03 October 2008

DIY adds value in desperate times

From MAKE blog:

Folks, these are the best of times and the worst of times, as they say. I live a couple blocks away from Wall Street in a crummy apartment that is getting torn down as we speak. There are piles of ironic rubble everywhere. As I pack up electronics, copies of MAKE, and tools, it's becoming clear to me that we have an historic opportunity to make things better, not just immediately, but for the future. We're all likely to feel financial pressures with inflation; our dollars won't go as far, so our interests and hobbies should be ones that give back. I'm pretty sure "DIY" is going to get even bigger, as more people will be making things. Some make because we want to, some because it's all we'll be able to do.

When we are young, we have lots of time, but not lots of money, so we play, we tinker, we explore. I think we're going to have that opportunity again. The things we make, the tools we use, the books and resources we buy need to work harder for us and be things we not only learn from, but pass on to others, including children. We can spend more time together at meetups and collectively form places, like hacker spaces and tool shops to pool our resources. We can invest in hobbies that will give back, like electronics, woodworking, and DIY in general. Being able to make, fix, repair, and build might be the most important skills to develop. We really only have each other, and I think we're all better off when we're able to be self-reliant when we need to be.

We have a lot of challenges ahead. I tend to think that we are at our best when we are challenged the most. It doesn't get more interesting than this. There are energy problems we'll need to solve. There are education problems we'll need to solve. If you're a parent, you're in the best possible position to help. You never know what will spark a kid's interest, so you expose them to lots of things. . . .
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