Headline Aug 21, 2014/



''' NO NOISE -PLEASE !  PAKISTANI STUDENTS SLEEPING! '''........    nay, nay, '' All Developing World Students Done And Dreaming. ''

THE TOOLS OF INNOVATION :  from supercomputing to  3-D prototyping are becoming so cheap and ubiquitous that any:

Smart, or an engaged student,   -that's you dear reader,  can make use of them. You can for sure, with bright effort, curate your own catalogue of resources newly available to to the inspired student inventor. 

In March 1968,  Stewart Brand, a Stanford University-trained biologist, ex-Army paratrooper and Ken   Kesey-inspired  Merry Prankster-

Was sitting on a plane, reading Barbara  Ward's  Spaceship Earth when an idea struck.

He would assemble a catalogue  to connect  back-to-the-landers,  amateur inventors and proto-hackers with the tool   ''they needed to change the world.''

If new tools make new practices,  as Buckminister Fuller once noted, then better tools would make better practices.

In the fall of that year,  Brand mailed out the  Whole Earth Catalogue,  a  63 page booklet filled with information about how and where to acquire shovels and seeds, design for Japanese homes:

And one-man saw mills, even the world's first personal computer. The catalogue was a success, and in introduction to the next edition, he wrote what has since become a rallying cry:

For a new generation of  do-it-yourselfers, writes the author, : "we are as gods and might as well get good at it."

In the 40 years since,  we've gotten very good at it.  DIY scientists and inventors are now using increasingly powerful tools to tackle challenges once reserved for governments and large corporations.

They are delving into robotics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, manufacturing and aerospace design in the same way that  hot-rodders  in the  1950s remade their car piece by painstaking piece.

They are building  unmanned  aerial vehicles in their garages and creating customised life-forms in their kitchens.

All of this came about as a result of one thing: computers.

In 1958, Jack Kilby, an electrical engineer at the Texas Instruments, developed the first integrated circuit. A few years later, Gordon Moore, while working at Fairchild Semiconductor, observed:

 That the number of components on an  integrated-circuit  chip tended to double very  12 months   -he later revised the estimate to two years-  while the cost per component fell sharply.

Moore predicted that the exponential growth would continue   "for at least 10 years". He was right.

It continued for  10years, and then 10 more and continues today.

As computers got faster and cheaper, more people gained access to them and used them to make other digital tools, from microscopic sensors to giant data centers.

Those tools, being digital, also became faster and cheaper. This feedback loop saw its most profound realization in the invention of the Internet   -which, as it happens. took place right around the time:

That Stewart Brand was saying that we had become as gods.

The Internet is not just a digital tool but a digital tool for communicating, and so communication is getting faster and cheaper. And that finally means-

That innovation itself is accelerating at an exponential rate.

More than two billion people are connected to the Web, and nearly any of them can  access most of the same resources a  well-funded researcher can.

They can receive expert advice on just about anything and outside any job beyond their ken into a  ''global supply chain of coders, developers, designers and parts manufacturers.

What people are doing with these capabilities is nothing short of world changing.

Some years ago, students bioengineers modified a bacteria to more efficiently remediate toxic waste from oil-mining sites.

Another  student group  recently developed a bacteria that produce alkanes, the primary compound in diesel fuel.

Consider also the work done by Salman Khan. To help his younger cousins succeed in school, the former  hedge fund analyst began posting video tutorials online.

There are now more than  1,200  such tutorials, covering topics including basic algebra, and advanced biology, and they are watched by more than six million visitors a month.

Foldit,  a crowdsourced game designed by researchers at the University of Washington, is another success story. The object of the game is to fold proteins, and anyone is free to play.

Last year, over a period of three weeks, players determined the structure of an enzyme that could lead to the development of new AIDS drugs.

Just later, others players found a way to increase,  by 18 times, the rate of the Diels-Alder reaction, one of the most useful to organic chemistry.

The people making these advances are not experts    -one of the world's best protein folders is,  by day, an executive secretary, in a rehab clinic in Manchester, England.

They are simply passionate individuals working to create a world in which abundance,  not scarcity, is the norm.

In the days ahead,  !WOW!  would be writing regularly to get Innovation to go viral. 

For now, as I round off :  Me, dead beat with sleeplessness and physical exertions but Thank you for reading and see you all outside the '' Parliament Quarters ''. Time to get the strategy Thinking Big.

With respectful dedication to the inventors : Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all  on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Teaming Up '''

Good Night and God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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