Since the legalization of home brewing in 1979, however, the number of craft breweries has grown to more than 1,800, most of which were founded by DIY home brewers. Tens of thousands of DIYers now brew across the United States. The American Homebrewers Association boasts a roster of 27,000 paying members ($38 per year; $600 lifetime).
We can learn several crucial lessons from this diverse, creative group, and that understanding will allow us to encourage innovation. For some, the main impetus for DIY is that it provides an outlet from their daily grind: Many employees suffer the life of the cubicle-bound “knowledge worker.” In his best-selling Shop Class As Soulcraft, Matthew Crawford argues that the elimination of industrial arts and home economics classes from public school curricula has left us dependent on machines that we don’t understand and frustrated by the outsourcing and off-shoring of production. We also derive little satisfaction from what we “produce” at work. We’ve become a nation of shoppers and consumers. DIY is a way to engage the physical things around us and create durable (and drinkable) objects. Based on informal conversations with other DIYers, some of these motivations include self-reliance, community-building, autonomy, independence from monopolies, an alternative to rampant consumerism, innate curiosity, and the desire to make something cool.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.