Monday, September 12, 2016

Working It

We enjoyed a Hophouse gathering I doubt will be repeated, in terms of who was there:  myself, Michael Hagmeir (now resident of St. Louis, MO), Patrick & Glenn (Asylum District, like me) and Mike (visiting from Florida).

Michael drove here in two and a half days, stopping at Carhenge in Nebraska and Craters of the Moon in Idaho.  The previous evening, I'd joined Michael and Matt for an evening together.  The car stays behind when he flies home.

Then Glenn and I grabbed a 14 to downtown, leaving time for me to get to Payless for shoes (I wore out the Mt. Tabor walking shoes again), and have a beer each at Ringler's.

Only a few blocks from there is Wieden + Kennedy.  We arrived 20 minutes early, not sure if there'd be any shortage of seating.

Given the Tech Crawl that just happened, I somewhat made myself at home and poked around in the lobby taking pictures, not really what their workflow is set up for.  The receptionist had to remind us this was a private office building.

Any problems occasioned by the arrival of the rest of our throng turned out to be self-solving given no one was wanting to be rude.  We all waited patiently for about forty minutes, after which the ball got rolling.   

PDX Maker Week is only just making its debut.  We haven't seen Maker Faire packaged in the context of a whole week before.  PSU took on promoting this new idea, as a sponsor.  OMSI took on the two day Maker Faire.  Glenn and I made it to that as well.  Thanks to workingIT, I got a press pass.

Some of my more detailed initial thoughts on Dale Dougherty's keynote went to @4DsolutionsPDX, which is where I work on a maker space known as #CodeCastle.  I tweeted as we bused back to Asylum District along Division. I was thinking back to a certain Pycon keynote, and the Stanford connection.  Making commitments ("I'll be there") is making.

Mostly I was observing how advertising involves projecting lifestyles with deliberately placed products, and that's a form of "making" some have mastery over.  Which booths teach that?  All of them?  Pretty much.

Glenn wondered if those promoting the "Maker" meme were trying too hard to encompass too many crafts outside the digital-electronic.  He's an analog craftsman going way back, but hasn't taken on "Maker" as a part of his own branding, preferring to leave that term to coders of devices.

Obviously memes are subject to regional variants, or call them dialects.

Bringing all these crafts together suggests synergies and continuity as well.

Getting out into remote villages with high tech, yet adopting somewhat "time-refined" lifestyles (a euphemism for "ancient"), requires places that continue to teach the skills associated with high tech, in addition to all the "intermediate" and "lower" tech.

Someone has to keep designing and manufacturing circuits, programming games and simulations, even if a lot of people live nowhere near a chip making facility or fab plant.

Civilization has a lot of batons to pass.  The relay race is another good metaphor.  Keeping our most advanced tech going doesn't mean we can't also have camping.  Not everyone needs to live or work in high rises either.  A wide variety of lifestyles are required, for any at all to exist.

Speaking of OMSI, I've known evening events to occur there.  PDX Maker Week 2017 might look at OMSI as a venue for some 6-10 event. I understand it's hard working with all volunteers and donated space.

Making events happen is itself a kind of making.  Earning credit in some currency of the realm, for helping to pull these events off, might make some sense, a standard pattern.

Where making meets camping is what we call scouting, already a big part of the culture here.  Living "outdoors" does not mean sans any shelter from the elements, yet "closer to nature".

Camping keeps upping the level of technology available, or at least opening the space of possibility.  We saw some interesting new camping ideas at Maker Faire. By camping I don't mean necessarily nomadic.  Farming and permaculture might go on, with sacred spaces made semi-permanent.

Where #CodeCastle "actually exists" physically is not important at this juncture, as right now it's a meme, i.e. more metaphysical, and tied into the "(High + Art + Code) * School" meme -- that's supposed to remind us of the distributive property.