I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.
Honestly, I think there is a Minecraft generation, one that is learning that you don’t just have to use computers, that you can make things with these machines, that you can hack it.
For centuries, the Catholic Church was the main patron of automata—elaborate mechanisms, often driven by springs, that were the precursors to present-day robots. “Not only did automata appear first and most commonly in churches and cathedrals, the idea as well as the technology of human-machinery was indigenously Catholic,” writes Stanford’s Jessica Riskin in her marvelous essay, “Machines in the Garden.” Automata, according to Riskin, “peopled the landscape of late medieval and early modern Europe,” which was “positively humming with mechanical vitality.” Church-commissioned clockmakers built mechanical angels and demons to decorate altars; “automaton Christs—muttering, grimacing, blinking on the cross—were especially popular.” Some churches even had automatic heretics. A mechanical moor’s head once hung in the cathedral in Barcelona, the expression on its face changing with the intensity of the organ music.
MIT says that maternal and neonatal health is a space that “lags behind others” in innovation, and they want to change that. Plus, breast pumping flat-out sucks. As MIT points out on its website:
The motor is loud. There are too many parts. They are hard to clean. You can’t lay down and pump. There is no good space to pump. It’s hard to keep track of what you pump. Your colleagues think pumping is weird. People are skeeved out by breastmilk. People are embarrassed by breasts.
OMG, yes. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this.
A talk I gave at Bonnier GRID