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Friday, April 12, 2013

Amateurs on the Rise

   Despite the job climate being cold to entry level applicants at best, many people are bravely trying their hand at new skills. Currently speaking, this looks like play. These skills become serious hobbies sometimes, and occasionally turn a small profit.
   Many people are attempting skill sets like 3d printing, programmable electronics (Arduino controllers), upcycling, home hydroponics (legit stuff, like gardening, but for techies), home solar projects (solar cooker, solar collector for home or water heating, home greenhouses,etc.), underground geothermal, home machine shop or woodworking, and many other serious skills (like biodiesel production). These are actually all upper end skills that relate in many ways to industry. Many of these small scale operations are new, and don't have a lot of proper support yet.
   There is a rising culture of self-sufficiency directly linked to these skills, this is often referred to as "DIY" or "Maker" culture. There are suppliers that have staked a claim in helping these hobbyists find supplies to make things. There are videos all over YouTube that instruct people on how to make things themselves (take care to make sure that your instructions are safe). There are instructions on how to make or do things on ehow.com and instructables.com. There are project ideas on pinterest.com, and on the many, many blogs out here on the internet.
  Historically, many things have started small. Science itself was very amateur-like when it started. Taking notes and keeping records helped, as well as communicating to each other effectively, in taking science to the next level. Industry sprung up from some innovative iron works in England, gradually working its way into every aspect of our lives, as its innovative ideas made producing goods more effective. Now it is time to start again. We need to have a grasp on the process of making things, and putting ideas into motion, for ourselves and with our own skills and minds. This is the time when we can rise or fall. Together we rise.