volume 05 no. 3 may 2013
the revolution is Why 2013 heralds a neW renaissance for the 30-year-old technology
Copyright: The Dark Side of 3D Printing
Ted Rogers: A Life Unconquerable
Of Viral 3D and Perpetual Printing
Who We Are
The National Finance Student Association is a non-profit, student-run initiative, which aims to enhance student leadership in finance by both motivating and providing our members with the resources they can use to be better equipped and competitive in the marketplace. These are goals we intend to achieve during our upcoming seminars, workshops networking sessions and competitions.
We are committed to creating a nationwide network bringing together finance students and faculty from universities across Canada, with the aim of sharing knowledge, skills and resources. Currently, we have partnerships with finance clubs from from the University of Toronto, McMaster, Ryerson and York, with plans to add many more by year-end.
We are a base for bright, hard working and creative minds who wish to contribute their thoughts and share their ideas. As companies require such individuals for their long-term growth, the NFSA will strive to provide our membership with tools, insight and employment opportunities that they would not have received elsewhere.
Editor-in-Chief Arbitrage Magazine I remember my family’s first printer. It only printed blackand-white and it cost $250. The year was 1997 and I was seven years old. I remember being admonished for printing multiple copies of the rules I made for the playground — a process my father called “wasting ink.” An ink cartridge was $50 then. (In case you’re wondering — yes, I was the sort of kid who tried to impose rules in the playground.) A $250 printer and $50 cartridge — added together, that’s nearly $500 in 2013 dollars. And for that amount today, I can get a Portabee or a RoBo, both of which not only print in colour — they also happen to print in 3D. Now that’s something marvelous. For the price of an iPhone, we can make tangible anything we visualize. We can
have a machine that makes an object appear miles away by simply sending its specifications — that’s the essence of teleportation right there. And just like how our thoughts can be made corporeal, the stuff of science fiction dreams is being made reality. In the Netherlands, entire houses are being “printed” in 3D; in the United States, researchers have found a way to make guns with 3D printers; and in New Zealand, a collaborative has made a 3D printer that can make copies of itself. A new age is dawning. But no change comes without opposition. There’re already concerns about intellectual property rights. If any object can be easily made, what does it hold for the future of manufacturing? And what about artists and designers, whose work can now be copied
by anyone with $500 to spare? Sounds familiar? You’ve probably heard those concerns before: The cassette will kill the radio; VHS will be the death of TV; music downloading means the recording industry’s downfall; online streaming robs movies stars of their livelihood — blah. There will always be those who fear change. But that change will come, no matter how justified those fears seem. There may very well come a day when 3D printers will be as prevalent as my HP Officejet (bought for $20 off Kijiji). The future is by nature unpredictable, but one thing is certain — it will happen. Such is the nature of revolution. Sincerely, Ethan Lou
Founder & Ceo David Alexander arbitrage support staFF BoArD of Directors samita Vasudeva, Garin Kilpatrick, Michael Manirakiza, rabeea Wajeeha
coMMunicAtions Director Monika Mistry
AssistAnt coMMunicAtions Director connie ng
coMMunicAtions reps Anshul Kumar, Dâ€™Aundra Belnavis
huMAn resources Director David Alexander
AssistAnt hr Director samuel Jackson
hr coorDinAtors nicholas Wagner, stasia Dias, Kathy hu, seta Janian, elena stefanac, Kulajika Kulasegaram
magazine produCtion team eDitor-in-chief ethan Lou, Jordan parker, sean previl, Janelle simone Jordan
MAnAGinG eDitor exequiel octavio Bertaina
chief onLine eDitor Alexandria chun
section eDitors Michelle hampson, tilly Wark, Megan Barr, carolyn turgeon, steven Gelis, savanna scott Leslie, Brianne Boehm, Joseph ho
onLine eDitors Katherine nader, sebastien Bell, tejas shah, Aryssah stankevitsch, phyllis ho, sarah Marsh, Ani hajderaj, Kirsten parucha
stAff Writers Matthew King, siavosh Moshiri, Monica cheng, caitlin McKay, roxanne Desouza, Megan Gartrell, Meghan tibbits-Lamirande, Jaron serven, Leah Kellar, Grace elizabeth Kennedy, spencer emmerson, imogen Whittaker-cumming, Jackie Marchildon, Konstantinos (Kostee) roccas, rebecca ferguson, Azim Ahmed, sucheta shankar, Amanda connolly, corinne sato, fatima syed, nikki Gill, Dillon James Li, Melissa Goertzen, May Warren, Viviane fairbank, Aziel Goh, sarah Munn, sarah elizabeth hartwick, Maureen Lu, Katherine smith, Jordan smith, Marc posth, ocean-Leigh peters, eron cochrane, John Brannen, Marlon Gomez, shazeen Dhala, timothy robin Alberdingk thijm, thomas henry Dinardo, Lauren choi, Lindsey Addawoo
Art Directors ian todd, Katherine chu, elaine Kwan
AssistAnt Art Directors Mark Quimoyog, summer Zhang
stAff DesiGners Julie Barkun, Adrien Mendez, Angela song, richard Bramer, eman faiz, Azin Dilamghani, Ana-Maria enescu, Yiting Zhang, ron Kelner, Weimar Lee, chloe Leung, Juliana suave, Melissa thanakone, Matthew hunter, tope iona, Maria Jose Arias G., Jason Yeh, saya Ye, ruvini silva, nathalie tyurzhon, Jonathan Benno Kruschack, Dustin prakosh, Duncan Marshall, steven Glanville, Katelyn Landry
the dark side of 3d printing
Facebook and Us
Cancer, Global Killer
But Then I got High
Weighing Down the Economy
Ted Rogers: A Life Unconquerable
The Life and Times of 3D Printing Printing in 3D is experiencing a new Renaissance. A technology dormant for nearly 20 years, its recent rise heralds a limitless future.
arBitrageMagaZine.coM may 2013
Shielding Our Lives in the
Print and Fire
War of Cyber Security
The process of 3D printing is allowing users to print working guns. A gun in every home — what sort of world would that be?
Is the Cost of Master’s Degree Worth the Risk?
Of Viral 3D and Perpetual Printing Self-replicating 3D printers are making headway in a very unlikely sector — education.
2012: A Year of 3D
Of Labour, Unions and 3D Printing The process of 3D printing is in many ways the inverse of the manufacturing processes. With employment figures still rebounding from post-recession levels, an unlikely new issue has entered the labour debate.
How to Heal a Massacre
may 2013 arBitrageMagaZine.coM
science & technology
Facebook and Us written by: May warren
YoUng people are leaving Facebook. Will Facebook FoUnder Mark ZUckerberg go the WaY oF MY space’s toM?
A study [...] found that 61 per cent of Facebook users report taking a break from the social networking site for a period of several weeks or more.
Janette Zhao doesn’t use Facebook nearly as much as she used to. The firstyear Ryerson University student still logs on “daily,” but her general use has declined. “I have less time and more things to do,” says the Early Childhood Education major. “Before (I became so busy), it was just everywhere.” Zhao also uses Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, but doesn’t have a favourite. “They all have different uses,” she says. Zhao’s studying to be a teacher. She says she doesn’t see Facebook playing as big of a role in her future professional life and “probably won’t use it as much.” And she may not be alone. The Internet has been buzzing with chatter of Facebook’s decline. February this year, Facebook released its annual report. It said they are aware some users, particularly younger ones, are engaging with other social media sites. Some are using these sites as a replacement for Facebook. These include sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram
arbitrageMagaZine.coM MAY 2013
and most recently, Snapchat. The app deletes photos and messages seconds after they are received, so there’s no pesky conversation history to get you in trouble. It’s becoming more popular, especially among teens. And a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, also released in February, found that 61 per cent of Facebook users report taking a break from the social networking site for a period of several weeks or more. Another 20 per cent of adults online say they have stopped once using the site. Twitter use has also doubled among teens in the last two years according to another study from the Pew Internet and American Life project released last April. The survey found that 16 per cent of American teens ages 12-17 were using Twitter. That’s double the 8 per cent it was in 2009. Adrian J. Ebsary, a social media expert based out of Ottawa, says this could be part of a larger trend. As social media sites become more popular they become less private. All
science & technology
cause them to head towards newer applications such as Instagram and Snapchat where the data is less minable, at least for now. “I think it will be interesting to see if younger audiences will always flee to a newer space, he says. Ebsary says there is a need to “build a walled garden” around social media sites but there’s little incentive for sites to do this because often the end goal is to go public and sell their data. He cautions people to be aware of the digital footprints they are leaving. “People who create long trails of data that are accessible universally will have to accept and deal with stories that people are pulling out of that data,” he says. Twenty-seven-year-old Sarah Nguyen also uses Twitter and Instagram regularly. She’s still a daily Facebook user, but logs in less than she used to. “There’s a lot more social media coming up. Now I log on about two to three times a day whereas before it was more like six. It has decreased by half or two
thirds,” she says. Nguyen and a group of other alumni from her alma mater Ryerson University have started their own social media application called Speeker. It allows users to see what social events are happening based on where they are. The app was inspired by their own experiences wanting to know about what was happening around them on campus. “It’s kind of like a time capsule of the location,” she says. Like Zhao, she doesn’t see Facebook as an integral part of her life going forward. She believes professional social media sites such as LinkedIn will become more prominent as she moves into a career-building phase. As for Snapchat, “I’ve never heard of it,” she says. May Warren is currently completing a Master of Journalism at Ryerson. She hold a BA from the University of Guelph and an MA from Queens in Political Science. She is particularly interested in international economics reporting.
MAY 2013 arbitrageMagaZine.coM
illustration: Juliana sauvé
of the different audiences that people communicate with in their daily lives are folded into one and they don’t know how to navigate this. Researcher Dayna Boyd has written about this phenomenon. She calls it “context collapse.” Facebook in particular was once a place for peers only but now everyone from Grandma to ad companies can show up in a typical mini-feed. Some users react by jumping ship to other social media sites such as Twitter. For these people “Twitter becomes an escape,” says Ebsary. “There’s a perceived anonymity of Twitter, because if you have only a few followers it’s possible to Tweet and never receive any interactions,” he continues. But he says this is ironic, because Twitter is actually more public with fewer privacy controls. “Your last 3,200 Tweets are accessible and I’m not sure everyone knows that,” he says. Ebsary says now that Twitter is beginning to become a place where advertisers can reach users. That may
design: Juliana sauvé
All of the different audiences that people communicate with in their daily lives are folded into one and they don’t know how to navigate this.
CanCer, Global Killer One In twO cOuntrIes Is unprepared tO prevent and manage cancer Each year, about 13 million cancer cases are newly diagnosed. Cancer is still the leading cause of death worldwide. This is despite the Canadian Cancer Society and the World Health organization estimating that half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and protective policies. In a 2012 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed the national ability of 185 countries to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases. Funded partially by the Canadian Public Health Agency, the report concludes that more than half of all countries are unprepared to prevent and manage cancer. Findings issued in the survey revealed “major gaps in cancer control planning and services.” In February, Dr. Oleg Chestnov of the WHO said in a press release that every country is in need of a comprehensive cancer control program. This program would contribute to reducing risk factors and ensuring appropriate treatment. “Cancer should not be a death sentence anywhere in the world as there are proven ways to prevent and cure many cancers,” said Chestnov, WHO assistant director-general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health. Specific emphasis is being put on low- and middleincome countries. According to the WHO, only 17 per cent of African countries and
27 per cent of low-income countries have cancer control plans and a budget to support them. Having a cancer registry will enable these countries to measure one of 25 indicators to prevent and control cancer and other non-communicable diseases. “Better data on cancer occ u r rence w i l l he lp gover nments to ma ke the most of their limited resources and direct funds
It was like a light bulb went off and activities to the areas where they are needed most,” says Dr Christopher Wild, director of WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Where does Canada stand? Although Canada identifies as a high-income country,
arbiTraGeMaGaZine.CoM May 2013
t he C a n ad i a n C a ncer Society (CCS) estimates that 500 Canadians are being diagnosed with cancer every day. The Canadian Cancer registry operates through Statistics Canada. The data they collect is used to identify risk factors for cancer, to plan, monitor and evaluate cancer control programs, and to conduct research in health services and economics. One example of a cancer control program is the prevention information published by the CCS. It identifies simple lifestyle choices that lower the risk of cancer. The publication highlights nutrition and fitness as key elements in “preventing about one third of all cancers.” “When you change your diet, your psyche changes and all of this influences the biochemistry in your body, which has a profound effect on healing,” says Susan Morton, a certified nutritional practitioner. Morton provides cancer recovery services specializing in dietary and lifestyle plans for cancer prevention and care. After having recovered from thyroid cancer, Morton says she was inspired to help others. “It was like a light bulb went off, I was so excited,” says Morton. “It opened my eyes to nutrition and the profound difference your diet could make.” The CCS recommends maintaining a healthy body weight by eating plenty of fiber, fruits and
vegetables, while reducing the consumption of fats and sugars. Morton explains that cutting down on salt and reducing the consumption of animal products, increases our bodies’ natural ability to break down tumours. “Pancreatic enzymes help to reduce tumours and salt is an enzyme inhibitor” says Morton, “cutting down on the salt helps our bodies to reduce tumours.” The CCS estimates that about 430 Canadians are diagnosed each week with colorectal cancer and they recommend colorectal cancer screening as a way to reduce incidence of the disease. The society has also released a cancer prevention plan that highlights good nutritional choices. caitlin mclachlan
Caitlin McLachlan is a freelance writer/photographer whose passions include the environment, culture, serendipitous animal rescue and the mysterious unraveling of a life lived adventurously.
h a z AN
t!) i d n i f u pz yo l e h e W n. (Sure ca
careers. education. ideas. all of it.
I Got hIGh A BrIef look Into todAy’s mArIjuAnA culture And leGAlIzAtIon
written by: MeGHAn tibbitS
But exactly how educated is the average canadian about marijuana culture?
“I was gonna clean my room — until I got high/ I was gonna get up and find the broom — but then I got high/My room is still messed up and I know why (Yeah, hey!)/ Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high.” Those lyrics may seem silly at first, but the American rapper Afroman’s hit single “Because I Got High”, actually offers some thoughtful social commentary. In the modern world, it isn’t only modern pop-culture that’s filled with marijuana references; even politicians have decided to partake in the conversation. But exactly how educated is the average Canadian about marijuana culture? The media seems to present us with a variety of stereotypes, leaving little room for more nuanced individual opinions. Afroman is just one example of this.
ArBItrAGemAGAzIne.com May 2013
In light of these generalizations, Arbitrage Magazine decided to sit down with two self-proclaimed “stoners” in order to find out exactly what they want the public to know about marijuana culture. For understandable reasons, these two Ottawa students agreed to do the interview on the condition of anonymity.
ME, A “STONER”? Their residence features a Bob Marley lava lamp and posters of the ska punk band Sublime. A large bong sits on the coffee table. The bookshelves are home to a multitude of university textbooks, spanning from political science to Greek to philosophy and everything in between. That is a detail that our interviewees made sure to clarify. They are not stoners first and foremost; they are also
University. It is hard to argue with the fact that decriminalizing marijuana would be beneficial to the economy. On the other hand, our survey also shows that there are still many students who are concerned about the harmful effects of marijuana usage.
KNOWING YOUR MARIJUANA The concerns expressed were mostly on an individual rather than social scale. A fair number of students commented that marijuana can be harmful to people who are using it for the wrong reasons, or people who become addicted to the lifestyle. The notion that marijuana is a gateway drug leading to harder substances also seemed to still worry some. On this, our interviewees say that what it all comes down to is education. “Personally, it was not a gateway drug for me even though I have had experiences with other drugs. The difference between me and somebody who goes into a life of addiction is that I decide when I want to smoke.” “I don’t let it become something that I have to do when I get up in the morning. I don’t let it become something that’s going to control what I’m doing. You need to realize the negative effects of it so that you can have control over it.”
“...realize the negative effects of it so that you can have control over it” “All you need is to be properly educated about marijuana. If people were properly educated, the issue of it being a gateway drug would be way less apparent. When you classify marijuana in the same list of drugs as ecstasy and meth, you’re putting in people’s heads that it is the same, that it does have as
much effect on your life as those drugs.” “That’s the kind of mindset that makes marijuana something it isn’t. It’s a matter of education, it really is.” They also suggested that the Reefer Madness — a 1936 American film on the melodramatic events following some high school students’ exposure to marijuana — marked the beginning of marijuana propaganda and a bias against cannabis. But the situation appears to be changing. According to the survey, about four out of ten students, both smokers and non-smokers alike, describe the decriminalization or marijuana as “social progress.” A much lower proportion, only one out of ten, believes it to be “social regress.” If the general consensus of the youth population remains the same, it is very likely that marijuana will be decriminalized in the next decade, if not sooner. The impact that this will have on society as a whole remains to be seen, but a little insight can be gained by analyzing states such as Colorado and Washington, who have already fully legalized the substance. As for our stoners, they speculate that habitually smoking marijuana will eventually lose its lustre. As they extend further into the responsibilities of adulthood, the amount that they smoke will gradually diminish. Fondly, they proclaim that, “These are the glory years, the golden days.” And for now, they are content to live out these glory years bathed in the soft glow of a Bob Marley lava lamp. Meghan Tibbits is a first year University of Toronto Journalism student. She enjoys watching Jake and Amir Outtakes repeatedly and steadily working her way through the entire Netflix Library. She also relishes in giving you thought-provoking and hopefully humorous perspectives on current events and other various topics. Her favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye.
May 2013 ArBItrAGemAGAzIne.com
deSiGn: AZin diLMAGHAni
students, brothers, employees, and much more. “When somebody asks me who I am, I don’t say I’m a stoner. If I said I wasn’t I would be lying, but it’s definitely not one of the first things I would describe myself as.” The students describe a stoner as a person who buys and smokes marijuana habitually as opposed to casually or just for fun. They refer to it as a “lifestyle choice.” In a survey conducted by Arbitrage on 100 students, one out of ten smokes every day. About two out of 10 consider themselves casual smokers — they only use marijuana at parties or when it is available. And three out of ten have never tried it. The rest — about 40 percent — either smoke a few times per year or used to smoke and have since decided to stop. When asked whether or not they thought marijuana can be beneficial or harmful to society, nearly four out of ten students said it can be beneficial and about two out of ten said it can be harmful. The rest, roughly 45 percent, believed that the social effects of marijuana are a combination of the two. Our interviewees fall into the third category. Although they do smoke habitually, they are not completely ignorant of the harmful effects of recreational marijuana usage, stating that “marijuana definitely does affect your motivation; there are no two ways about it.” “That’s a negative thing about it. Like any leisure activity, like drinking alcohol, or smoking a cigar, there are better times to do it and there are times when it shouldn’t be done. You still have to be responsible for yourself. Like, smoking weed and reading a history textbook are definitely not conducive to one another.” They are likewise very well-read on the theoretical benefits of marijuana decriminalization. According to the Green Party of Canada website, if we dedicated half of the resources spent on enforcing marijuana usage towards other crimes, we would have enough left to pay the tuition ($21,567.17) of 30,138 medicine students at McMaster
finance & economics
Weighing DoWn the economy RiSing obeSity RateS aRen’t jUSt weighing down oUR popUlation — they aRe affecting the economy too. Obesity costs the Canadian economy between $4.6 billion and $7.1 billion a year, according to a the Canadian I n st it ute for Hea lt h Information (CIHI) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). That claim was expressed by the two agencies in a report in 2011. Lisa Corscadden, a program consultant involved in the report, says the costs can be split into two categories: direct costs such as treating obesity-related illnesses and indirect costs that relate to short and long-term disability. Corcadden did not directly say that an obese person requires more medical attention and therefore more funding, the report indicates this to be true. The Cornell University professor John Cawley says: “The fact is that people that are heavily over-weight or obese have higher medical care costs, and those elevated costs aren’t just paid by the obese person himself.” Cawley, whose primary field of study includes the economics of obesity, added that the costs “are paid for by everybody in the same insurance plan or by you, the tax payers, to the extent that people are covered by public health,” This, according to Cawley, is the economic rationale that should compel the authorities to step in and do something about obesity. “In a situation like this, where people aren’t fully
con f ronted w it h t he consequences of their actions,” says Cawley. “It is the role of the government to step in and help people confront the full costs of their actions and avoid these kinds of cost spill-overs to third parties.” In developed countries like Canada and the United States, obesity rates are fast rising. In Canada, the percentage of obese adults has doubled in the last 30 years.
go up, it is likely to affect obesity, (for example), in people’s ability to afford healthy food among other things.” Given that unhealthy food is cheap and healthy food pricey, can it be argued that certain aspects of the economy benefit from rising obesity rates? Cawley dismisses that arg ument: “ T here are definitely transactions that
in the U.S. there is $190 billion spent every year on obesity related illness. And the cost of obesity is often underestimated because people never see the counterfactual. “You don’t ever see how much savings there would be if there wasn’t the kind of obesity that we see today,” says Cawley, who estimates that in the U.S. there is $190-billion spent every year on obesity related illness. But, whether in the U.S. or Canad a, t he sor t of intervention suggested by Cawley is not easy. Jeremy Veillard is vicepresident of research and analysis at CIHI. He was quoted in the Globe and Mail saying that there are too many “interconnected factors” that affect the population’s obesity rates. That sentiment is shared by Corscadden, who says: “If rates of poverty and child poverty
ARBitRAgemAgAZine.com may 2013
occur only because people are obese…Increased coronary bipass surgery, increased sale of anti-snoring aids — but, the thing is, those aren’t really beneficial to the economy.” Saying obesity is beneficial to the economy is like saying war is good for the economy, says Cawley. “During Napoleonic times, huge armies would be marching everywhere and people felt like that was really good for the economy because there’re all these soldiers that have to be outfitted and fed and marched, so war must be good for the economy,” Cawley says, referencing an essay by the French thinker Frederic Bastiat in 1850. “But if all these guys hadn’t been in the army, they would be home, making glasses and being blacksmiths and farming,” says Cawley, “We
never observe what people don’t do and so people don’t observe the lost things.” The same is true for obesity, Cawley says: “We don’t observe all the good things that could be happening if people weren’t obese. We do observe the extra medical care treatment for the obese, but that shouldn’t trick us into believing it is good for the economy.” jackie marchildon
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written by: Dillon li
â€œWith the advent of 3d printing, an age daWns Where anyone can doWnload, share and create not just digital files, but physical objects as Well. hoW Will companies prevent the illegal sharing and printing of their physical property?â€?
The vast expanse of the floating Orbit city sits countless condos inhabited by futuristic families. Their working class homes features appliances popping out instantaneous meals at the pace of a fast-food drive-in. The conveyor belt carpet would lead you to a machine, where you can dispense your meal to your exact preferences at the press of a button. It was what the creators of the cartoon The Jetsons imagined the year 2062 to be like. But today, 49 years earlier in 2013, such technology is already available. What The Jetsons called a “Space Age Stove,” we know it as the 3D printer. The future is now — and yes, they do print food. In the past, the complexity of 3D printing has confined to the basements of architecture facilities, print companies and the rich. But now, the materials are becoming smaller, cheaper and more refined. They are well on their way to coming within viable reach to the mass consumer. Already,
there are printers on the market for the price of an iPhone. It is only a matter of time before it catches on. It is a cutting-edge innovation — a machine that can create or perfectly duplicate nearly anything. Imagine taking a chair you designed on AutoCad and printing a perfect version of it in the same day or scanning a poker chip to print out extra for when some inevitably get lost. It’s a fantastic future to entertain. It’s like owning a duplicate factory in the very comfort of your own home. Who wouldn’t want to own a 3D printer? But as nice as it may sound, there is a particular group not too happy about the advances of 3D printing — manufacturers, patent holders and copyright owners. With the advent of 3D printing, an age dawns where anyone can download, share and create not just digital files, but physical objects as well. How will companies prevent the illegal sharing and printing of their
First instances of infringement In the hands of the masses, 3D printing can be a powerful tool for infringing on intellectual property. Already there are cases where people have posted their 3D designs on the Internet, only others illegally copying their designs. February this year, Fernando Sosa, made an iPhone dock that took inspiration from the Iron Throne of the TV show Game of Thrones. After months of pain-staking modelling, he finally put the completed design template up alongside other 3D models for sale on his personal website. It was a near-perfect replica of the iconic seat of the powerful ruler in the show’s universe, made entirely of swords. The model was based on still images taken from the TV show and appears far from a knock-off imitation. Sosa took great pride in his work. But then the copyright owners found out.
MAY 2013 arbitragemagaZine.com
The ability to replicate an object is threatening enough, but it is exponentially more threatening when combined with the endless sharing power of the Internet.
HBO, the television network that owns the rights to the series, quickly slapped a cease-and-desist letter on Sosa. It claimed that the dock infringed on their rights on the Iron Throne design. The letter came during the preorder stages, well before even a single dock was sold. Sosa approached HBO about developing a licensing contract for the throne, but the company said there was already a license for someone else — but wouldn’t say who, and wouldn’t allow him to contact them to share the design. Another case last year involved two brothers and their tweaked designs of some figurines for the table-top game Warhammer. That winter, Thomas Valenty bought a Makerbot, a relatively inexpensive 3D printer that could quickly print out plastic objects. Using the Imperial Guard figurines as a base, they created their own Warhammerstyle pieces and shared the designs on Thingiverse.com, a site that allows users to share and download or tweak their digital designs for others to print. Despite the fact that they might not be exact replicas of the Imperial Guards, Games Workshop, the UK-based firm that owns Warhammer, noticed their work and sent a takedown notice to the site, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Running in circles…or is it? The swiftness of large companies cracking down on small-time design hobbyists speaks volumes on 3D printing’s threat to intellectual property. The ability to replicate an object is threatening enough, but it is exponentially more threatening when combined with the endless sharing power of the Internet. This concept is nothing new. This isn’t the first time a new technology has received a less-than-warm welcome at its inception. Rolling out the restriction tape has been a practice since the creation of the original printing press, which resulted in new censorship and licensing laws designed to slow the spread of information.
arbitragemagaZine.com MAY 2013
The music industry proclaimed its demise with home taping. And most famously, Jack Valenti, then president of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in 1982 that the VCR should be made illegal. In his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, Valenti said: “I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.” But of course, those things are still here. The music industry is not dying, and Hollywood is still churning out multi-million dollar blockbusters year after year. And yet, as VHS turns to the DVD or the CD changes to the mp3 — new ways to share and distribute media en masse — intellectual property owners are getting worried. Many have taken measures to ensure the balance of rights between content creators and the public remain in check. For one, the World International Property Organization (WIPO) introduced the DMCA in 1996, a legislature that criminalizes services that go around digital copyright protection measures, also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM). The DMCA was conceived primarily to deal with music piracy — and soon,
“I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.”
3D printing might just get its own DMCA. But how exactly so remains to be seen. A person who has worked with and experienced the potential of 3D printing is Laurie Mirsky, director of the Toronto-based 3D printing and design studio, 3DPhactory. From designing cups to designing and producing old 1920’s dolls, he definitely has experienced the versatility of this machine. “It’s a new medium; the things you can build are really limitless,” he says. “You can build models quickly and people are asking for things that I’ve never even thought of.” Most of the work his company does is designing and printing props for movies. Mirsky was a producer for film before learning of 3D printing two years ago. As a person who has worked in a business affected by piracy, he says he knows the potential copyright issues that 3D printing can bring. And printing objects like a Game of Thrones iPhone dock is a definite no-go. “We won’t print things that belong to someone else,” says Mirsky. The concept of these machines falling prey to the same regulations and laws as the Internet or home-taping is still uncertain. On the one hand, it is a new concept that still needs time to be tested in average consumer waters, and on another there is a division between copyright infringement and patent infringement. Intellectual property law is varied and complex, but so are the potential uses for 3D printing.
Copyrights and Patents Designing and creating original objects would offer the fewest conflicts with intellectual property — and copyright rules are flexible in that regard. If a student in Montreal were to write a tragic ballad expressing his woes on spiking tuition fees at his university, his work would be protected under copyright. A year later, if a student in Toronto does the same thing, unaware of the first song, copyright protection would be granted as well. The terms of copyright allow for independent
creation. While the work must be original in order to receive copyright, it does not need to be unique in the world. According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), these laws can be applied to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works from books, pamphlets, music, sculptures, photographs and etc. The protection of copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author, and for 50 years following the end of that calendar year. The dimensions of copyright and its power over 3D printing is only a small part to the conundrum that has intellectual property owners and independent designers at battle. While the laws of copyright prevent the replication of distinct works of art, the restrictions are increased two-fold when patent protection is thrown into the fray. Unlike copyright laws, which allows for parallel creation, patent law does not. If a company patents something first, any other companies can’t make any identical ones. And this is where 3D printing throws a wrench into the system. Typically object creation is kept solely in the labs of research and development teams, and patent law functions around this model. A smart research team would do a patent search before deciding to follow through with a design. But with 3D printing on the verge of mass distribution, making patent-able objects is not in do of domain of patent-searching research teams anymore. Manufacturing and innovation — it is in the hands of anyone who buys a printer. According to Michael Weinberg, lawyer for the Internet freedom advocacy group Public Knowledge, this shift into the public realm will likely increase the number of innocent patent infringements — cases where backyard inventors unknowingly step into patent violations. A single creation for home use is unlikely for warranting a
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cease-and-desistletter, but if the Internet has taught us anything, it is that we like to share. A person who creates a useful and convenient product may in good spirit upload the design for sharing, blissfully unaware that he might be distributing someone else’s creation without permission. But luckily, according to the ICPO, patent protection runs for a much shorter time than copyright. A patent will be protected for a maximum of 20 years. Afterwards, the design is within the public domain for use. And the number of non-patented inventions is rather high, allowing for a substantial amount of legroom for aspiring inventors to stretch their creative talons. Last year, the American professor Levin Golan used 3D printing to take advantage of expired patents, inspired by an unlikely source – the toys of his four-year-old son. Golan wanted to make a toy car out of pieces from two different sets of toys — Tinkertoys and K’Nex , but the K’Nex wheels couldn’t attach to the Tinkertoys’ car frame. After a year of planning with a former student, they created a blueprint containing the design of 45 attachable plastic pieces that can connect to a large number of toy construction sets. They called it the Free Universal Construction Kit. As the acronym suggests, this is less of a product and more of a provocation towards intellectual property owners. “We should be free to invent without having to worry about infringement, royalties, going to jail or being sued and bullied by large industries,” Golan said in a Forbes article April this year. “We don’t want to see what happened in music and film play out in the area of shapes,” And maybe Golan will get his wish. Printing in 3D, it appears, can be very helpful to those “large industries” if harnessed correctly.
Manufacturing and Distribution Usually, with the making of prototypes or any object en route to mass
production, a series of back and forth interactions between the designers and the manufacturing companies would have to be done. Printing in 3D greatly streamlines this process by simply creating a design on the computer, and then having it printed within the same day. From Mirsky’s point of view, this is a step in the right direction. By cutting out the extra investment into manufacturing costs, which not only include design, but in testing and distribution, it may in fact help lubricate the economy with small companies requiring less money for starting up. A more competitive market can be created, and there is also the possibility of more jobs opening up for designers or maintenance of the 3D printers. And Mirsky says he does not believe that 3D printing will bring much harm to the manufacturing industry. While 3D printing will have its share in diluting the manufacturing industry, he says, not everything that can be printed will be within reach of all consumers. There is the issue of cost and the question of just how complex consumer grade 3D printers can really be. “Right now the home printer that people go to is the Makerbot,” says Mirsky. “There’s a lot it can do, but a lot it can’t do. There are limitations on build and construction. Think of the entry price of $2,200 dollars plus materials. It’s not cheap. “Also, if you look at Thingiverse and the models and look at the sophistication of the parts, a lot of the designs are fairly elementary, fairly straightforward. At this point it’s not going to replace large scale manufacturing.” And creating and editing a 3D design is not as simple as editing an image in Photoshop or iPhoto. Consumer level design software is fairly limited in what it can design — basically things that have a simple structure in shape, assembly, and size. More sophisticated design software is
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not only a hefty expense, it requires specialized training to be used effectively. Realistically, Mirsky says he sees the application of home 3D printers as a way to more efficiently distribute replacement par ts for a lready purchased products. Instead of waiting for an item bought off the Internet to be shipped, you can simply purchase the downloadable file and print it immediately. In general, patent law does not restrict the manufacturing of replacement parts.
The uncertain future In January this year, Weinberg wrote the paper, “It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw It Up,” a look into the future of 3D printing with regards to intellectual property law. He cites an example of possible regulation change in the future: Expanding what constitutes contributory infringement. Possession of a design file on your computer, running a site that host these design files, anything that provides users easy access to copy protected material — much like the crackdown on bit torrent sites, those things may all become violating offenses, wrote Weinberg. Suing 3D printer manufacturers on the grounds that they provide a means for making copies is entirely possible. But despite the gloomy future that Weinberg seemed to predict, Mirsky, coming from an industry constantly “ripped-off ” by illegal file sharing, remains adamant in seeing this new technology remains as open and fair as it can be — for both sides. Said Mirsky: “A nytime you allow people to create, it pushes innovation.”
illustration: katherine chu
Design: katherine chu
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biz. start up
ted rogers a life UnconqUerable
May 27 Marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of ted rogers, eponyM of the ted rogers school of ManageMent. at ryerson University, arbitrage Magazine explores the years of his reMarkable life. Ted Rogers had always taken pride in his pace of action. In his aptly named autobiography, Relentless, he wrote, “I love speed. I’ve always had the drive the get things done.” The only thing he continuously postponed, in fact, was his death. Outliving both his parents, and doubling his father’s age, the Torontoborn founder of Rogers Communications Inc. was determined to stay alive as long as possible in order to secure his business legacy — and he had the means to do so. In 2007, Rogers was named the second richest man in Canada by the Canadian Business magazine. He had a net worth of $7.6 billion. His influence on Canadian business,
on the other hand, was much greater. In 1991, Rogers was made an officer of the Order of Canada. A few years later, he was introduced into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Throughout his life, Rogers received eight honorary doctorates from North American universities. Rogers, a tall man with greying blond hair and a pale complexion, quickly grew a reputation after buying CHFI, Canada’s first FM radio station, in 1960. By the end of his life, though he was physically more frail, Rogers’ influence was undeniable. The Ted Rogers School of Management, named after Rogers following a $15 million donation, owes its success to the brand of Rogers’
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name. Adam Kahan, vice-president of university advancement, explains that Rogers’ name on the building had a huge impact on the school’s recognition. “I remember Sheldon Lev y [Ryerson’s president] and I went to see Ted to begin the discussion about whether he would consider naming the business school,” says Kahan. “In the taxi, I asked [Levy], ‘How much money should we offer him to help him give his name?’ In reality, he was giving us the money, but both of us recognized that he was considered to be one of the best entrepreneurs in Canada.” The money donated by Rogers and his wife Loretta allowed for many scholarships at the undergraduate and graduate levels, both at Ryerson and at
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with him and other people, he would always ask them whether they use Rogers service.” Rogers never let his success — or his failures — get to him. Often, Rogers was criticized for his managing of debt and his heavy risk taking, admitting himself at times that he should be more careful. Caroline Van Hasselt, in her book, Ted Rogers and the Empire That Debt Built, condemned Rogers’ business practices, noting: “Debt has never been the hallmark of a great leader.” Rogers affirmed, however, that “If you haven’t got problems, you haven’t lived right; you haven’t tried enough.” “I’d say I was bloody lucky,” he wrote. Despite his luc k, Rogers was continually affected by his health throughout his business ventures, social events and amassment of debt. But he never allowed himself to be set back by it. As a small boy, plagued by bad vision and weight problems, Rogers watched his father, Edward Rogers, manage the first television licence in Canada. After his father’s death in 1939, Rogers set out at age five to follow in the family business. Rogers envisioned himself as a continuation of his father’s legacy, admitting at 70 that he could not allow himself to retire. As he put it, “it would dishonour my father.” Rogers Sr. worked until his death, so it seemed only natural to his son that he should do the same. By the time Rogers reached the age at which his father died, in 1972,
he had launched and acquired several radio stations, including what is now 6 8 0Ne w s, fou nded R ogers C able TV, introduced Rogers Community Television, and taken over other cable companies. A young lawyer at the time, Rogers described his early career as an attempt to “do the impossible.” This period of Rogers’ life was the healthiest. Only a decade later, he used the same motto to fight the many diseases of old age. In 1985, Rogers suffered a silent heart attack. It marked the launch of the Rogers wireless phone business, as well as the beginning of Rogers’ fight for life. Working in depth with his family doctor, Bernard Gosevitz, for over 30 years, Rogers spent his money and strived to survive. Gosevitz asserts that Rogers’ openness to new medicine gave him a few extra years of life. And Rogers certainly did not waste the time that he gained. R e p or t e r s d e s c r i b e R o ge r s committing to his business even between medical appointments, partly so that stockholders would not be suspicious of his health. By the time of Rogers’ death, after a quadruple b y pa ss, e x p er i me nt a l ste m ce l l treatment, two decades of medical procedures and a rejected application for heart transplant, he had established himself as a visionary leader of the late 20th century — and had used his body to the very end. written by: ViViane Fairbank
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photos: Eman faiz
the University of Toronto. Much of Rogers’ philanthropic work alongside his wife has been focused towards students. The couple donated tens of millions of dollars toward education, including the institutions that their children, Edward, Lisa, Melinda, and Martha, attended. Rogers wrote in his autobiography, “I can think of few things worse than good minds not developing to their full potential because of economic reasons.” K ahan, who worked alongside R oge rs for se ve r a l ye a rs du r i ng the establishment of the school of m a n agement, remembers t he enthusiasm with which Rogers spoke to young students. “During the awards ceremony, each student would present his or her research, and often [Rogers] would bring his executives. He would turn to them and say, ‘You better hire that guy, hire that girl.’ He was always looking for opportunities. We would bring students to meet him and Loretta and that would be the best part of the event for him.” Even when students were not presenting research, Rogers was well known for always being on the go. In a famous quote, former Ontario lieutenant-governor Hal Jackman described his old classmate: “Ted is not laid back,” he said. Kahan says he’s never seen Rogers stop working, even when they were in the elevator. “He was a completely driven person for success, for outcomes and for involvement. Every time I was
dEsign: Eman faiz
If you haven’t got problems, you haven’t lived right; you haven’t tried enough.
The Life and Times of 3d PrinTing Printing in 3D is exPeriencing a new renaissance. a technology Dormant for nearly 20 years, its recent rise heralDs a limitless future In the beginning there was a beam of ultraviolet light, concentrated in a pool of liquid plastic. From that emerged the first 3D printed object. It was the fruit of Charles Hull, inventor of stereolithography and future founder of 3D Systems, currently one of the largest companies in the industry. He obtained a patent for the technique in 1986 and later that same year developed the first commercial 3D printer – the Stereolithography Apparatus. And it was on. From those humble beginnings, the big, chunky and slow machines of yore evolved to the slick 3D printers we know today. Most printers currently use ABS plastic for “printing,” the same material that Lego is made from; other options include Polylactic Acid (PLA), standard office paper, and compostable plastics. One of the issues with ABS plastic is the lack of diversity in colour. ABS comes in red, blue, green, yellow or black, and users are confined to that one colour for their printed model. On the other hand, there are some commercial printers that can boast nearly 400,000 different colours, such as 3D Systems ZPrinter 850. T hese pr inters are commonly used to make prototypes, but the market is moving to other niches. Recently, scientists have taken 3D printers and used them for bio-printing, a process that drops individual
cells into place the way an inkjet printer drops coloured ink. They have been able to create small-scale tissues for drug discovery and toxicity testing, but in the future hope to print custom-made organs for transplant. There are industrial printers that work in different metals, which could eventually be used in the aerospace industry. Advances have been made in printing multi-material objects, such as the mostly functional computer keyboard made by Stratasys, another 3D Printing company. In addition, researchers have been working on the processes of food-printing and clothing printing. In 2011, both the world’s first 3D printed bikini and the first 3D Printer to work with chocolate were released. “Personally, I believe that it’s the next big thing,” Abe Reichental, current CEO of Hull’s company, told the Financial Times. “I think it could be as big as the steam engine was in its day, as big as the computer was in its day, as big as the internet was in its day, and I believe that this is the next disruptive technology that’s going to change everything. It’s going to change how we learn, it’s going to change how we create, and it’s going to change how we manufacture.” Printing in 3D is not declining. According to a synopsis of the Wohlers Report, an annual in-depth study of the advances in additive manufactur ing technologies and
there is a possibility that 3D printing could grow into a $5.2 billion industry by 2020 applications, there is a possibility that 3D printing could grow into a $5.2 billion industry by 2020. In 2010, it was worth approximately $1.3 billion. As these printers become easier to find, the prices are also lowering. Where a commercial 3D printer once cost upwards of $100,000, it can now be found for $15,000. Hobby printers have also emerged, costing on average $1,000, with one of the cheapest ones costing only $200. Alexander Honeywell, a student in the Interactive Arts and Technology School at Simon Fraser University, is holding off buying his 3D printer for a while yet. However, he thinks that the 3D printing trend will continue. “It’s going to be in everyone’s house, I’m sure of it, though maybe not on the same scale we see today,” he says. In a world where things
move increasingly towards the digital, Honeywell is looking forward to getting his hands on the product of his data. “I like how it’s a physical, almost analog technology, because you’re working with real things, so it’s able to present itself well to the person that might not be so tech-savvy. I think that’s why it’s so cool,” he says. “ It ’s like taking something that’s digital and making it a visceral experience.” grace kennedy
Grace Kennedy is a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has done freelance journalism on both the East and West coasts and has a particular interest in science journalism.
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
SHIELDING OUR LIVES IN THE WAR OF CYBER SECURITY CHINESE HACKERS AND LOST STUDENT INFORMATION MARRED THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY. IN THE LAWLESS CYBERSPACE, HOW SAFE ARE WE REALLY? February saw Canada being hit by hackers allegedly backed by the Chinese government. That happened just days after personal information of 583,000 C a n ad a st udent loa n recipients went missing from a government office. And people are already reporting identity theft barely a week after the information was lost. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is now facing three class-action lawsuits. These incidents seem to provide a jarring wake-up call — information is growing increasingly more valuable in the digital age — and valuable things deserve topnotch protection. They also raise the question of where the responsibility of protecting our personal information lies — in individuals or the entities that take our personal information. Norm Archer, co-author of the book Identity Theft and Fraud: Evaluating and Managing Risk, says the loss of personal information by large organizations is a reoccurring problem; those that handle sensitive information should have
learned better. “These incidents just keep happening and it’s just incredible to me that the people that are using those records still carry them around unencrypted,” says Archer, a management science and information system professor at McMaster University.
Encryption of financial, health, employment records and other private personal information is not yet a standard practice in many Canadian organizations.
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T hat is despite recommendations from the Privacy Commissioner and incidents of large-scale data breeches occurring each year. The lost external hard drive by the HRSDC last month was not encrypted. It seems a prime example of Archer’s argument. What is more interesting, he says, is that there are few financial barriers to encr y pting personal data. “The cost to install an encryption program is usually zero or very little,” Archer says. “If there is a cost, it’s a small price to pay when looking at the prospect of facing class-action lawsuits and the resulting turmoil and inconvenience people are put through in the process.” Most data encryption programs require a user name and password. There is a risk that both may be fraudulently obtained, but Archer says that it is what will make a difference in the event that information is lost. “If you’re careful,” says Archer, “there’s no reason that data, if encrypted, should be recovered by someone who has ideas about using it in a harmful way.” He also says that another preventive measure would
be to prohibit the collection and transport of such personal data on portable storage devices. Some health organizations have already put in place such measures, with consequences for those who violate regulations. But Archer says there’s not much we can do at the international relations level in terms of information security breaches from foreign groups or governments. It is up to individuals to protect their private i n for m at ion in this increasingly interconnected society, says Archer. When personal information is required for public services, personal social calls and networking efforts alike, m a n ag i ng i n for m at ion becomes a hefty task. The responsibility lies with people themselves to monitor their online activities, their privacy settings and how much information they are sharing with others. Before you give out p erson a l i n for m at ion , Archer says it just comes down to asking yourself one crucial question: “Can this information ever be used against me?” Leah KeLLar
prinT anD fire The process of 3D prinTing is allowing users To prinT working guns. a gun in every home — whaT sorT of worlD woulD ThaT be?
By Caitlin MCKay
People say you’re going to allow people to hurt people, well, that’s one of the sad realities of liberty. People abuse freedom.
Last year, an American man made waves with a gun partially made from his 3D printer, and by doing so, he uncovered a new realm of possibilities: it might not be long before guns are can be produced in private homes. What of regulation then? Currently, plastic guns in the United States are illegal under the Undetectable Firearms Act because metal detectors are unable to recognize plastic. However, that amendment to the Act is set to expire in 2013. Congressman Steve Israel says he wants to introduce legislation that would ban plastic guns such as those made from a printer. But as reported by Forbes Magazine, Israel’s ban isn’t clear: “Plastic and polymer high capacity magazines are
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already common, and aren’t currently covered by the current Undetectable Firearms law. “So it would seem Israel would need to distinguish between those plastic magazines and 3D printable ones, or ban possession of all non-metal highcapacity magazines outright.” The congressman says he is not trying to regulate Internet or 3D printing use — merely the mass manufacture of plastic guns. He says he is concerned that gun enthusiasts could print a lower receiver for their weapon. The lower receiver holds the mechanical parts of the gun, which include the trigger holding and bolt carrier. That part has the gun’s serial number, which is the more federally regulated aspect
of the device. So a gun could be created without the government’s knowledge or ability to police the weapon. In an interview with Forbes, Israel explains his legislation: “No one’s trying to interfere with people’s access to the Internet. We’re just trying to make it more difficult for an individual to make a homemade gun in his or her basement…you want to download the blueprint, we’re not going near that. “You want to buy a 3D printer and make something, buy a 3D printer and make something. But if you’re going to download a blueprint for a plastic weapon that can be brought onto an airplane, there’s a penalty to be paid.” Israel says he plans to specifically include 3D printed gun components as part of the Undetectable Firearms Act, a law that bans the possession of any weapon can pass through a metal detector. But Defense Distributed disagrees. This pro-gun organization believes that it is an American right to own, operate and now build a firearm. And they’ve done so. Cody Wilson, leader of Defense Distributed and a law student at Texas University, says that the group’s goal is to oust gun regulations in America and the world.
A CHALLENGE TO GUN LAWS Wilson and his comrades posted a YouTube video of themselves shooting a Colt M-16 firearm, which they claim was made mostly from a 3D printer. The video has been viewed more than 240,000 times. Defense Distributed has also organized the Wiki Weapon Project, which aims to distribute downloadable blueprints for homemade guns. Posted onto their website and speaking to the Huffington Post, The Wiki Weapon Project purports to challenge the United States Government and its gun laws. They posted their opposition to government regulation on their website. “How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out,” Defense Distributed emphasizes that if people want to shoot guns, they’ll shoot guns, and that it is their right to do so. For the people that get hurt along the way, they are sorry. “There’s nothing that you can say to a grieving parent, but that’s still no reason to be quiet. I don’t lose my rights because someone is a criminal,” Wilson told Digitaltrends.com. “People say you’re going to allow
people to hurt people, well, that’s one of the sad realities of liberty. People abuse freedom,” the Texas University law student told digitaltrends.com in another interview. “But that’s no excuse not to have these rights or to feel good about someone taking them away from you.” In the Wall Street Journal, Israel was quoted calling Wilson’s project “fundamentally irresponsible.” But manufacturing a gun out of one’s home is not a new idea. In fact, gun lovers have been making their own guns for years and it has not been deemed illegal. Ginger Colburn, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms told The Economist that “pens, books, belts, clubs -- you name it -- people have turned it into a firearm.”
LEGAL OR NOT, PEOPLE FIND THEMSELVES GUNS Some policy makers and anti-gun vocalists claim that 3D printed guns will lead to rampant, widespread use of the weapon, which in turn will lead to rampant, widespread violence. Cue Helen Lovejoy’s, “somebody think of the children!” But Wilson says that if somebody really wants a gun, they’ll find a gun
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whether it’s illegal or not. “I don’t see any empirical evidence that access to guns increases the rate of violent crime. If someone wants to get their hands on a gun, they’ll get their hands on a gun,” he told Forbes. “This opens a lot of doors. Any advance in technology has posed these questions. It’s not clear cut that this is just a good thing. But liberty and responsibility are scary.” While it might be unsettling to know that anyone can download and print a gun, Michael Weinberg, an attorney for Public Knowledge, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the public’s access to information and internet believes that preventing gun control is ineffective. Weinberg fears sloppy regulation over 3D printing more than readily accessible guns.
than a metal one. However, so long as the plastic gun can shoot a bullet at warp speed, it seems to be effective enough. Printing in 3D is a very expensive technology. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one machine can cost anywhere between $9,000 to $600,000. And yet, computers were also expensive at one point. It’s safe to say that this technology is a game-changer and it is likely that one day it will be a common household item. And the problem remains: Bow to stop criminals from making guns? Congressman Israel says he believes he has the solution to this problem. He says he is not treading on anyone’s liberties while trying to protect public safety. But until 3D printing becomes more widespread, Israel is merely shooting in the dark.
Printing in 3D is a very expensive technology. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one machine can cost anywhere between $9,000 to $600,000. “When you have a general purpose technology, it will be used for things you don’t want people to use it for. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong or illegal. I won’t use my 3D printer to make a weapon, but I’m not going to crusade against people who would do that,” he told Forbes. In the same story, he also points out that a plastic gun would be less effective
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IS THE COST OF A MASTER’S DEGREE WORTH THE RISK? The camera flashes, capturing a smiling graduate clad in a black robe, red sash and square cap. Her arms link through her parents’ arms and all three beam with pride. Four long years have finally paid off with a shiny, glass-f ramed bachelor’s degree. The long hours in the library, the endless papers and countless cups of coffee have all led to this moment.
Taylor, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia University, weighed in on the discussion of what a master’s degree is worth. “During times of financial stress, people become vulnerable and understandably seek to improve their situation in any way they can. For many, more education seems to be the solution. When the economy goes down, applications to graduate programs go up,” he said. Riding out the current economy storm by obtaining a master’s degree could be the next logical step for a recent graduate, but how can he or she be sure it will pay off in the long run? Which degrees are worth getting? And which are not?
But now what? Many graduates hope to find that dream job waiting directly outside the college exit doors, but reality shows all too often this isn’t the case. The jump from student to professional can be tricky, especially in this current economy. Unlike the baby boomer generation, there is a growing argument that a university or college degree is simply not enough to land a high paying job. University is no longer the golden ticket it once was. The New York Times recently warned, with the educational race so hot, the master’s is turning into the new bachelor’s. Which in turn, one could argue, makes a bachelor’s today the equivalent of having a high school diploma 20 years ago. With college costs ever increasing, there has been plenty of talk about whether there’s a bubble in undergraduate education. That education, like housing, will be the next sector in which prices leap above real value. In a Room for Debate forum published on the New York Times website, Mark
Not all degrees are created equal
In fields such as business or engineering, a master’s degree can typically boost income by more than enough to justify the cost
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There is widely held belief among experts: not all degrees are equal. In fields such as business or engineering, a master’s degree can typically boost income by more than enough to justify the cost. But a master’s in anthropology or art will probably have less earning power. On their website in August, Forbes released a list of the 10 best and worst master’s degrees in terms of long-term opportunities and salary and employment outlook. Topping the list of best degrees were those in physician assistant studies, computer science and electrical engineering. The worst master’s degrees belonged to library and information science, English and music, respectively.
There aren’t any major surprises in the results. Many students pursue literature, art or music because of a passion rather than a pay cheque. But what did stand out was the absence of a business administration master’s degree (MBA) in the top-10 best master’s degree list. Further research shows even the most trusted of master’s degrees from the past are starting to lose their luster.
Is an MBA all it’s cracked up to be? Business schools have long sold the promise that an MBA will set students up with future success. But as Philip Delves Broughton, the author of What They Teach you at Harvard Business School and a Harvard MBA holder, explains: “More and more students are finding the promise of business schools to be hollow. The return on investment on an MBA has gone the way of Greek public debt. If you have a decent job in your mid- to late- 20s, unless you have the backing of a corporate sponsor, leaving it to get an MBA is a higher risk than ever.” Employers are starting to ask the question if an MBA is essential or if it produces employees who are simply too overqualified for the current working force, says Broughton. Some worry an “overeducated” candidate might demand too high of a salary or be dissatisfied with what’s being offered. “When you look at today’s most evolved business organisms, it is obvious that
an MBA is not required for business success. Apple, which recently usurped Microsoft as the world’s largest technology firm (by market capitalization), has hardly any MBAs among its top ranks,” says Broughton.
Student debt woes According to the 2003-2004 National Postsecondar y Student Aid Study, another two years of school averages $37,000 in debt. Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek’s economics editor, says: “In 2010 student debt exceeded credit-card debt for the first time. In 2011, it surpassed auto loans. In March, the Consumer Financia l Protection Bureau announced that student debt had passed $1 trillion.” Those numbers are staggering, and unfortunately the stress of paying back student loans weighs heavy on many graduates. Ten years is considered a reasonable period to repay one’s student loans, but many students take 20 or 25 years under extended repayment plans. Another panelist on the Room for Debate forum, Liz Weston, a personal finance columnist for MSN money, says: “Student loans typically can’t be erased in bankruptcy court, and student lenders have extraordinary powers to pursue borrowers, up to and including taking a portion of t heir Soc i a l Sec u r it y retirement checks. I hear from too many readers who have six-figure student loan debts and $40,000 incomes. They can’t save for retirement or
buy a home; some can’t even pay the minimums they owe on their debt.”
The business of schools And it’s not simply students who are facing the economic crunch. When asked to weigh in on student debt, Taylor says: “Education is big business and, like other big businesses, it is in big trouble. What people outside the education bubble don’t realize and people inside won’t admit is that many colleges and universities are in the same position that major banks and financial institutions are: their assets are plummeting, their liabilities (debts) are growing, most of their costs are fixed and rising, and their income (return on investments, support from government and private donations, etc.) is falling.” What this means is that colleges and universities must find new sources of income, and invariably that can be found in an increased enrollment of students. These schools want more students to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree because it helps schools financially.
Benefits of education
Despite all the financial drawbacks, it is important to remember the benefits of going to graduate school. According to the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, many schools are currently focusing their curriculums around the placement of students in the workforce. Programs are
More and more students are finding the promise of business schools to be hollow. The return on investment on an MBA has gone the way of Greek public debt
bachelor’s degree counterparts for all fields of studies. The employment website The Labour Market, says a master’s degree also helps students stay relevant. It “promotes critical thinking while utilizing resources and research exercises to provide students with the most current information in their field of study.” The bottom line is that students have to think ahead. Education is an investment, but it is not always about the money, Beth Flye, director of admissions for the University of North Carolina, told Fox Business last year. “Weighing the pros and cons of your situation can help you make vital decisions on when and how you will pursue your education as well as what your ultimate goals are going to be by getting this degree,” she said. “ T hink about and determine where you are in life, what you want to accomplish and what your career endeavors are to make sure that going back to school is the right decision for you.” megan gartrell, staff writer
tailored to ensure employment or have been created as a direct response to the demands of specific industries. Statistics Canada found that master’s graduates earned over $10,000 more than their
MAY 2013 ARBITRAGEMAGAZINE.COM
Viral 3D anD PerPetual Printing Of
Self-rePlicating 3D PrinterS are making heaDway in a Very unlikely SectOr: eDucatiOn.
written by: Melissa Goertzen
Comeau says that 3D printers are following similar development trends as personal computers did during the 1970s and ‘80s.
In 2005, Adrian Bowyer at the University of Bath founded the RepRap Project. Short for “Replicating Rapid Prototype, its objective was to create a selfreplicating 3D printer, to allowed the creation of complex products…without the need for industrial infrastructure and heavy capital investment.” The open-source printer, dubbed a RepRap, retails for around $2,500 – significantly less than the $100,000 price tag prior to open-source machines. In June 2012, Dalhousie University Libraries purchased a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, which builds on the progress of the RepRap Project, to examine how 3D printing impacts library services. The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Groenendyk and Riel Gallant, two graduate students in the library and information studies program, as well as Marc Comeau the IT director. Groenendyk and Comeau both agree that open-source initiatives play a role in the growing accessibility of 3D printers. “What we really see disrupted right now is the price because traditionally, larger companies put a monopoly on [technologies],” says Groenendyk. “So in the past, if you wanted a printer, you’d
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have to buy it through them. They would charge a high cost for the machinery and materials as well.” Comeau says that 3D printers are following similar development trends as personal computers during the 1970s and ‘80s. “Looking at the dawn of PCs, a lot of software was developed collaboratively in garages before anything really got off the ground, and then it started to spawn off into the companies that give us the products we see today,” says Comeau. “Right now, we have that open-source movement as a disruptive force in the 3D printing world and it’s busting open a whole lot of doors.” Right now, students are taking advantage of the 3D printer to test ideas they develop both in and out of the classroom — and their projects are not restricted to academics. Many students conduct tests with recreational models. Comeau and Groenendyk are studying these projects because they demonstrate what the machine is capable of and how it can be used in creative ways. “There’s a lot of exploring going on,” says Comeau. “It’s interesting to see how they’re putting [the technology] to use” says Groenendyk.
Over the past eight years, initiatives like the RepRap Project have increased general accessibility by driving down costs, but more time is needed to gage the full impact of the technology.
The application of 3D printing in teaching and learning environments is a new topic of interest for educators. In 2011, MakerBot Industries rolled out a 3D student curriculum in New York City schools. Teachers called the printers “innovative engines in the classroom” that allow students to develop ideas and build prototypes. They also give students a chance to tinker with designs that don’t work and try again. At post-secondary institutions, students replicate artifacts for examination, create topography or population maps, and develop 3D models of molecules, cells, and viruses. Some have even created simple printing presses by 3D printing the typography of manuscripts. 3D printers also have the potential to revolutionize distance learning programs. For instance, the 3D Model Repository at Dalhousie University Libraries houses images of models created on campus. Students can view the objects from personal computers or produce them them at 3D printers in libraries close to home. Groenendyk says this setup “sends physical information
vast distances without having to worry about shipping costs or losing the original copy.” Images uploaded to the 3D Model Repository also provide a competitive edge when their creators hit the pavement to look for jobs. Each digital image has a unique URL that can be sent to potential employers. Essentially, the models provide a visual showcase of acquired skill sets. It’s being able to show different aspects of what you can do, and it’s proof of abilities beyond a piece of paper saying what you have done, says Groenendyk.
Future Forecasts The full impact of 3D printers on learning environments is still unknown. Over the past eight years, initiatives like the RepRap Project have increased general accessibility by driving down costs, but more time is needed to gage the full impact of the technology. “We don’t know how this is going to influence education. When computers first started rolling out and being available to everyone, we didn’t necessarily know how it was going to impact humanities, arts, sciences, and so forth. This is a very similar
situation,” says Comeau. The RepRap project succeeded in removing 3D printers from niche markets, and that in itself creates a frontier of possibilities. For Comeau, the new environment of experimentation and creativity signals exciting developments ahead. “From our perspective, we feel that if we can take what used to be a niche technology and bring it to everybody, we’re going to see some surprising, interesting, and no doubt educational pieces come out of it.” Melissa Goertzen is a freelance research consultant and writer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In October 2012, she graduated from the Master of Library
and Information Studies program at Dalhousie University. To learn more, please visit her website at melissagoertzen.wordpress.com.
May 2013 arBitragemagaZine.cOm
desiGn: rUVini silVa
3D Printers: Innovative Engines in the Classroom
2012: A YEAR OF 3D
The technology of 3D printing was first conceived in 1986. It is older than smartphones; older than Windows and Mac OS — it’s probably even older than you. And yet, for a long while, nobody thought much of it. The technology was underutilized and its potential, underestimated — until last year, that is.
January File-sharing website The Pirate Bay launches “Physibles” section, where users share designs for 3D printing. Said the website: “No more shipping huge amount of products around the world. No more shipping the broken products back. No more child labour.”
February With a special 3D printer, Belgian and Dutch scientists made a lower jaw for a woman who had to have hers removed. The 83-year-old now sports a titanium jaw designed to encourage integration with the body. And yes, 3D printers can “print” in titanium.
March In the production of the stop-motion film Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, the animation studio ordered more than 7,000 3D printed props.
April A British designer participates in a modelling competition against a 3D printer. Both were tasked to build a scale model of the Duomo, a Milanese cathedral. The designer was crowned the winner. Take that, machines.
May American researchers develop “smart bandage” with 3D printer. Made from living cells, the bandage can accelerate tissue repair and facilitate blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound.
June Researchers in Tokyo develop a swimming robot substantially made with 3D printing. They were able to make it mimic the motion of human swimmers, but sadly, were not able to make it as fast. The robot swims 100 metres in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
July American gunsmith used a 3D printer to make a lower receiver — the part which holds the trigger and serial number — of a gun. He fired 200 rounds without any visible issues. American gun legislature just got more complicated.
August An American hospital made an entire exoskeleton with 3D printing. Fitted on a two-year-old born without the use of her arms, the device gives her independent mobility for the first time. Her name is Emma, and she calls the exoskeleton her “magic arms.” Billionaire gives the firm Modern Meadow $350,000 to fund a 3D printer that prints food. Using animal stem cells, they create cartridges that can create synthetic meat. But it will not be cheap. With the project still in early stages, a burger will cost $300,000.
September The firm Formlabs crowd-sources funding for a new 3D printer on the website Kickstarter. Dubbed the “Form 1,” this device promises professional 3D printing at a fraction of the cost. If you pledged $2,299, you will get your own Form 1. The American Cory Wilson, director of an online collective dedicated to making an “open-source” gun that anyone can print, had his 3D printer taken away. Stratasys, the firm Wilson leased the printer from, says the printer was used for “illegal purposes.”
November World’s first 3D photo booth opens in Tokyo. Instead of photos, users get miniature figurines of themselves. But don’t jump on a plan to Japan just yet. A session in the booth costs about $270 to $530, depending on the size of the figurine desired. The stationery retailer Staples announces the introduction of in-store 3D printing. Customers can either pick up their printed objects or have them delivered. It will be available early this year, but sadly, only in Belgium and the Netherlands.
December The car manufacturer Ford announces plans to give every engineer a 3D printer. Already having numerous 3D printers already at workstations, the firm seems set for a major bear hug of 3D technology.
Written by: Ethan Lou; Designd By: Summer Zhang
t h a S R n
E W O L L O MORE F
G O D R U O Y
careers. education. ideas. all of it.
of Labour, unions anD 3D prinTing The process of 3D prinTing is in many ways The inverse of The manufacTuring processes.
written by: Matt King
The technology even makes possible the manufacturing of objects which, by traditional means, used to be impossible 35
With employment figures still rebounding from post-recession levels, an unlikely new issue has entered the labour debate. Conventional manufacturing uses human labour to chisel raw material down into specific shapes or moulds. And according to the technology entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, that is an inefficient process. He told Forbes last year: “The more complex the product you want to create, the more labour is required and the greater the effort” — all of which translates into higher costs. The process of 3D printing flips that convention. Instead of subtracting layers of material from raw input, 3D printing constructs an object from scratch by adding successive layers of
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thin raw material until the desired shape is achieved. This means there is no waste by-product and no additional cost to the complexity of an item. Manufacturing with 3D printing can also be cheaper and less timeconsuming. This is especially so when the process is employed for one-off projects such as prototypes or experiments with complex geometries. The technology even makes possible the manufacturing of objects which, by traditional means, used to be impossible. These include, among others, complex objects like skeletal structures, human tissue and organs and even the theoretically-impossible Penrose triangle. And for some, this new and more
The mighTy penrose Triangle A trick of perspectives has suddenly become a tangible product thanks to 3D printing technology
efficient way of manufacturing seems to herald a bleak future. In January, the Associated Press (AP) reported that “almost all the jobs disappearing are in industries that pay middle-class wages.” The reason for this disappearance: “Those jobs are being replaced...by machines and software that can do the same work better and cheaper.” Indeed — 3D printing is rife in the global jobs debate . Not all agree that its impact is wholly negative, though — for many, it could also be a boon. But whatever the case, its potential to disrupt traditional manufacturing processes is as large as the technological revolutions currently sweeping industries such as media and telecommunications. Given the global reach of the manufacturing
industry, 3D printing’s impact is poised to be even larger.
Why now? This kind of technology has been around since the late 1980s, when companies used it for prototyping and product development purposes. Only recently, however, have companies begun to expand the technology into other aspects of production. Phil Reeves, managing director of the 3D printing consultancy Econolyst, explains this shift to Arbitrage in a phone interview. “It’s only in the last 10 years that companies have begun looking at 3D type technology as a way of changing their global supply chain,” says Reeves.
“Before that, the technology was seen wholly as a tool to assist in the product development process — never as a manufacturing solution.” Reeves recalls a friend who, many years ago, suggested the potential of 3D technology when applied to manufacturing processes during a speech at a leading industry conference. “His views were almost seen as heretical, or humorous,” Reeves says. The global manufacturing industry is now beginning to address and wrestle with the disruptive potential of 3D printing. But it’s impossible to pinpoint the precise moment when it began to turn mainstream — or at least more affordable to the general public. On the supply side, costs of 3D printers — both consumer and industrial — have dropped to more affordable levels. On the demand side, there have been numerous changes in the global economy over the past decade that have given companies reasons to reconsider the technology. For one, labour costs are consistently rising even in low-wage countries like China. The global recession, moreover, has inspired a political pressure on companies to create jobs locally. The development of affordable 3D printing gives companies a way to bring manufacturing back home. It seems this new ability to localize manufacturing
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could serve as a direct counter-balance to the globalizing effects of outsourcing. “If 3D printing does democratize manufacturing, it will truly do it,” Reeves says. “There’s no reason it won’t be used to manufacture products for South America within South America.” This re-outsourcing strategy is beginning to make a lot of business sense. Many companies have reflected on the outsourcing boom as something of a mistake — the effect of a shortterm and misguided strategy, as experts told the Atlantic last year. The General Electric (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt said that outsourcing “is quickly becoming outdated as a business model for GE Appliances.” John Shook, CEO of the efficiency think-tank the Lean Enterprise Institute, said: “There was a herd mentality to the offshoring. And there was some bullshit. Many of the biggest costs were hidden.” Arguably the biggest of these costs was the loss of proprietary knowledge and control — the kind of know-how a company can retain only by continuing to make its products itself. The Atlantic conveys this idea by comparing the factory to a laboratory: “How you run the factory is a technology in and of itself. Your factory is really a laboratory — and the R&D that can happen there, if you pay attention, is worth a lot more to the bottom line than the cost savings of cheap labour in someone else’s factory.” Companies such as GE, Apple and the household appliance maker Whirlpool have already announced plans to open new factories back home. Political leaders are also beginning to recognize the importance of fostering a national base of manufacturing know-how. Many recent efforts focus specifically on 3D printing. Funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Canada’s $18.9 million SMART program supports local companies working to advance 3D printing technology. In his State of the Union address in February, U.S. President Barack Obama
pledged to push through Congress US $1 billion of support for the development of additive manufacturing clusters around the country. The U.K. has introduced research grants similar to Obama’s proposal. And China has introduced the first plan aimed directly at developing indigenous 3D printing technology. The investment is intended not necessarily for the export market, but to inhibit the import of overseas technology.
Political leaders are also beginning to recognize the importance of fostering a national base of manufacturing know-how. Many recent efforts focus specifically on 3D printing. Many pol iticians have even singled out jobs as their administrations’ pet issue. And the underlying consensus seems to be that if we want the global economy to bounce back, we need to be chiefly concerned with getting people back to work. A good first step in addressing the jobs issue is to recognize what kinds of jobs are being eliminated.
How does this affect jobs? Carl Bass is the CEO of Autodesk, a leading 3D design software company based out of California. The fledgling company has earned accolades from the likes of Fast Company and Dow Jones
ARBITRAGEMAGAZINE.COM may 2013
for its commitment to innovation and sustainability. Bass is a regular on the industry conference circuit. Last fall, he discussed the impact of additive manufacturing on the labour market, particularly around unskilled or traditional manufacturing jobs. “You look back, and around the turn of the century, the 1900s, 40 per cent of the American workforce was in agriculture,” says Bass. “Today, it’s less than two per cent. We’re able to do it through better productivity, through mechanization and through computers. The same thing is going to happen to manufacturing.” In the 1950s, over 30 per cent of the United States’ workforce was employed in manufacturing. Today, that number is just above 10 per cent. Indeed, the U.S.’ manufacturing sector, much like its agricultural one, has declined in demand over the past century. That is namely due to the advent of mechanization and technology. As a result, many of the remaining jobs have been outsourced to developing countries — an apparent standard for most developed nations. A fabled story about the late Apple founder Steve Jobs involves an exchange he had with President Obama at a breakfast with other “titans of Silicon Valley.” Obama asked Jobs what it would take to make iPhones in the U.S. Jobs replied: “Those jobs are gone. And they’re not coming back.” The negative impact of this shift is a loss of low-skilled jobs back home. The positive side is that it pushes the job requirements further up the value chain. Jobs followed up his comment with an oft-overlooked statistic: There are more people working in North America designing and developing apps than there ever were involved in the local manufacturing of devices. Additive printing technology has the potential to create similar new labour markets within the manufacturing industry. The technology could create more demand for skilled workers such as industrial designers and inventory managers, as well as create completely new roles from scratch.
The process of 3D printing undoubtedly threatens low-wage jobs both at home and overseas, but it also has the potential to complicate higher-value roles. For example, an inventory manager will be required to have quite different skills and prerequisites based on whether he’s applying for work at a traditional manufacturing firm or at a firm using 3D printing. This inherent threat, along with the recent attention given to 3D printing in the press, may be a signal for labour groups to begin mobilizing a defence.
As 3D printing becomes more widely used, it seems an ambiguity in the definition of labour roles will naturally take root, blurring the lines between areas such as manufacturing, product development and retail services Econolyst’s Reeves told Arbitrage Magazine about the only 3D printingrelated labour issue he had come across. It involved an American automotive manufacturing firm. Like most car manufacturers, the company had been using additive technology for decades, but solely
for prototyping purposes. Then, they decided to start using the technology for the actual production of low-value components. The unions fought this decision. They claimed that the people who worked in the model shop were “model-makers” and not “manufacturers.” These model-makers belonged to a higher pay-grade than that of manufacturers, and the unions argued it was unacceptable for these workers to be subject to lower-value manufacturing work. As 3D printing becomes more widely used, it seems an ambiguity in the definition of labour roles will naturally take root, blurring the lines between areas such as manufacturing, product development and retail services. How people label themselves will affect things like their pay and skill requirements. Health and safety guidelines may also become an issue down the line as more people begin to work with the technology. There currently is little information available on such guidelines. Another potential issue facing 3D printing is the misapplication of its technology. In addition to manufacturing, construction is another industry that could potentially be disrupted by additive processes. There have been many one-off projects of 3D-printed buildings these projects feel more like novelties than case studies that can be replicated and scaled. Reeves suspected that the idea of applying 3D printing to construction activities seemed like a nonsensical premise. He recalled that the construction industry has been making things in layers for two-and-ahalf thousand years. It started with the Egyptians and the pyramids; and, even today, most brick buildings are still made in layers. Reeves doubted the logic of bringing to a site a machine that’s bigger than the building to be made. “There’s little evidence of anything particularly useful in the construction domain,” Reeves says. “It almost feels like a solution looking for a problem. The benefit of 3D printing is always the manufacture of high-value, low-volume,
complex geometries. Most architectural scales just don’t fall into that.” Matt King studies marketing and creative writing at New York University. His undergraduate studies have sent him around the world, throughout Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Follow him on Twitter at (@_mattking). Contact info and writing clips can be found at (http://matt-king.me)
may 2013 ARBITRAGEMAGAZINE.COM
design: ian todd
Backlash and Complications
the student last page co.
How to Heal a Massacre Nearly half a year has passed siNCe 26 people were guNNed dowN at a sChool iN NewtowN, CoNN., but the debate still CoNtiNues — aNd still CeNtres oN the wroNg issue In the months following the Newtown shooting, an uproar echoes in the wake. Litigation and controversy about gun control has risen. So has discussion on mental health issues, which the gunman is supposedly suffering from. And at the forefront of debate is security in schools — metal detectors, random locker checks, etc and the National Rifle Association (NR A)’s bold suggestion to put more guns in schools. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, in a statement the week after the shooting. That response elicited vehement criticism. Not surprising. Arguments like those completely miss the point. The issue isn’t security and gunmen; it’s children, teachers and the embittered American culture. On the NRA’s statement, the education scholar Lousie Kerner said: “That’s just horrifying. Disasters can occur in every possible way, so to me, having arms in schools is just an invitation to further disaster.” Kerner, an education professor at Princeton University, is adamant that security measures me t a l de te c tor s a nd random locker-searches are counterproductive. When implemented, there’s the real possibility that a sense of community — important to cultivate better education — could be lost. A st udy re le a se d
February by the Stanford Law Review supports that view. It found that past efforts to intensify security measures in schools — such as the inclusion of metal detectors — have actually backfired. T hose mea su res on ly brought increased inequity, unnecessary infringement upon students’ rights and more gun violence. So if not heightened security, then what? Kerner says the solution lies in something much, much simpler. “It comes down to a general atmosphere,” Kerner says. Schools must “establish trust with students” to help belay impending violence. It tackles the root of the problem by creating a wellrounded community from within the school.
Children are dying, not merely because of guns, but by our collective lack of empathy “ T here’s a d a nger of over-reacting in this circumstance,” says Kerner. “I think we might be making
some mistakes...on the basis of this one incident, deciding that we have to take various steps, [when] it seems very unlikely to me that incidents like [Newtown] will become the norm.” The Stanford report reminds us that Columbine High School had armed guards and metal detectors — none of which prevented it from being one of the most tragic school shootings of its day. And the United States, so desperate for action and answers, seems to have forgotten why we are debating about all of this is in the first place: Children are dying, not merely because of guns, but by our collective lack of empathy. Or, to give a concrete example, the worst indicator of America’s bitter culture, beyond all the murdered children and the prolonged arguments about them, is the largely absent question: What do the students think of all this? It ’s a n i mpor t a nt question, because a child’s opinion doesn’t say so much about the child as it does about the community he grows up in, and now, more than ever, we need to know how we are affecting our children. Almost everyone has forgotten, as 9/11 grows smaller in the rear-view, what the true triumph over tragedy is: to learn from it, and to become better to your fellow man. That’s how you honor the unjustly killed;
you forget the names of the perpetrators and remember the names of the heroes. Because whi le t he Newtown tragedy and the debates surrounding it may have said something about how soured American culture has become, we can turn it around by remembering that the true heroes — parents, administrators and especially teachers — are around us all the time. “Teachers who recognize the importance of having a peaceful and supportive communit y can create that atmosphere [in their classroom],” Kerner says. “They don’t have to wait for [the administrators] to do that.” jaron serven
MAY 2013 arBItraGeMaGaZINe.coM
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