So the language in Neil Gershenfeld’s Fab bothered me a little bit. Particularly this section on page 6:

“The overwhelming interest was from students with relatively little technical expertise was only the first surprise. The next was the reason why they wanted to take the class. Virtually no one was doing this for research. Instead, they were motivated by the desire to make things they’d always wanted, but that didn’t exist … their inspiration wasn’t professional; it was personal … Starting out with skills more stuited to arts and crafts than advanced engineering, they routinely and single-handedly managed to design and building complete functioning systems.”

And again on page seven: “The learning process was driven by the demand for, rather than the supply of, knowledge. Once students mastered a new capability … they had a near-evangelical interest in showing others how to use it. As students needed new skills for they projects they would learn them from their peers and then in turn pass them on.”

Well, ain’t that all so very, very surprising, Mr. Gershenfeld.

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