[ExI] Vinge finally cracks the NYT

Daniel Grisinger daniel at netgods.net
Thu Aug 28 05:51:24 UTC 2008

Bryan Bishop wrote:

> 'Make' is a brand by Make Magazine and O'Reilly and friends. They've 
> leeched on to these communities with an iron fist. Be careful with 
> them .. while some of the content is good and interesting, it's just 
> them being a giant filter with first mover advantage.

This is absolutely true.  And it won't be the first time that a 
trademark has been co-opted by a community with no regard for the 
commercial intentions of its coiner.  Everybody I know who is working on 
their own projects in the space calls him or herself a "maker".  So far 
as I can tell, they are using the term the same way that we used hacker 
as the open source movement started.  But what is important, I think, is 
that this is something distinct from the traditional open source 
software movement.  Bits will make a bigger difference over time than 
atoms, but atoms are the critical next step, imo.

> RepRap jumped the gun and lied to its community about universal 
> self-replication, and even lied to the NY Times. While it's an awesome 
> project, and I'm meeting an increasing number of people who are aware 
> of the project, it's at heart a rapid prototyper that doesn't 
> manufacture itself completely. Oh well. People will assume it's 
> something else .. which is good, I guess, but it kind of makes them 
> think that the real effort has already been done, i.e., to actually get 
> self-replication, when it hasn't really.

This is also true.  But I don't think that's what's going to stick as 
the story people remember.  I think people will remember that they built 
a machine out of instructions on the internet and that it could make its 
own parts.

> BTW, don't you find it odd the lack of schematics for printing presses 
> on the internet? I looked into this and it turns out that Gutenberg 
> immediately went into commercial businesses. Huh.

I had never noticed until I just went to google it.  And what few pages 
are there appear to quickly mire away into dead links and bit rot.



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