and other ramblings knowledge technology

Thomas Thwaites: How I built a toaster — from scratch | Video on TED.com

I really appreciate this project and the dialogue that has surrounded it. The best reactions are the people posing the very questions that the project illustrates who then suggest it’s a waste of time or “self indulgent art.”

Without directly asking questions about modern civilization the project very clearly illustrates how specialized nearly every facet of modern civilization has become. A tool that simply exposes a slice of bread to heat cannot be replicated by a single person using pre-industrial techniques and tools.

Personally I wouldn’t even try to deal with plastics if I tried to recreate an electric toaster. And I love how he finally smelted the steel.

Thomas Thwaites: How I built a toaster — from scratch | Video on TED.com

It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil … it’s frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and c…

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