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 weâ€™re seeing here with the third industrial revolution is the combination of technology and manufacturing, so Anderson explains. “Itâ€™s the computer meets manufacturing, and itâ€™s at everybodyâ€™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.