january 3 2014|welcome to shenzhen
I made it to shenzhen. Alex picked me up at the airport in hong kong, where we took a taxi to the northern border and buzzed over to his apartment.
I'm temporally disoriented.
Woke up and shot the sun rising.
I love the dystopian blue they use on buildings.
There was a subterranean explosion this morning, they're working on a new subway line.
Alex showed me the ropes around his hacker's den, we played around with his hardware for a bit then went over to seeed to talk prototypes.
I crashed in the middle of the meeting, jetlagged.
the murals in seeed were inspired by a tour of senior house, but I don't have pictures of them.
there were some pretty cool cardboard displays and tables in the lobby, though.
Eric took us to play soccer with some of his seeedlings. It was interesting playing with people that I couldn't understand. They made a lot less noise than I, almost no yelling or cheering or clapping.
the moon disappeared at some point and a couple stars came out. The pollution isn't all that bad.
Alex and I got some jujube (Zao) and a purple towel at walmart, where they sell frogs and musk turtles.
Lots of discussion on the maker movement today. Apparently the maker mentality in China is heavily focused on money - starting businesses, selling designs - to the point where hacker/makerspaces are no longer functional as centers for creativity, exploration, and learning, but have become incubators. The Chinese government is pushing to start thousands of makerspaces, but they aren't living up to their potential.
Likewise, the maker movement in general is not living up to its potential. The movement has been encouraging guided kit construction more and more, to the point where people are afraid to stray from kit directions or paradigms (the most heinous of which is the shield paradigm). We need to stop teaching people how to snap black boxes specifically designed to mate together, and instead teach them how to tear apart anything they see, to learn to understand how things work, so they are the masters of their own creations.