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Joel Hollingsworth
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A blogger is offering four, $100 prizes for technology that would allow more home-brew experimentation.

The four technologies are cryogenics, vacuum, microscopy, and circuits.  In each case, the prize will go to a design that allows for a certain capability for $100 in equipment.

http://www.intellectualpornography.com/2009/10/one-oclock-daily---a-prize-for-layman-science.html

I see science as an important part of culture, and so I think the topic makes sense in this forum.  It also relates partly to an earlier thread comment about whether a microscope is a reasonable piece of farm equipment.

The organizer of the prizes is also open to donations for additional prizes for other sorts of equipment.  Is there some apparatus that you guys think would add to the list?  More to the point, what sort of science could be done on an ongoing basis to inform permaculture design, that is currently being held back by expensive or otherwise un-available equipment?
 
                                
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Aaarg.

I looked at that link. Look...I use these technologies every day. The science behind them grew over a course of 1-2 hundred years. Yes you could build some sort of contraption that might sorta work....kinda work maybe one day maybe two days a week. You can get really low tec with magnification...perhaps go back to a drop of water as a lens ....but you will never get anything of reliable quality.

I think the best that could come out of this sort of thought experiment (cos its never going to be practical) is the realization that we are very *very* dependent on interlinked high technologies for even the most basic of practical apparatus.

Is this why we are drawn to permaculture?

By some careful design we can hitch a ride on existing complexity inherent in biological systems.

Ah well. I had better stop here as I finish off my 3rd glass of wine, and become too maudlin, to be coherent about the future progress of science.

Thomas
 
rose macaskie
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      I wrote to a scientist once asking him to investigate leaves absorbing humidity, i can't understand how cactuses live in the desert if they don't absorb humidity from the air, and he said design ways of investigating it yourself. Then i saw a documentary of a scientist who was looking at some animal in holes and he had fixed a camara and recorder and light onto a kids car that was set up with an engine to take the camara down the animals or snakes hole.
  What has pornography to do with science?

        James Churchill of winsconson wrote a book on Survival and he tied a plastic bag round a sprig of leaves on a tree to catch the humidity that the tree transpired to get a bit to drink when you are lost in the wild. He blew the bag up a bit and put a pebble in it so the water would run down the sides of the bag and settle round the pebble.
        What really interested me is that he said that you should take the bag down at night because if you left the bag on the tree, the water would get reabsorbed. Incredible the leaves reabsorbe the water a good bit of information to explain why trees increase rainfall, the humidity in a place. If they absorb humidity at night this humidity wont evaporate and float away.
          I have tried to do it myself, it did not work very well but as i get up late there was no knowing if it did not work because it did not work or because the trees had been transpiring again in the heat of the morning sun and losing water . Also i only tried it once.
        If you read about science, scientists are always making bits of equipment, the equipment gets the name of the scientist who makes it. agri rose macaskie.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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tc20852 wrote:I think the best that could come out of this sort of thought experiment (cos its never going to be practical) is the realization that we are very *very* dependent on interlinked high technologies for even the most basic of practical apparatus.


I respect that opinion.

I think the $100 oscilloscope challenge will be solved in two weeks.  Early contenders will probably be a variation on CRT TV modification:  http://www.zyra.org.uk/oscope.htm .  I bet the ultimate winner, though, will be a fully digital model, perhaps using chips built to digitize TV signals for computer use...one might have to use two in parallel, because they cut out for the "flyback" portion of the signal, but I bet it could be done.

A contact microscope with 1000X magnification is commercially avaliable for $90 ( http://www.redferret.net/?p=9870 ), and materials for a home-built but traditional-looking one with commercial achromatic optics (1700X) cost $50 a few years ago ( http://www.funsci.com/fun3_en/ucomp1/ucomp1.htm#lenses ).  Technologies based on cell-phone image sensors, or on whole phones, also show a lot of promise:  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006320.

A lot of scientific equipment is designed to be profitable in a very small market, and much of what that market is buying is the ability to impress a grant committee.  The values informing design for these prizes is more in line with Soviet equipment than the instruments you or I use every day, except these designs will have a huge pool of consumer-oriented resources to draw from. 

None of this contradicts your observation that we are very much dependent on interlinked high technologies, but as this sort of thing progresses, more of those interlinkages can be within smaller-scale, better-distributed systems. And a lot of the technologies upstream could be radically simpler if we were willing to invest more human attention per unit produced.

I could see a $100 liquid nitrogen condenser feeding a $100 cryo pump or diffusion pump maintaining the vac on a $100 electron microscope, the signal of which can be interpreted by a $100 oscilloscope and displayed on a $200 laptop.  All of which may allow the neighborhood geek to save his neighbors thousands on building materials and soil amendments, because as a group they could design based on the exact details of their local mineral resources.

I'm not certain this award effot will be a success, but I think it might be.
 
Neal McSpadden
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A bit off-topic:

Strangely enough, I was thinking about a related topic on the appeal of permaculture in general.  Many times when I tell my fiancee about the new things I learn in permaculture, she asks me, "Why doesn't everyone do it that way?"

I try to respond with ideas about the diffusion of knowledge, synthesis from different fields/geographies/times/etc, and so on.

The thought that hit me today was that (many, most, all?) permaculture designs are simple, but that they are simplicity on the far side of complexity (a quote I heard once).

That is, it has taken humans 7000 or so years to get a basic understanding of applied biology, and in that time we have gone from very basic systems to very complex systems.  Just think about all the global resources that are used to produce genetically modified corn in Iowa.

But now that we have at least a basic understanding of the principles involved, we can create systems that are simple in administration, capital cost, time maintenance, and many other metrics, but that are also abundant in yield for us and many other species.

So the real reason why everyone doesn't do it that way is that we are at the tipping point in historical terms.  From here on out we have the potential to make things simpler and better. 

I realize I may be preaching to the choir here
 
Leah Sattler
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tamo42 wrote:
A bit off-topic:

So the real reason why everyone doesn't do it that way is that we are at the tipping point in historical terms.  From here on out we have the potential to make things simpler and better. 

I realize I may be preaching to the choir here


I am totally on board with that idea. I think we have been "taking apart the world" from a biological standpoint and it has shown us its natural complexity. that complexity and the bits and pieces that we found out we could manipulate resulted in some of the practices of today. now we are getting deeper and realizing that it is even more complex then we imagined and therefore less accomodating to our clumsy manipulation of minute aspects then we thought, resulting in a gradual shift to more simple ways of doing things that take advantage of things that already work well and nature has already sorted out.

sorry. off topic. just had to spit that out.
 
rose macaskie
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  I said what has pornografy to do with science, really ideas turn me on and i imagine i would have a good life with a person with ideas and i enjoy their company and so science does turn some people on. Some people pretend those who are only interested in getting the better of others are what keeps your brain brigtht and shiny, everyone is good at argueing their own points of veiw.  agri rose macaskie.
 
                    
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rose macaskie wrote:
      I wrote to a scientist once asking him to investigate leaves absorbing humidity, i can't understand how cactuses live in the desert if they don't absorb humidity from the air, and he said design ways of investigating it yourself. Then i saw a documentary of a scientist who was looking at some animal in holes and he had fixed a camara and recorder and light onto a kids car that was set up with an engine to take the camara down the animals or snakes hole.
  What has pornography to do with science?


Interesting puzzle on the cactus - I guess that cacti might be raised in different enclosures, where they got the same amount of liquid water, but where the humidity was kept high in some, low in others.  If the high humidity plants were heavier or taller, it would show that the cactus did capture significant humidity.  Very possible that they create a hygrocopic gel that can pull water from the air.

Regarding your question:

Answer 1)
Some people on the net use that term loosely to describe anything that is interesting or gratifying - a scientific journal tends to be rather thick and boring, but a blog that has science news that is readable and interesting and which inspires or stimulates a passion for the subject might be labeled sci-porn.

Answer 2)
Biological and social phenomena are subject to investigation using the scientific method - including things not usually discussed in mixed company.
 
Leah Sattler
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rose macaskie wrote:
  I said what has pornografy to do with science,


it is just a figure of speech. don't worry it has nothing to do with naked people or sex

in short it  means "intellectually provocative"......... provokes the mind.
 
rose macaskie
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Thanks Leah , at first i did not open up the page i was scared about what it might contain.
   
    jonathon-byron you mention an experiment that is like the one paper i did find on the subject. The paper is called, "Foliar absorption of dew influences shoot water potential and root growth in pinus ... the ... pinus strobus seedlings. It is some time since i looked for information on this there might be more information now. you can get it in google with the first five word of the title, i have just checked it out. they found that plant growth was better when the plants were sprayed with false dew.
  i have a lot more to say on foliar absorption of humidity but i have to take the dog out and shop before finishing it all. i have got some written but not corrected. agri rose macaskie. 
 
rose macaskie
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jonathon_byron- i do have another paper on foliar absorption of water, a paper with the heading,  "jstor: american Journal of Botany:vol- 48, No 8 (sep., 1961) pp. 683-691". I can't find it again in google.
    The problem with foliar absorption is that leaves don't have permeable surfaces, though oblviously foliar feeding works so they absorb things. The article i have says there are cells called ectodesmata, and these are found near, guard cells, conical hairs, anti clinal walls and in the epidermal cells near leaf veins where substances are know to enter leaves through localized pathways and it is thought that the localised pathways are ectodesmata. This bit might give someone the where with all to investigate this. As for me i think i ought to look for more papers on it, more modern and that i can find instead of this one, i can't find.  agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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jonathon_byron interesting about hydroscopic gel, there is a sort of gelatin in a aloe vera. I have not opened up many cactuses but the two I have were full of gel. I don’t know anything about hydroscopic gel, it is something to look up in goggle.
    Here some of my thoughts on humidity in the air in deserts. they are scientific because they would need scientists to prove or disprove them,
   When temperatures drop sharply, the humidity in the air condenses. For one this means that in deserts, which are places famous for having sharp drops of temperature at night there is dew at night I should think. Desert air feels dry but as hot air can hold more humidity that colder air maybe it’s not as dry as it feels.  This condensation of the humidity in the air dries the air out, all the humidity is taken out of it at night because the humidity condenses leaving the air drier.  Though the dew should, largely, re-evaporate during the day, unless cactuses can absorb it and hold on to it or unless it can work its way deep into the earth. Look up dew in Wikipedia.
     I suppose the winds bring humid air to deserts, the fact that the air in them is dry must depend in the desert drying it.

      You have an idea, that of hydroscopic gel for how cactuses could absorb water, maybe you can expand on other scientific ideas of mine.

1. Could plants synthesize atoms, hydrogen and oxygen and produce water?

2. I did ask myself if plants could cool themselves as in other ways, different ones from transpiration. I wondered if they might cool themselves as fridges do forcing liquid to contract and loose its heat.
      Plants are full of tubes and some plants, at any rate, can build up considerable pressure inside their tubes.     
      I had read that in maples the roots pump the sap round the trees in spring re-filling empty tubes  and i thought the word pump did not describe the process well so I looked up maples because I thought that North Americans would have studied maples well. They have.
     It seems that in spring the pressure builds up in maples in such a way that the sap shoots around in all directions up down and sideways. So pressures can be built up in trees that force liquid round the tree.

   A short-ish dissertation on why this pressure build up in trees in important in the tundra,on  trees and desertification.
  The importance of this from the ecological point of view is that maples and birches recover the use of tubes that have suffered embolism, empting during the year. Once empty, water carrying tubes in trees normally lose their ability to carry water for ever. Though this is a subject on which they have more information each year, it seems to be not thoroughly studied that is my deduction from the little I have read on the subject, so it is adventurous to generalize on it. Most trees make up for the loss of the use of water carrying vessels due to embolism, laying on a new outside ring of new water carrying vessels round their trunks each spring.
    Birches like maples also refill their vessels in spring as maples do and they live in the tundra where trees suffer more from embolism because their sap freezes and air bubbles appear in frozen sap . The air bubbles in the frozen sap expand when the liquid melts causing embolisms in cold climates. Coniferous trees gymnosperms have smaller vessels that broad leaves trees and so suffer less from embolism and as they are more resistant can live in places where there is more possibilities of suffering from embolisms, like deserts and tundra.
      This information comes from the book “Trees” Roland Ennos. This book talks about the mechanics of trees, how they trees construct special tissues that reinforce branches so they can resist the pull of the wind and the weight of their own branches and how special trees like mangos and swamp cypresses deal with the salt in the water and the lack of oxygen in the swamps for their roots. I found it really interesting.
      As conifers  bare embolism better than broad leaved trees , they are useful in deserts, They plant certain types of gymnosperms pines, the halpensis , to stop deserts spreading , though as pine’s wood markets easily, pines seem to be the only trees lots of people think of, at least in Europe were people are just pine mad,
     I wonder do they even consider other types of conifers’ that might be better, hot country junipers for example, or angiosperms, broad leaved trees that resist the heat of the deserts like tamarix. The tamarix aphylla holds dunes both because it stops the wind blowing them away and because it traps the sand that then falls at its feet increasing the dune that keeps the earth under it fresh and humid for the tamarix roots. Jesus Charco guia de Arboles y Arbustos del Norte de Africa, guide of trees and bushes in the north of Africa, these tamarinds exist from the north of Africa to Pakistan and Jesus Charco thinks they should be planted in abundance to stop deserts. His book has a good picture of a tamarix on top of the dune it has fixed, this dune stands way above the level of the land round it. Jesus Charcos books have lots of really interesting information for contracting desertification in them so I would take his suggestions very seriously.
  Forests of palms might be as good as pine trees for holding back deserts.  There are forests of palms outside Marrakesh. If they did not cut the dead leaves off palms wouldn't they have leaves to the ground, though dead, which would stop the sand where sand was eating up the good land
    To return to maples, one suggestion for why pressure builds up in spring, in maples,  during the day, I looked up, sugar maples in google to understand their sap flow, was that the wood in which the tubes are embedded is full of gasses so that when the sun gets up in the morning and heats the tree, the gases in the wood expand compressing the water carrying tubes embedded in the wood. The expansion of the wood round the vessels reduces the size of the vessels and the room for the sap in them.  At night the situation is reversed and the gasses in the wood cool and contract, the tubes now no longer compressed get bigger and the tree draws in lots of liquid through its roots that will shoot round the tree in the heat of the next day and can be drawn off to make maple sugar with.  Other explanations were the build up of osmotic pressures and an idea more that I can't remember. 
  So plants can build up pressures in their tubes and maybe they could work like fridges and cool themselves by compressing liquids.
    In other types of trees the wood in which the sap carrying tubes are buried is full of liquids and pressures are not built up in the trees in spring when days are warm and nights are cold.
    So, could plants have alternative cooling methods to transpiration?   agri rose ma
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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rose macaskie wrote:
1. Could plants synthesize atoms, hydrogen and oxygen and produce water?

2. I did ask myself if plants could cool themselves as in other ways, different ones from transpiration. I wondered if they might cool themselves as fridges do forcing liquid to contract and loose its heat.


1.  Atoms are synthesized in stars, and occasionally by radionuclides or atom smashers or fission reactors.  If significant numbers of atoms are being made, most living things are killed by the side-effects of that process.

I realize some people believe in biological transmutation, but to my understanding that idea is very different from a nuclear chemist's definition of transmutation.

I mentioned to Paul on another thread that lye will pull water out of the air and become a liquid.  The tissues of cactuses probably aren't that greedy for water, but I bet they are absorbant enough to tip the balance in favor of moisture going into the cactus vs. out of it.

2. It's possible that plants would pump heat from one part of themselves to another the way a refrigerator does, but I don't see the benefit.  It also takes a lot of energy to do that.

But there are several other options for managing heat, and I know at least the first is operating:

Water has a tremendous thermal mass.  Plants that store large amounts of water, and don't take in very much sun, will heat up very slowly.

It is possible that the plants actively circulate water between their above-ground and below-ground parts.  This would work like a geothermal climate control system for a building, bringing heat underground through the day and pulling it back out overnight.

Lastly, it could be that some of these plants have their photosynthesis reactions tweaked so that one part of the cycle absorbs heat during the day (like an instant cold pack) and the rest of the cycle realeases heat at night (like a chemical handwarmer).  I find this unlikely, but plants do some implausible things.  I know many of them (pineapple, jade plant) have an unusual style of photosynthesis that stores up chemical energy during the day, but only absorbs CO2 or makes sugar or releases oxygen at night: imagine holding your breath through each day's work and only breathing in your sleep!

 
rose macaskie
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polyparadimg, I wanted to to find as many reasons as i could to explain why plants create rain because i think that people are convinced by reasons. If they really understand what incredible things plants do they will feel more enthusiasm for planting them or protecting them. also it just suprises me how they get through the summer here. agri rose macaskie.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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rose macaskie wrote:i think that people are convinced by reasons.


I haven't seen that happen very often. 

People usually do seek out reasons to support their beliefs, though.  I'm sure building the confidence of people who hold healthy beliefs is a good thing.

Cognitive linguists and philosophers of science have discovered that beliefs are very closely tied to the way a discussion or activity is framed. 

The frame of a discussion can sometimes be set very subtly to favor one belief or another; the frame of an activity can usually only be set before the person carrying it out regards themself as an expert, and persuading someone to re-frame an important activity usually means showing how a new frame could resolve contradictions or complexity inherent in the old frame.

As to discussion, you might enjoy this:

http://forum-network.org/lecture/george-lakoff-political-mind

and in terms of activity, I can't recommend highly enough The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn.  That book inspired my username, by the way.

I also really love John Mayer's song about belief: it definitely adds soul to the arguments above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEgUUTkqRRQ
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Does anyone else want to be able to test soil at home?

I know it is convenient to just mail it off to an ag extension, but I'm not certain that will always be an option.  My educated (over-educated?) guess is that the sorts of chemistry needed would be easier to teach, and safer, than basic use of a metal or wood shop, and require much less investment in equipment, materials, or space.
 
paul wheaton
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I would be interested in learning how to test for lots of things - perhaps a new thread would be good?

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I'm OK with starting a new thread...soil testing was my own answer to my original question of "what science would you like to do at home?"
 
                    
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Does anyone else want to be able to test soil at home?


The Kjeldahl test for nitrogen is possible to do at home, but it is something that is better done by someone who specializes in it - it requires equipment, chemicals and practice.  I would rather make a determination based on foliage color than try to run the test myself.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I was thinking of a more automated and broad-spectrum method, like ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy).  I could see an ICP-AES machine being built for $100, and some clever method of obtaining calibration samples found for agriculturally-relevant trace minerals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICP-AES

Edit:  It seems like it would require some very clever design work to get a good enough photodetector in that price range, like re-working a photovoltaic cell to run in avalanche mode or something equally heroic.  But hobbyists are surprising that way.

As to the competition and N content, I wonder if maybe the Dumas method would be more appropriate, since the chemicals aren't as costly or dangerous?  A molecular sieve and CO2 scrubber would be well within hobby workings; an ion gauge is similarly suitable for homebrew.  It would pre-suppose this $100 vacuum setup, though.
 
rose macaskie
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  There are still some crazy a bit brutal scientists around, come show men, you started this thread and just afterwards we had the boy  ballon story. the mylar silver plastic plus helium plus sunlight should keep this thing up experiment. The bit that worries me is the boy being sick, children do get sick but in that situation it makes one wonder, is he under a lot of stress. Loved whatching the ballon the time cnn put a long peice of floating ballon, on and on, It would make a good calm you down sequence. agri rose macaskie.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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rose macaskie wrote:is he under a lot of stress.


I read he was never aboard, the balloon was never large enough to lift him so high, that his parents were only trying to get their own TV show.

http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/was-it-physically-possible-for-the-balloon-boy-to-fly-away-a-mathematical-explanation/1677/

I imagine he is under a lot of stress, though. 
 
rose macaskie
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  Oo he was not aboard but the ballon was a sort of scientific experiment wasn't it? I don't know much about ballons, does the silver paper help to warm it? They use silver paper to reflect light back out and stop things heating, in roofs for example to stop the sun heating your house and in solar cooking the black cooking box can have silver paper under the black to stop the heat going into the cardboard while the silver paper on the reflector of a solar oven is reflecting the light in to the oven on to the pot so the pot recieves the direct sunlight which as everyone knows can heat a lot and the indirect sunlight reflected off the reflective panels silver paper or mylar or mirror paper panels.
      Wasn't  the silver paper ballon an effort  to maximise the heat the sun could give the helium. I heard somthing of the sort. i suppose mylar keeps you hot because you are inside it and it does not let your heat out, the helium does not produce heat would the mylar insulate it from the sun or increase the suns heat in the ballon? agri rose macaskie.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Sort of. 

The silver color was to keep the gas at as constant a temperature as possible, so the balloon wouldn't fall so much at night.  That means minimizing heating from the sun, but also minimizing cooling at night.

A balloon only has so much capacity; heat either causes it to burst, or to vent, or for extremely advanced balloons, to run at very hight pressure during the day.  At night, the balloon either shrinks (and therefore, falls), takes in air (much worse! also falling), or (again, for advanced ballons) declines in pressure.  The more the temperature swings, the more the altitude usually swings, which can complicate the design of some experiments.
 
rose macaskie
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People are covninced by words at least if they get to agree with you. you might be wrong.
i think i have picked up the that are on the tape you mention from people who were doing their best to treat me as an idiot. I will listen to it but it will bring back memories of being roughed up when i didnot know how to defend myself or still was not willing to hurt others by pointing out their weaknesses. I have got tough as you will notice in these forums. people no longer wrap me round their little fingers.

  There are problems to comunication, like adults are often like the children they were before, they don't listen to others anymore than they listened to their teacher at school. Anxiouse to join in conversations i listened hard to others and it took me years to learn there are people who aren't even listening to their freinds.

Another problem is, when there is a lack of intercomunication. The shepherds in Spain dont talk of their motives for overgrazing, fear of fires, they say yes to the experts when told how to have more pastures and go on overgrazing, the comunicator does not know why his explanations don't work, he was not addressing one part of their fears, rather than looking for more pastures for their animals they are seeking to reduce vegetation to protect the village from fires and they don't say as much.
  I have met, as an adult, idiot men, men who as children were the type described in the program "saved by the bell" those who are more interested in getting the upper hand or having the best cars and not really interested in ideas who in adult life seem to imagine they are seriouse people though they have never spent much time studying and who decide for instance that because i am a woman, i am stupid and they try to convince me of ideas that are not sound and wonder that i don't take up their ideas and they would imagine that people dont respond to reason because they don't respond to them. 
       If you are not important enough people will look really hard for ways of finding you are wrong, their listening will be conditioned by their desires or beliefs they will pick up on possible weaknesses in your arguements and not consider the other parts of them.

      Whatever modern excuses are for not giving it all to others as if they are reasonable people, it is just another excuse for exclusive and aloof behavior. Those who argue against reason are themselves only trying to find new excuses for a new type of elite. I went for some years to a grammer school, i had the luck not to be treated like an idot woman for a time and i had the luck  to hear the teachers say how important they thought it was that we girls were treated as reasonable people. i don't want the world to go back to some new sort of dark age when reason is again for the elite because people hold up the ways in which it fails which it does but that is not a reason to give up on it it is still better than other alternatives and in the end leaves people better educated more knowledgable. agri rose macaskie.
 
                            
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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In response to the OP, this is what the "appropriate technology" people have been doing for a while, and the open source movement is starting to get into: open-sourcing everything -- all technologies, especially the manufacturing abilities which right now are geared completely to large scale enterprise, outside the monetary and engineering capacity of a small group of laypeople.

As you point out there are innumerable hobbyists making (usually isolated) contributions. But the greatest champions of this approach I know of are at Factor-E Farm and those working on Reprap.

http://openfarmtech.org/
http://reprap.org/
http://www.appropedia.org/

Frank at the Agroinnovations podcast brought this together for me -- as a fulfillment of the Gandhian quest to eliminate poverty, slavery, and slaughter, through an open source operating system for the material world. A key aspect is that all hobbyist tinkering in this context is aligned with goals of making open source, free, reproducible, and widely accessible results to questions of material technology -- solving engineering problems using local materials and expertise which have perhaps already been solved in the context of large industries using networks of professional consultants and suppliers.

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/2009/01/reprap-with-andrew-bowyer-part-i/

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/2008/05/open-farm-tech-with-marcin-jakubowski/

This is encompassed in permaculture. Most people seem to think permaculture is just an elaborate way to lay out a farm -- it's more an encyclopedic mish-mash of guerrilla economic and scientific strategies. See Mollison lectures from 1980s, especially the classic 47+ hour "1983 PDC" and "Aquaculture".

 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
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