I would love to hear from any slashdotters who have been thinking about homesteading. I have been obsessing about getting out of the city and being independent, leaving some of the consumer world behind. My wife thinks I am nuts, and I don't think that we will actually move to some backwoods any time soon. Anyone else sharing my obesession?
Check out this link for more information on homesteading http://www.homestead.org/Editors/WelcometoHomestead.htm.
Here is the rub. The abuse of these systems, like antibiotics has allowed the natural world to take back the advantage that we once had, and the advantage that allows us to expand far and wide over the earth. Consuming vast amounts of resources for profit.
For millions of years, humans lived in small groups of a few families. In the last three thousand years we have developed enough know-how to build cities, Industrial Farming, utilize chemicals to control insects and bacteria. But this could come crashing down very qucickly.
Should we do something about this? Can we?
It leaves little room for the individual. Wealth creation requires industrial like poeple, complete with predictable, machine-like behaviour and predictable knowledge. Enough creativity to add to the Industrial process, but not too much. It uses institutions like schools and television to create masses that don't think they know too much or could even understand complex issues.
My conclution is that oil is the bases of all modern life since the begining of the 20th century. If we were to say that the medium is the message, we might see that the use of oil releases two things: great amounts of stored energy, and great amounts of poison by-products. Its a pretty nice tool when you need to get alot of work done, and it allows a few workers to get alot of work done in short amount of time, as a matter of fact, you get overproduction. You need a large consumer base to ensure that you have enought consumers for your product.
Back to the earth hippies seem to have one solution. We all start living closer to the land and living like people did on 1860. That kinda screws up the consuner base. And it also decreases the demand for oil which must concern those interests who control much of the means of production. Can you roll back the clock? Not usually. Organizations like greenpeace help the people who control oil. They are a distraction from the real issue of the oil economy and what it is doing to the planet and to our childen.
Speaking of means of production, I just want to say that Marx was a dolt. A possible a rube. It is my firm belief that 19th century capitalism and 20th century socilism/communism are two sides of the same coin. Or I should say to ends of the oil barrel. They are both based on utopian ideals. Both reaching for that more perfect human-god city on a hill.
So if anyone has some ideas on how we extract ourselves from the oil economy, I would love to hear it.
Assumption: All of mankind is born free. They have free will and can make rationed decisions based on imperial knowledge that they can create or evalutate independant of any source. Borrowed from Locke.
It is interesting to ponder that so many have sold themselves and others into bondage. The gains seem so small in the big picture, but I think it is in the interest of the slave-trader for people to think about short-term gains. So the question remains, why are we so quick to sell ourselves into bondage.
Ok, maybe we go back a couple of thousand years to when life was even more brutal. Tribal life, there was a chief and you needed to listen to your chief if you wanted to have enough food for the winter. So in exchange for loyalty (not bondage, yet?) you gove up some of your freedom for collective security.
http://www.rmi.org/ http://www.meta-library.net/bio/lovins-body.html http://www.retscreen.net/ang/menu.php
http://www.livejournal.com/users/da_x/ Co-Linux author blog
http://www.colinux.org/ Co-Linux web site.
http://www.blastwave.org/ the best Solaris package tool.
Having an occupation that forces me to deal with technology at a very low level, I think I have some insight into how things work. Specifically, I have been building international networks and large scale systems for over 12 years. I think I am beginning to have a unique understanding of how things work. Living through the dot.com era has certainly added to my point of view, especially since I made no-money. Many of my peers made or had significant amounts of money real and virtual. I am not bitter at all, but I can't speak for my wife.
Back to what I want to talk about, the relationship between technology, individual freedom, dependancy and corporate greed, and the fragility of our wired existence
Living through the dot.com experience certainly allowed me to see greed in a very raw form. I have always subscribed to a Lord of the Flies view of the world. The idea that when left to our base nature, we return to brutal selfish animal bent on dominating our environments. It is my personal belief that a strong understanding of right and wrong, as well as a belief in a higher-power is the only thing separating us from mutually assured destruction.
Greed fuels our desire for wealth.
How does this relate to technology you ask? Well, it doesn't directly, but it is technology that is used by business for advantage. By the admission of the business advocates, business serves only one master.
Wealth creation at any expense.
The use of technology, without great regard for its impact on the immediate environment and people in the name of the new ideologies of progress, science and profit. (Interesting how the word profit has two distinct meanings). This is almost the new definition of "business".
The final part that I would like to discuss, individual and freedom and how this is impacted by personal and business decisions on the use of technology.
My definition of the word technology is very straight-forward. Anything that enhances our physical attributes. This is as simple as a pulley, and as complex as manned space flight. Any Luddite that would like to remove technology from their life would like to return to a time that has never existed in human history, we have always used tools. Our choice of tools have often has direct impacts on those who used them, and those around the people using them. We all know stories of successful technologies like ships used to discover the new world, and unsuccessful technologies such as the hydrogen lifted airship. In fact, the modern person makes decisions about the tools she is going to use from the moment she wakes till after she has gone to sleep. More than ever, we are defined by our machines. (Medium is the message again?, don't know.)