Sep. 27th, 2014

danohu: (Default)
We have a "maker" movement that's almost entirely disconnected from the (industrial, international) processes that do most of the making. Here's a nice essay about it:

It is intoxicating to trace materials and people back towards their origins. You start with an iPhone in Brooklyn and end up in an open pit mine in Alaska, Russia, or Peru. You start with Silicon Valley and end up digging a ditch in Thailand. It is great fun, zipping along unexpected pathways to exotic locales. But Beware! Exoticization is one of the hazards of trying to grapple with networks of sublime scale. So are: oversimplification, marginalization, undue emphasis, overcomplication, obfuscation, and tedium.

It makes me wonder how William Morris would react to it all. The Arts & Crafts movement might not have liked industrial production, but they were a lot closer to it than anybody I know, and were always moving back and forth between individual craft and small-scale industry. And they were close enough, and thoughtful enough, to think about the workers.

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