As home to Maker Faire, not to mention a lot of counterculture and counterintuitive invention, the Bay Area is no stranger to D.I.Y., but it usually takes the rest of the country a while to catch on. For years, Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief at Wired, has pointed to the far-reaching consequences of emergent ideas. And, despite some accusations of Wiki-plagiarism in his last book, he’s been pretty good. His first book, The Long Tail demonstrated just how online shopping has made the small, highly-personal niche market crucial (The Long Tail was named “Best Business Book of the Year” by the Gerald Loeb Award -- a very big deal in the world of commerce; it was also turned into a graphic novel -- a very big deal in the world of Makers). His second book, Free, argued that businesses would profit more in the long run by giving it away in the short term (after all, it’s gonna show up on the web anyway). In his latest, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, Anderson explains how amateurs, enthusiasts, and backyard entrepreneurs will drive American manufacturing using open source platforms, 3D printing, and crowdsourcing. As Stewart Brand famously said, “Information wants to be free,” and, according to Ken Kesey, you’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus.
Tue., Oct. 23, 6 p.m., 2012