Why I believe in Maker Culture

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dirty hands from motobike work at HBL

Cult of Done #9:
People without dirty hands are wrong.
Doing something makes you right.

Hi, I'm willow bl00 (aka Willow Brugh), and you'll see me poke my head in here from time to time. I live in Seattle (I think it's the promised land), alongside the likes of Libby Bulloff, Noah Beasley, and Nathaniel Johnstone. I organize and moderate a Transhumanist discussion group, just applied to law school (interest in the overlap of information technologies and the human body), work at ZoomPop, train Parkour, and play in hacker spaces. I've spoken at Ignite and Dorkbot and on NPR and to Free Inquiry Groups. I'm also the director of Jigsaw Renaissance, which is what I'm here to talk to you about.

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All the things I do in life (which, admittedly, is a lot) are about Doing. I'm up to my eyeballs in Stuff to Do and up to my elbows in What I'm Doing because I love it, and because I so adamantly believe that Maker Culture is a healthy response to an unhealthy pop culture. Here's a glimpse at why I feel this way.

When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Which is to say, you use the tools you have to solve the problems at hand. Tools and technology do, of course, range everywhere from a wrench to language to roads to electricity. And when your tool is the mindset of a maker, any system at hand looks like something to be tinkered with and improved upon.

I believe in maker culture because, at its core, it is interactive. Intrinsically, it has the desire to take a closer look at how something (anything) is made, to understand that, and to use that knowledge when interacting with other things. It's a bird's eye view, but with a passion for applicability and adaptability.
This is why I believe in maker culture. Because once you've noticed the belts on your local space's MakerBot work an awful lot like the belts on your sewing machine, and maybe even your car, it's difficult to not start to see how your other local systems work – your local school, your market – and see how to actively improve them. Because it's not about sitting around bitching. It's about doing things. As Jake tells me, "I don't want to just be a hammer, I want to be a big ole jobsite tool box filled with badass power tools."