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One of the best things about writing for MAKE is interacting with makers of all stripes (and even spots!). In the last couple weeks I’ve written pieces that brought out some passion in our ranks, and the opinions expressed represented a gamut of points of view as varied as the things people like to make.

First, let’s go back to my column from last Friday, where I posited the idea that cursive has passed its prime, and polled you all to see how you felt about that idea. Well, you felt a lot!

There were 506 responses to that poll, which I think is a pretty good sample size. The end results were that 55 percent of folks responding feel cursive is important enough to keep teaching as a requirement in school, and 45 pecent feel like it can fade away. So, folks are reasonably on the side of cursive still being important, though I think the relative split demonstrates that we are in a transitional period. I have a feeling the ratio will slowly change over the next couple years. Maybe I’ll revisit this question in a year, and see where we are then.

Yesterday I wrote an opinion piece on the Hacker Scouts/Boy Scouts kerfuffle that’s caused some frustration on a few fronts. 50+ comments later and it’s obvious again that makers are passionate, intelligent, well-spoken, and pretty polite. You’re also all over the map on how you react to issues like this. My stance on the issue was to point out the rock-solid legal position of the BSA with respect to their trademark, but hope for a (perhaps touchy-feely) bigger-picture compromise to be found. You makers had quite the variety of responses and important points to make, and I’d like to capture those with another poll.

I’m going to try and distill the differing points of view down to a few choices, and get the pulse of the maker nation on this situation:

If you have any more to say about the issue, please leave your comments on the original post. Lot’s of great discussion there!

Otherwise, in the realm of what’s happening at MAKE, well we just finished Maker Camp, which was a huge blast. But we’re making the point that while the big program is done for the summer, we want everyone to keep thinking about how to keep the camp alive every day, especially as you go back to school, or for your weekends. There are always awesome projects to do, and the Maker Camp G+ Community is still alive and waiting for you to participate. If you were inspired by Maker Camp and have new projects or experiences to share, please do so on the Maker Camp community page!

World Maker Faire in NYC is just a few short weeks away, and the preparations are running hot right now. We’ve got a great editorial team coming out to cover the event, and we want to meet as many of you makers as possible. I’ll be in NYC early to attend and cover the Hardware Innovation Workshop, so if you’d like to chat, just let me know here.

Otherwise, it’s almost time for another weekend. I hope you each make something awesome!

Ken Denmead

Ken is the Grand Nagus of He’s a husband and father from the SF Bay Area, and has written three books filled with projects for geeky parents and kids to share.



  1. Jason Doege says:

    Regardless of how we feel about the Boy Scouts of America trademarking the word “Scouts”, I think the test ought to be, did they trademark it legally and in a timely manner and have they defended it consistently in accordance with the law? You may not know, but to maintain a trademark you must persistently and consistently defend it when it is encroached. I don’t think we should go invalidating a law willy nilly on a case by case basis just because we don’t like someone or some organization. If we wish to invalidate a law, it ought to be done objectively and generally so that people can feel secure in their understanding and application of the rules of our society.

  2. John Tyo says:

    They still deny membership to atheist children. Why are you dealing with this group of bigots?

    1. Chris says:

      Never met an atheist child. That’s really sad that some would exist. Since most troops are sponsored by churches, it makes sense that the BSA would align their values. Happens everywhere and in everything.

      1. Kevin Bates says:

        All children are born atheist until you fill them with lies.

    2. Shortz says:

      Kids are pretty observant; show them something like a tower made with blocks, they know someone had to arrange(design) them for that to be built. That child will think you are crazy if you say ‘that just happened’, right?

      It takes a lot of ‘faith’ to believe everything and everyone in this world, just ‘fell together’ instead of being designed (quite wonderfully I might add). I like to think of God as the greatest ‘Maker’ of all, and being made in His image; we enjoy making/creating things too.

      Calling a group names(like bigots) just because you do not agree with their beliefs, is not polite. You may have noticed that when someone fails to have wise comments during a debate, they resort to name calling.

    3. What do their organizational choices have to do with the legality of their argument? Nothing. Much as people would like it not to be, “scouts” is a trademarked term, and there have been enough legal tests of that fact to show it’s a strong, if not unassailable, claim. If Hacker Scouts/Makerscouts are truly about educating children, then they need to accept the current legalities and move on to their core mission. Or they can continue to waste time and resources fighting a protracted legal battle that they are almost 100% sure to lose just so they can keep a marketing name.

  3. Brandon says:

    The poll is a bit deceiving. Three of the options are ‘for’ the BSA and one is ‘against’. While on first glance it appears that people want to go at the BSA with pitchforks and torches, it stands (at the time of writing this) that 188 people are ‘for’ while only 142 are ‘against’. Thanks.

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