May 16, 2008

Ideology and Technology [3:12 pm]

Once they were called hackers; now the term (if Make magazine has its way) is “makers:” This, From That — Maker Faire

“We are grabbing technology, ripping the back off of it and reaching our hands in where we are not supposed to be,” says Shannon O’Hare, who has brought his three-story Victorian mansion on wheels, one of the most prominent examples of the anachronistic style known as steampunk, to the Faire. He is 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,” says Mr. O’Hare, who goes by Major Catastrophe and works as a fabricator for the stage and businesses. “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,” Mr. O’Hare says. “ Make is about taking that back off and making it yours.”

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