Circuit Bending in the WSJ

The Wall Street Journal had a piece on circuit bending in yesterday's paper.

It's interesting to me to see this surface, but it only makes sense: technology is getting more pervasive, it's cheaper, so there's less risk in breaking it and the DIY esthetic is being encouraged through all of the TV shows about making and modifying stuff.

I wonder if there's a relationship between cultural penetration of a technology, the power of the technology and affluence to people's interest in modifying it for purely their own pleasure? I mean, it was about 50 years after the introduction of the automobile that hotrodding took off, but only after America was pretty rich and the 454 Chevy big block became commonplace. Now it's about 50 years after the beginning of computers and we're an affluent what's the current tech equivalent of the 454?

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There's also a network effect at play - when a particular technology becomes used widely enough that there are people to ask or communities to turn to, it's easier to approach. No doubt the rise of hotrodding as a technological pursuit went hand-in-hand with its rise as a social pursuit. I think there's something to be said about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs here - the top of the pyramid (love, self-esteem & actualization) is social in nature.




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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on September 8, 2004 11:21 AM.

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