So I’m reading Cory Doctorow’s Makers, but there is also that other Makers book – inspired by Doctorow – in which Chris Anderson tells us about a New Industrial Revolution. Here is a video posted on TechCrunch.
What we’re seeing here with the third industrial revolution is the combination of technology and manufacturing, so Anderson explains. “It’s the computer meets manufacturing, and it’s at everybody’s desktop.”
But then again, being a slightly pessimistic European, there’s also the dark side: rapid prototyping, smooth international collaboration by individuals on what formerly needed impressive institutions also facilitates the production of weapons of mass destruction. The classical Industrial Revolution got a rather bad press (the ‘Satanic Mills’) – but the bio- and hardware hacking labs could churn out another kind of satanic stuff. The empowerment of the individual is not necessarily a story with a happy ending – but then again, we don’t have any choice but try to deal with it, to grasp the opportunities and avoid the horror.