Dead Tree Society?

post written by N.

Technology is awesome. It enables us to do so much more… right now this goofy guy in his late twenties, in fly over country, with no academic credentials is writing to a global audience. What a democratization of information!

I wonder if we consider both sides of the double edge sword… the difficulty of establishing intellectual credibility in “cyberspace”, the ability of institutions of power to “update” published information at will, the ecological considerations all of the electricity and materials that we need to use these modern information systems, and what about skills and technologies that are becoming irrelevant and in danger of being lost.

How long before it becomes prohibitely expensive to develop a roll of film (has anyone else seen young children want to see their picture on the back of a camera after its been taken?), that no one knows how to get around their home town without a GPS, could you feed yourself out of a garden if you had to and can for winter, or we never bother to memorize anything because we can always google it on our iPhone 7gss Mini? Lots of things us modern folks don’t know how to do. My books are made of renewable, sometimes recycled, resources that need no power, maintence, and that don’t break down. There is a lot of value there even when compared to the convenience of a kindle.

Is there any group or organization out there dedicated to preserving skills and knowledge like this? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the world is going to end tomorrow and we’ll be in desperate need of these skills, but I think a centralized resource like that would be at the very least very interesting. If one doesn’t exist… do you see value in it?

Well, enough nonsense, I’m probably just like the guy in this video confused about his new-fangled book:

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2 Responses to Dead Tree Society?

  1. April says:

    I also think that technology is awesome, and roll my eyes at the people who admonish it so strongly. As long as it is sustainable technology, it is only really furthering our sophistication as a species. I don’t believe that we’re driving ourselves into some kind of bad hole or anything.

    On the other hand, the use of texting and Facebook and other less-personal methods of communication overwhelmingly in place of face-to-face and more personal forms of communication has proven drawbacks. That’s only a product of technology.

  2. kissiegrrrl says:

    We’re all on the same page here, I think. To answer your question though, N- I’m unaware of a singular group that works that specific concept, however there is a movement in that direction, scattered over a variety of issues and approaches. For instance:

    Land Stewardship Project gives farmers resources to grow their crops in a way that serves the environment and is a very much back to nature approach.

    Twin Cities Green is a locally owned gift/home store that carries earth-friendly stock and has a resource space to help folks learn about all sorts of old-school, DIY things like composting and organic gardening, recycling, etc.

    Most environmental groups support the concepts behind what you are talking about, but few work on things directly enough to apply here. A more effective way to be active in preserving important skills within our society would be to look into local initiatives- subversive knitting/sewing circles in the area, join a CSA, in MPLS we have the Blue Sky Guide & Do It Green to tell us where to shop and eat, etc. that benefits local, enviro businesses.

    All these are planet-saving specific, but considering the comeback of knitting/sewing circles, clothing swaps, co-ops, etc. I’m sure what you’re looking for is out there.

    Wow, I haven’t had internet access for too long! I have a lot to say…

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