Kevin Carson has published a new book speaking to a vision of industrial revolution based on home-based manufacturing. This is a theme we've written about many times before, but we've not yet seen anyone take the concept into such detail as Carson's nearly 400 page tome.
Carson starts with the history of manufacturing, discussing the various inventions in engineering or economics that drove us to the state we find ourselves in today. Of interest to us were his concept of "overproduction" and how mass production causes a push for sales, resulting in a "crisis of overaccumulation". It's fascinating to learn how many aspects of modern society are directly rooted in our fundamental manufacturing concepts developed over thousands of years.
He moves on to "home manufacturing" and the "new possibilities for flexible manufacturing" by taking us through home computing, which eventually transforms from logical (software) to the physical (manufacturing).
the gap between what can be accomplished at home and what can be accomplished in a work environment has narrowed dramatically over the last ten to fifteen years
We can make many types of digital artifacts at home today, and in the future we'll be making many types of physical objects, too.
But can this capability transform from hobby to business? Carson thinks so, and provides descriptions of how that might happen. Finally, he looks very long term and proposes we might be at the edge of a "manufacturing singularity".