Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making and Being a Maker

Adam Savage Talks To Maker Fair 2012

I love this guy! Adam Savage has always been one of my own personal Heros. You all probably know I am an unapologetic geek, I love all things science, technology and art, and especially all the places where those things crossover and intersect into our lives in cool and unusual ways. I love to take things apart and put them back together. I especially love to put them back together better, making the technology work the way I want it to! why not improve on design when it suits your needs? I love the the MythBusters, HowStuffWorks and I have been creating crazy contraptions to do crazy things as long as I can remember. My own personal motto is "Creo Ergo Sum".

This talk brought tears to my eyes as I remembered how important making things has always been to me. I used to build my own personal spaceships as a kid, I built all kinds of things, and I know my parents were instrumental in creating and fostering that love of using my imagination to influence my environment.

I encourage everyone to pick up the latest issue of Wired magazine. how to be a geek dad  and check out the geek dad blog and for all you fathers out there, this Fathers day has been proclaimed to be "National Geek Dad day"  as stated in this quote from the Geek Dad blog:

"For so long, the stereotype of Father’s Day has been that dads who don’t spend enough time with their kids normally HAVE to do something with them, and get a tie in return. These days, dads (especially GeekDads) are equal partners in parenthood, so guilting us into spending quality family time with the kids really isn’t necessary. As such, we’re stepping up and taking over the holiday, using our finely honed maker skills, and repurposing it into something new: National GeekDad Day.

go to the National GeekDad Day landing page

I think that creating a new generation of Makers, who can take what we have started and eventually outstrip us (probably as quickly as we figured out computers and then had to explain them to some of our parents) is one of the only things that will help to save our Planet. We NEED new and creative minds, poised to take on the complicated issues that face us as a society. One of the only things that I can think of and keep coming back to, when I look at how we have systematically destroyed so much of our earth, and the increasing civil unrest because of the collapse of our social and economic systems, is what are our children going to have left to call home? I know that this isn't necessarily a new thought, previous generations have always had these same thoughts as they feel their own mortality and wonder what will become of their children.

But now we have a new younger society that is used to things being "done" for them, most of the school programs that taught so many of us creative skills that we have been able to adapt to the things and situations in our lives are being phased out. Adolescents are increasingly apathetic and would rather play with toys that "play themselves" (Adam Savage touches on this in his speech)

I mentioned how I used to make rubber band guns when I was young, to a boy I was talking to, and his reply was a scoffed "oh yeah you can buy those at the store, I like Nerf guns better!" and although I had to agree, ( I love nerf guns just as much as the next geek, Nerf Gun cubical wars on the IT floor were a much beloved occurance at several jobs i have had! ) I was also left feeling that not having had the experience of making something from scratch, that you could play with, and feel that sense of happiness and wonder that comes from making something from your mind and your own two hands, was missing from him. missing from so many of his generation.

Passing on that sense of wonder and creativity, the fuel of imagination, is something that I feel compelled to do. The Maker movement is one place that I have found the tools and the information to help achieve that purpose.

Check out Make: and Craft:, two incredible publications and their websites. They have been so important to me and every time I read them I always find something new that I want to play with or create.

Go to Instructables: Share what you Make. one of my favorite web sites. They feature articles by people influential to this movement, and step by step tutorials created by Makers who love what they do enough to share it with others who can take that information and recreate it or expound upon it, creating new technology, cool gadgets, beautiful art and amazing things.

Check out Boing Boing my goto Blog for news, technology and some of the better bite size pieces of the Internet. Boing Boing and its editors have introduced me to some of the most important things in my life today, including Make, Instructables and the whole maker movement. they also write about some of the most important issues of our time. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude in helping me to shape my life, and the world around me.

Another amazing resource is and the Wikipedia entry on Hackerspace
"Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects. This website is for 'Anyone and Everyone' who wants to share their hackerspace with international hackerspaces."

You can try to find your own local community HackerSpace or MakerSpace where tools and resources can be shared, and where creativity abounds.

And Finally, Thank You Adam Savage! For putting into words something that I have felt my whole life and inspired this post. and for your lifes work that has entertained and educated me. I feel the need to be able to give back to the Maker community in my own way and help to inspire others like never before.

I am inspired, and I feel like I have finally found my voice. I can’t wait to be able to share more about what I am doing and what others around the world are doing to educate, create and MAKE.

-Devan Robbins, Thursday, May 24th 2012