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amazing, these hacker types

Posted: June 17 2010

The Parts and Crafts Collective is a group of thinkers, teachers, and tinkerers in the Boston and New York areas who are interested in helping people build, think, create, succeed, fail, and learn. We run hands-on, creative arts, science, and engineering classes and workshops for kids and adults as well as a summer day program. We also work to create and document projects and tools to help people learn things and do things.
We believe that building, playing, and experimenting are the best ways to learn, but, beyond that, we believe that they are also the best ways to live.We are technologists, scientists, and artists because we are interested in figuring out what's impossible, what's possible, and how we can move things from one category to the other.
Because we live in a world full of black boxes and complexity, because almost everything around us seems, at first glance, to be too big to understand. we think that its more important than ever that people know how to be producers, as well as consumers, of art, technology, and other forms of novelty.
Computers are complicated, government is abstract, the tax code is torturous, engineering is hard. All of these things are true, to a certain extent, but, well, there's a lot of valuable and delicious low-hanging fruit. It might take years of training to design a good nuclear reactor (I don't know -- it's not something I've really looked into), but, given a day or two, the right tools, and sufficient documentation, and a willingness to repeatedly fail, anyone who can read can build an mp3 player, write decent blogging software, or start a small business. It's all too easy to let the specter of dire consequences, of breaking things, or otherwise messing up in some irrevocable way prevent us from exploring our world.