This is a little off topic, but it’s something that touched me when I saw it yesterday posted on Slashdot and wanted to share it.
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the TED Talks (TED stands for Technology, Education, Design) that are held every year by some of the most brilliant minds of the US (TEDGlobal does the same thing for the international community) to discuss advances in thinking, tools, and products. Some of these talks are more than a bit out there (talking about things coming to pass 20-50 years down the line), but now and then there’s a topic where they’re getting amazing success in the NOW.
This is one of those talks. Neil Gershenfeld is the Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. He uses digital technology to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical worlds. Here‘s his bio.
You can watch the video (it’s a bit over 17 minutes long) here, but I’m also going to embed it on this page if you’d rather watch it here (after the jump). Note that this requires Shockwave installed…
What’s amazing to me is that these Fabrication (or “Fab”) labs around the world are changing lives one person at a time. Watching the little girl’s smile in Africa as she solders a circuit board together is an amazing achievement. The technology is there. Each $20,000 lab is making a difference in the various places it’s being set up, from Africa to Norway and beyond. Sure the people are creating what they need, but more importantly they are creating what they can imagine.
From mind to hand. What an extraordinary transition.
Please check it out if you like technology or are interested in societal-changing events. This is definitely one of them in my opinion.