THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Gadding about

"From programming bits, to programming atoms..."

I have said it before and will say it again, TED is one of the best sites on the internet. I turn to it for relief from the pessimism of the political world. While politicians continue to find ways to mess up even the simplest things, some scientists not embroiled in political agendas are excitedly making the world a better place.

This talk by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT is one I will have to watch several times. He spews ideas out at high speed and in technical language, but his notion that "computer science" is one of the worst things to have happened either to computers or to science is an interesting one. It's fascinating to see how the "Fab Labs" he set up around the world liberated the creativity of people who have no interest in making pixels dance on a screen but were excited by making things in the real world. Man is a tool using thing maker. It makes perfect sense that the computer should become the modern equivalent of the flint axe. It's certainly an exciting notion that, while mechanisation brought us industrial mass production, computerisation can turn us back into craftsmen making unique things for our own family's specific needs (but of industrial quality). Given such abilities, what would you make?

Anyway, do please watch the film. It's intriguing to say the least. I promise you will enjoy it more than the post about the government's pandering to mass hysteria over paedophilia, which I feel duty bound to write next, despite all the opprobrium it will attract.


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