Thursday, 10 September 2015

Food for thought?

Today's Chainman Banner brought to you by Gandalf the Whyte and Scrapbook: a story of art - hardcover successfully funded on Kickstarter - pre-orders via Whytes Online coming soon!

You know, when I was young back in the 1980's I used to play chess with my grandfather using a set of hand-carved pieces from around the time of the first great war. One day I remember him explaining to me how in only 25 years we would be living in the 21st century - a time of profound technology change.

Well, the millennium may have turned, but the first decade of the 21st century, affectionately known as 'the naughties', was actually pretty dismal in technological terms. Sure, we saw the rise of instantaneous global communication which is ostensibly available to everyone, but the real meat of innovation seemed somehow stifled.

Then something really interesting came along - crowdfunding - the real game-changing and democratizing platform required not just for innovation, but also revolution and maybe even a real second Renaissance. Not like in the past with many lives lost in rebellion, but a future where many lives come together to ensure that ideas, inventions, and great works of art aren't lost.

It wasn't until I started browsing current and successful campaigns on Kickstarter that I truly realized the power of the crowd to decide and I can't help but wonder how different familiar turning points of history might have been had there been such a platform for inventors like Charles Babbage with his Difference Engine or the Avro Arrow or a million other things that could have been.

And finally, just maybe, with crowdfunded success it is starting to feel like the 21st century might be alright after all...

What do you think? What projects would you must like to see funded by the crowd?

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