Fabbing and Redefining

It’s been brought to my attention that this Science Fiction Spime Guy has posted something of relative interest (Link). Too bad he misses on a couple of cylinders.

The first thing he does is make the following comment:

For instance: how about designing some object in Second Life, then outputting it as a .stl file, and then fabbing it?

Been there. Done that. And it’s been blogged as well by a number of people (including moi – reLink 1 and reLink 2). It can actually go much further as I’ve also shown (reLink), but that’s for a bit down the road for when I have some time and a little money to waste; right now I’m swamped and not swimming in cash. But you know, if a person is going to be routinely sarcastic, they really need to avoid that kind of mistake.

The second thing is this comment:

An instantiated 3-D Web object isn’t a “spime,” because even though it’s virtually designed and fabbed, it isn’t trackable, traceable, uniquely identified and recyclable.

I have a couple of problems with this comment. First off, it IS trackable, traceable and uniquely identifiable. I’m not sure how he misses this, to be honest. What could more traceable/trackable/identifiable than a piece of electronic information? It’s sure easier to track a virtual thing than a real one. Sure, ID tags go just fine on elephant ears and shark fins, but just try putting a tag on a flea. See how easy that is. If flea circus owners had a tag, I’d bet they’d be grateful.

The other thing has to do with recycling. Recycling, for me, is a sore thumb on the definition of a Spime. I find it odd that a product must start off virtually (even the way in which I defined “kirkyans” doesn’t demand that qualification) and end up as only something defined by an arrangement of atoms that someone can smell while passing the town dump. Hey, I like recycling. And I like how all this will promote recycling. But I don’t think recycling is a necessary part of the definition. It’s a benefit. A part of a cycle. Nothing more. Recycling is much more important for a kirkyan because it’s actually integrated into what a kirkyan is: an evolving thing {“evolving” is perhaps too strong a word; but hopefully the general idea is getting across}.

On another level I could also argue that information is recyclable. First example that comes to mind are phages. In the West medical science largely dumped that branch of medical research in favor of antibiotics. Now that bacteria are growing increasingly resistant to our antibiotics, we’re recycling “old” science… much of which only continued to be tracked and developed by former Soviet institutions which thankfully didn’t abandon phage research. {And by the way, I routinely “recycle” my CAD files; ask most 3D modelers and I’m sure they’ll say the same.}

In any event, rather than look for a spimish term for virtual-only products, why not fix the definition and differentiate via a prefix or suffix. I believe I used “vspime” at one point. That seems easy enough.

Thanks to daniel over on the Neoglam blog for alerting me to this post. I don’t really visit that Science Fiction Spime Guy’s blog anymore. Why bother?

2 thoughts on “Fabbing and Redefining

  1. “I don’t really visit that Science Fiction Spime Guy’s blog anymore. Why bother?”

    … bother because he’s a face (and a very very gabby voice) for these sort of ideas — the sort of ideas that can be loosely tossed on the “Spime” shelf.

    This stuff is being pushed farther and faster by designers (you among them) — faster than the Science Fiction Spime Guy can keep up with! He’s a novelist, after all, not a scientist — not, himself, a fabber.

    One thing that he’s really good for is driving interest “your” (and by this I mean the things you tout more than you yourself) way. I’d wager that you’ll be better off thinking of him as an ally… playing to his obvious strengths instead of his regrettable weaknesses and occasional ignorance.

    “Spime” is a tag that folks are beginning to get their heads around — so visit the Science Fiction Spime Guy’s blog to get a sense of where he’s leading the WIRED crowd with this thing… because the Business Week crowd won’t be far behind. You know?

  2. I don’t bother reading it because there are other, better things to read. When people have access to the experts, why go to an aggregator with an attitude? Especially when I have a sense of where it is he’s leading his flock.

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