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Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, CD, Version intégrale

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Amazon.com: 36 commentaires
41 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you've ever done anything for yourself before, find another book. 18 décembre 2011
Par Devan M DePauw - Publié sur Amazon.com
If, however, you've never in your life had to be personally competent and you think it might be a lark to throw a bunch of money at half baked DIY projects, then by all means give this book a whirl. To be clear, though, you will find almost no instruction or valuable reflection.

I don't think I've ever written a review on Amazon before, though I'm a hefty consumer of mostly non-fiction books. I don't enjoy being negative, either, as I feel that any earnest attempt at something is at least a little bit honorable. Truth be told, I did learn something in this book; there are a few pages about a man named Edward Bernays who is the originator of psychological based marketing in the early 20th century that I found very interesting. Beyond that, this book ought to have been condensed by 70% and turned into a passable pamphlet.

This guy and his wife made money hand-over-fist during the dot com boom by being freelance writers. When the bubble popped, they found themselves with some vague sense of emptiness that couldn't be filled by their paid-off mortgage, sizable nest egg, or espresso so they logically decided to move to a small island in the middle of the Pacific where they'd vacationed for a short period a number of years prior. They sold the house during the grossly inflated real estate bubble and packed up only a big van load of the most important things to them. This included 13 pairs of shoes for his wife and an espresso machine worth as much as a used car. This well-thought-out plan turned sour when they were struck with the epiphany that it's difficult raising children without the support structure of friends + family and that living on a small Pacific Island isn't all up-side.

After 4.5 months they admit defeat and fly all of their stuff back home. I should have stopped reading here but I figured this could just be the back story of having the author's naive eyes opened to the reality of life. It wasn't. This guy just does whatever he wants like a child with no real responsibility. He wants to be a DIY guy ("Maker" is the hip term, by the way) so he throws a bunch of money and very little forethought at it and his final conclusion is that he's become a Maker and he's inspiring others now. Wanna build a garden in your front lawn? Don't bother doing all the research that the people who know what they're doing tell you you need. Just go drop a grand on mulch and take a week to spread it out. You've got nothing better to do with a week, right?

I don't want to start ranting like mad. Frauenfelder wants you to know that it's okay to fail. It's true. People are too worried about failing. Screwing stuff up is the best way to learn how to avoid screwing stuff up. Go out, start tinkering, break a few things, be humbly proud of your successes and try to show those around you the value of doing things for yourself. You don't need to read his self-indulgent musings to learn this.

If you want to read a poorly constructed, meandering personal journal of how a rich guy with more cash and time than sense and patience justifies calling himself a "Maker" then look no further than this book.

If you want a very well thought out and researched dissertation on the very real personal value of being intimately involved with the Things in your life, then please purchase Matthew B. Crawford's "Shop Class as Soulcraft". Crawford's book is a tremendous value at almost any price, though right now it's $10.20 brand new.

Good luck and have a great day!
57 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Failing gracefully, by hand, and living a better life 27 mai 2010
Par Seth Godin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book is approachable, fun, funny and gentle. Mark is a great writer, an inveterate tinkerer and one of the most important voices of the post-industrial age, but at the same time he's not afraid to tell you how often he screws up.

This book is also subversive, because his Tom Sawyer tales of handmade adventure will cajole you into abandoning some of your insulation and actually going out and making something.

I loved it. And now my PID outfitted espresso maker (I did it myself) is even better than it was.
49 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
DIY for beginners 27 mai 2010
Par Mark Crane - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I've been interested in DIY culture for most of my life and love Make magazine as well as the O'Reilly "Hacks" series. Like the author, I think I inherited these tendencies from my father, while growing up in California. I have a brother whose own experience has closely paralleled that of the author.

Mark Frauenfelder's "Made by Hand" gives his readers permission to make mistakes while exploring the world of DIY (Do It Yourself, as opposed to HAP, or Hire a Pro) culture. A resident of Tarzana then Studio City, both suburbs of Los Angeles, he would seem like an unlikely choice for urban hillbilly. Frauenfelder's claims to fame include starting the popular blog "Boing Boing." and appearing in the first Errol Morris Apple commercial.

This is one of those recently popularized "experience" books, in which the author sets out to try something different, like living strictly according to the Old Testament or eating nothing but cheese for a year. Frauenfelder begins the book by describing a desire to escape urban malaise by moving to Raratonga, and quickly discovers the difference between being a tourist and a resident of a community. From that experience he discovered that his favorite part of the journey was "coconut day," when he would extract coconut meat with his daughters and cook it into scones or other goodies.

Upon his return to what passes for "civilization," Frauenfelder embarks on a 1.5 year program to emulate coconut day by slowing his life down through a series of DIY projects, including killing his front lawn, growing his own food, modding his high-end espresso machine, raising chickens, fermenting Kombucha, yogurt and sauerkraut, making musical instruments, raising bees and ultimately learning how to learn. Oh, and carving wooden spoons. I didn't think I could ever care about carving hardwood spoons, but by the end of the chapter I was ready to give it a shot.

The book is an extended invitation to become a physical hacker in the best sense (it saddens me that this term has been coopted by the press to mean "malicious computer intruder.") The preferred term is now "maker," which has more positive connotations but reminds me a little of Orson Scott Card's magical realism set in the nineteenth century. Accomplished tinkerers and hackers may not find anything new in here, as his descriptions of each adventure are more like extended blog entries that point to additional resources and provide profiles of some fascinating Makers, including William Gurstelle, author of "Backyard Ballistics" and other invitations to enjoyable danger, Forrest Mims, the author of the popular Radio Shack eletronics manuals, and the secretive Mr. Jalopy, car hacker extraordinaire. Each DIY luminary provides insights that slowly accrete, leaving us with a useful philosophy of Making stuff by the time we are done.

Frauenfelder ruminates on how consumer culture has infantilized us in order to sell us toilet paper and diapers. As an antidote, he provides examples of how to carve out time to engage in these projects (by abandoning television and working in small bursts, sometimes 20 minutes a day. I was disappointed to read that he had temporarily forsaken painting and drawing).

The best parts of the book for me were Frauenfelder's accounts of his own frequent mistakes. Often DIY texts are written by intimidating mechanical geniuses. Frauenfelder, on the other hand, messes up all the time while his wife, Carla, looks on disapprovingly. Sometimes the mistakes just don't matter, and sometimes they serve as a precursor to something serendipitously better, like a black widow-free yard (thanks to the chickens), amplified cigar box guitars or a PID-enhanced espresso machine.

The message of the book is that mistakes are part of learning, and that if you're not making mistakes then you've payed someone else to make them for you, and deprived yourself of something important in the process. Made by Hand is a good introduction to the DIY scene and will probably inspire you to try something yourself. If you are looking for detailed instructions for various projects, you're probably better off with back issues of Make magazine or contacting some of the fascinating people he profiles in this book, but if you're looking for inspiration, this is a good first stop on the road to Maker enlightenment.

An earlier reviewer complains that many of Mark's adventures are enabled by a healthy disposable income. Although at times I cringed at his willingness to buy solutions online (a $24.95 wood gouge, etc.) more often than not the author points out how he could have saved money by using an alternative, and provides plenty of examples of scrounging through wood piles and parts bins for cheap solutions. I also enjoyed the pop philosophy in the book, and didn't think that Mark was trying to elevate hobbies to the level of religion. It's unfortunate that, in our highly fragmented and specialized post-fordist world we even have to justify a foray into experimentation and eclecticism, but I found the theorizing enjoyable and useful, especially the sections on the origins of advertising, learning and unschooling.

This book is not so much about the specifics of each project as it is about giving you the permission and attitudes to be a Maker, especially if you're new to hacking your world.

MAKE: Technology on Your Time
Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices
Living with Chickens: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock
Cool Tools
39 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning (if you can afford it) 3 octobre 2010
Par Bee Guy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you're looking for an earthy, back to nature, WalMart sucks kind of book for people who want to live simpler, less extravagant lives, free from the trappings of rampant consumerism, you might be disappointed. The book seems less about DIY and more about how you can waste a lot of time and money continually botching projects, requiring endless trips to Home Depot. It also gets off on the wrong start from the very first page, which describes Mark and his family moving to the remote tropical island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific; this seems to have a similar message as Eat, Pray, Love - spiritual enlightenment can be yours, but only if you can afford it. This pricey philosophy continues soon after with a chapter on how you can mod your $2000 espresso machine for only a few hundred dollars more - ah, the joys of knowing that you can afford the time and money for the perfect shot of caffeine. Further chapters involve gardening, which was charming enough; beekeeping, which was less so; and raising chickens, which I found rather sad in that his incompetence led to the deaths of several of his - and his daughter's - beloved birds. And finally, taken as a whole, there seems to be no grand philosophical message that you could take with you after reading this book; it just seems like a random collection of things that many of us do routinely every weekend. If you're interested in DIY, find something that interests you, and go find some books that would actually help you to, for example, carve wood, raise chickens, or build cigar box guitars. In the end, you'll find your own personal spiritual reward without having to read about someone else's muddled journey through DIY.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good but occasionally incorrect in conclusions 8 juillet 2010
Par User 1138 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Mark's book is a good intro to do-it-yourself culture, describing his own path in learning how to build and fix things. In learning, he says, mistakes are fine. As an experienced DIY person, I agree.

His anecdotes are amusing and occasionally helpful. However, other times, his recommendations are inexperienced. If the reader is looking for a path to follow, be aware this book does not separate his own plans from those of an experienced person. So don't look to it as a "how to" guide.

He does point out obvious mistakes he realized he made, but some of his conclusions are incorrect. For instance, he concludes that he lost his chickens to predators because in Studio City, "here the wildlife was fiercer and bolder." That's not true. There are predators, such as skunks and racoons, even in the densest city areas. He didn't put enough effort into protecting the chickens, even after losing the first few. That was the real problem.

I also didn't like his conclusions about tutoring his daughter. The solution to her problems wasn't that he should have hired a tutor. It's that he should have spent more time learning himself what skills a test-taker needs. He should have done more of that studying himself so he knew *what* to teach.

There's nothing in the DIY approach that says you can't read up on the background of an area before jumping into it. If Mark spent a little more time researching in advance and getting help from experienced friends, he'd probably have had more fun and less pain.

On to the good stuff... I particularly enjoyed the chapter "Tickling Miss Silvia", about exploring making good espresso. There's experimentation, he interviews an expert, and it's a lot of fun. You learn something from that chapter. This book would have been better if he intermingled his experiences with more interviews of experts. It would allow the reader to make their own conclusions about his methods.

The part I disliked the most was how quickly Mark seemed to give up when he failed, blaming himself or others. While I appreciate the honesty, that is not the only way these experiments could end. The new DIY reader might be left with the conclusion that it's impossible to raise chickens in a "wild" area or that you should hire a tutor. I disagree with that.

This book is a fun read. Those inexperienced with DIY should take it as one man's journey, not a how-to guide. Just because he had a lot of trouble with some project doesn't mean you will. Mark is right in that you can't be afraid to make mistakes. But also read up, find an experienced mentor, and you'll make even less mistakes along the way.
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