Part 2 will have more to do with the title. I need to preface it with this post.
I've been reading a good portion of Wendell Berry lately. Berry is a farmer, a poet, an environmentalist, a novelist, and a speaker. Back in 1987 Berry wrote an essay titled Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer (that's right, I just embed a link to an essay called Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer). It's a fascinating read and a bit impractical. However, Berry makes some good points about technological innovation.
Here they are:
1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.
Berry is the first to admit that "like almost everybody else, I am hooked to the energy corporations, which I do not admire." His stance on not buying a computer comes out of his hope "to become less hooked to them." Again, the stance is not necessarily practical (yet) but it is needed.
This is not a politically driven blog. I am not looking for a debate regarding energy or corporations or computers (obviously, I'm typing this on a computer). This blog and its sequel are about point number 9 on Berry's list of requirements for technological innovation. I will end with one question. In an attempt to save time and money, how often do we do things that either circumvent or blatantly disrupt community?
That's all for now. The toddler part will come into play next week.