Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Unlimited Future

Hello again! So today I would like to show you guys two YouTube videos, both by PBS. They are this one and this one.

The first one is an overview about what a 3D printer is and how it can change the world. They talk a lot about different copyright issues that could come up with 3D printing, which I find is a really important topic. We all have this ability to create whatever we want, and make unlimited copies of it. So where do we draw the line? How do we know when someone is abusing another person’s Intellectual rights? This will be a defining moment of the 3D printing industry. The video states that 3D printing should take a hint from the music industry. We should look at what worked and what didn’t with the music industry with the introduction of download programs like Napster.

The other video, from the PBS Idea Channel, talks about how Minecraft and The MakerBot could bring about the post-scarcity economy. The PBS Idea Channel takes a look at many different elements of Pop Culture, and creates “ideas” about how they can affect the world. They also go over how they affect us as humans, and backgrounds for many interesting topics rooted into our society. This video talks about the popular video game Minecraft, and the MakerBot and 3D printing. They say that these are the beginning of the “post scarcity economy” where we can create unlimited anything without wasting any resources.

Minecraft is a computer game created by the Swedish game developer Mojang. The game is based as a “sandbox” game, where there is no true story to follow, or set goals you need to accomplish. There are two modes to the game: survival and creative. In survival, you can harvest materials, create tools, discover rare ores, and fight monsters.  Creative, however, is something entirely different. There are no monsters, and all of the resources in the game are available to you infinitely. This means that you do not need to do any work. You have everything you need. You could harvest resources, but why would you? All of your time and energy are free for whatever you want. This allows people to use the game to create anything they could imagine. People have created the Taj Mahal, a scale model of earth, the Eiffel Tower, and a life size replica of the star ship Enterprise from “Star Trek”. I believe this game is revolutionary. Schools have started implementing it to use in their curriculum. The open world allows all kinds of classes to be taught with it. Mojang has even given people permission to modify the game, and add programmable computers, machines, and other systems into the game to make it more challenging.

The video says that the ideas of Minecraft show that once we are able to have unlimited materials, our true creativity will be able to blossom, and we will be able to make great strides in technology and design.
The video says that MakerBot is the first step to achieving this goal. A machine that can create anything digital and make it real in a matter of hours could change the world. This means that I could email you a spoon. I could have an idea for a toy, and in a day, I could actually have to toy and be playing with it. The MakerBot does use materials, but according to Moore’s law, as long as we keep using this, it can only become faster, better, cheaper, and easier to use. He says that we should think that Minecraft is a “proto-post scarcity caricature, and the MakerBot is a proto-whatever that machine from the Jetson’s was.” This is completely true. We need to look for ways to constantly improve our technologies. For though it might not happen in our lifetimes, we might just be able to make a post-scarcity world.

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