July 29th, 2012

fucked up

Game changer: Will 3D printing decimate multi-nationals?

Manufacturing functioning firearms from 20th Century 3D-printer technology.

A member from the gun forum AR15 thinks he may have created and successfully tested the first 3D printed firearm. He used a Stratasys 3D printer from the mid-90s to create a .22 pistol. He claims to have fired over 200 rounds from the 3D printed marvel and it still works fine.

Of course, one can see the implications of this technology. Let's think 'beyond guns' for now. 

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Will governments come in and seize patents, assembly codes for WMD's or to protect Corporation X's "latest concern"? Should they?

What's your take?

ETA: a better analogy as to how this technology can morph is the decimation of the camera film industry, replaced with cheap digital cameras that make everyone a 'pro' (although pros may argue this non sequitur point).

Sure, 3D printing is a 'toy' now, but one day....

The Big Lie of Economic Man

...solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
— Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) regarding human nature

Economics has often been called the dismal science, developing as it did out of the apocalyptic notions of Thomas Hobbes and Thomas Malthus. Adam Smith did little to humanize it with his basic rules regarding interpersonal interactions, assuming as he did that each individual operates in informed self-interest.

All of these thinkers took the turbulent period around the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain with its explosive population growth, mass-migration of rural laborers to the cities, and dog-eat-dog industrial pioneers — their own environment, in other words — and projected it onto human nature.

In many ways their thinking remains with us. Smith's theories still underpin microeconomic theory. Although Malthus's apocalyptic predictions of global catastrophe haven't panned out, localized Malthusian collapses are accepted — Easter Island being perhaps the best example. Hobbes' concept of prehistoric man is still the sine qua non of pop anthropology, and many within the discipline still subscribe to it.

The myth of economic man explains the organizing principle of contemporary capitalism, nothing more or less.
— John Gowdy

But not all. Field research has been eroding away at this view. Indeed, more and more it is becoming clear that immediate-return foragers — some 90% of all Humans that have ever lived — are, as a rule, quite uneconomical.

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