" It's not the dumbing-down that bothers a lot of us fogeys so much, it's the loss of interest in things and stuff."
I’ll say- gone are the days when Massachusetts and California overflowed with he not so wretched refuse of the electronics industry, and government surplus property offices dished out a high tech cornucopia for pennies on the dollar of taxpayer money invested. The high water mark was the sale of bona fide Titan II ICBM engines fourteen feet tall to any wannabe rocket scientist with a thousand bucks and a truck,
Hence the attraction of the second career of John Ratzenberger, AKA "Cliff Clalvin”. The former Cheers] actor is founder of the Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Foundation, "dedicated to raising awareness of skilled trades and engineering disciplines among young people." . On the O'Reily Show he expressed “ unhappiness at the fact that young Americans don't tinker any more."
This bothers Derb much more than kids not reading or going to art galleries." But rejoice- technophilia has gone wild at a California fair sponsored by Make Magazine, where ,in a counterblast to nodyne OSHA regulations that felonize sharp objects and mandate chemical-free chemistry set , fire engines belch celebratory fire, robots strut the midway, and home-brew lightning flashes from ten-foot Tesla coils.
The sight of Muffin Cars with roaring turbines out-segueing Segways may make Congressman Waxman cringe, and greens flee in terror, yet a merry old time was had by young and old, including a fellow:
" holding forth in a vintage British military uniform and pith helmet, and is gesturing with a hand that holds a sloshing tankard of ale. “We’ve been told by corporate America that we cannot fix the things we own,” John O’Hare told a somewhat shell shocked reporter from The New York Times: “All we can do is buy their stuff and like it.Cars have become too complex to work on under a shade tree, and people have no idea what is inside their cellphones and cameras. “All this technology, and it’s not ours. It’s somebody else’s, Make is about taking that back off and making it yours.”
said the Steampunk enthusiast universally known as Major Catastrophe, who stood out from the 65.000 who attended by virtue of having arrived in this three story Victorian mansion on wheels.
This gearhead extravaganza sounds like serious Red State Stuff, and though such events began in the San Francisco Bay fever swamps that spawned the Home Brew Computer Club and gave us the PC, the sponsoring magazine, www.make.com , is starting another Make Faire in Austin Texas, with plans to expand the franchise. Boring as media culture has become, the heartland continues to cherish and fire the intellectual independence that took fire in the Goldwater movement and led to the Reagan revolution. It is one thing for libertarians to remove to the Nevada desert for an annual anarchist potlatch , quite another when Middle California breaks out of its smoke-free suburbs, and starts waving pitchforks and propeller beanies at the culture of regulation. MacGyver gave way to Mythbusters, What will the sequel be to The Boys [and now The Girl's ] Book Of Dangerous Things ?