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 gear-cog trappings, the best parts of steampunk live on as a wide-scale design and political movement known as Right to Repair. This movement, which is picking up steam among state legislatures (and vehemently opposed by major tech companies like Apple), is ostensibly about combating forced obsolescence and breaking the modern consumer electronic upgrade cycle, through legislation that forces companies to make their products repairable by the end user. In other words, it’s about empowerment and transparency: the right to understand the technology you depend upon.
From that perspective, steampunk never died at all. It just lost the “Jules Verne goth” aesthetic and went mainstream.
The fine folks at Boston Dynamics, busy building our future robotic overlords, have loaned Adam Savage a Spot robot for the Tested team to play with. For his first project, Adam built a gorgeous steampunk/Victorian rickshaw for Spot to pull. The results are glorious.
TV actor Robert Conrad, best known for his portrayal of Jim West on the very quirky, proto-steampunky 60s sci-fi Western, The Wild Wild West, has died. He was 84. When I was a kid growing up in the late 60s, I loved The Wild Wild West, although frequently, I had no idea what was going […]
Roger Wood (previously), the bonkers steampunk assemblage clock sculptor, just sent this to his Klockwerks mailing list: "This is what I created in February."
Paralysis by analysis. It’s the phenomenon that happens when you’re so stuck on thinking through all the ramifications of your actions that you don’t actually take action in the first place. That can happen with all this free time you’re spending stuck inside your house. With literally every home-bound option available to you, it’s easy […]
At this point, it’s every single person’s responsibility to reduce their own carbon footprint and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. But if you consider the grim fact that the biggest culprit of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. is burning fossil fuels for electricity, things, like pivoting to metal straws and […]
Companies that don’t have their own in-house design teams (which means 99 percent of all companies these days) face lots of serious questions. Among those questions is how you keep up with all the design requirements of a 21st-century company without the personnel. It isn’t just a website or an annual product catalog anymore. It’s […]