It’ll be stupid and brutal and glorious and fun. And designers will absolutely hate it. Remember when we had to tell graphic designers that they couldn’t control how things looked online? That the lovely page they’d designed might not look like that on someone else’s computer, in someone else’s browser? Soon we’re going to have to do that with everything. Designers are going to have to design things that might or not get made with the specified materials, in the specified way, to the specified tolerances. They’re going to have to design the idea of an object and let the world make it the way it wants to. That seems Post Digital to me. I like the sound of it. Maybe it won’t take over the world, maybe it won’t be as big as the web, but I bet it gets to be as big as fishing or tabletop games. And that’d be fantastic; the imaginative, creative energy that goes into DIY and model railways and quilting getting poured into improving the stuff of everyday life and connecting it to everything else. That’s properly Post Digital.
This will happen again and again. And that is good. User choice. It means we empower the users by giving them things that they can write with, not only use. We make it possible for users to become participants. The Web has enabled participation of people in many areas, 3D printers will do too, and many others thing we do not imagine yet. By nullifying the cost of information flow, we make it possible of people to be more independent. They might not take the opportunity, but they gain the posssibility.