Dorks Try to Mingle in New York

Where do you go when, let's face it, you're smarter than everyone else? Easy. You go to Dorkbot. It's a monthly gathering of scientists, artists and designers doing, in their words, "strange things with electricity." Started by Douglas Repetto in New York City in 2000, Dorkbot meetings are now held all over the world.

Repetto, an artist and director of research at Columbia University, dreamed up Dorkbot when he moved to New York City and needed a way to make friends. Dorkbot filled another need, too: it created a real-world forum for people to discuss and encounter the things they were talking about online. "I do think that one thing that Dorbot has been really good at is heightening the idea that to be in a physical space with other people is a different thing than sharing something online."

Clearly, gadget-love and the DIY aesthetic have moved out of the province of nerds and into the mainstream in recent years, often reflecting technologies and ideas already expressed at Dorkbot. As regular attendee Joel Schlosberg says, "I'm not sure who said this, but 'the future is here already, it's just not evenly distributed yet.'"

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