Monday, December 2, 2013

Some thoughts on 3D printing.

There are dozens of not hundreds of people at my agency who have, for the last year or so, been all heated up about the wonders of 3D printing.

For the life of me, I can see no good coming from such technology. Psychopaths and terrorists will make infinitely reproduceable handguns with which they will bring down planes and shoot innocent school children. Other psychopaths and terrorists will pirate intellectual capital and create seven-cent knock-offs of even more crap we don't need.

What I really don't understand about this 3D printing fanfare is what in god's name it has to do with marketing. But today's agency is filled not with creative people but with pseudo-technologists who believe that because something is new, it is good. Such people have no ability to ponder the ephemeral nature of new.

They sell sizzle, not steak. And are interested in neither when the sizzling dies down.

In any event, the global corporation I work for saw fit to move my desk this morning. In the old days, before we were line-items on a "stacking plan," the human equivalent of cord-wood, some bright young person would have printed a welcome sign for all those moving into a new space. The new floor plan would have been enlarged and mounted on foam-core. Someone would have thought to make the unsettling a bit less unsettling.

But that is the old, pre-global world. Where humanity and consideration played some small role.

Today, that is all gone.

The malefactors of great wealth, the billionaires whose wealth has grown on average by $400 million over the last decade, deem all humanity a dire inconvenience.

Take the owners of Walmart, the slave employers, who claim that paying people a living wage and subsidizing their healthcare would ruin everything. Places 6,7,8 and 9 of America's richest people are occupied by those owners--they have a combined net worth of $140 billion, a far cry from the $7.25/hr. they claim they can afford to pay.

This is globalization.

And it's applied to our industry too.

The chieftains get millions and tens of millions. And somehow proclaim with a straight face that the business model is broken, that raises are frozen, and that costs must be contained.

Are they putting cheaper motor oil into their Porsches?

Starting today, in response to all this, I am going to try to make a 3D model of myself and send that model to work.

This model, by all appearances, will be me. But not quite.

It will labor a little less efficiently.

It will be a little less good.

It will be somewhat hollow and, just maybe, it will care less.

And no one will be able to tell the difference.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

3 D printing is remarkable. Prosthetic limbs, even part of a human skull have been manufactured and used to save lives. Don't be so quick to sh*t on technology. Its not all self indulgent or irrelevant.