Cheap cyberpunk, reading with Alexa, LEGO microscopes, and more: THE WEEKLY RECAP (2021#26)
One less week until summer holydays. Let’s go!
You can film all you want
I’ve had this conversation many times with some friends: what is your favourite science-fiction genre? Some of them usually say: cyberpunk. And every time, I told them the same: that should not count, we already live in that scenario. Exhibit #N:
The pity is that, even though we are already controlled by mega corporations, in a highly-developed technology environment, we are missing the flying cars, holograms, and commonly available virtual reality… I guess we just have to accept that we live in the darkest timeline…
Funny story of the week, coming from Japan, as usual. I am not even going to try to make any jokes.
For years now, it is very common to see scientific instruments made with LEGO. This time, a very simple yet nice microscope where the only non-brick parts are the optics. It even comes with a familiar manual for building the whole thing, documentation, and a cool paper (Github).
LEGO MICROSCOPE AIMS TO DISCOVER FUTURE SCIENTISTS, on hackaday
Alexa, let’s read
Another story that makes me think about science-fiction. On The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson introduces a super cool gadget, the young lady’s illustrated primer, that helps little girls get a good education. The book creates stories, teaches to read, to code, to defend yourself, and a long etc. It is a distilled educational system, but also a love supply for any person, no matter how fucked up your family is, or if you are rich or poor. Could Alexa end up doing something similar? Of course, we are witnessing the baby steps of digital education, but it does not seem impossible. If only we could trust any of the companies exploring these ideas…
Amazon’s latest Alexa trick is helping kids read, on theverge
And that’s it for the week. Stay safe!
PS: Featured image: fanart from The Diamond Age, by Kamikaye