"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Sunday, 11 October 2015

New age culture and irritating people

This may come as a surprise to some of you out there but I am sometimes known for my lack of tolerance for fools. Those who know me will not be surprised by this.
This weeks annoyance on my part comes from having to suffer folks who always need to reinvent the wheel. Case in point, I was breathlessly told about this "brand new and really efficient technology" called a Rocket stove. Apparently it will boil water from just a handful of wood chips and twigs and so forth. It was immediately obvious to me that the speaker, a young and fluffy new-age type, was actually referring to a chip heater. Once the speaker had paused for breath I asked if they were referring to a chip heater but was told that this was most definitely a new invention and had never been seen before! When I directed them to pictures of chip heaters and similar stoves from early last century it did not go down well.
Now I have absolutely no objection to people wanting to use this technology! In fact quite the opposite. However I DO object to this casual renaming of old technology so it can be touted as some new invention. I feel we need to show a little more respect to history and understand that most if not all of the technical answers to our problems lie in the past. Rather that sitting down to reinvent, usually badly, a solution to an old problem I prefer to start by doing a little research first. Almost always I find there is already a tried and true solution to the problem.
Ok, that is my grump for today.

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