The ideas and images that come to mind when you think of technology as an instrument are more useful than if you think of it as a tool. Instruments — I’m specifically talking about musical instruments — are a way to create culture.
You approach instruments with a set of expectations and associations that are more humane. It’s built into their very purpose. Instruments are meant to make something for other people, not making things. When you use an instrument, you have an expectation that it is going to take effort to use it well. Using an instrument takes practice. You form a relationship with that object. It becomes part of your identity that you make something with it. You tune it. You understand that there’s no such thing as a “best” guitar in the same way that there’s not necessarily a “best” phone.
Although design gets conflated with creation, its the act of improving what already exists — organising a room, editing a text, refining an interface, refactoring a codebase — that I enjoy the most.
Making fire, building shelter, throwing spears …all useful post-apocalyptic skills documented on the primitive technology blog.
Primitive technology is a hobby where you make things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials. This is the strict rule. If you want a fire- use fire sticks, an axe- pick up a stone and shape it, a hut- build one from trees, mud, rocks etc. The challenge is seeing how far you can go without modern technology. If this hobby interests you then this blog might be what you are looking for.
I think it’s worth revisiting this post by Laurie on a regular basis for a shot of perspective and inspiration.
The web saved my life and then built me a new one. A single living entity, it touches everything in the world and is always getting better — and I can help. I owe it so much; if I can help it out, make it better in any small way, how can I possibly refuse? And if I can make it easier for other people to help make it better, then my efforts are multiplied.
Jake describes the pivotal moment of his web awakening:
I explored the world wide web. I was amazed by the freedom of information, how anyone could publish, anyone could read. Then I found a little button labeled “View source”. That was the moment I fell in love with the web.
It all goes back to having a ZX Spectrum apparently. Pah! Luxury! I had a ZX81—one K of RAM …1K! Tell that to the young people today, and they wouldn’t believe you.
Anyway, this is a lovely little reminiscence by Jake, although I have no idea why he hasn’t published it on his own site.
Still a few days left to back this great project for Brighton:
Build, tinker, make and play! For anyone with imagination, The Brighton Makerlab lets ages 8 to 80 create cool stuff with technology.
A rallying cry for the Indie Web.
Let’s build this.
Shutterstock are running a series on their blog called “The Best Thing I Ever Created” and they asked me for a contribution. So I wrote about The Session.
Kyle’s new site is looking lovely and responsive (thanks to Josh). But mostly it just gets out of the way so you can take in his truly amazing work.
Brighton’s Mini Maker Faire (which was fantastic last year) will take place the day after dConstruct and this time, they’ve got a lot more space. Want to get involved? Get involved!
This is such a brilliant and empowering idea: an open-source object-oriented to electronics, like LEGO bricks for circuit-building.
Kyle’s paper skills are truly impressive.
Rachel tells the tale of how she came to be the splendid web worker she is and finishes with some advice for up-and-coming workers of the web:
Make 2012 the year you go out and do it.
The maker makes: on design, community, and personal empowerment – Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report
This. This is why I love the web.
Not only does the web make publishers of those willing to put in the work, it also makes most of us free sharers of our hard-won trade, craft, and business secrets. The minute we grab hold of a new angle on design, interaction, code, or content, we share it with a friend — or with friends we haven’t met yet.
The difference between software and hardware; the digital and the instantiated.
This video of David Byrne from Stop Making Sense era Talking Heads is as brilliant and wacky as you'd expect. David Bynre is teh awsum.