Applying the punk rock/DIY ethic to science

So how can we further change the world through D-I-Y? Well, for more than thirty years Punk’s ‘Do-It-Yourself’ signified (to me, at least) Doing It Yourself – but pretty much restricted to the ‘Arts.’ But for the first time we attended last weekend’s Maker Faire and realized that: Why shouldn’t D-I-Y also apply to Science and Technology? (Now, we had ALMOST thought that, years ago, when Survival Research Laboratories began, but – we’re dense.)

In other words, for thirty years the underlying message of all my publications has remained: ‘Everyone Is An Artist.’ But, now I want to add an additional message: ‘Everyone Is A Scientist’ – or, ‘Everyone is an Artist/Scientist.’ Because, who doesn’t want to figure out how things work? Who doesn’t want to learn the principles of using a power drill correctly, or how to fix a sticky drawer, or hang a poster on a wall, or – taking things a bit further, learning how to solder, weld, plane wood, fix a sagging porch or roof … the list goes on and on. In other words: PUNK SCIENCE. D-I-Y SCIENCE. Make your own airplane at home – I remember an old ‘Popular Science’ magazine (or was it ‘Popular Mechanics’?) had an article on just that.

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  1. Sir Karl Popper said the same thing as far back as 1934. Science is asking questions, not holding answers. Everyone everyone everyone can ask questions.

  2. I found this article interesting until I got to the end where I found this trite and spine-tinglingly subjective line: “Au contraire; it seems humans are actually devolving”

    Horse shit.

  3. @Jade – yeah, part of this are pretty weak. I don’t really buy that there was this golden age of makerism where every kid not only had a car but could afford to custmize it and building models with your dad was the norm.

    Vale’s usually early to the party on new cultural trends, but this time around it seems he didn’t make it until there’d already been a glossy magazine about it for a couple years.

  4. Interesting. My first thought is

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