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Hackerspace Survey8:51 with Max Wallace
Max Wallace is the founder of a world record winning hackerspace in North Carolina and is now working on starting a 3rd. Hackerspaces are open centers for community and creative expression, filled with technology enthusiasts and hobbyists interested in teaching one another how to make ideas into reality. In this talk, Max describes some of the history of hackerspaces and where they stand today.
[MUSIC] 0:00 So one of the, the key features of the maker movement 0:04 that I have found very interesting is the this concept called makerspaces. 0:08 And, they are spaces in your district, your region, your area that people gather 0:13 and either hack on stuff or work on stuff or share ideas and collaborate. 0:20 Think of it as like GitHub, but in real life. 0:26 And that's a good sorta analog. In fact, what we're gonna have 0:29 for the rest of the evening is basically a popup hackerspace. 0:33 So I wanted to make sure that we provided some sort of great overview and I couldn't 0:38 think of anyone better than Max Wallace. >> Whoa, that was nice. 0:41 [SOUND] Thank you very much. So, as was mentioned, I'm Max Wallace. 0:50 And I have the pleasure of speaking to you 0:53 today because I have started a hackerspace in North Carolina that went on 0:54 to win a Guinness World Record and is still not on fire today. 0:58 And I'm currently starting, thank you, thank you. 1:01 One thing hackerspace do teach you is the 1:04 fire suppression systems in every room your in. 1:07 For example, we have sprinklers that pail on assist which is 1:09 really nice and hopefully we're going to have that next door too. 1:11 And I'm also currently starting the third hackerspace in 1:15 San Francisco because a city that has eleven grilled cheese 1:17 joints really needs more than two hackerspaces, so wish me luck on that one. 1:20 Show of hands anybody been to their local hackerspace? 1:24 Anybody familiar with it? 1:26 Anybody read the magazine? 1:27 Okay, you guys are gonna be bored to tears. 1:28 The rest of you, hopefully will pick up 1:31 on something and find something to do next Tuesday. 1:33 So we'll start out with, what's a hackerspace? 1:35 Well, to put it bluntly, they look like this. 1:37 It's a, nice big room. 1:40 Lots of bad tables that have been salvaged out of people's garages. 1:42 Leftover computers, soldering irons. 1:44 So really interesting projects, and these guys over here 1:47 are in the corner scheming, but we'll get them later. 1:49 So hackerspace is essentially a open 1:52 center for community and creative expression. 1:55 It's also like crawling into the mind of an eight 1:57 year old with a grown up and all the best toys. 1:59 It's everything you could possibly want to be, 2:01 if you've ever wanted to make something, create something. 2:03 And then here's the thing, it's a room full of very interesting people that we'll 2:06 get to later, with very interesting skillsets. 2:09 Some of whom you met in chatted abouy already. 2:11 We're just getting together for the fun of it to see 2:14 what they can get together on the weekend and it's absolutely fantastic. 2:15 It's great, you'll love it. 2:19 I guarantee there's one near you because there're over 1,700 in the world nowadays. 2:20 417 in the U.S. and I believe, 42 opened last month alone. 2:24 So somewhere near you, there is a hackerspace. 2:30 The picture I showed you is from the hackerspace in Santiago, Chile. 2:32 There is a hackerspace in Jacksonville, just over there. 2:36 There are hackerspaces in Singapore. 2:38 There's a, there's six hackerspaces starting up in China. 2:40 There's one in Tokyo, with their, you can imagine how that does. 2:43 And as I mentioned I think, there are seven or eight in the bay area, so far. 2:46 Now the interesting thing that I want to share 2:49 with you guys, and the real crux of the, the 2:51 point I want you to go away with is a 2:53 hackerspace isn't about the tools that are in the hackerspace. 2:55 I love 3D printers, I love quad copters, I'll probably be over 2:58 there with Node Copter all day tomorrow. 3:01 But the technology that you get to play with in 3:03 a hackerspace isn't necessarily the bit that makes the hackerspace. 3:05 What makes the hackerspace is community learning. 3:08 It's people who come together, to teach each other what they wanna 3:11 know after work, so you can learn the fun of doing it too. 3:14 It's the same reason why Chris' encouraged 3:17 everybody to learn different skills and talk to 3:19 different people, so you can broaden your mind 3:21 little because it's absolutely thrilling to learn stuff. 3:23 And so with that, I have to tell you that while the 3:26 hackerspace movement modernly started in the 3:28 early 2000's in Germany after unification. 3:30 It was was brought to the U.S. in 2007. 3:33 It is by absolutely no means new. I've done a little bit of research. 3:35 Crawled around the Yale archaeology labs. 3:39 And what I found is two candidates of 3:41 what I think are the earliest hackerspaces possible. 3:43 This is the Bay't Al Hikma which stands for house of wisdom. 3:46 It was formed in 810 CE 3:49 by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid really got flourishing under his brother in 833 BC. 3:51 There are five books of antiquity that we only have because 3:57 they were bootlegged and copied into Arabic in the Bay't Al Hikma. 4:00 And there are some projects that they took on, one I'll show you 4:04 later, but the other one an estimate of the size of the world. 4:07 The estimate was a little bit off, they were 4:11 maybe 15 or 20 thousand miles out of the way. 4:12 But the algebra that they used to do 4:15 it is still with us today and being inflicted upon an 11 year old as we speak. 4:16 The older version, though which is 4:22 really interesting, is this place called Takshila. 4:23 And Takshila is in Northern Pakistan, it's about 1600 years old and 4:25 this place I really think is the genesis of the modern hackerspace movement. 4:30 This was a collection of the smart people in the area as they 4:33 tend to be but there wasn't like a college curriculum there weren't majors. 4:36 People just taught what they thought they knew 4:40 to people who thought they wanted to learn it. 4:43 The students kind of figured, yeah, well, when I'm sick of learning 4:45 this, I'll either go do something with this or 4:47 I'll just teach something else, and I'll just go home. 4:49 And, what I think was really interesting is, it was open to the public. 4:51 They had a two tier membership model. 4:54 If you paid, If you paid the tuition dues, you got to go to class during the day. 4:56 Not necessarily the greatest benefit in the world, but there you go. 4:59 Unfortunately, the Mongol hoards sacked it in about 1300 5:03 and well, that was the end of that one. 5:06 So, as we mentioned, the tools, not so much. 5:09 The people? 5:12 The people are really where the fun's gonna get to you. 5:13 Everybody's talking about well, what are you gonna make tomorrow? 5:15 They really should be saying well what are we gonna come up with? 5:17 Cuz, enough people who can all get their, all their fingers on 5:19 this stuff, and really start going with it, It's gonna be really great. 5:23 So just for a couple of examples, from storytelling time. 5:26 If you put a retired surveyor, a house painter, a computer science student, and 5:30 a chemistry graduate in a room together, what do you figure they're gonna do? 5:35 Any ideas? Some kind of machine? 5:39 Some kind of toy? 5:40 What they're actually gonna do is paint the world's largest 5:42 QR code on a rooftop over the course of three days. 5:44 And then the resulting QR code was so large it had to be scanned 5:47 by a helicopter in order to be verified for the Guinness Book of World Records. 5:50 Raquel over there actually did a deal with the news 5:55 station to trade off their traffic helicopter for the story. 5:57 And I can guarantee that if you've ever been filmed by a circling 6:01 helicopter like the 1992 November rains, it's fantastic. 6:04 So there's example one. 6:09 Okay, example two is a ham radio enthusiast, another CS 6:11 grad, you get a lot of those, and a DJ. 6:14 Something sound? something radio? 6:17 What you actually wind up with is near space photography. 6:20 It started out in the early 2010s, in, I believe, Hack DC. 6:23 This exam, this example comes to us from the Las 6:28 Vegas hack, not Las Vegas, I'm sorry, Mesa, Arizona hackerspace. 6:31 The HAM radio enthusiasts attached a radio to a high altitude weather balloon. 6:35 The CS grad took that HAM radio data, streamed it off to 6:38 Google Maps, so they could chase the thing when they found it. 6:41 And, DJ let go of it until it flew 90,000 feet in 6:43 the air and then he drove the car to go get it. 6:46 So, huge amount of fun, everyone loved getting 6:48 their hands on this one, and they all 6:51 learned a little bit about HAM radio satellite 6:52 photography, and probably the greatest bragging story ever told. 6:53 And then a personal favorite of mine. 6:57 Three brothers, 6:59 underemployed, just out of college, don't really have too much going on. 7:00 What they actually do, is they go to the Bayt al-Hikma and 7:04 in 844 and they write a book called, The Book of Ingenious Devices. 7:07 The Book of Ingenious Devices, some of 7:11 the earliest control theory programmable [UNKNOWN] etcetera. 7:12 But I particularly like this example from it, which is 7:15 a water jug where you pour the water in the top. 7:17 It collect at the bottom until the air pressure let in by 7:20 the tubes get strong enough that it fires a jet up past the 7:22 wheel and sprays whoever was pouring water in in the face. 7:25 >> [LAUGH]. 7:27 This is a 1,400-year-old practical joke that came out of a hackerspace, 7:30 and I'm gonna try to make it if I get a 3D printer. 7:34 And then, the most modern one I'm aware of is 26 of these places, all 7:37 around the world who've all decided to get together and work on a common goal. 7:41 And, the result is going to be the hackerspace, space program. 7:44 Step one is a worldwide communications network. 7:48 Step two is a man in orbit. 7:50 Step three is to land a man on the moon in the year 2034. 7:51 I don't know how they're gonna do it, but, I'm pretty sure they're going to. 7:54 So, that makes a hackerspace, a workshop where really interesting people explore 7:59 the boundaries of technology by getting together and doing stuff with it. 8:03 So, to paraphrase, it's where really bright people get together 8:07 to write on the world in the ink of their imaginations. 8:11 I don't know what the ink is, but they're 8:14 going to do something with it. 8:15 You're all in a hackerspace, as Chris mentioned, tonight, most 8:17 of tomorrow, and possibly some of Sunday if you're lucky. 8:19 So get into the spirit of community technology, knock some stuff together, see 8:22 if you like it, and then go to your local hackerspace on Tuesday evening. 8:26 There are design patterns at these places. 8:29 Hackerspaces.org is the main website where you 8:31 can pull up information about the whole thing. 8:33 Or you can watch a 20-minute version and much better 8:35 delivered talk that Mitch Altman did at TEDx in Brussels. 8:36 Or you can meet with me tomorrow at noon, 3, and 6 p.m. 8:40 We'll get together, talk about 8:43 hackerspaces, tell stories, and have laughs. 8:44 Thank you very much. >> [SOUND] 8:46
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