President checking out a ShopBot

President checking out a ShopBot

Pt 2594
Pt 2595
The President is checking out a ShopBot, in our lifetime we’ll have a FabLab in the Whitehouse… not a matter of if, just when :)

Unfortunately this photo set from New York magazine’s Daily Intel is called “A History of Obama Feigning Interest in Mundane Things” – most/all of the photos are of the president looking at manufacturing, equipment, factories, laboratories, and workshops – the author of the article describes this mundane. To me, it seems like the author is poking fun at how boring this must all be, but I think having the leader of the free world tour factories, laboratories, and workshops is worth celebrating. I don’t think the President is “faking interesting” as the author writes. These are great Americans, great companies, making great things, you can see in the photos how proud they are of what they are doing – we’re all trying to support more manufacturing, get kids interested in science and engineering – it’s not mundane – it’s the most exciting thing our country has going for us, we need more of this :) So, here’s my plan – I’m going to try and contact Dan Amira (the author of the article) – and see if he’ll come out to Maker Faire NYC or to Maker Faire, CA – there’s probably going to be over 100,000 people at our Faires all together. Makers from all walks of life, showing what they made, you won’t find anything mundane Dan. You might see some of the same people from that slideshow, some of the same equipment (like the ShopBot) but Maker Faire is everything *but* mundane, hopefully we can get the President to stop in too. Dan, if you see this – I have some Maker Faire tickets for you, email me!

18 thoughts on “President checking out a ShopBot

  1. Dino says:

    I think what the author was trying to get across is that Obama isn’t doing anything solid to create jobs for out of work Americans. Visiting factories of American workers isn’t going to do a thing for that. It’s just PR crap. Good luck with that FabLab in the Whitehouse thing…

  2. Bob A. says:

    Caption for the picture which shows Obama pointing: “Can I stick my finger in there?”

    Caption for picture where he’s closer to the machine, with hands in his pockets: “No, Mr. President, you can look but please don’t touch anything.”

  3. Ptorrone says:

    @dino, i didn’t remove your comment but did remove the title – feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss it, i did remove a couple others that were just awful (they can email as well).

    here’s what i’d like to see… how about you post some positive ways manufacturing jobs can be created, and what you’re doing to encourage that? that’s seems like a fair addition to your comments and very valuable.

    you post on MAKE, you’re likely someone who cares about these issues, you’re smart and motivated – join in! we all know *any* president needs to tour factories, it’s not just “PR crap”. move beyond that and add some value here :)

    for everyone else, any name calling or inappropriate comments will just be removed, you can also email me if you’d like to chat about it. so far i removed 2 comments that were clearly not adding value here gang, we can do better and i know we will, thanks.

    here’s my tweet to the author to see if he’d like to come to maker faire – i think he’d enjoy it and see it’s anything *but* mundane!

  4. Dino says:

    For starters, Obama said he would rebuild our infrastructure and put people back to work. I liked that idea. Like the WPA in the 30s.
    There is a huge labor force out there ready to get to work, for way less money than some corporate contractor would bid.
    What can I do to create that? I can voice my opinion, along with thousands of others and ask that our president to quit bailing out corporate America and start helping the people. I’ll voice this opinion in any forum I can, and in the voting booth!

    I am currently starting a small manufacturing business with a partner, but in this economy, it’s tough. Who has money for our product? We wonder about that, but we’re pressing forward as best we can out of our garage, like HP and Apple did when they started.

    I love Makezine Mr. Torrone, but I’m not a fan of censorship. I don’t think I’ll be so inclined to comment on future posts if they are going to be censored because of differing political viewpoints.

    1. Russ Ingram says:

      @ Dino – WPA type projects sound great, but using manual labor is usually more expensive than machines. Here in my hometown, one of the city commissioners investigated replacing street sweeping trucks with minimum wage workers pushing brooms – it turned out it would cost almost twice as much, and would only create a coule dozen minimum wage jobs with no benefits…

  5. Ptorrone says:

    @Dino – thanks for the follow up post, that’s exactly what we wanted to see. i’m excited to hear about your small manufacturing business. i co-run one in nyc, it’s a struggle too, but we’re doing it ( – if you’d like i can talk about what we do, we’re a start up too, in nyc – it’s tough.

    >>>I love Makezine Mr. Torrone, but I’m not a fan of censorship. I don’t think I’ll be so inclined to comment on future posts if they are going to be censored because of differing political viewpoints.>>>

    as you saw, i left most of your comment – i removed the name calling portion. if you have any issues or questions – email me directly. your comment was mostly fine, the others ones i needed to remove were not. if you saw them, i’m sure you’d agree. there are not any “political viewpoints” from me here and never will be, so it’s not correct to say we “differ” in that regard. thanks again for the follow up.

    1. Rick Pollack says:

      I routinely use that FabLab – it is open to the public and a tremendous community resource. I talked to some of the people who were in the room with him during that visit and they said he was extremely interested in the laser cutters…

    2. Ron Bean says:

      Maybe your “community guidelines” page should include a discussion of what is and isn’t censorship– and maybe put the link to that page at the top of the comment box, instead of a small footnote at the bottom.

      History has shown repeatedly that allowing commenters to flame each other drives away people with something helpful to add to the discussion. That doesn’t help anyone.

      One partial solution is to put rejected comments on a separate (read-only) page, so skeptics can see what’s being rejected without distracting the rest of us with it.

      Personally, I’d like to see some discussion of what “we” can do to help balance our imports with more exports. We keep hearing that free trade is good for the economy, so let’s prove it. We need our “best and brightest” working on exports; the importers don’t seem to need their help.

  6. kentkb says:

    Please let us know any follow up on “mundane Dan” it sounded like political rhetoric to me.

  7. jdkchem says:

    Won’t happen, not enough space.

  8. Tod E. Kurt says:

    Yeah, no FabLab in the Whitehouse, it should be part of the standard motorcade of the president, and in Air Force One.

    I’d love to see our elected officials be the early adopters of this new decentralized manufacturing infrastructure we’re trying to build. Have them lead by example, showing us cool new ways of building things.

    1. jdkchem says:

      That would be NIST. They do a lot cool new manufacturing among other things.

      I seriously doubt the majority of our elected officials have the mental capacity to fold paper.

  9. Bob A. says:

    Speaking of censorship, a comment suggesting that the pictures are ripe for humorous captions, and my comment with (hopefully) amusing captions focused on the fact that Obama has his hands awkwardly in his pockets while close to the machine, were both removed.

    While the first of those hinted at some political beliefs, my captions were based on the poses, not on the politics.

  10. Ptorrone says:

    @Bob A – your comment was approved, you likely need to hit refresh or clear your cache – don’t assume the worst :)

    keep in mind – “censorship” would be you not being allowed to run your own site and say whatever you want. you can start a site or do whatever you want. you’re welcome to “hint” at your political beliefs, but ideally – save those up for another site :)

    if the comments here aren’t adding value in some way, they’ll be removed and/or we can talk about it politely via email and work to come up with something we can all agree on.

    i’m 100% positive we can discuss how great it is to see “making” in the USA. it would have been very easy not to post about this, but i know we can all agree that making things isn’t mundane :)

    1. Bob A. says:

      My apologies, Phil. I see the post now. It was not censored.

      As for the meaning of “censor”: see If you, Phil, remove a message from this site, it fits the definition of “censorship”.

      It is not, however, a First Amendment issue, since the 1st Amendment applies only to the government. As the manager of a privately owned web site, you are within your rights to censor anything for any reason. Users can complain, of course, but they can’t claim their rights have been violated.

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