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Shrinking the Technosphere, Part V

Shrinking the Technosphere, Part V

Before we proceed any further in describing how political technologies can be used to bring about the sort of dramatic social change that might grant humanity a new lease on life on planet Earth, let’s describe what “naturelike technologies” might look like. By “naturelike” we mean something that is in balance with nature—its rhythms, both diurnal and annual, and its cycles: of water, carbon dioxide, organic nutrients—and human generations. By “technologies” we mean the know-how, passed from generation to generation, which one needs in order to survive—not any fancy gadgets or machinery, not the internet of things, nano-this or genetically-engineered-that.

Of course, there must also exist political technologies that can sustain and defend such an effort, especially against the predations of profit-driven psychopaths who have imperiled human survival through rapid resource depletion and out of control industrial development, but let’s put this question aside for now…

While I was growing up in the USSR, every summer, from age five to age nine or so, my family would take off in some direction, east or west, on trips that could, in some of their aspects, be described as trips back in time. We spent one summer in a village so out-of-the-way that the locals demanded to know how we knew that their village existed. We hadn’t known, neither did the authorities in the local regional center, and the locals seemed keen to keep it that way.

We simply tagged along with a geological survey team that was doing seismic testing, blasting its way along a hydrocarbon seam. Our method of transportation was a “Smotka”—a reel truck that bumped along rutted dirt roads running cable between sensors stuck in the ground that triggered small explosive charges, then recorded seismic data as jagged lines on spools of graph paper spewed out by a seismograph inside the truck.

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