Hold on i'm not actually done.
For all that "maker culture" is supposed to be about democratizing tech, from where I'm standing it seems amazingly top-down, separatist, and undemocratic. Why do your expos need to be their "own thing"? Why is being a "maker" something with so many ties to Silicon Valley bro culture and not like, county fairs? Why are you starting with "HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO IRL WITH HACKING" and not "here's how to integrate tech into your existing real-world crafts"?
If you want to democratize tech, don't start with people who are already into tech. Go to actual craft fairs and figure out what little old ladies need from tech that is either a) not being met or b) being met by super-expensive corporate shit.
Like. Why isn't there a raspberry pi workshop/booth at the county fair? Why are you relying on normal people to seek you out instead of meeting them where they are?
For me personally, I don't know jack fucking shit about hacking, but I have a lot of concrete hobbies that would really benefit from some way to integrate tech for planning/tracking/labor-saving purposes. I bought a Raspberry Pi in 2015 and it sat in the damn box for 3 years because I didn't even know where to START with it. I still don't think I'm using it to its full potential.
Show me how to apply it! Don't just tell me "you can do anything with it"
@alpine_thistle there's an island off the coast of maine the fab lab people go to to help traditional craftspeople use lasers etc
@alpine_thistle there's also one in amersfoort that does, like, robot theater that has performances for people and workshops on turning trash into stuff.
also the nirobe fablab makes 3D printers out of e-waste which is pretty cool though only tangential to accessibility, I feel like overall fablab has been more inclusive than maker stuff though it still biases toward rich people/free time/us state dept programs etc
@amsomniac I'm not familiar with the internal divisions but anything that meets people where they are and tries to solve real-people problems is 👍 in my book
@alpine_thistle I feel like this is mostly a problem in the west. People overseas are having to do that because of aging population dynamics. There's more old ladies and handicrafters elsewhere than here.
Also some of these things exist and tech jerks just don't acknowledge or respect them. One of my favorite apps is to map cross-stitch/needlepoint patterns and I find that a lot of home sewists really enjoy advanced functions on electronically enabled machines. There is overlap but the frat mentality of tech culture is ensuring that the progress is invisible and the two sectors never meet.
I personally wouldn't be bothered with a maker fair because, frankly, the craft fair has better smelling air. At least those folks care enough to bathe before they go out in public. Last time I went to a tech thing it just...the air made me sick to my stomach. Never again.
@raantuva yeah, quilting and embroidery machines especially can be HIGH TECH. I'd really like to see what hackers/makers would be able to offer to people who are interested in that functionality but don't have the $$$$$
@alpine_thistle I, for one, would love an embroidery machine made for small spaces instead of the giant ones we currently have to choose from. Imagine merging the efficiency of a Swiss watch with the advanced selection options of color printers and having a machine that could do RIBBON EMBROIDERY OMG 🤤
I would make so many unnecessary items for people at the holidays 😌
@alpine_thistle I would also really enjoy full color computing screens on a machine for once. It's 2020 why is that shit still 8-bit
I found a couple projects to make an embroidery machine from a (in theory any) straight stitch sewing machine, using 3d printed parts an arduino and libre software. But it took a lot to find it. It's not a beginner project, but I bet sharing that how-to to fiber artists would drastically change how the 'arts and craft grandmothers' view tools like arduino.
@Avalon @alpine_thistle Well idk your statement does seem to fail to account for senescence which is very real and has a major impact on how one can approach a problem. Rather than asking them to make their own stuff I think tech needs to meet in the middle and make what they want but make it to their tastes. Like the movie says, if you build it, they will come.
I am more talking about the early step that is sharing "we've figured out this cool idea that can save someone between hundreds and thousands of dollars" it overlaps traditional fibercrafts and the maker style tools that are so often shared with the idea of "you can do anything with it" but the examples shown are build a robot arm/ make a switch that turns an led off and on.
fair, and I probably shouldn't have specified, because I'm definitely referring to a broader scope than that, but then I know plenty of grandmothers who are all about taking classes and learning things, and if make your own embroidery machine was an option, even an option with prereq classes that have things they aren't as into, they'd be into that, in a way that they otherwise wouldn't even consider learning arduino stuff.
Local orgs are really important. The political parties have booths at every fair cus they know talking to people on the ground is cruical.
You gotta literally get in people's line of sight for them to notice and take interest.
@alpine_thistle by rebranding arts & crafts with a trademark someone can make a lot of money from white guys that find "arts & crafts" to be an imposition on their masculinity
I feel this hard.
If you want something that is more than "a computer but small", you need to pick up manufacturing.
You can plug in a motor and lights and make them whir pretty easily
Making that into a THING means wood work, laser cutting, or 3d printing.
It means learning to use CAD tools.
There are a lot of disparate skills involved
@alpine_thistle fwiw "sitting in the box for 3 years doing nothing" is basically using the Pi to its full potential, yeah.
@alpine_thistle Ugh yes, I got a Pi in an attempt to put Netflix on the downstairs tv once the Wii stopped supporting it and like, it was too hard. Although I am p. sure it'd be hard for people who knew what they were doing. Ended up getting a Roku instead and now... wondering what to do with the Pi
@alpine_thistle sadly not into classic games enough for that, and I've still got my mega drive and a working 30-year-old tv to plug it straight into. I'll figure it out at some point. might end up with a thing that just tells me the weather or something
@alpine_thistle Ok, the story I was told, was that its mostly a historical thing?
A lot of engineers were sold on going into engineering with stuff like robot competitions and other hands on, creative work.
Then they finish their degrees and find that their jobs are all simulate stuff on computers that is built in a factory you never see.
So a bunch of them started getting into making stuff in their off-time for an outlet, since work wasn't letting them do what they'd be sold on it letting them do.
And, at least in the older books, this ranges from sewing steampunk cloths, to 80ft tall automated spiders with flamethrowers.
Given those roots it makes sense that they wouldn't know about craft spaces, and it also wouldn't surprise me if it is super broified these days
All this *gestures above*
I was in robotics clubs all through school, and there just is very little intersection between Maker Community and Arts-Crafts communities because they're Convergent Evolution, not because techbros wanted "crafts but more blinkenlights". So you end up with the handicrafts communities with no incentive or exemplar to tech up, and makers with no exposure to tech down
@hyratel @alpine_thistle I've heard there is some overlap these days, Adam Savage and Grant Imahara both talked about how they had to know their way around a sewing machine as much or better then they knew how to use a lathe during their mythbusters days as I recall.
And I've seen Adam Savage on Twitter doing what he can to make maker places more open to traditional crafters and telling anyone who will listen that sewing and knitting are as much maker projects as machining.
@Canageek @alpine_thistle I don't think I was aware of Adam's outreach work, that's pretty awesome. I fully want the convergence and intermingling to continue, but the problems mentioned variously upthread about the gatekeeping and top-down structures of Maker community is definitely something I would like to see addressed but have no knowledge of where to even start asking questions
@Canageek @alpine_thistle another thing mentioned upthread is the relatively large number of sub-projects and sub-disciplines you need at least a passing understanding of and relatively large buy-in of tooling before you can even start. the Crafts have a lot of buy-in and skill-in too, I won't argue otherwise, depending on the specifics. but I can see the electronics hobbies being a lot more.... intimidating? IDK, these are quick-thoughts so factor that in