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Restarter Profile: Meet Ben

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Raised by a hippy in Brixton, I studied guitar making and worked in that field, developing my hand-skills and a problem-solving mentality. I’ve made and demonstrated bicycle-powered generators as an educational tool for greener energy, which took me into the community, including teaching young people in schools (my favourite audience). I am now studying electronic engineering with goals of impacting sustainability and improved social mechanics.

When did you start repairing electronics and electricals?

I’ve been fascinated with anything electronic or mechanical since I was a toddler, so I was taking things apart from about that age. Most of my first computers and other electronic devices were given to me as either very old, or broken, and so I have worked my way up through much more tech than the average 27-year-old knows about. The key skill that seems to get better with experience is careful and gentle repair which doesn’t negatively impact on the device’s use or appearance.

Why do you attend Restart Parties?

I get everything I need to keep me happy: Interesting people to talk to, problems to solve, good deeds to be done and a steady movement towards a more sustainable kind of society. I also learn a lot from the people and situations there so it “betters me” at the same time.

What is your favourite kind of repair?

One where something is learned, and some resources are saved (e.g. Not having to buy a new something), preferably with accompanying laughter and cake! It’s especially satisfying when it empowers other people to change their relationship with technology too.

What do you do when you are not Restarting?

Some studying, some repairing things for family, friends and myself. Lots of musical things – Listening or playing. I love to cook but I love to eat more, especially with good company.

What frustrates you (in life)?

Wastefulness and carelessness. Lack of empathy or awareness of people’s actions which can lead to wasted resources such as time and money as well as raw materials. The inequality across the human race which is then caused by these things.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Usually about the 5th or 6th “Snooze” alarm going off. I tend to sleep in unless I have to do something for someone. I’m bad at self-motivating for my own hobbies.

What’s the first thing – one material thing – that you could not live without? (besides oxygen, food, water, and shelter and medical care)

Oh, sadly this would probably be my phone or another internet-enabled device. So much of my productivity depends on access to information, or communication.

Share something cool with us [preferably a link]

www.xkcd.com – A very geeky blog written by a Linux-usin’, statistics-lovin’ stickman.

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