A Story about Paper LO25368

From: Don Dwiggins (d.l.dwiggins@computer.org)
Date: 09/24/00

Replying to LO25317 --

At writes:
> But before we even think about EBIT, these people will need a supply of
> electricity to drive this EBIT. The grandiose schemes of heavy current
> electrical engineers, so effective in the cities, will not do. For
> example, the distances which the networks have to cover are too vast and
> the populations too sparse to sustain such networks.

> What they need, are portable generators with an output of
> some hundred watts. These generators need to be
> * cheap to acquire
> * cheap to run
> * reliable under a variety of conditions
> * simple to repair
> * easy to manufacture from parts.

There has been work done in this area for some time, under the name
"appropriate technology". Here are a few references I just looked up -- I
had remembered the term from a Scientific American article many years ago:

http://www.ncat.org/: "The National Center for Appropriate Technology
(NCAT), established as a non-profit corporation in 1976, works to find
solutions that use local resources to address problems that face all
Americans, especially society's most disadvantaged citizens."

http://www.journeytoforever.org/at.html: "Appropriate technology stemmed
from the work of the British economist Dr. Fritz Schumacher, author of the
book "Small is Beautiful -- Economics as if people mattered", which is still
the foundation text on a sustainable future. Appropriate technology is the
kind of technology that fits small-scale, grassroots, people-centred
Also see the www.journeytoforever.org/index.html: "Journey to Forever is a
pioneering expedition by a small, mobile NGO (Non-Government Organization)
involved in environment and rural development work, starting from Hong Kong
and travelling 40,000 kilometres through 26 countries in Asia and Africa to
Cape Town, South Africa."
Finally, from their "why we're doing this" page, something that really
resonates with what you wrote:
"This is the Credo of Rural Reconstruction, developed by Dr. Y.C. James Yen:
    Go to the people
    Live among them
    Learn from them
    Plan with them
    Work with them
    Start with what they know
    Build on what they have
    Teach by showing
    Learn by doing
    Not a showcase
    But a pattern
    Not odds and ends but a system
    Not to conform but to transform
    Not relief but release."
(And by the way, folks, how's that for a LO credo?)

For "appropriate funding", check out The Grameen Bank at
http://www.grameen.org/ (At, you'll want to choose "Narrowband"). (I sent
this link to Andrew a few days ago, hoping it might prove directly helpful
to May.) This also came to my knowledge by way of a Scientific American

It really is awe-inspiring to watch the connections being made -- truly the
days of miracle and wonder.

Love to those building up entropy, those in bifurcation, those wondering
what to do with their emergences, and especially to those struggling to
recover from their immergences,


Don Dwiggins d.l.dwiggins@computer.org Man ascends through the discovery of the fullness of his own gifts. What he creates along the way are monuments to the stages of his understanding of nature and of self. -- Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man"

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.