Appreciate the thought Steve. I think there’s a big place for DIY, “Appropriate Technology”, etc. There are many who won’t develop (get it done) otherwise. Still, we DIY ers can only DIY on the backs of those who came before, which includes the other side of the “Y”. For example: my 8 yr old built a functional ram pump this week. Only way he could get that done was because metallurgy has advanced to the place where he can buy the ready made parts at Lowe’s—largely on the other side of the “Y”, the internet where he researched the project was developed and maintained by the other side of the “Y”, as well as being filled with ideas from DIY-ers. etc. All that is cumulative I’d say. That’s why, even though I try to teach what is known as sustainable ag, I still can’t say there’s not a place for agri-business in the world.
The fact is, the chicken litter I use to teach small scale sustainable ag comes from huge broiler houses that are the heart of Alabama’s agribusiness.
Seems to me there are a lot of things “not done” unless they get done by DIY-ers. For instance, not many corporations or govt’s pushing steam water pumps these days. Even though they may still have plenty of specialized applications in different contexts. Lots of times in developing situations we use AT stuff in place of the standard modern tech because it makes better sense in that context.
Also seems to me that there are a lot of things that are developed by big business, gov’t and industry that move the whole field “forward”. Sometimes they move it forward and leave things behind. Often it goes forward toward something better. EX: The same movement that caused the world to forget producer gas and steam power and ram pumps, and methane production, etc (which are still valid in certain contexts), is the same movement that makes it possible for an average somebody to go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap welder and go to a scrap yard and collect some materials, and go to a hardware store and buy cheap uniformly milled pre-threaded parts, and then look up instructions on the internet, and order a book published by a country cattle farmer in central AL and build a machine that will produce that gas or pump or digester, etc.
So for me it seems we have to have both. Unless of course we define anyone who gets something done as one side of the “Y” . And everyone who sits around “not doing” as the other side.
I could be missing your point.
Anyone who builds anything (and has any sense at all) will looks for answers from where ever he can find them. I’m sure we all use tech first developed by DARPA, or big business, or some other grand group of some sort, as well as ideas from here and anywhere else.
Nevertheless, I don’t disagree with you (if I understand you). Certainly, people who go do it get more done than those sitting around begging for money so they can go do it. But that thought will lead us back to a banished debate soo…
Also, I guess I am ignorant to the “The other woodgasing branch road taken is those doing it for others.” I just haven’t been around it enough I guess. I’m sure you are right about it, but I am unlearned on the subject.
As for living for others: “Thiers meaning the whole great big greater world. 2000 years of cultural histories say taking on responsibilty for the whole grater world will kill you, crush you, suck you dry.”
I suppose you’re right. It tends to be true that no good deed goes unpunished. That’s the world we live in. But then there have always been those few that find value in their willingness to be destroyed for the sake of others. Not sure if those are who you are talking about. I could be missing you there. Not sure. But if so, I’d say there’s no greater calling. We honor, and rightly so, those who are willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others…Sometimes those who think they are doing that actually aren’t. Nevertheless, there’s something good in the intent, even if not in the fruit…Albeit, I’d rather have both.
Enough ‘pontificating’…time for bed…