Applied

I am absolutely loving the word Applied at the moment. Or not so much the word alone, but the idea – the word is my symbol, the trigger.

Over the weekend I read the excellent nuggety plain wisdom that is ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas’ by James Webb Young. This simple sentence really struck me:

So the idea of Applied is what gets me – or *my* idea of what Applied means.

For me it’s the promise of something done, something next, that brilliant possibility but actually made real.

I think it was Steve who first recently reinvigorated the idea of Applied for me, when we were chatting about the name for his practice – Applied Technology was the result, and it was Steve who reached for and produced the nub of Applied in this sense. Thanks Steve 🙂

It’s not the technology or the idea alone, but the practical implementation of it, the rubber on the road.

(As a related aside, using the word ‘practical’ here makes me think of Practical Action, who we’ve done some work with – an apt name for a genuinely inspiring organisation).

When I hear the frustrated growls and howls in conversations, at conferences, on Twitter and elsewhere, about the social media echochamber and the cycles of mindless drivelling about how excellent the same old cheerleader brands are, it makes me think about a lack of Appliedness.

When I feel angry or confused about the gap between what is in the world for most people and what could be in the world for most people, it makes me think about the need for Appliedness.

(Another related aside – Hexayurt is positively dancing with Applied and is just to me incredibly exciting.)

When I see the energy for maker spaces and Arduino and hackdays and MAKING STUFF I feel my personal bonfire for the idea of Applied get a boost of oxygen.

The future contains more Applied.

More digging for victory, more grow your own, more DIY, more Makers and reworkers and ‘necessity is the mother of invention’-ness.

At my grandad’s funeral, my dad told an incredible touching story about his father – a Scot, who was an engineer in the war and a printer for the rest of his life – who would always be fixing. Always Be Fixing! A new mantra for a new dawn? Maybe ours was the disposable generation and the next goes back?

Would it be over-dramatic to say that what the world needs most right now is more Appliedness? Probably. But that’s what I feel.

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