Howtoons & SasaSema

Inspi­red by Hash’ BE on MAKE: maga­zi­ne, I was just flick­rbrow­sing MAKE:‘s flick­r­pool and came accross this How­toons pro­ject, which is part of — a web­site full or step-by-step inst­ruc­tions on how to build your own stuff (searcha­ble by tags!).
Now, sin­ce we don’t get this MAKE: maga­zi­ne over here in Euro­pe (or?), I don’t even know if How­toons is part of their print edi­ti­on. Howe­ver, How­toons »are car­toons showing kids of all ages “How To” build things.«


And tha­t’s exact­ly when I thought of Lila Luce’ “Sasa Sema publi­ca­ti­ons” from Nai­ro­bi, Kenya. In an arti­cle in the April 2005 edi­ti­on of Eve Maga­zi­ne she is quo­ted say­ing: “Phi­lo­so­phy makes you think and use the brain God gave you. The pro­blem with the edu­ca­tio­nal sys­tem is that it does not train peop­le to think.… (…) …child­ren need to over­co­me this by rea­ding good books that make them ask ques­ti­ons.…. (.…) …Thin­king is good becau­se even when you get it all wrong at least you would have used your brain and not bor­ro­wed someo­ne else’s.”
Tha­t’s so true. Both initia­ti­ves are just nice. I also think that How­toons would be a gre­at part­ner for Sasa Sema Publi­ca­ti­ons.… (ama?)

And then I come back to this basic ques­ti­on that keeps on bug­ging me: how can we bridge this gap bet­ween the Inter­net and real life?
I mean, Web 2.0 with awe­so­me tech­no­lo­gies like AJAX (as used in flickr, base­camp or kiko) are just the tip of the ice­berg to bring peop­le clo­ser tog­e­ther. And isn’t this what the Inter­net is all about? This exchan­ge, the direct inter­ac­tion as sought-after way back in 1999 when we had tho­se clue­train dis­cus­sions going on (“mar­kets are con­ver­sa­ti­ons”)? This tech­no­lo­gy has reached a much hig­her level nowa­days which enab­les us to coope­ra­te on a glo­bal sca­le, yet tho­se things are still just too vir­tu­al. Or not? Whe­re’s the con­nec­tion bet­ween the stuff we do on the inter­net and things that will real­ly have an impact on our life? Whe­re’s the con­nec­tion bet­ween the GTZ/USAID/etc. pos­ting their Eco­san fact she­ets & manu­als (for instance) on the inter­net and a sewa­ge tre­at­ment plant in Homa Bay, Kenya? How can the web be of any help to dis­tri­bu­te know­ledge? How can we chan­ge some­thing in this world through tech­no­lo­gies as used on the inter­net? Comments please! 

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