My latest Make column is up, "Love the Machine, Hate the Factory," written for the steampunk theme issue:
For me, the biggest appeal to steampunk is that it exalts the machine and disparages the factory (this is the motto of the excellent and free *Steampunk* magazine: "Love the Machine, Hate the Factory"). It celebrates the elaborate inventions of the scientifically managed enterprise, but imagines those machines coming from individuals who are their own masters. Steampunk doesn't rail against efficiency -- but it never puts efficiency ahead of self-determination. If you're going to raise your workbench to spare your back, that's *your* decision, not something imposed on you from the top down.
John Brownlee traces the rise and fall of steampunk, a genre and aesthetic I know is close to many hearts ’round these parts. (Some of my own thoughts on the matter are quoted.) The arrival of smartphones was a key moment, he writes, putting technology permanently within reach — and beyond it. Divorced of their […]
There are a lot of different language apps out there because nobody learns anything the same exact way – especially not something as complex as a new language. For some people, the best way is to dive in and start talking, but that’s easier said than done if you’re not around those natives you aspire […]
There’s movie merch and then there are artifacts – one-of-a-kind items for the true fans only. These 11 items definitely fall into the latter category. We’ve unearthed movie art, props and other fan touchstones from the major nerd franchises of the last 50 years. Gaze upon these Star Wars and Marvel collectibles and don’t worry. […]
No matter what kind of office you work at, there’s probably an Excel expert in it. And no wonder: Businesses are still discovering uses for one of Microsoft’s flagship software suites beyond just bare-bones spreadsheets. Make October the month you become invaluable at work by taking one of these boot camps in Excel and its […]