Can the Hacker Philosophy Change the World?

Last week Cogswell College was lucky enough to have renowned futurist, inventor and hacker spend the day on campus meeting with students and faculty and visiting each of our project-based learning studio classes – Project X, MediaWorks, Studio E and Game Studio.

Pablos also delivered a noontime talk exploring the reasons why hacking is important and how that eventually led to working as an inventor at the Intellectual Ventures Lab outside Seattle. His philosophy is simple, hacking things and breaking them is we learn things and then how we can change things. He offered a number of examples of things people had hacked but he finished by saying, “I’m telling you about these guys because they think differently, they are the people who don’t read the directions and that’s the key to new ideas and new ways to use things.”

He sees the hacker philosophy as the key to solving the world’s problems which is how he became involved with the Intellectual Ventures Lab. The focus of the lab is on the beginning stages of invention, validating the concept and refining the technology to demonstrate its potential for commercial or humanitarian use. He talked about some of the projects the lab is working on ranging from shooting mosquitoes down with lasers in the effort to fight malaria to a system to reuse, and thus reduce, nuclear waste to produce energy.

For a more comprehensive description of the these and other projects his team is working on, check out the Ted Talk he gave in 2012.

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