Ming the Mechanic:
Freedom and Responsibility

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Freedom and Responsibility2003-12-13 18:21
9 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Craig Russell in an article, "Pick and Choose":
Freedom requires responsibility. And yet how many of us are truly willing to take responsibility for our own freedom, for our own lives? How many of us, for example, take true and total responsibility for something as basic and fundamental as our own food, for that essential connection to the earth that sustains our very lives? The vast majority of us depend totally upon Power and its Economic System to provide that for us. We eschew any caring for, or connection to, the land. We’re unwilling to make the effort it would take to produce our own food. We literally refuse to get our hands dirty. We, by and large, much prefer immersing ourselves in the infinite greed of the marketplace and the ease and comforts of “civilized” life it provides – for our cars and our oil furnaces, our roads and our televisions, for our fresh strawberries and pomegranates delivered fresh in the dead of winter. Most of us have lived this way for so long that, like teenagers living off their parents, we simply take for granted the effort, the networks and organizations, that bring those things to us. Just as they don’t really understand what it takes to keep the lights on and put food on the table, we have little if any idea about where food or electricity comes from or how they got here – little if any idea about what, exactly, it took to achieve and maintain this state of being, this level of ease and comfort. And then, wanting the comforts but lacking both true knowledge of (and any responsibility for) them, we complain like spoiled teenagers about the necessary restrictions the System requires of our minds and our lives.
I agree that it is a big problem that most of us are so disconnected from the foundation we're living on. It is a big danger that we have no clue how to grow food or make electricity. Ironically I do think that technological advances, of the right kind, could make that situation better. We could very well be educated in the basics, and have tools in our hands that would allow us to do things on our own. Either if it became necessary, or as an exercise.

How would I create electricity? Eh, despite sort of knowing how it works, I'm not sure. OK, I could think up a dynamo and something to turn it, but I'd need copperwire and magnets. My method of getting those would be to buy them in a store. That's not good enough. I really need more fundamental do-it-yourself knowledge than that. We all do.


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9 comments

13 Dec 2003 @ 19:45 by bushman : :}
To make a magnet: Lay a piece of iron north and south, beat with hammer.
To make copper wire: Find some copper ore smelt it, pour thru small hole into oil. :}  



13 Dec 2003 @ 19:59 by Jon @209.148.230.30 : Making Electricity
How about flying a kite very, very high up into the sky, on a very long thin metal wire, and attaching it to the roof of your house or the balcony of your apartment ?

Don't quite know what to use as the "collector" - an adapted surge protector, maybe ? ;-)  



14 Dec 2003 @ 13:04 by hgoodgame : These are good questions.
I've studied self-sufficiency but have never completely lived it though I have produced my own food and lived a somewhat "Mother Earth" lifestyle. I've never detached from the local power supply and would be as helpless to produce electricily for myself as you are. Even so, there are people who know how to get electicity from a small waterfall, from wind, from sunlight. Not any one person may be able to know everything necessary to live comfortably. A group of people with complimentary skills could be what will work.
Bushman, whoa, that was cool advice! Thanks. How does the beating with the hammer make it work?
I know with waterfalls, windmills, somehow the electricity is channeled into storage batteries, then the batteries are used for a consistant power supply.  



15 Dec 2003 @ 08:29 by ming : Society
Well, society does indeed work with most people having zero knowledge of most of this. But it is also a bit of a danger signal when we no longer have any clue where even to go and look for it. So maybe we just need some better sense that we have it at our fingertips when we need it.

I know I could go and look up on the net how to make magnets in case I forgot Bushman's advice. Which is why I didn't write it down on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket. But on the day where I actually would need it, I might very well not have the Net, and it suddenly becomes very important what I've got with me. Like that U.S. Army Survival Manual I have on my shelf, which would tell me what I'm likely to be able to eat if I happened to be lost in the wilderness.  



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