A Limitless World
I found the second reading a little hard to follow so Im going to try and explain the first one and hope that I hit on the second one and dont realize it.
In Fab, the writer was talking about the PF (personal fabrication) of things. Things, ranging from a defensive dress to a machine that silences a scream and can then later reproduce that same scream, were created in a class said to 'Make (almost) Anything'. Its objects like these that are the productions of random people with often silly (sometimes very serious) thoughts of what they personally want. Its the program that allowed them to create such things that empowered the students to create anything they wanted, which then often times produced individual need/want, rather than the needs of a community. Perhaps they could have figured out a very cheap way to filter and purify water, but instead they chose to make something irrelevant to the needs of others. While each side has their pluses and minuses, the side for the greater good of all seems to end up being a tad more practical, though sometimes not. Its these ideas for the good of ones self, rather than good for a whole, that make material gain so worthlessly taken for granted.
If we used and created more objects that easily and effectively solved problems, we could feel good about what we've done and still get done what we needed to do. These are the inventions that are hard to come by, but when they do, they become life-changing. While having fun is important and creating what you want has its advantages, like the write said, all these people came in to the course wanting to create whatever they wanted, rather than doing it for research or for their thesis. I think it would almost be appropriate to create a course that also aims to creating beneficial things for the community, along with keeping the original course. That way, you have people aiming at both goals, rather than specifically choosing their own benefit for their project. Its still possible to have fun in creating solutions for community problems.