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Give ‘Em a Hand, Folks.

Posted by Dirck on 5 February, 2013

I’ve had most other thoughts knocked out of my head by a remarkable story bobbing past on the tide-race of the internet.  Remarkable for the good elements, which is remarkable in itself.  I’m going to synopsize and comment briefly to leave you time to read the straight goods.

In short– a couple of chaps, collaborating on-line, have developed a functional mechanical prosthetic hand.  Big deal? It’s already been done?  Sure.  Except this one is designed to be run up on 3D printers, and the design is being given away.  So, all it takes to get the thing is access to one of those printers.  They have already got stories of people getting their machines to poop out charitable replacement hands.

Apart from the basic evidence of humanity with its decency dial turned up, I’m also a little thrilled at the demonstration of the power of technology to undercut capitalism.  Yes, someone still has to buy the printer and the goop it eats, but the inventors themselves are content with the reduction of misery in the world as payback– no licencing of the pattern, no demands for interest on their investment– and the cost of the material is apparently low enough that people can envision handing it out for free.  Fantastic.

Here’s the links, which I hope you enjoy as much as I did.  I’m going to collapse in a corner and indulge in a utopian fantasy wherein this little development proves that mankind has turned some sort of developmental corner and we shall henceforth be collectively nice and helpful to one another.  It will last, I image, until the next time I hear the news.

Today’s pen: Stipula Passaporto

Today’s ink: De Atramentis Elderberry

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