[ by Charles Cameron — futurism, making, printing, printable guns, time of your life, intersecting timelines ]
We only have one mouth, so we’re linear speakers, confined to speaking one thought at a time. And we only have one body, so we tend to think of our lives along a single timeline — although other people with their own uncontolled timelines are constantly crisscrossing our paths and making things better (hey, thanks!) or worse (damn it!) or just plain interesting (okaaay) or boring (unhh)… but the world itself includes the crisscrossing of all those paths in its own timeline, and what this means in practice is that linear thinking doesn’t catch the drift.
Which is why it’s interesting that the most important blog-piece on the Aurora tragedy today doesn’t mention Aurora once.
It’s by John Robb, and it’s about printing these:
And it’s important because the world-line it talks about will cross the path of the Columbine > Virginia Tech > Utøya > Aurora timeline at some point.
It begins like this:
Printing Weapons at Home for Fun and Mayhem
It’s now possible to print functional weapons at home. This is going to progress rapidly now.
Think: global file sharing of designs for servicable weapons, from pistols on up to ?, that can be printed at home. What you can print — from the materials to the size/quality of the object to the completeness (snap together construction) — is already moving forward quickly. The weapons effort will just be along for the ride.
But read the whole thing. And read Duncan Kinder and the other comments there, too.
That’s John Robb’s message for the day — and apart from the fact that it talks about reliable home-printed weaponry, a line of development which will I suggest will cross that Columbine > Virginia Tech > Utøya > Aurora line some time in the not too distant, there’s one unremarkable little remark in there that’s well worth remarking on. John says:
The weapons effort will just be along for the ride.
Along for the ride. Side effects. Adverse reactions. Serendipity. Unintended consequences. Unknown unknowns. Black swans.
We have a variety of terms we use for the things that blindside us, for better or worse. Our future is full of them, our past is littered with the results…
So it’s interesting that if a bunch of us are thinking along the broad line of maker-printables, a few will be thinking printable guns. A bunch of us will be making films, a bunch more will be going to the movies to see them. And some will have far darker thoughts in mind.
Crisscross your thinking. Weave your world with care for the future, please.