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No one on the planet knows how to build a computer mouse -- great analysis by Matt Ridley.

Clip - Beyond the Rational - Matt Ridley - Zeitgeist 2012  
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134 comments
 
He's got a very good point when you think about it.. everyone has their own little part to play on life's great stage
 
You can learn to make a mouse. In some countries, you try to fix and recycle, and see the way around it because there is not much cash. Problem is now everything is made to last much less. I only watched the first video but let comment go while I watch the rest :)
 
Well +Bettina Ascaino his point is that to create a mouse from scratch, you have to know how to do everything from get the oil out of the ground to refining the oil it into plastic (just 1 of 100 little things that go into a mouse).  
 
This is a quite fascinating thought. I guess I will have this spinning around my head the whole day, kind of hard to fully comprehend. Thanks for sharing this.
 
+Bettina Ascaino, the point is, whilst they may know how to assemble a mouse, a single person is not skilled in every process required to get it there in the first place (when dealing with all the materials required to get them to the point of which they can be used to make the mouse).

Great share +Trey Ratcliff, really quite insightful. 
 
how to build a computer mouse?
 
Very smart statement & thought, thank you for sharing.
andre S
 
Несмотря на то что человек очень универсален,  все стали очень специализированны.
Кто то сверлит отверстия в заготовках для ракет, кто то "майнит" #bitcon  , а кто то убивает в Сирии солдат Асада
ЗЫЖ муравьи.
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OK, I see. Thanks, by the way. Now, in on my own understanding, basically if we are closed and selfish in a way, we can't all enjoy the products...or we pay a fortune for them while we have to wait...or become multi skilled..or have a deal with an open market? The Germans get the credit and there is no risk and keep their reputation intact. Which is understandable for old people to think that. I don't know much about this but I'm trying to understand. 
 
Won’t work as long as there is this capitalism virus.
Michael R
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+Trey Ratcliff  "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."  -- Carl Sagan
 
haha +Trey Ratcliff but this mice don't grow in trees, so we can maybe invent something like .... a snake? haha the apple will be eaten Lol. Sorry just kidding, but I mean to make a point also. Cheers
Gary Ward
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The more we rely upon each other the more vulnerable we are thus the more at risk we are. It is very imprudent. Self-sufficiency, fundamentally, is the only rational way to live, and a way scorned and ridiculed by the Establishment for eons, because it is against their selfish and unreasonable interests. Their dominant system ensures sanity is forever afar and we are all enslaved by an irrational system that is destroying the human experience, annihilating the natural environment, and corrupting the common mind.

As things are now in this age of technology, we have the capacity for each individual to produce his own raw materials, and design and manufacture complex instruments all by computer-controlled automated devices. 3D printers and hydroponics are two examples, which can be self-regulating, self-repairing, and self-controlled. The monetary system currently prevents proper widespread deployment of such technology. The monetary system is keeping us all in these artificial Dark Ages and subservient to a lunatic system.

Yes, the raw materials for a mouse need not come from ground oil but from bio-polymers, which can be produced at home automatically in hydroponics systems. The metals can be mined automatically, and even located beneath the ground automatically (using artificial satellites, and other methods). And all components can be assembled automatically by robotics or similar mechanisms.

This Google Zeitgeist event raises some good points. The similarly named Zeitgeist Movement not only raises good points, and far more, but offers solutions – practical alternatives to the monetary system, and a way for us all to live well, in peace, free, and in luxury, while living sustainably and in harmony with the natural environment.

For far more of the same sort of thing discussed in the above video I urge all to watch Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, and to spread it around to actually try to make a real positive difference in this bastardised and corrupt human society:

ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD | OFFICIAL RELEASE | 2011
 
Thanks +Gary Ward I like what you are saying. We do need the knowledge to do anything. Free Education!! I vote for free Edu4all.
I'll look into ZEITGEIST.....I hope they talk about some Nietzsche's ideas :D 
 
OH! Relying on yourself only is not very natural. But I understand why. Sometimes I wish people didn't exist LOL
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Mastermind class and thought provoking  to say the least.  
 
+Bettina Ascaino When I wrote about self-sufficiency what I was really referring to was food, water, shelter, that sort of thing. In the past when we lived more naturally (and I mean tens of thousands of years ago, well before the monetary system and agriculture), we would simply wonder around eating fruit from trees in our natural environment (the tropics), with a greater knowledge of the natural world, and far greater awareness, and much more respect. Of course the world back then hadn’t been all but destroyed by industry, commerce, and greed as it has today. The human population was in tune with the natural order (around a constant 2-million globally), not the ridiculous number it is today. Most people these days do not even know what a healthy diet consists of, or what the foods they are eating actually are! We are in a very sorry state indeed.

However, humans are social creatures and, according to many health narrators, we need the company of other humans in order to lead a healthy life, ergo we cannot, if that really is the case, be entirely self-sufficient. What we can be is more self-reliant, which is re-phrasing my earlier comment in a very conservative way!
 
Yeah, big problem with his theory. There is one poor sucker in the middle of the oil to mouse chain that has to actually know how to put the pieces together, and he gets shit from both the douche bag designer and the raw material suppliers. Nothing has changed for those that actually have the do the work.
 
+Gary Ward personally I am glad we are evolving. Life expectancy has doubled. Accommodation is comfortable etc. What worries me is a decline into political control and the imbalance of wealth and health especially within and comparison to developing nations.
 
What a bunch of cunts in the comments. Make a fucking trackball.
 
+Sola Veritate We are devolving; our condition is worsening. If we are evolving, it is an adaptation to an aberrant and diseased world. Life expectancy may have doubled, but from the time of our origin, at least according to all I have read on the subject, we now live much shorter lives than we should. Mediaeval folk may have lived much shorter lives than we do now but in the grand scale of human existence, the mediaeval period was but a blink away. Further, most people these days merely exist for the last few decades of their lives; they are kept alive by pharmaceuticals but do not have vibrant health at all. The closing years of the common man’s life is misery, suffering, and disease.

As for any descent into political control, and wealth and health becoming unbalanced, these things have already occurred. It is going to take radical change to restore anything even resembling a natural condition, which is why I admire the works of The Zeitgeist Movement, and The Venus Project, as they offer clear explanations and just the solution we need.
 
What's up +Jonathan Leonard I could swear at you too. But I won't. What do you think? Any ideas? Or just some frustration taken out in public? You have the word now, if you want. Not big deal.
 
Let's see what happens to all the conglomerates when the planet runs out of oil in the next 20 years. Everything will be back to basics anyway. Local Taylor, butcher etc back on your high street that have all fallen to the likes of tesco etc etc. large volume transport links simply won't exist.
 
hey c' mon mine fell and i reassembled it in my room
 
Oil lamps for reading real books because we won't have Facebook, Tweeter, and Google + to take up our time.
 
Yeah think about it we can't get electric cars into mass production effectively, how are they going to apply that to large cargo shipping??? Still at least people won't be obsessed with sleeping outside a phone shop when the iPhone 20 hits the streets lol!
 
Yes my brother i quiet agree with you, most especially hear in my country, Nigeria!!
  
 
Reassembling something and building something from scratch is completely different! :)

I think I've seen this labeled as 'accumulated knowledge' before now. Its baffling you can trace it right down to something like a mouse. I used to think of it more on the scale of cars or spaceships. That's when it starts getting crazy!

No one can physically build a space ship but put enough people together and we can get someone to the moon...
 
If you want to know what life will be like all you have to do is travel back in history about 115 years ago. That is where we will be as an industrialized nation. Hey, one good thing, we will have to go back to a large manufacturing base since we will not be able to make stuff over seas due to the large shipping cost by steam engine. Wow, I can hardly wait.
 
hahahaha, then who build the ones we use? if i may ask, machines? huh?
 
Again, look back to our nation 115 years ago. We were just discovering the benefits of carbon based fuels. Maybe it is more like 120 but we were making lots of things just using steam powered machines that used wood and coal.
 
+Simon Dixon The solution to cargo transportation is freight pipelines. Putting freight in trucks, ships, trains, is stupid. It should be conveyed through evacuated pipelines by maglev propulsion. Such a system would save millions of lives each year, the environment from destruction, the air and water from pollution, and mean we could order goods from thousands of miles away and receive them within an hour. www.et3.com
 
How are you going to power the maglev ? I guess by burning coal and natural gas. Hey wait a minute, doesn't the US have a 100 year supply of natural gas? We are saved :-)
 
+John Gervasi Firstly, a capsule traversing an evacuated pipeline by maglev propulsion is profoundly more efficient than conventional transportation. Around 70 % of the energy put into a capsule can be recovered when the capsule slows to a stop. The corrupt and ignorant politicians would have us all believe that energy is hard to obtain, and that we must use fossil fuels. This could not be further from the truth. There is plenty of power available from geothermal, wave, and solar, to supply far more than we will ever need. Just a tiny patch of the Sahara desert if used to locate solar thermal concentrators would alone meet current world energy needs.
 
I watched a great TED talk about this subject. A man attempted to build a toaster, from scratch. He moved the iron, made the plastic etc. The final product took weeks of effort, and was crap :-)
 
Is the point not more about; to become more effective we get things done through other people? Simple management philosophy of delegation.
 
To bake an apple pie from scratch, first, create the universe. 
 
I think the first thing in all things is believe.
 
This speech was pretty good when I first heard it with an espresso machine in place of the mouse. The pencil version (mentioned in a previous comment) seems familiar, but I think I just read that one -- years ago, no doubt.

An innovation in analogy? Ok. 
 
I think some one that I have the believe and courage of making new thing. At this point I'm not discouraging others work.
 
What we should believe is that we all persons comes to the world having nothing. We come to the world that others prepare. 
 
We have evolved into global manufacturing and technology dependent societies. The question should be can we survive if the power goes out?
 
रास्ते मुंबई व हैदराबाद तक तस्करी का सोना पहुंचाने की बात कबूली। मामला दो : मार्च 2012 में फ्लाई दुबई से लखनऊ पहुंचा मुंबई का कासिम पांच किलोग्राम सोने के बिस्कुट के साथ पकड़ा गया।
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Try to use international language. Because you are talking with the world.
 
You don't have "servants" or crew!  You have brothers' in Spirit who operate within a capitalist system to create and prosper.
 
Not quite the same thing +Michael Erwin :) There are many missing pieces to the puzzle. Among others, what did he use to extrude wire? He also used a microwave to extract iron from the ore and recycled plastic.
 
I would guess that there are a few Product Engineers who know how to build a computer mouse. Of course that's beside the point...
 
+John Gervasi The maglev system is of course extremely efficient but what time frame would you be looking at, when considering a replacement of the standard rail system for a superior mode of transportation?
 
+Adrian Azzopardi 

If 100-factories were tasked with building the pipe sections, and many pipe-jacking operations established, and so on, we could have a decent-sized system within a year. It is currently cheaper to build a 4000 mph evacuated pipeline transportation system per unit length than it is to build motorways.
 
I'm not sure its a good thing that we are so reliant on others for our daily needs. There needs to be a better balance. While there's no denying that collaboration is fruitful, it has been taken too far perhaps.
 
Are we really better off because no one knows how to make a computer mouse?  Where will we be when no one knows how to raise a field of wheat?  Let alone turn it into bread.
 
Its very true. I have on occasion thought what it would be like to make even some simple electronic conpnents by starting with raw ore myself. It would not be easy and they would be low quality most definately
 
Civilisation cannot expand and develop unless people specialise. 
 
I guess this is what Obama was talking about when he says "You did not build it by yourself" every one has a role to play to get the job done.
 
Even is you are the designer, some one created the paper or software you used to decibel or draw the designs on. You can design a something but a machine shop will need to create the parts, a factory will put it together and even though machines are there people are also there to put it together and come up with creative ideas to make the product better.
 
Who needs the mouse nowadays? LOL, everything is touch-screen now!

Good point, interesting thoughts and video.
Loved the Carl Sagan quote about making a pie! Hehehe didn't know that one!
 
+Jono Scaife I suppose you're referring to unskilled labour. It doesn't factor into the theory because someone within each and every department of industry has had to train the workers to do a particular job. Nevertheless, it doesn't change the fact that not one single person, on his own, can build from scratch, something as complex as a pencil or a mouse.
 
@Brett: How it's made is awesome and watch it all the time with family!
 
Matt Ridley doesn't know how his video was launched to YouTube. In fact nobody does. Matt Ridley didn't know he was working as a comedian this morning to make me laugh. Matt Ridley doesn't know...
 
Actually, Leonard Read wrote the essay "I, Pencil" in 1958. Friedman used it in his show in the 80s. 
 
I agree with everything Gary Ward said. Watch the film it's an eye opener.
 
+Allen Stoner Ever since the start of the economic crisis in 2008 and subsequent increases in commodity prices, people are indeed returning to agriculture. Preparing food is one of those things a single person can do on his own, without the assistance of  others. People are sufficiently knowledgeable when their life depends on it. Worry not with respect to bread making :)
 
I think that we all need to know how to be self-sufficient at least to the point that we can feed ourselves and our families off the land...
What will happen this all collapses and it will one day, be it sooner or later... Will you be able to provide food and shelter for yourself and loved one or will you need to rely on others...? 

Just my thoughts here...You may have your own but, it is something to think about-don't you think?

PEACE**LOVE AND***HAPPINESS**   
 
We are evolving away from God!  Kinda lonely isn't it?
 
I agree with Amir, self-sufficiency with food is important. Technology is one thing, but everyone should know how to feed themselves--a person is either responsible for their well-being, or has handed that responsibility to another--in the case of food, handing the responsibility to another is a bad idea as we can see here in the United States--grocery markets are filled with nothing but adulterated foods, preservatives, processed foods, chemicals, and sugar. If you value your health, which is the only thing you really have, you will understand. If you claim not to care, you have much learning to do.
 
Whether you are inclined positively or negatively towards the concept of self-sufficiency and its nature in the world today, what is essentially undeniable is the presence of progression (i.e. change). Most preceding arguments are offering subjective affectations on the nature of the progression as it is perceived by the individual, in regards to how the elements of progression arrived at their current state (historical analysis), what the nature of the progression has climaxed to at present (subjective perceptual analysis), and the of-course subjective extrapolation and projection of the individual as to where the progression is heading (intuitive and creative analysis), each analysis adorned with its own subjective affectation based on the predispositions, preconceptions, beliefs and value-systems of the individual performing the analysis.

At the end of the day, the question thus reveals itself to be mostly existential in nature, and is therefore not a geo-political, sociological, or anthropological question, but rather a philosophical one. Human beings are living creatures bound by the laws of physics and basic evolutionary-premise of mammalian species propagation to ensure SURVIVAL of the species. Now, the question that is uncovered is, once the need to ensure survival of the species has been met, and reaches a point when the species is not in at any significant risk of extinction, how, or into what, does the evolutionary-premise shift? Is it "Live Together, Die Alone", or "Live Alone, Die Together"? Is it ruthless self-sufficiency, or mutual co-dependence?

If an individual's existence is no longer necessary or crucial to the survival of the species as a whole, then what, pray tell, is the individual's "purpose"? In other words, the subjective philosophical dilemma at the heart of the issue is: Why - or for what - are you living?
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Didn't Carl Sagan say something along those same lines?
 
"Why do you do the things you do and who do you do them for?"
 
Most large cities are three days away from starvation.  Most of our food stuffs are trucked into the cities from elsewhere.  We would be wise to grow local food stuffs.  Back to the land is important.
Dan Cox
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I love the underlying message. Competition leads to poverty and cooperation leads to prosperity.
 
Huh, kinda makes me wonder what Douglas Engelbart would think about it.  You know, the still-living individual person who actually invented the computer mouse?

There's a very real 'dogfood' issue with computers, if they were ever wiped out for whatever reason we'd have to start at a much earlier part of the process to rebuild.  And it's true that the complexity has shot past the point where a single person could comprehend the totality of a computer system, I'd assert that Federico Faggin was the last person who did.  

But there's a bit of an is-ought gap at this point.  We smashed through that single-person complexity barrier over 40 years ago, pointing it out now doesn't seem all that provocative to me.
 
I was thinking about this a few months ago.  If our modern infrastructure was destroyed overnight then what value would i have in that world.  If food and other resources became scarce then what skills could i use or barter to get what i need to survive.   I can construct and interconnect computer systems and servers from there component parts but i couldn't build the components.  I couldn't build a power plant to power them , if they break i could only swap parts i couldn't repair the parts.  I know i can learn to hunt but i wouldn't know how to build the tools i would need to do it.  We as humans need tools and as we get more advanced so does our tools as our tools get more advanced it requires more people to built a single tool.  

Watch the show how its made.  When ever i watch it and see how much automation is used to build these everyday items i ask myself  How long would it take to rebuild these factories ? 

Beyond that there is the knowledge.  If your knowledge is only on computers.  if you can not power up the computer to see the video or read the book that tells you how to build a simple hand axe and no one is around to show you how , then what  ? 

I think certain tool skills should always be thought so that we wont have to start completely from scratch. 
 
There was a Ted talk about a guy building a toaster from scratch. Same idea. 
 
Rather silly generalization that the division of labor has transformed modern humans more stupid than primitives. Довольно глупое обобщение, что разделение труда сделало современного человека глупее примитивов. Suhteliselt rumal üldistus, et tööjaotus on muutnud uue aja inimese ürgaja inimesest lollimaks.
 
This is mindless drivel... Of course someone knows how to make the mouse. A prototype was constructed initially... Beyond this if his point is that in the chain, nobody knows how to build it... So?
 
+Justin Goss but that person dose not know how to make the materials used to make the prototype. you missed the entire point 
 
@Justin Goss You've missed the point, the hand axe was sourced, manufactured and marketed by the same person. They knew what rock to use, what shape to get it and how to use it.

The prototype mouse that was initially constructed was made using what? Plastic? Did that man know how to locate, drill and refine oil? Did he know how to dye the plastic? Did he know how to locate, mine and machine the wiring inside?  Chances are, no!

What it is driving at is that the collective humanity knows how to make the product, but the individual constituents do not. It is an extension of Adam Smiths observations in the pin factory that in time the individuals whose speciality and training has been in making the pin heads will no longer have the required knowledge to immediately switch to making the shafts.
 
+Justin Goss The point is that no 1 person can go from raw materials to a modern day mouse.

Not including engineering I would imagine it still holds true.

However, with access to the machinery I am sure we could create a how to guide in a matter of days that anyone could follow to create a mouse.  Again, assuming access to the raw materials and all machinery used to refine those materials and to create the components.
 
I mean, I could probably build a mouse from scratch if I tried.  Creating drivers for it may be troublesome, but eh, would just take time.
 
I'm all with self-sufficiency, just like the point made in the video. But can't he give like a bigger example, like a country (or just a city) creating its own car / cellular phones / machinery / computer chips / RAM / OperatingSystem (God forbid)? If it is a mouse, most people won't have that much motivation to make one from scratch at home, the process is just way too troublesome for something that you can buy so easily from the closest electronic stores.
 
+Gary Fairclough Why are you treating the "prototype mouse" as if it's some historical mystery lost to time?  The people who made it are still alive, the materials are known (wood and metal), and there's a picture right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SRI_Computer_Mouse.jpg

It's kinda hard to have a discussion when you're that ill-informed and unwilling to research basic facts that have been presented already.  
 
theres my man i fucked last night
 
You raise some good points +David Watts . While the video doesn't show his entire presentation, I wonder if he discussed consumer knowledge and education with regards to production. If consumers can care about where and how their products are produced, then perhaps firms and multinational corporations will be pressured to include this sort of information either as a part of marketing campaigns or general product information. If anything, I think the more that consumers understand about the products they purchase, then the better off the world's political economy will be in the long run; informed selectorates can trounce any movements towards presumptions and irrationalized collectivism.
 
I do understand the idea he wishes to promote (Zeitgeist). However I will disagree with his main statement. That no one knows how to build a mouse from scratch. Maybe such statement works on some uneducated 99-percenters from N. America to explain "the problem" (where there is none), but still is obviously wrong. Build my own joystick controller with a friend while in early-elementary school for Commodore C64 using only tools and materials we could gather from scrapped toys and electronics. We have played-through many games with it. No-one thought us how joystick works and how it interfaces with computer, or how to build one. I wish for a central knowledge-base (instead of patent offices) how to build things which is open and free to all creative people of all professions and ages plus dedicated engineers maintaining such "wiki"-base.
 
+John Vinyard I understand your point but you are asking a different question.  The question that is being asked is not "Can one individual build a computer mouse?" but is rather "Can one individual complete every single task that is required, every step of the way throughout the production of every single component of the computer mouse?"

The individual would need to be adept at everything from prospecting for oil right the way through to software programming.
 
Yeah, the original mouse constructed out of metal and wood required oil prospecting skills.

Except it wasn't made of plastic and once again you're being disingenuous. This task was literally completed without plastic and I can't understand why you keep harping on that.
 
+John Vinyard What about the metal? Who mined and machined the metal? Who sourced and harvested the wood? It isn't likely to have been the same man.  

I was using plastic as the example because the modern computer mouse is 90 odd percent plastic. It doesn't matter what the product is, it is an observation that as individuals we do not know how to make many products from raw material to finished products.
 
i guess we do know how make raw material to finished products, its just that we don't put much effort in what we do. we  need to increase our thinking in this case..!!
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