The articles this week were interesting because they all were written in a critical tone. It had not previously occurred to me that some people may be critical of the maker movement. Throughout the three different articles, the authors give several reasons why they are not makers, or why they are in opposition of the maker movement. I will highlight a few of the most interesting examples that stuck out to me while reading through the articles and discuss my take on it.
From the article titled, “The Maker Movement Gets a Dose of Critique” the author quotes Chachra, who is an associate professor at the Olin College of Engineering who says, “...it’s carrying on a gendered history of prioritizing creation of stuff over occupations like caretaking or education, roles historically taken by women.” Personally, I don’t think that the intent of the maker movement is to be misogynistic, or disparaging of occupations that focus on people, rather than things. I believe that the maker movement highlights creativity, imagination, and ingenuity. Also, I find it confusing that Chachra included education as one of the oppressed occupations regarding the maker movement because I feel that this is one of the areas highlighted in the movement itself. Education, learning, and teaching is part of the draw about the maker movement in the first place. People from different socioeconomic backgrounds can collaborate their ideas to create new things for the benefit of everyone.
The article, “ Why I Am Not a Maker” continues with the same ideas. In fact, the author is Chachra herself, so this is not too surprising. Cachra claims that people who teach, criticize, and take care of others are ignored in the maker movement. I understand were she is coming from, but I do not agree with her concerns. Simply because a movement omits a group of people does not mean that the movement is discriminating toward the omitted group. The maker movement does not address arborists, or marine biologists does this infer that people in these fields are ignored?
Kevin Driscoll’s article, “The Dark Side of DIY — Makerspaces and the Long, Weird History of DIY Hobbyists & Military Funding” takes a different angle in looking at some negative aspects of DIY and Makerspaces. I can relate to many of the concerns that Driscoll pointed out in his article. Driscoll discussed the topic of creating, “Killer nerds” based on the idea that some projects that are created can be used for the military. Specifically, Driscoll mentioned DARPA and used examples of instances where makers created projects that ended up benefiting DARPA and ultimately the military. The question Driscoll poised about why DARPA would have an interest in creating makerspaces is a good one, although self-evident. I was surprised to find out that the idea of secretly recruiting citizens to build/invent new technologies to benefit the military is not a new idea. Driscoll pointed out that in the 1910s military and DIY hobbies started to become recruited by the military because they were easier to train.