Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy and Cheap

Busy. This time of year is always busy so not writing much. Got the fencing up that now allows us to have a three crop rotation system and sometime in the future animals to move around those fields. The little house is habitable with only one more step to have the well changed over to old time cylinder and pump with no need for electricity. Sold three solar hot water panels to a really nice family and bought a wood cook stove for the farm. All set up. Our shiitake mushrooms have gone nuts this year. They just keep producing. Our learning about using the greenhouse is paying off here at the lake. I have designed a larger one for the farm. Will put the base by this fall so I can work on it first thing in the spring. Opened up two more areas for rotating crops primarily potatoes. Am tightening the 8 foot tall fences. I had never done that kind of fencing and didn’t have the right tool for tightening single lines. Live and learn. Lots of other odd jobs.

I fear the shit may have hit the fan financially around the globe and here in the U.S. of A. It is so hard to tell. I am still not sure if this not a somewhat manipulated ploy to homogenize labor wages globally. Feudal system anyone.

There seems to be a major disconnect all across the board. Some is blindness, some is willful repression of facts, some is guile and some is plain, unadulterated stupidity.

We also have major company coming for 10 days soon. Many people will be staying here which will allow this curmudgeon recluse to try out sleeping over at the farm house for a few days.

Here is a great quote. It couples well with my belief only being forced by necessity be it technological, financial or resource will humans adopt a more reasonable, less intrusive and abusive lifestyle. The book is more on literary responses to technology and very well written.

Easy and cheap

“There is within every human the perpetual pull of opposites. Fear taunts courage; willpower struggles with appetite; order with disorder. Caution tugs at curiosity as impulse teases aversion. For all the stimulation of the new, there remains the powerful comfort and security of the known. We are, like Dr. Dolittle’s famous Pushme-Pullyou, conflicted creatures. Individuality is defined by these differences, by where the balance is struck.”

But one impulse in particular seems to have weak competition or none at all. The appeal of ease, or the less-taxing option, is unquestioned. Only the obstinate, the perverse, the eccentric, or the mad, the conventional wisdom toes, intentionally choose the more difficult over the easier method of reaching a goal. The hatchet or the ax over the chain saw? “I like the feel of the ax in my hand, the resistance, the thud of impact. I like to feel I am linked to what I am doing. I like the quiet in the forest, the smell of rosin, even the living shudder of the tree as the x bites, “ says the old woodsman. The logger smiles, pulls the starter on his chain saw, and has seven trees down in the time the woodsman spends on one. And the logger’s boss brings in the feller-buncher, the giant machine that graspes each tree in a steel embrace, then cuts it and stacks it with its downed companions as if it were kindling; and logger smiles no more as the new machine does the work of seven chain-saw-bearing men and he finds himself reading want ads. Seldom, however, is the original impulse to make things easier questioned.”

“The religious have always known that ease is a dangerous road to travel. One reason for caution is that it’s sometimes hard to tell who the real beneficiary is. Or whether something is really as easy as it first seems. Or whether ease costs more than it appears to. Or whether something is being lost in the transition that hasn’t been mentioned, or foreseen, or accounted for. Machines, in the time of Carlyle, Dickens, and Ruskin, were making production easier. The matter of “at what cost” had just begun to be considered, and then only by a very few.”

Close on the heels of ease is cheap, and the combination, especially in goods, is virtually irresistible. Low cost and convenience: the machine made it possible.”

Pg. 79-80 Fox, Nicols. 2002. Against the Machine. Island Press. London.

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