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December 16th, 2016

Maker Movement and FOSS: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

When you think about it, “making” is just a more down-to-earth and less abstract version of coding, with results you touch and feel instead of experience on a screen.

Joel Gordon maker movement

The Video Screening Room

An open source buddy of mine, Joel Gordon, in Little Rock, Arkansas, has a knack for explaining how society can move forward towards a more participatory future. In this short video, he uses the language of the maker movement, but I often wonder whether the maker movement and the open source movement are two different names for the same movement.

You can learn more about what Joel is building in Arkansas in a blog post I wrote for MAKE magazine in 2014.

And if you live in the Little Rock metropolitan area, or are visiting there, stop by and chat with Joel. Bottle up his positive spirit and carry it home to your own city. And feel free to explain to people — “The maker movement and open source movement are in some ways just two different names for the same movement — building a more participatory future for all of us.” You can live your life according to the terms set by others, or you can set your own terms. I opt for the latter.

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at

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