[hackerspaces] Does the maker culture get the step on the hackers culture?

Mars Saxman mars at redecho.org
Thu Jul 3 23:03:20 CEST 2014

> I'm going to attempt to settle the matter.  A makerspace has machines
> makes physical objects.  A hackerspace doesn't necessarily have
> machines, but has computers and wifi. 

What do you call a space which has machines for making physical objects, which also has computers and wifi, which was founded primarily by software people who wanted a place to use their angle grinders, which is neither about politics nor entirely non-political, which does not have a community of its own but which emerged out of a larger, existing, semi-political-semi-artistic community, which it continues to serve but no longer precisely overlaps, which has no interest in becoming a 501(c)3 style nonprofit and basically doesn't run any educational programs, but also has no intention of ever making any money, which has a group of non-democratically-elected managing members who bear formal political authority, but which in practical terms runs as a good-natured anarchist DIY do-ocracy...?

We call it ALTSpace. I don't care whether you call it a hackerspace or a makerspace, it's a cool place either way.

I believe there is something *inherently* political in the practice of self-organization for mutual benefit, whether or not the group has broader and more explicit political goals.

I believe that the distinction between software and hardware hacking is growing steadily less meaningful as our civilization continues the process of automating everything in sight. 

Diversity in forms and goals of hackerspaces is a good thing. No one box can hold us all. Why fuss about labels?

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