Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Technology, Innovation, and MIT

I was having a gander at the BBC website as I typically do in the morning (mostly to keep an eye out on what’s happening in the world) and I stumbled upon an interesting article about how local problems (such as tracking your sheep in the far north of Norway) often leads to technological innovations. These innovations lead the article to talk about Fab Labs which are MIT sponsored labs that allow your average person in to use some of the more advance tools/electronics/machinery to help them fabricate their own items. These labs have found themselves to be very useful in all parts of the globe where they’re being put to good use in coming up with specific local ‘hacks’ to existing technologies.

I have to agree with the people who came up with the idea for these Fab Labs as they called them because necessity is the mother of all invention and research labs can often miss the whole opportunities because they’re simply not needed in that part of the world. These Fab Labs can further technological innovation simply because people’s ‘local’ inventions spur grander ideas that might have been overlooked otherwise.

Now this sent me off on a tangent, I wanted to look up these Fab Labs at MIT so I punched in MIT into Google and I came back with a bunch of links to MIT, one of which particularly caught my eye. It was MIT’s OpenCourseware project, which essentially opens the schools curriculum to a variety of classes to anyone interested. This sharing of information and knowledge is something I’ve always liked. I don’t need a school to allow me to learning something new… but sadly sometimes the structure and plans of university classes is required to get a good understanding of a subject. So browsing around in this opencourseware project I already found a few classes whose work I’d like to try on my own and I think I will (now wish me luck – I haven’t touched Calculus in close to a decade)

Hi-tech DIY to solve local problems

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