"During [the canal's] three centuries it needed virtually no maintenance, it relied on no engines or fuel, no mining, no metals, no chemicals. There was no pollution, the boats could be hand built. ... It did not cause any emissions or erosion, it saved millions of man hours otherwise spent on ... roads. There were no accidents: at walking speed and thirty centimeter depth it was safe enough to have children playing in the middle of it with boats coming and going."

This probably goes without saying, but if you enjoy this, you should spend some time reading Low Tech Magazine. (While this article isn't from there, it has a very similar timbre to their material.)

@grey "Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends.” — Lewis Mumford

@grey Technocracy, founded by Howard Scott in 1919, proposed a system of canals across the American continents they called “continental hydrology.”

@onan It’s more of a precision tool than a blunt instrument. There are definitely many places where such a thing could have worked! That said, the American continent has an extremely varied topography. Such solutions seem like they could still have a place in many communities where the geography is conducive.

@grey Technocracy had many fascinating ideas that - I hesitate to say never, so let's say have not been tested yet.

Such as the "Energy Certificate" (EC). The price of goods and services determined by the amount of electricity used to produce and distribute them. Everyone gets an equal annual amount of EC, and those EC expire in a year. Economic inequality gets reset to equality once a year. Fascinating.

Here's their Continental Hydrology map...

@onan Huh. That's pretty neat. Less expansive than I was imagining, in one sense, in that it seems to be about much bigger canals, but still fascinatingly ambitious. I'll have to look into it more. Thanks for the tip!

@grey just fyi, WrathOfGnon has links to neoreactionary spheres. the info in that post is historical and factual but the larger vision of traditionalist urbanism etc is one where everyone lives in ethnostates with baby factory wives, etc. a few years back lots of people in that sphere realized that being connected to figures like Mencius Moldbug was politically radioactive so they dialed back their most openly abhorrent politics to reach a larger audience.

@grey i do think it's worth considering the overlap between leftist vs regressive urbanism / low-tech movements; there are several cases where we want similar things for entirely different reasons. and certainly, the appeal of "don't build in hyper fragile, capital-addicted ways that can't possibly be sustained" has a broad common sense to it.

@jplebreton Always worth noting that one need always wear your critical reading glasses when considering others reasons for things.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.