[hackerspaces-theory] ping

quemener.yves at free.fr quemener.yves at free.fr
Sat Dec 8 04:47:31 CET 2012

> From: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net>
> i think for most hackers/hackerspace participants it is too much
> hassle to engage with formal science, which is deemed simply too slow
> and top-down.  you know the joke that "real programmers don't write
> documentation".  i would be happy if more of the cool stuff which
> people make in hackerspaces would be at least documented. :)

Well, I am of the opinion, like many open source developers and people
I met in hackerspaces, that a project is useless, unless it can be
easily reproduced in another place. That usually means to have a 
correct documentation. 

One of the first question, when a cool video is posted, is : where is
the source code? What chip/engine/batteries/display are you using? How
did you wire that thing? The open source/hacker community do not have
clear commitees to accept a project as interesting, but some emergent
criterions appeared, and the ability to make the same thing at your 
place is a crucial one.

> De: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net>
> when i wrote my first proposal for my phd, several people commented
> that what hackerspaces do is not "science", so i can't interpret it
> as a science going against some basic tenets of mainstream science.
> :)

Well it is true : what hackerspaces do is not science, and the tenets
opposed by "mainstream science" are actually very good. Typically,
hacking projects are just fun things you want to do. That is ok, you
don't HAVE to do science. But _some_ projects do follow the basic 
steps of science research : 
- find existing projects that come close to what you need
- try several solution, examine them objectively
- choose a final solution, make some tests
- propose new projects that can be based on yours.

Thing is, today, you get hackers cred by making a cool video, a funny
articles and by putting some basic technical informations. Most people
see a bibliography and description of the state of the art as boring 
parts that few people would read if you put it first (and they are right)
If there was an incentive to use such a format however, I think that 
several projects could document their work as a scientific article and
be recognized as real science. 

And all projects documentation do not suck, a lot of the things on 
Instructables are actually very detailled. I think that the main thing
missing is a references list, and the typical structure of a science 

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