DIY Tinkereres

Aug 6, 04:46 by IROSF
Comments on the anthology or Steampunk in general?

Review can be found here.
Aug 6, 15:39 by Jake von Slatt
I can't really speak for others but I use material from the trash for much of my work. Yes the core of the PC mods are 'store bought' but they are the least expensive commodity components I could find.

The mods I am proudest of are the ones were I've invested the least and re-used the most. And there is nothing that will excite me more then, say, a welder in Africa who has built his own rig from car fenders cut and hammered flat into an armature and coils wound from scavenged copper wire.

More then anything I want people to DO and MAKE because if you understand the technologies you use you can make smarter decision. Smart consumers will recognize when a corporation is shining them on and will go elsewhere for their goods and services.

I don't advocate going back to hand making everything ourselves, but if your gadget needs a new battery you should be outraged if the company thinks so little of you that they make no provision to change it out yourself.

Jake von Slatt
The Steampunk Workshop
Aug 6, 17:51 by Kenneth Sutton
The steampunk movement is based on frustration over the loss of craftsmanship in the modern world.


That would be the Arts & Crafts Movement.

I would say the steampunk movement is based on the joys of creation, individuality, and imagination; inspired by the creative works of Victorian and contemporary authors; and viewed through various neo-Victorian, punk, fantasy, and science viction lenses.

Otenth Paderborn
A neo-Victorian steampunk resident of Second Life
Aug 10, 10:48 by Paula Stiles
It's an irony that in a criticism of the unrealistic view of tech that steampunkers allegedly have, the author brings out the old saw that tech will solve everything--specifically, that little kids in Africa *need* hundred-dollar computers to solve their problems.

Quite aside from the fact that a hundred dollars would feed some African families for a month, or that what African kids really need are cleaner water, better medical care and better education (not computers), those advocating such projects ignore the fact that an awful lot of African villages lack even paved roads and post offices, let alone electricity and telephone service. So, how are they expecting these kids to run these things, let alone get hooked up to the Internet? It's just one more way for the West to rub their noses in the things they can't ever afford to have.

The thing is that people in Africa do steampunk-type stuff all the time. They live in a culture where they've had a lot of unmaintainable or useless tech dumped on them. The rest they have to recycle, make new parts for out of incompatible stuff, or tie together with strips of rubber inner tubing called "caoutchouc" to make work. And boy, are they good at making it work.

It would be nice to see some steampunk set in Africa and about Africans, actually. Is there any out there?
Aug 10, 16:42 by Bluejack
I'm sure that many people's motivations behind some of the affordable tech initiaves are not based in reality, but there are some good reasons for tech initiatives. Cell phones and low-end computers can actually jump-start economic transformations. While it is true that fundamentals such as food, water, and basic hard infrastructure are also required, tech initiatives have helped create long term income for families.

But I completely agree with your concluding point. The steampunk Victorian fantasies can be fun (and I enjoy some of the similar fiction set in various stages of China's history), but seeing any sort of African SF would be awesome. I can see a variant of steampunk; I can also see lots of interesting possibilities for dystopian stuff, environmental sf.
Aug 12, 17:18 by Nuno Fonseca
Hi again Bluejack. I know very little African SF (one or two small efforts from a couple of Capeverdian authors) but there's a lot of African Fantasy going around. Very apart from the American or English-speaking Fantasy, usually with a tendency towards Magical Realism and Mainstream sensibilities, but with solid works (Mia Couto, Pepetela and Josť Eduardo Agualusa, for example, are names you can check out with some works published in English).

But as for African SF it really is a shame that we don't know more of it. You're right, the possibilities are indeed awesome.
Aug 12, 19:58 by D. Nicklin-Dunbar
[quote] Paula Quite aside from the fact that a hundred dollars would feed some African families for a month, or that what African kids really need are cleaner water, better medical care and better education (not computers), those advocating such projects ignore the fact that an awful lot of African villages lack even paved roads and post offices, let alone electricity and telephone service. So, how are they expecting these kids to run these things, let alone get hooked up to the Internet? It's just one more way for the West to rub their noses in the things they can't ever afford to have. [/quote]

While I will not disagree that Africans need clean water and food before they need computers, there is absolutely nothing wrong with developing a cheap effective computer for use in underdeveloped countries. Current models also include robust solar charging systems for those people not hooked up to the grid. This kind of techonological innovation benefits the whole world, and it would be remiss to dismiss it out of hand. Furthermore, there is the opportunity to 'jump start' communities in Africa and else where with new technologies that are only just being developed so that they need not go through the horribly destructive Industrial Revolution all over again. As Bluejack points out, quite eloquently, there are good reasons to develope these technologies and distribute them to underdeveloped communities around the world.

In fact, last week's The Economist had an interesting article on a cheap cell phone startup company providing cellular phone service in remote communities in Africa. Not only is this company African, they are developing a business model that could have significant impact on how industrialized nations cell phone carriers operate.

Yes, Africa needs help, but to spurn high technology in favour of older models of developement (which for the most part have proven ineffective and corrupt) is . . . odd.
Oct 6, 11:48 by lerok.john212@gmail.com
Thanks a lot for that useful informations


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