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."
The notion of two people sleeping in the same bed always inspires romantic visions of love and intimacy. However, most quickly realize that the romance of sleeping together is often quickly replaced by the realities of the act. One partner snores. The other talks in their sleep. One grinds their teeth. The other hogs the […]
Add Internet of Things to the shortlist of those actually benefiting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. You might not realize it, but the organizing principle that is bringing more automation to the world is actually proving to be a major asset as human beings are forced to stay home and away from the […]
We’ve all had those nights where we’re working on a laptop or scrolling through our phone before glancing at the time to find it’s actually a lot later than we thought. Most nights, you’d be fast asleep or at least dead tired at midnight or 1 or 3 a.m. But after staring at a screen, […]