Critique of technology
Jan. 12 - Critique of "Towards 1000 Global Villages - Factor e Live Distillations - Part 1" - http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=458
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I'm really glad you guys are working towards a sustainable future, but it seems to rely heavily on technology. It's just my opinion but all of these machines and tools may make the task they're designed for easier, having to go to the trouble of learning about them, building them, and then maintaining them almost makes them equivalent to what one could do with simpler tools.
I hate to sound as if I'm dismissing your work because I think it's really cool. I just get the feeling your making these things to see if you can and aren't asking if you should.
For instance, the rototiller you have listed. Tilling is ok for initially loosening the soil, but it kills soil life, reduces humus and organic matter, and generally isn't necessary if once you initially loosen the soil you avoid compacting it again. Simpler tools like a broadfork can be used to loosen the soil, and although it may take some time it's much less destructive to the soil and would only have to be done once if maintained and designed properly.
Anyway, I don't want to discourage you because you're clearly incredibly bright people and you're hearts are in the right place as well. I wish you the best of luck.
This is a common critique. It brings up good points, which we can address from an wholistic perspective. (response forthcoming) - Marcin , Jan 12, 2009