January 15th, 2008
Can you make a paper airplane?
I can, and I have seen only a very few who cannot. I at different stages of my life have made lots of different origami/papercraft. But the only two or three things which I still remember are the paper airplance and the paper boat.
But unlike the paper frogs and other such things, I did not learn how to make a paper airplane from teachers. I don’t even remember who taught me that. From what I can recall from my own experience and from what I have seen, the source of this knowledge is either a peer(friend, classmate,etc) or an elder (big brother,uncle). Now if you think you agree read on, or the rest will not make much sense. Now why do these two groups of people teach you something as trivial(?) as a paper plane.
Friends: Often the friend is just showing to show of his newly acquired skills. Getting the “ooh he can make such a nice plane” from others. Then one of his close friends would ask him (or request him) to teach him too. Or someone just grabs a plane and reverse engineers it (very unlikely though).
Elders: I definitely believe that every elder has a child sleeping inside. When a elder wants to impress a kid he loves (the typical uncle), he would make one.
What is the difference between the two? I think “making an impression” is there in both cases. In the second case it might be a little less, it could also be the self gratification of making a toy for a kid.
Who could be the first person who invented/discovered it? How did a few designs travel time(generations) and space (countries and cultures). We can learn a lesson or two in virality from paper planes. Would be very useful in making useful social applications.
Where the application designer does not impose the “invite your friends”.
Where people would search for such a functionality and if it is not there demand it.