Author Topic: America - the "Maker Nation"  (Read 115 times)

Dave

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America - the "Maker Nation"
« on: October 12, 2017, 09:14:30 AM »
Something positive I find over the other side of the Pond for a change! I have mentioned it before and will admit to bring enbious about it, the "msker" attitude; the eell ewuipped home workshop and whole industries that support the amateur and semi-professional craftsmen, technicians and engineers.

David Brin, scientist, futurologist, sci-fi author, claims there are more sword makers in America now than there were in Europe in the Middle Ages, more blacksmiths than in the cowboy era. OK, that is looking backwards but is still creative and creativity encourages inovation.

I always think this is a consequence of the isolated nature of dociety in the esrly expsndion days, you had to be a jack of many trades to survive until towns and shared economies moved in. America seems to have retained a lot of that self-sufficient "make-modify-and-mend" mindset. This is partly to the benefit of the nation but maybe also encouraged the negative sides - the mistrust of authority, a slight 'hermit' mentality in some loners etc.

I have to admit to having an interest in this because, though from different reasons, I share similar attitudes. Including, it often seems to me, a tension between that desired self-sufficiency and an acknowledgement that we actually live in dependant societies - especially in small nations like the UK.
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Bad Penny II

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 02:08:40 PM »
engineers.
I always think this is a consequence of the isolated nature of dociety in the esrly expsndion days, you had to be a jack of many trades to survive until towns and shared economies moved in.

Could be a marginal rural existence thing, don't have the money to pay anyone, if you get a bit you know to conserve it.

This is partly to the benefit of the nation but maybe also encouraged the negative sides - the mistrust of authority,

Authority can be a xxxx xxxx xxxx an unwelcome imposition on the simple folk.
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jumbojak

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 03:11:42 PM »
There might be more blacksmiths today but most are bad ones. Like me.
 

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Dave

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 03:30:36 PM »
There might be more blacksmiths today but most are bad ones. Like me.
JJ, if the bits of metal you bash do the job that you want - that's OK! When I got the chance to bash some steel, 4 decades after doing it at school, I was pleased that I produced a usable narrow hoe from a knackered 1.5 inch spanner! A I thoroughly enjoyed the process. My arms, shoulders and back reminded me of it for two days though . . .

But I am a blacksmith's son and grandson so perhaps it is in the genes?
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 11:13:52 PM »
Lots of reasons for this, some already mentioned: the pioneer mentality and environment, separation from other civilizations, the love of freedom and self-reliance that caused people to come here in the first place, lack of a hierarchical society, etc.   Also, over time there developed a self-awareness of a sort of exceptionalism and boundless opportunity here, and that spurred innovation to a degree. 

Icarus

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 02:25:18 AM »
There is an intrigueing program on TV that has blacksmiths competing with one another for making cutting tools...mostly things like swords, machetes, cleavers and what all.  It is actually an international competition that includes smithys from over the globe.  I find the program fascinating because there are still old world craftsmen, and a few women, who can forge and finish some exceptional cutting instruments.

Dave

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Re: America - the "Maker Nation"
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 05:05:05 AM »
There is an intrigueing program on TV that has blacksmiths competing with one another for making cutting tools...mostly things like swords, machetes, cleavers and what all.  It is actually an international competition that includes smithys from over the globe.  I find the program fascinating because there are still old world craftsmen, and a few women, who can forge and finish some exceptional cutting instruments.

I can relate to that, there is something quite fundamentally emotional about smithing for me that perhaps only stone carving and sculpturing come close to - but even they run a poor second. And I am aware of how widespread this is.

Is it the control and use of basic energy, fire, plus the making of useful items from lumps of stuff? Is it the image ofvthr burly blackdmith? (My father was a skinny blacksmith!) Is it a "semi-magicsl" thing from thousands of years ago when those with the knowledge turned lumps of rock into weapons?

Dunno, but it seems universal!

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.