tags: essay technology
an "art mathematical" called "thaumaturgy [...] which giveth certain order to make strange works, of the sense to be perceived and of men greatly to be wondered at."
— The Mathematicall Praeface to Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara
let us ponder a hidden truth: *everything around you is an artifact created on the basis of applying knowledge and energy to matter.* sounds vaguely mystical, but that's excatly what civilization is built on. yet western education has somehow produced students who find maths and science dull, or worse, *useless*. how did we arrive here from the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution? ostensibly western culture is built on the ideals that made these events possible. both were closely followed by the invention of the printing press which was very successful and helped make literacy nearly universal. when did something as *revolutionary* as science become boring and pointless?
2: Scientific Revolution
3: printing press
perhaps it is because we have allowed our culture to be poisoned with the idea that ideas can belong to people. the Information Age has arguably done a lot of good in the world. yet this idea that knowledge can be secret has given a small number of people an enourmous amount of wealth and power; because the artifacts that they create with that knowledge are so useful that we have grown dependent on them for almost everything that we do. some have attempted to fight this worrying trend with clever legal hacks, but the fundamental issue remains: *the laws that western culture has produced state that ideas may be owned.*
4: clever legal hacks
wouldn't it be interesting if all you needed to liberate yourself from injustice and wage slavery was a book? instructions describing how to make all of the basic and advanced necessities. building blocks for advanced fabrication and all of the models that make everything work. how you can eliminate your dependence on power hungry assholes for everything you need to survive. it'll take some work to create one that can't be shut down or deleted by said assholes, but it *is* within the realm of possibility.
it won't be ready for a while, but one day you'll be able to download everything you need to walk away from anything that is holding you back and build a happy, beautiful life anywhere. at least that is our hope. we do truly believe that knowledge is power and we want to empower everyone to live their dreams; especially those who have little power presently. it'll be hard, but hard is infinitely better than impossible. hopefully that is enough to make this dark planet a little brighter.
5: walkaway handbook
scientia potentia est