Today on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s CBC Radio show, “The Current”, a 20-minute segment about the freedom to tinker:
“Arrested, for tinkering. Young Ahmed Mohamed likes to take things apart, cross wires, experiment… and put things back together again. It’s the kind of hobby that once led to companies like…say, Apple and Microsoft. But is a security-centric culture interfering with the freedom to tinker?”
Radio host Piya Chattopadhyay interviews three panelists:
- Lindy Wilkins, community technologist and the co-founder of Make Friends, a monthly meet-up of makers and community organizers in Toronto,
- Alexandra Samuel, independent technology researcher in Vancouver who is working on a book about Tinkering and education for kids,
- Andrew Appel, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University and blogger at Freedom-to-Tinker.
When I was Ahmed’s age, back in 1973, I read this really cool article in Scientific American’s Amateur Scientist column, about how to use TTL integrated circuit components to make, for example, a clock. So I went to Radio Shack to buy the parts, I learned how to use a soldering iron, and I built a clock.
Didn’t get arrested. Was that because I was white, because I went to a school where the teachers had some sense, because it was before 9/11 and mass school shootings, or all of the above?