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Rufus Laggren

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since Feb 23, 2012
Chicago/San Francisco
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Recent posts by Rufus Laggren

A plumber friend uses a (good) angle grinder w/a diamond blade to cut cast iron.  Don't know about steel. Diamond lasts longer when cooled w/a stream of water. Should be possible to run tests.

Other ideas:

Is there a 3000+ KW generator on site? With the serious equipment already allocated, it would not be unreasonable to have one and it enlarges your tool options. There are also gas powered saws. With a large operating cost per hour that day, as you describe, there s/b room in the budget for "what it takes" to make those cuts.

If it's possible to "open up" the cut, that is, cut back the wood 6-12" either side of where you slice the steel, it might allow cutting with a torch. Other fire safety measures depend  on nearby surroundings. Possibly the cut can be opened up a day or so ahead of time and that would reduce risk of delays.  It might be helpful to remove the wood anyway to be able to see what is happening while cutting the steel.

Circular saws waste wood faster than just about anything when you can get the blade on the work properly.  If the situation allows, using a circ-saw to kerf the wood longways might be very fast and make scooping out the remainder relatively easy.

If there's a local borg, laying in lots of new tool and blade inventory ahead of time allows for surprises. Return what's not used.

Sounds like a great challenge. Good luck.


1 week ago

As above, thank you for your work. I came to similar conclusions w/out ever referencing any "movements".  I hope many read your words, as they lay out the dots which people can connect if a light bulb goes on.

I would caution that one should always maintain the thought that future events and timelines can never be known. You mention this early a couple times. I think it bears keeping in view throughout your work in order to avoid, as possible, people becoming "disappointed" and have trouble keeping in mind that your ideas are still valid.

I offer one other thought for discussion about likely futures. Powerful institutions really are powerful and they won't disappear, over night or maybe ever. I don't believe in conspiracy theories, they would totally miss the point. But there are millions of people around us and barring true apocalypse (fast and complete) they will continue to be organized by governments and large entities (companies) with control of resources and force. This is not necessarily good or bad per se, but one needs to remember there are large influences out there beyond just the weather. Maybe not overall as powerful as weather, but sometimes much more immediate and very important to not lose sight of. Where this might become most significant is in the case of the "slow future" where society and economy "maintains" while prosperity and well being is rubbed away. It is still important to large entities to make and keep their status quo working. Our huge institutions won't get any smarter or more capable but they _will_ react to their problems, make changes, initiate action. They are not going to disappear. They will, for all practical and foreseeable purposes, always be part of people's lives. Just not in exactly the manner they are now. Millions of people, probably all of us anywhere no matter what our goals or politics, get some necessities of life only through these huge institutions (the biggest of which is the economy itself). Most obviously for everybody, medical care. Then there's basic food for those living in/around large cities.

IOW, in any "slow" scenario it does not seem likely that huge numbers of people (anything over 10%) will die faster than we do now. They will still be here, forming the human environment which we adapt too. The most dedicated Northern Idaho Libertarian will deal with the devil of government in order to get their child doctored and healed. This reality needs to be part of any workable picture. Any far seeing "movement", however true and correct, will always be a small part of a large whole, as long as the mass of the whole exists. I think it will continue to exist and in the Great Scheme, that may be neither good nor bad. But it's certainly an important factor.

Within this country there is one community (well several versions, actually) which seems to have Adapted in their own way: The religious Amish/Mennonites. They live life by their own rules which they believe are the only sensible way because of they see coming down the pipe. They pay taxes. They have created laws which they modify and affirm every year or so about how they will conduct their lives, including how they relate to the rest of us. That includes what tech they use, what help they ask/accept from outsiders, what parts of the "outside" world they can own and participate in. Interestingly, some of their rules relate to courtesy. They have their problems, but the last I checked, about 2012, they were the fastest growing demographic group in the USA. Now, their version of reality isn't yours nor mine, but clearly they are pursuing their own vision successfully w/in a larger whole and this looks like something important for anybody who wishes to form a viable life seriously different from our present economy and society. They have hundreds of  years of history and it's been very hard at times; they have moved around through several countries. Worth a look.

1 week ago
IOW, we can usually only see the world and think w/in the programming we're given at a young age.

And that those around us continually reinforce and modify as we all go along.

And that designer advertising and media blitzes create for us.

How shockingly and embarrassingly constrained! <GG>  The world in a frame.  Anyone want to argue for "masters of our own fate"  ?  


You mentioned the the metric dribbles out over a period of discussion. To me this sounds fine. Many people don't know what their metric is to begin with and the needs of the discussion make things clear that weren't seen originally.

But a metric, being as it's so important, is often something that needs to be hashed out itself. _That_ is often the real issue, not the technical details which were used to frame the first question. I suspect that as a debate coach you're aware that the team the controls the metric usually wins - that the metric is what, be definition, determines the win. I believe this is commonly called  "framing".

When there's a debate, the metric is what is fought over. When there's a discussion, the metric(s) determine what is put on the table and how it's arranged. The metric is NOT neutral. It's like finding the right question to ask - that itself almost solves the problem. The metric shapes everything that follows.


Maybe plant the sage on a small berm. Make it taller...

2 weeks ago

> We were put in a holding building office for 26 hours and were expected to live on plastic bench seats with other families and their children We needed a pass to leave while we waited for shelter.This was later changed..... <and more>

Thank you for sharing a place some of us have never come close to. It helps to see a little more, to bulge the bubble we live in, or even pop it. They say that seeing the lives of other people is what started Buddha out of his highest class life and on his quest for true knowledge and peace for all. I think people need to see each other. Sometimes it seems like it must be pretty hard, though, for some reason.

2 weeks ago
Hows that for a headline? <g>  

But true, unfortunately. I listened to an interview with the business owners today. Their mild take is that there was no business permitting options between "None" for residential homeowners and "Industrial 3" (or whatever that is) for heavy industry. They're somewhere in the middle and they couldn't find a way through the maze.

And of all places to find  news on the subject!  Wonders never cease.

2 weeks ago

As Devin pointed out, "Daddy" can be in body a female. In out society, that's not very common, but it's out there.

The government as governor seems a good description in some ways.

And then again, in any large scale program ("large" being left undefined), there will be cheats, inefficiency and waste. With large programs, say societal laws and systems, if you wish to eliminate those nasties, the baby goes out with the bath water. Sort of like the bar owner who tolerates a certain amount of "skimming" from the till because it keeps his group of people working and functioning, whereas if he played hard line, he'd lose important individuals and it would cost him a whole lot more in the long run. Systems don't, I think, stay pure past the day of their inception.

> constituents must all know and uphold this full-responsibility and duty of care..

Per my last para, I doubt that is possible in any real group. Looking at groups I have known, boards, clubs, teams... I'd say the in all of them less than 1/3 of the members actually actively contribute in a standardized fashion. A lot don't even _participate_ actively, though there maybe the percentage was more like 80% on the good side.

Somebody above (sorry, don't see it right now) mentioned that intentional communities were those where members did not _depend_ on the community for survival. Seems like a VERY important point to remember.


Thanks for reminding us all that "Christian" (they are certainly  espoused by many other faiths and practiced by many who don't proclaim any faith) values  and action exist  out there if we pay attention and approach with humility. Easy to forget sometimes.

2 weeks ago
Perhaps this thread is wandering a bit much. I be guilty as anybody. I think the OP, Paul, started from a personal interaction standpoint, not a political one. That, even by itself, offers plenty of  material and lots of issues we've all encountered.

The personal individual side certainly includes expectation, communication, boundaries and, IMHO, the necessary role of "Daddy" (or somebody) who manifests when a person's behavior begins damaging the community. Among other things. I don't know about damaging "others", but that may matter, too. "Daddy" is kinda a thankless job IMO, but I don't see how communities survive w/out.