I've been thinking...

Boing Boing has linked to an interesting article about Maker culture. Perhaps overly optimistic but Vale talks about an underlying idea that I like. Long has it been true that Knowledge is Power. Being able to MAKE things gives you the kind of creative power that being a consumer does not. How one uses that Power defines the kind of person you are. It makes me think of the Martha Stewart phenomenon. She recognized the frustrated urge to create, the leftover DIY ideas that baby boomers inherited from their wartime parents. She told people how to make cookies that reminded them of their grandmothers and then gave directives on how to be "creative". She brought a renewed sense of (albeit skewed) value to the "handmade". But being an uber-consumer herself, and following the business model of greed, she sold it. Every last scrap. It is how you use your powers that defines you. The internet has been a force for good in the simple way that it has allowed intelligent, creative and generous people to share ideas and skills and allow the consumer to become a participant at every level of the process.

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