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David Van Brink // Mon 2007.02.26 21:06 // {broad generalities future}

Hacking Sawdust, Part I: Atoms? Or Bits?

or, One Way To Use And Enjoy The Carvewright/Compucarve Wood Printer

Atoms? or Bits? This is one of my favorite subjects, since it relates to all the big questions. Brain versus soul, love versus sex, and should I get rid of all my clutter except for this here computer?

Atoms, or bits?

In The Future they’ll be nearly interchangeable. To merely describe a thing, verbally, will be enough to cause its rendering in whatever form strikes your fancy (and budget I suppose). As you speak with the Shop Of The Future you’ll tell it what kind of clothes or telephone you like, and there they’ll be, made to order. Or if you sit down in front of your Television Of The Future it will compose a cinematic masterpiece tailored precisely to your interests and desires, with biometric feedback guiding the story-arc. (Surely, a cinematic masterpiece. No doubt of it.)

Vernor Vinge suggests that this will happen before The Singularity; the classic cinematic masterpiece Forbidden Planet portrays it as the root cause.

Along the way we’ll encounter such hazards as cheap and plentiful “techno” music, and entire villages which look like poorly designed web sites.

But enough about risks, I am but a mere fetishistic technological dabbler, and I’m here to share some of the details of the dabbling with you. For now, at least, a verbal description (into the microphone, please, and enunciate) is not enough, and hackery is still needed.

Suppose you wanted to make one of these:


[stop][go][-][+]

It’s a block of wood carved with some, um, spheres or something. It’s a little hard to tell. Anyway, it came out of a primitive replicator which can in fact be purchased at Sears. But that’s really the among last steps of the process. Before that, a bit of hackery may be enjoyed.

See next entry.

oh, i dont know. what do you think?



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