Our nation is somewhat sad, but we’re angry. There’s a certain level of blood lust, but we won’t let it drive our reaction. We’re steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we’ll have to start displaying scalps. — George W. Bush
Our nation is somewhat sad, but we’re angry. There’s a certain level of blood lust, but we won’t let it drive our reaction. We’re steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we’ll have to start displaying scalps.
Way cool. Check it out.
You know, if there were more people like this in the world, we wouldn’t live in a world like this.
I’m reading Derrida’s Specters of Marx right now and really trying to wrap my head around our current cluster-fuck (is that a hyphenated word?). The trashman mentioned at the end the clip how making his work viable economically was a big part of what he was doing. Ah…it’s so nice to dream of a capitalistic utopia where profits are made and people are helped at the same time…It’s really too bad that we are all probably going to drown or die of severe sunburn before any of that could possibly happen on a worldwide scale. “The time is out of joint.”
But it is nice to hear about people doing good things in spite of it all. (I’m not THAT bitter about the whole thing.)
I was having a really shitty day until I watched this clip. Thanks!
I’m lucky to have an old friend who has been doing much the same as seen in the video for the past 25 years. While not as exclusively devoted to re-use, I have visited some of the buildings he’s put together largely from scrap from remodeling jobs. One place was remarkable, a little jewel box of a house with every window a different size, positioned from the floor to the rafters wherever the view was best.
Having found it highly irksome to work for (some) folks with lots of $$, he has come to work almost exclusively for people he thinks will get real benefit from his restorations. As a result, when I asked him not too long ago how work was going, he said he had as much as ever, if not more. I said I was concerned that the “recession” might be getting to him. He replied that he’d always been poor, and that the recession wasn’t going to change that.
I guess you could call his work “make-do” vernacular. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of people he has trained, as most don’t put up with the ridiculous hours and conditions he’s worked in. Likewise, he’s lived in circumstances that dictated the most effective solutions for the least finance. A hard school.
why limit yourself to building scrap? There’s literally tons of edibles tossed every day in every provincial city in the developed world. I’ve been eating only garbage for the past two years & never ate better in my life. Also supplying 11 other people with everything: infinite arrays of all the exotic imported “ecological” “organic” and extremely expensive luxuries that i could never afford to buy. A single night’s scrounging in a city of population 40,000 will produce a box of luxury cheeses, wine, 25 kilos of roasted coffee beans, fresh-squeezed juices, 15 tubes of extremely expensive ecological toothpaste, smoked salmon, a digital camera in original packing (never opened), mangos, kiwis, bananas, pears, shoes, nice clothing, etc, etc, . All tossed for no reason whatsoever except the extravagent wastefulness of capitalism. And this is in one of the “greenest” countries of northwestern europe…. you don’t need a car: do it on a bicycle. Just wear some old clothes and bring your own flashlight.
freddy, while I have no objection to food scavenging or dumpster diving in principle, it isn’t a practice that provides much in the way of Value Addition- which is what I find to be the main appeal of this improvisatory recycling approach to architecture and carpentry.
Living on the usable castoffs of an affluent society can work wonderfully well for some individuals. I’ve managed to furnish my housing, equip my kitchens, and stock my clothes drawers and closets with secondhand goods for decades- to the point where I’ve felt bewilderingly affluent at some points in my life.
But transforming discarded scrap materials and haul-away junk into modest masterpieces of low-cost shelter is a much greater feat of transcendence, thift, and industry- one that has potential for entire communities. And it’s a challenge and rebuke to the mainstream trends of modern suburban residential development, which is, in the overwhelming case, a wasteful, uncreative model of providing overpriced tract housing that’s frequently poorly designed and shoddily built.
It’s one thing to think outside the box- but to take those thoughts and actually BUILD outside of the box- that’s a formidable accomplishment.
Here’s a somewhat related example- another method of “thinking outside of the box”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AzbtWzwK8A
Unfortunately, insane hysterics have declared the building material to be a Menace- despite all evidence to the contrary- and demand that it remain illegal: http://www.fuelandfiber.com/VoteHemp/Voter_Guide/Lakota/lakota.html
Energy Bulletin pointed us to the website of Practical Action (previously known as the Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development), an online resource devoted to low-technology solutions for developing countries. The site hosts many manuals that can also be of interest for low-tech DIYers in the developed world. They cover energy, agriculture, food processing, construction and manufacturing, just to name some important categories.
We would like to add to this the impressive online library put together by software engineer Alex Weir. The 900 documents listed here (13 gigabytes in total) are not as well organised and presented as those of Practical Action, but there is a wealth of information that is not found anywhere else. The library is also hosted here (without search engine).
Other interesting online resources that offer manuals and instructions are Appropedia, Howtopedia and Open Source Ecology. These are all wiki’s, so you can cooperate. The Centre for Alternative technologies has many interesting manuals, too, but the majority of those are not for free.
Previously: The museum of old techniques / A do-it-ourselves guide. This article was first published at NTM.
Digital technology is a product of cheap energy–The monster footprint of digital technology
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