FAB, personal fabrication
FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop, Neil Gershenfeld, begins by discussing the inter-relationships of bits and atoms (reminded of Kurzweil and Stross) and points out that personal fabrication (common centuries ago during the Renaissance or in modern third world countries, because in both cases: if you need it, you have to make it) is on the verge of a comeback. There are a lot of refreshing, enlightening, and empowering ideas discussed here. On one hand, personal fabrication seems far-fetched. How could I really make electronic components on my own? Yet just about everyone owns a personal scanner/printer. You don't have to go to a print shop to create high quality 2D items. Now how about 3D? Also, he takes the time to concisely describe common technological terms (what you wanted to know but were afraid to ask) like the difference between parallel, serial, and USB ports. Or the definition of the term 'pixel' PIcture ELement) yet with an X not a C so it doesn't sound like something off a deli menu. Or the difference between bitmap and vector graphics. A fascinating book.
Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.