Been thinking a lot about how to produce physical things without destroying the environment.

But maybe "production" is just plain infeasible? Like, maybe the pattern of "let's make TONS of copies of this object for lots of people" is just not a generally feasible pattern.

Perhaps the small-scale building of things is the only real way to go: analyze your local needs, then design and build a thing that meets your needs for your specific circumstances.

I then thought, "oh no but what about vaccines e.g. for coronavirus?"

But perhaps if we weren't so globalized, it wouldn't have BEEN a pandemic?

Large-scale production also is what got all of us on the internet looking at this toot though, so..?


i agree with your preliminary conclusion. that seems to be the way to minimize negative externalities while fostering local relationships and ensuring the thing you're producing is relevant and needed.

i imagine hunter-gatherers of old: of course there was long-range trade, but materials for food, medicine, clothing and shelter were primarily locally-sourced on demand. those individuals and groups were experts in their local environments and developed deep sensitivities for ecology.

@oak showing how to build something and letting people build the thing with locally sourced materials minimizes some of the harm.

@neauoire More how-to zines!

I've also been noticing this new lens growing in me: the ability to look at objects in our environment more like building blocks vs atomic objects. e.g. seeing a thin piece of metal as potentially a myriad of things: a hook, a handle, a lever, a decoration, a brace, etc. I've been approaching my problem-solving more in terms of "oh ok, I think a wood would be a good material for this" and then look around myself for pieces of wood.

@oak It's probably because I've been re-reading naussicaa but I can't help thinking that the coronavirus is the environment trying to heal itself up.

I know I shouldn't anthropomorphise this too much, but I can't help it.

@neauoire I wish the fix for covid was as beautiful as making friends with ohms 🖤

@oak “Received with great interest upon release in 1929, “This Ugly Civilization” offered a course of action for those who were soon facing the Great Depression. The book again found an audience during the rationing and instability of World War II. “This Ugly Civilization” and Borsodi’s subsequent “Flight from the City” (1933) became “bibles” to many in the successive “back-to-the-land” movements that occur every generation.”

@oak More to the point: ""This Ugly Civilization" rejects the reign of quantity over quality in both man and machine, along with the concomitant rise of consumerism and groupthink. Above and beyond mere self-sufficiency, Borsodi champions an appreciation of beauty, uniqueness and craftsmanship over the factory conformity being imposed in every sector of life."

@oak i confess, some of whatever software bigotism i have derives from software being #unmaterial. we can make these screens do anything.

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.