There’s a positively cambrian explosion of form factors, heater designs, heat sources, materials, control systems, etc. right now in the product space, and it’s more or less all driven by crazy people making stuff in their basement and selling it via word of mouth on reddit and instagram and web forums.
No one design has won, so we’re still in that “try everything!” mode. It’s kind of fun to see.
There's a second tier of cheap-but-probably-safe that's companies like boundless or healthy rips.
Then there are the fan favorites / esoteric-nerd things like dynavap or the aforementioned basemenet-makers or hobbyist/lifestyle companies. They're not going to hit mass-market volume but they've got the nerds covered.
Pax is killing it with the Era (but that's for concentrates) and their parent company is Juul, so they're well positioned -- but they are not setting the trend of the market at all. They continue to make good-but-overpriced conduction-only units that are increasingly just totally eclipsed by convection/hybrid units with replaceable batteries or alternative heat sources.
The partnership-with-local-concentrate-producers plan means, as far as i can tell, that the quality varies wildly.
In this instance, i'll be glad of regulatory oversight sooner rather than later.
I highly doubt game design is some notable outlier - it's simply a union of software development and creative industries. I think the only reasonable explanations is that the vibrant community and exchange of ideas happens through the internet. If so, I think there are lessons for other entrepreneurs/industries to follow so they can be less geographically bound.
A surprising amount of stuff, for example, came out of Chicago between the 80's and 90's. Why? Because amusement manufacturing was located there, so there was a direct crossover from solid state pinball to video games. Williams, Gottlieb and the rest all operated in the area. For similar reasons the bulk of Japan's game output in the 80's came from its three largest cities.
As the industry became more software-driven, it got easier to spread out, and with the merger mania of the 90's pooling up capital, you got the existence of studios with multiple offices in different cities. But you still needed some infrastructure and financing to run a studio, and so most large game studios are in "hip metros" even today.
But when you get down to the realm of current indie games doing digital distribution and Twitch streaming, your physical bottleneck is approximately the same as a writer: fast internet and basic city services. But writers benefit from having a creative circle, salon or similar gathering, and that creates an effect in indie games which I will forever remember from a TIGSource forum thread as the "globetrotting international hipster clique": creators who live very far apart and only see each other at big conferences. Often this ends in people from the same city learning of each other's existence by flying to a different city where a conference is. After you hit a critical mass of people aware of each other in a city, it's just a matter of running a regular local event.
And what I've noticed personally in some 9 years of attending or helping host those events is that while the games scene in a city will derive most of its people from other industries(e.g. in SF you get a lot of tech workers with a hobby project) the way in which it's shaped depends on the type of regular events held and their focus. Some events are focused on business or technical lectures; others are co-working of some form; still others are public-facing showcases. Each of those has their purpose and you do need a sufficiently large city to experience all categories, since without a balance you end up with an average game output that has too little creativity, is poorly shaped as a product, lacks in technical ability, etc. There is a lot of wasted time in indie games that results from someone, somewhere retreating into the work without other eyes on it.
The Dallas / Ft Worth area has a similar cluster story around early 3D gaming, thanks heavily to 3D Realms and then id Software. Companies like Ritual, Hipnotic, GOD Games, ION Storm, Gearbox. Then you also had Ensemble Studios, Terminal Reality and others in the area. DWANGO down in Houston was heavily built on what id Software did. Dozens of small indie companies spawned in the DFW area thanks to the foundation put down by some of those companies.
"Commercial real estate firm JLL found gaming companies are on the rise in North Texas. According to JLL, nine colleges offer gaming degree programs that help build a labor pool in North Texas. The firm counts 87 gaming companies in North Texas. That’s nearly a third of all gaming companies in Texas, which only trails California in the number of design and development studios."
"It used to be that Austin was the de facto answer for game development in Texas. But actually, Dallas has a rich history of game development companies going back to id Software," explained Bettner. "That spawned a bunch of studios in the area."
But there are, of course, also very large communities for gaming online, from development to consumption. Most (if not effectively all) "core-CS" innovation takes place at university research groups, corps, and conferences, a much higher barrier to entry than itch.io for instance. CS innovation really requires a large amount of experience in a very limited subfield to make progress.
Game design is just less esoteric than the frontiers of CS imo.
In areas like AI that’s countered by the benefits of an elite education. But, game designers need to be generalists which is harder for schools to teach over short time frames.
PS: That’s not to say CS graduates from top schools are under represented, just that they had a gap and likely left the area.
For starters, using patents as a proxy for innovation is dubious at best. Patents are a terrible proxy for innovation. My own experience has been the inverse: organizations/individuals that patenting shit lots of shit are consistently the least inventive. Not sure if this was true in the early 20th century, but it certainly is today.
That said, all the best music was made in the 60's and 70's so maybe he's onto something. :)
I'm just actually curious, it's just a semantic difference and I'm curious how wide of a net you cast with this term.
The entire movement might not be, but the people exhibiting the behavior are. With the woke movement pretty much everyone in it seems to exhibit the behavior. The vegan or pro-gun movements, not so much; most people I've seen who are vegans or pro-gun have no interest in punishing other people for anti-vegan or anti-gun thoughts, they just want to be able to put their own beliefs into practice in their own lives without interference.
It's much easier to hold a categorical black and white opinion than to try to defend and define a nuanced opinion, especially when you're likely going to wind up arguing with more than one person at once.
It seems to me that someone who is conservative would be against something like the prohibition both because it changes the status quo and because it results in regulation and a bigger government.
Has this always been the case in the US or has the word conservative changed meaning at some point in history? Did the people who vote for the Prohibition back at the turn of the 20th century identify themselves as conservative? Were they identified as conservative by others around them?
Technology as en enabler of things. Not all tech is easily accessible on day 1 though. Industrialization for example, was capital-intensive, so not everyone could play.
As for music - I'd say that, like software, as the barriers to access and entry were lowered, innovation took off (A-track / cassettes / radio etc..).
As for conservatism - that can come in many flavors. We really should appreciate the amount of innovation that takes place on a farm.
Prohibition was a social-progressive movement, driven by the same sort of people that advocate decriminalizing drugs these days.
Patent filing is a really weak proxy for the creation of actually useful inventions.